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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Battery / Sleep Questions


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plan9
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Hey all,

A few questions about my new iBook (I've had it for 5 days and I haven't set it down yet)..

I have the battery out right now, iBook is plugged in. I am encoding something and it is going to take about 3 or 4 more hours, but I have to leave in 2 - can I plug the battery back in while the iBook is on (and plugged in) or do I have to shut it down (and therefore stop the encoding)?

Second - I would like the iBook's screen to turn off after, say, 15 minutes, but I do not want ANY processes to slow down - no CPU slowing, no hard drive sleeping, no screen saver taking processes.. What is the correct Energy Saver setting for this?

Thanks!
Jason
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Murlyn

 
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With my Powerbook I put the battery in with it on, with it off, etc etc.. so you shouldnt have to worry about that.

One thing that I would advise you of.. is do not put it to sleep.. then put the battery in.. then remove the power cord.. then wake your computer up.. it just doesnt work.. It still thinks it is using the power cord.. so when it's gone.. it turns off. So yeah just hot swap them.

Put the computer to sleep when it is inactive for: (Never)

Use Separate time to put the display to sleep (15 min)

Uncheck - Put the hard disk to sleep when possible.

Cheers!
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plan9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murlyn
With my Powerbook I put the battery in with it on, with it off, etc etc.. so you shouldnt have to worry about that.

...

Put the computer to sleep when it is inactive for: (Never)
Use Separate time to put the display to sleep (15 min)
Uncheck - Put the hard disk to sleep when possible.


Excellent, thank you for the fast and useful response..

So let me add to that question - let's say I pop the battery back in, unplug it (still encoding this whole time) and close the iBook.. That puts it to sleep, correct? Does this automatically slow the hard drive, etc?

Also - have you noticed that the Energy Saver Sys Prefs panel doesn't always retain your settings? I just set it exactly as you specified, closed Sys Prefs, opened it up again, and now the settings are completely different! Is this a bug, or does the OS edit things if need be?
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Murlyn

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plan9
So let me add to that question - let's say I pop the battery back in, unplug it (still encoding this whole time) and close the iBook.. That puts it to sleep, correct? Does this automatically slow the hard drive, etc?
Yeah as soon as you close the iBook it will put it to sleep.. and putting to sleep basically means.. everything slows down, basically it's like shutting down your computer without having to bootup again.. take up where you leave off type of thing So yeah if you are encoding.. you do not want to close the iBook.. although even if you do.. I don't think it will mess up the encoding, it will just resume where it left off. I know I have done that a couple times when burning backup data onto cd's and it worked out ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plan9
Also - have you noticed that the Energy Saver Sys Prefs panel doesn't always retain your settings? I just set it exactly as you specified, closed Sys Prefs, opened it up again, and now the settings are completely different! Is this a bug, or does the OS edit things if need be?
Hmm.. no I havent had that problem.. You do have to remember that you have two types of settings (Power Adapter) and (Battery Power) and you'll need to adjust each according to the settings that you desire. This is really handy to have power profiles since when I have my computer plugged in I would rather my energy settings turn off the monitor after a half hour/hour then slow everything down after a couple of hours.. while when on battery power I would like it to power down after 5-10 minutes of inactivity to preserve the battery.

You'll find that under "Settings for:"

Cheers!
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Padawan

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plan9
That puts it to sleep, correct? Does this automatically slow the hard drive, etc?
Actually, it stops the HDD altogether.

As far as the settings changing - they should remain where you set them. Try clicking the lock button, and also make sure that you have the settings set for the power supply you'll be using (i.e. plugged-in or battery), and that the "Custom" option is selected.

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plan9
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Thanks for your help guys.. I've definitely got it set how I want it now..

So here's another question related to battery/sleep - in a PDF that came on the Mac, it says that if you use it frequently it is better just to sleep it than to power it down.. What are all of your thoughts on this? I understand it is more convenient to have it on in a second, but what about power consumption, heat, wear on the computer, etc?

Thanks,
Jason
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I only shut down my iBook once or twice per week, just to give it a "fresh-start" (a habit from my prior PC days, although I know it isn't necessary, and all my maintenence is taken care of with MacJanitor). All other times, I simply let it sleep when I'm not using it. I would venture to say that there is more wear and tear put on the HDD by shutting down and restarting than by simply letting the computer sleep and wake up. There is very little power consumption, and thus heat, while the computer is sleeping - as evidenced by the fact that a sleeping iBook can last quite a long time on battery power.

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Yeah when asleep it's practically shutdown.. it does still require energy, not much though, like Padawan said.. I wouldnt worry about it too much.

BUT, a big BUT There are still problems with applications not releasing the memory they used completely.. So if you do not restart after awhile you computer will begin to slow down as your memory is being used by applications not running anymore.. I can't remember where I read this, but Ill see if I can find anything on it.

Hmmm.. i cant seem to find it.. can anyone else confirm this?
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plan9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murlyn
Yeah when asleep it's practically shutdown.. it does still require energy, not much though, like Padawan said.. I wouldnt worry about it too much.

BUT, a big BUT There are still problems with applications not releasing the memory they used completely.. So if you do not restart after awhile you computer will begin to slow down as your memory is being used by applications not running anymore.. I can't remember where I read this, but Ill see if I can find anything on it.

Hmmm.. i cant seem to find it.. can anyone else confirm this?

Well, I can't confirm it from an article, but as a software developer, I can assure you a huge proportion of apps out there do not free all the memory allocated..

I think that's my plan - sleep it most of the time, and once or twice a week (or after heavy use) restart it...
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plan9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padawan
I only shut down my iBook once or twice per week, just to give it a "fresh-start" (a habit from my prior PC days, although I know it isn't necessary, and all my maintenence is taken care of with MacJanitor). All other times, I simply let it sleep when I'm not using it. I would venture to say that there is more wear and tear put on the HDD by shutting down and restarting than by simply letting the computer sleep and wake up. There is very little power consumption, and thus heat, while the computer is sleeping - as evidenced by the fact that a sleeping iBook can last quite a long time on battery power.

Makes sense to me.. I think I'll follow what you do - sleep most of the time, the occasional restart after a lot of heavy duty work (or just to start clean every so often)..

Thanks!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plan9
Makes sense to me.. I think I'll follow what you do - sleep most of the time, the occasional restart after a lot of heavy duty work (or just to start clean every so often)..

Thanks!
Sounds good. Also, since your machine will most likely be turned off at the times when OS X would normally run its maintenence scripts (in the early morning hours), you may want to download a program such as MacJanitor to allow you to perform them whenever you'd like. There are ways to run them without such a program, but I like MacJanitor's ease of use. It's available at MacUpdate.

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plan9
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What's a good way to guage if my battery is capable of the 6 hours or so that it is supposed to last? Is that figure based on if the computer is simply sitting idle with no processes running?

The iBook (and battery) is exactly one week out of the box.. When it is fully charged, it says approx 3 hours left.. Does it base this on all processes running at the time? I am sure importing from iTunes, using my Airport, etc, runs it down faster.. But it just seems like when I am sitting there, just noodling around, the percentage remaining sure does drain fast..

Thanks for all the help so far..
Jason
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Padawan

 
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I'm not sure how the battery calculates remaining charge (though I assume it factors in the current power consumption into the equation). However, I do know that your battery life will vary depending on processor speed setting, Airport on/off, screen brightness, drive usage (both HDD and optical), etc.

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I believe that Apple did everything they could to reduce the power consumption. That is how they (Apple) was able to get six hours on a battery. i done think it is possible in every day use. If you look at laser printers, some say, they can print 20 pages a minute. The only way to do that is print a blank page. As soon as you place something on the page the print speed decreases. As with the battery, it depends on what you are running. If you are doing any major rendering, it is better to leave the unit plugged in, to get maximum power and cpu speed. As you know if you play a DVD movie all you will get is about 2 hours, depending on the screen brightness. So battery life is dependance on how you use your laptop.
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