Sunday, August 21, 2011

Why you should keep your laptop plugged in (at least on a Mac)

Okay this answer isn't black and white.

On a Mac, once the battery is charged, the electrical system bypasses the battery charging and acts as if nothing is there. At that point, it becomes a standard "desktop" just sitting there, effectively as if you have removed the battery until the charger is unplugged. By keeping the laptop plugged in as often as possible you won't use up the Mac's battery's 1000 recharge cycles.

However, there's one catch: Lithium-ion batteries (the ones found in your mac) need to go through full life cycles to achieve maximum performance. Basically, you want to run through a charge cycle on a say biweekly basis, so that the battery can have the longest possible battery life when it is unplugged.

In conclusion, keep your mac plugged in at 100% as much as possible, but don't forget to run through an entire battery cycle every once and a while.

(Apple recommends discharging once per month at a minimum.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Apple Location Data Tracking

Summarily, I agree with Mr. Pogue: Apple's Location Data Tracking is a huge misunderstanding with a far simpler -- and benevolent -- explanation. Please read the abridged background information and my four points below, which should clarify why there really isn't a problem with this Location Data Tracking "scandal."

History: The British newspaper "The Guardian" has reported that security researchers uncovered the existence of a file which is used by the iPhone in order to keep a regularly updated timestamped record of the latitudes and longitudes visited by the device.

First, someone has to gain access to your Mac, which isn't inherently simple, as long as you have some password protection on your Mac, your iPhone, and your iPhone's backup.
Second, what could that information practically be used for, if it were viewed by a hacker? Of course they could piece together where you frequently visit, but you can do the same with binoculars, a car, and cool sun glasses.
Third, it isn't sent anywhere special. It probably serves a more benevolent purpose of determine the optimal position of to-be-constructed cellphone towers. Steve Jobs doesn't send out special spies to track you down based on your recent locations.
Fourth, Apple is fixing this so-called "problem." Now there isn't anything to worry about -- even though there was nothing worth worrying about to begin with.

Articles You Should Read:

Monday, August 8, 2011

OS X Lion "WiFi: No Hardware Installed" Problem

Every first release of an operating system comes with its own peculiar glitches -- Lion is no exception.

I turned on my computer today and the WiFi icon indicated it was turned off. I clicked it in order to open up the drop down menu from which I could turn on the WiFi. However, in place of all the typical options, there was a grayed out message, "WiFi: No Hardware Installed." This was hard to believe, since there was in fact a WiFi card installed only hours before.

I searched the internet and found two things: this problem was widespread (although more common on iMacs), and the solution is all about shut down options.

The Solution: when you open the shut down dialog, by pressing control + eject, there is a checkbox regarding whether the operating should return the computer to its state prior to shutdown. Unchecking that option and restarting solves the problem.


  1. Open the shut down dialog
  2. Uncheck the option
  3. Restart the computer
  4. Voila! You're problem is solved. Reenabling that option after the problem is fixed will not necessarily bring back the problem, so feel free to re-enable it.

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