Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Next things to do on an Apple notebook

OK, if you have not already gave up on OSX until now you are probably either desperate to be "different" or (more like me) working on a bet or something ... so here is the second part of the "first week OSX survival kit" :)

If you would like to control some of the extra settings that Apple had "enforced" for the less "brainy" of its users you probably need the (freeware) Onyx - a nice article about it can be found here and generally it is a very needed tool for any power user!!!

Another "power user tool" is RCDefaultApp - that one is not a separate program as Onyx but instead a "preference pane" and can also be handy... (I personally consider totally not obvious (and stupid) the way you need to go to the "Get Info" extra window in order to have some very limited control on what program will be called for a given extension - I am still amazed every day how many stupid and illogical choices have been made in the so-called "friendly software" from Apple).

The final part of this post will be about sleeping and hibernating and all other "goodies" that I managed to find so far will be left for a third post ...

Probably by now you have noted that the term "Sleep" is present in the system menu (pretty much the same as "Stand by" in Windows) but nothing like "Hibernate" - for a long time OSX had a serious shortcoming on that which only very recently was partially fixed ... but definitely requires some "extra work" ... Also please note that Apple has so far only officially added that new feature to PowerBooks but that is pure bull*hit since all recent iBooks (and some of the older ones) are probably working just fine !!!

There is a decent article on the matter here, but the author either has no clue about Windows or is trying to spread FUD since he is saying things like "similar to Sleep, Windows 'Hibernates' while Linux 'Software Suspends' ... they are not as fast as Sleep mode ..." - so first let's make things CLEAR - both Windows and Linux have something at least as good as Sleep, they ALSO have something else which is different and certainly better in other conditions!

The article also fails to describe things very clearly so before following the link for the implementation details here are some extra words - probably again in order to not "overwhelm" the normal MacMorons, Apple has added that missing feature under the same name/command but the user has NO simple way to know which is what and to activate one or another !!!

The new feature is called "Safe Sleep" in the Apple very limited documentation and it is somehow interesting since it actually generates 3 distinct "sleep directions" - which however are not available all 3 as direct user options in any simple way :(

Basically the default Apple approach is that you still invoke the existing single Sleep command - HOWEVER depending on a system setting called "hibernatemode" then the notebook can go 3-way (the "hibernatemode" - is stored under /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.PowerManagement.plist (and that can be set with pmset but also certain things depend on a separate NVRAM setting)):

a) the system can go to the usual Sleep (to RAM, with the blinking sleep LED), if you remove the power AND the battery everything is lost; (please note that a good notebook - like a Dell Latitude - actually has a special second battery for that and you have around 30-60 seconds in which to change the battery and the system will come back JUST FINE - but obviously the highly overpriced Apple cr*p could not add those extra few cents - so more profit for SteveJ and the loss is all for the morons with more money than brains);

b) the system can go into hibernate mode - just like any other much cheaper notebook in Windows; everything is stored on the HDD and no power is required from the battery or similar; generally from my experience hibernating in Windows is faster but that probably depends on a lot of factors;

c) the third and somehow more interesting way is the "Deep Sleep" - the system will apparently go to the "Sleep to RAM" mode (with the blinking LED) but without any feedback to the user (which is a STUPID thing anyway) the full hibernation info goes to the HDD so that ...

c1) if you come back without totally loosing battery the system will act as it was in normal Sleep and will wake up quick and normal;

c2) if somehow the power goes totally off then the system will use the hibernation info and will still wake up - but slower!

Probably the most tempting setting for "hibernatemode" is the third one (also 3 as the numerical value that needs to be used with pmset) - it simply is a "safer sleep" - but sometimes you might also want to immediately force the full hibernate mode (since sleep to RAM will still use battery power) and that can be done with some separate utility like SuspendNow !!!

The final words in this post will again not be easy on Apple - not only they have "stolen" the backup battery but they were also incredibly (and stupidly) cheap on other things - for instance there is no POWER LED !!! (of course that the already brainwashed morons will jump saying that the omission is part of the "elegance" of the Mac, but anybody that has pressed the power button on a iBook and then just sit there for a few long seconds without ANY feedback at all knows that all that is pure and typical Apple bull*hit :(


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can also sign up for iSupport. It's a monthly cost, but well worth it for newbies on the Mac. Check it out at http://www.macsupportstore.com

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

point of correction, the powerbook/macbook pro models *DO* have an on-board back-up battery. the ibook/macbook consumer models do not.

2:27 PM  

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