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OS X Businesses Operating Systems Portables (Apple) Apple Hardware

10.2.4 Killing Battery Life 129

Milanek writes "The iBook/PowerBook battery seems to be permanently incapacitated by the 10.2.4 update. " I had this problem as well - had to get my battery replaced last week. It was a painless exchange, but still annonying.
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10.2.4 Killing Battery Life

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  • by ksdd ( 634242 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:23AM (#5475916)
    The /. summary makes it sound like all Power/iBooks are experiencing battery drainage after updating to 10.2.4 - my 2002 600 mHz iBook updated just fine, and battery life is the same.
    • And my 14.1 inch 600 mhz w/ combo drive is fine. What is the percentage, anyone know? (Or anyone here actually affected?)
    • by tbmaddux ( 145207 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @10:06AM (#5476193) Homepage Journal
      my 2002 600 mHz iBook updated just fine, and battery life is the same.
      Ditto for one such iBook and two different 15" PowerBooks here (mine and those of my coworkers). No issues whatsoever with 10.2.4. Furthermore, 10.2.4 patched a nasty bug that caused laptops running 10.2.3 to kernel panic about 1/5th the time a user logged out from the desktop.

      I'm a little surprised that the linked MacFixit article had no suggestions about resetting the Power Management Unit [apple.com] for affected users.

      • As with a lot of computer problems, not everyone will be affected.

        I can tell you, though, that my 500-MHz Ti got its battery kicked in the nuts immediately after 10.2.4.

        Apple is sending me a new one (yay AppleCare), and the word is that they're on back-order. (Yay for being a service provider ... Oh, wait, I still won't get my battery before anyone else.)

        If you do suspect your battery is hosed, CALL APPLE. The more reports they get, the sooner it will be acknowledged officially. Prevent future Q&A problems today. :-)

    • by alispguru ( 72689 ) <bane.gst@com> on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:04AM (#5476573) Journal
      My battery is just over a year old, and I haven't noticed anything unusual since moving to 10.2.4. I'm pretty hard on my battery, too - never shut down except to reboot after upgrades, rarely take my battery below 50% charge.

      Hope it doesn't happen to me...
      • I haven't noticed this on my iBook, really, a 2001 Rev A white iBook. I say "really" because I'm only getting a few days life in sleep mode, where I used to get about a week, but I assumed that was because I recently changed my sleep settings.
    • My 1 month old iBook 800 (12") also has no problems. You may also want to try the script poster by a reader at macintouch [macintouch.com], it gets the status of the battery from the ioregistry.

      FWIW, the output on my 88% charged iBook 800 (12", combo drive, november '02 model, bought in Januari) is voltage=11928 flags=4/0x004 amperage=1023 capacity=4192 current=3692 [88.1%]. I can squeeze 5+ hours out of this (just typing text, screen dimmed to the one but darkest setting, cpu speed set to "automatic"), so the battery is definitely good. I don't know what normal or good capacity values for other models are.

    • My TiBook 500 seems to be getting BETTER battery life after 10.2.4. Weird. was getting 1.5-2 hrs tops...now consistently getting over 2 hrs.
  • How Old? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dthable ( 163749 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:24AM (#5475924) Journal
    I was talking with our computer techs at work about this situation and he told me that since my battery is a year old, that it's normal (for all laptops) that they need to be replaced. If the battery is around a year, I don't see how you can blame the 10.2.4 update.
    • Re:How Old? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mjpaci ( 33725 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:34AM (#5475987) Homepage Journal
      I'm sorry, but that sounds like bullshit. We have around 500 laptops at our company with 400 of them being at least 2 years old. We've only replaced about 10 batteries due to "deadness" in the past year. Those 10 were for IBM 600 series laptops that are at least 2.5 years old.

      Sometimes techs give answers just to make you go away.

      • Re:How Old? (Score:5, Informative)

        by jcbphi ( 235355 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @02:21PM (#5478235) Homepage
        Bullshit this is not. Lithium Ion batteries (like the ones used in the iBook, as well as most any other laptop made recently) have a half-life of about 300-500 charge cycles [batteryuniversity.com].

        If you are not charging your laptop every day, then these cycles will last you years. However, if (like me) you end up seeing several charges a day, you can easily kill a battery in a matter of months.

        I've never used the IBM 600 series laptops. Any chance those aren't even Lithium Ion batteries?
        • They are Lithium Ion batteries, not the evil Ni batteries that suffered from amnesia (or whatever it was called, the memory effect?).

          Still, I believe that the tech was exagerating.

      • Techs ALWAYS give answers just to make you go away. And of course, it's bullshit.
      • and sometimes batches of hardware go bad all at the same time. I've been decommissioning 133MHz Pentiums for work recently (stripping and wiping them, then it's off to the trash) and there are batches of machines with consecutive serial numbers that all had their boards replaced, others with consecutive serials have replacement hard drives. Most are in original condition, but sometimes bad batches of parts make it into good machines.

        There oughtta be a website where you can post your part, part #, and serial to see how often certain hardware is failing.
    • Re:How Old? (Score:2, Redundant)

      by Bishop ( 4500 )
      You should read the linked article. The update does seem to be the root of the problem.

      At any rate the tech was incorrect. A year old battery should not need replaceing. A 5 year old battery after heavy use may need replaceing.
    • No offense, but your tech doesn't know what he's talking about. I have a PowerBook (Firewire) that still gets ~2hrs on its original (3-yr old) battery.
      • My PowerBook (Bronze) batteries (both of 'em) from July 1999 are still strong as they've ever been since I ditch Mac OS 9. With both batteries in I get about 5.5 hours of life. Mac OS X 10.2.4.

        • Not bad... that's about how much I get when I run both of the batteries I have in my Pismo - one of them is 3 years old, the other is probably a year and a half old.
    • Being on my third Pismo battery now, that would be my experience. I think it's because the Apple batteries try to always top off the charge. Now I'm using a BTI, and it avoids charging the battery until it first dips below 95% or so. Right now it's plugged into the wall and holding at 93%.

      I did have some suspicion that OS X in general contributed to the death of my first battery, especially since the public beta and 10.0 didn't shut down everything on the Pismo, and sleep mode drained the battery a lot

  • by davesag ( 140186 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:36AM (#5476002) Homepage
    I swapped my new laptop battery for an older one that was working a-okay. The old one, although reporting full charge, was run down to absolute flat in about an hour. I charged it again overnight and retried and after a few tries it runs flat now in under 30 mts. So i swapped back to my new battery which is lasting me a good 3 hrs or so. I was happy to blame the old battery (it was made in 2000) but it does seem odd that this behaviour should coincide with upgrading to osx10.2.4 - and so many others are also reporting this problem now.
  • Battery Reset (Score:4, Informative)

    by Draoi ( 99421 ) <.draiocht. .at. .mac.com.> on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:45AM (#5476043)
    Anyone tried running Apple's Battery Reset utility (yeah, it's a Classic app :/ ) It's supposed to reset the small ASIC inside the battery ....

    Battery Reset is well-hidden on Apple's Download site [apple.com] Yeah, it's for iBook/PBG3, but who knows ....

  • My girlfriend's iBook's battery was replaced under AppleCare a few months ago due to poor battery life, and now the new battery's doing exactly the same thing it did months ago... we went from around 2:30 to 3hrs of life down to 1hr after a full charge. Argh! What the hell is wrong with these computers that cause this?!

    Frustrating yes, but at least we've still got a little more time left on AppleCare. I might as well make a call for a replacement again.
    • I had this happen to me over the course of about a year and a half. Went from 3.5-4 hours of battery life down to literally 10 minutes on a full "charge."

      After asking around, reading up on the web, I found that not using your battery often, but leaving it in, can cause this. That is, most of the time, I use my iBook at my desk on AC and for a while, very rarely had it running on battery. I bought another battery and have been making sure to run the battery down and haven't run into the problem- but even if I were going to, I don't think it'd start for a few more months.
      • Everything I've ever seen says that discharging a battery all the way down to zero (or near-zero) can be bad for it (i.e. shorten its life due to complete draining), so this is why I try not to do that on my PowerBook's battery, which is 3 years old, and still gives me ~2hrs of life.

        I constantly have it plugged into AC, with the battery in. I wonder if iBooks are different. I would imagine that the battery's life would be severely shortened if the iBook tried to keep charging it even after it had reached 100% charge. But, that doesn't explain why this problem started with the 10.2.4 update.
    • This is why I will definitely get AppleCare for my next Powerbook. Because (in my experience with my Pismo) Li-ion battery life sucks. Three years of AppleCare means at least two free batteries, right? :-)
  • My Battery is Fine? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Fawad ( 644568 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @10:38AM (#5476411)
    I have a 12" PB 867Mhz -- I see no difference since 10.2.4.. I get 3 hours with full brightness and full performance, and upto 4 hours with brightness at 25% and reduced performance. It always charges to 100% and the amber light turns green.

    I doubt this is a software issue.

    People seem to complain about battery life after every update. Remember how people said battery life is reduced with Jaguar (10.2)?
    • So just because you have no problems, that must mean that no body else is having problems? What evidence do you have that this is not a software issue appart from the experience of your 1 laptop out of the 10,000's that Apple make?
  • DATA PLEASE!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @10:39AM (#5476417)
    The details presented here are too sketchy to even be slighlty informative.

    What model type and age is your powerbook or ibook (and how old is the battery, if different). What makes you think you are not just imaginging this?

    Does the energy saver control panel time/% agree with the one in the menu bar?

    When your battery is nearly empty, how many lights does the battery show when you press the button on it

    How long a life (uninterupted by sleep or screen dims)are you observing when using the stock (not custom) power-saver setting. Is your airport on or off. do you have any accessories plugged in?

    is it reproducible or intermittent. have you found a workaround?

    Come on folks, if you read slash dot you can do a proper bug report

    • My dual USB 600mHz iBook is almost a year old.

      It charges to 100% incredibly quickly, even under heavy use (DVD). Under an hour. Perhaps a half an hour.

      It discharges under medium use (Web browsing, full brightness, airport, no accessories) incredibly quickly. A half an hour. It used to last a full hour under those conditions.

      These times are estimations, but I really don't think I spent more than a half an hour on the toilet surfing porn when it went to sleep on me yesterday.

      • These times are estimations, but I really don't think I spent more than a half an hour on the toilet surfing porn when it went to sleep on me yesterday.

        Are we still talking about your iBook here, or what? This might be an entirely different problem.
  • I did have one problem with 10.2.4 on my TiBook (fall 2001) - my Olympus D3000 camera won't connect anymore since the update (no problems on my wife's iMac 17", though - so I'm using it there for now). No problems with battery life that I've noticed, though I usually operate tethered. The couple of times I've had the TiBook off it's leash, the discharge curve seemed normal - roughly 25% discharge in an hour. That's about what I've gotten since Jaguar. It sucked power much worse under 10.1x.
  • by @madeus ( 24818 ) <slashdot_24818@mac.com> on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:04AM (#5476574)
    My PowerBook G4 battery won't go beyond '84%' charged now.

    While this may well be an 10.2.4 issue, I'm thinking it's very more likely to be due to the age of the battery (I've had my origional G4 'Book for 2 years now and I've been overdue for a replacement for a while).

    Now guessing randomly.........

    Caution: Just blowing smoke out my ass...

    It seems unlikley but it *may* be that 10.2.4 is reporting the charge of the battery more correctly than previous releases? Could it actually be highliting that your battery charge is not as high as it should be if it was a new battery?

    Or is that bullshit? :/

    (Don't ask me, I'm just a software monkey :)
    • no, having had the same problem (not charging past 64%) it will turn out that you need a new logic board. get applecare quickly... oh wait, two years old and you're f'd
      • by @madeus ( 24818 )
        it will turn out that you need a new logic board

        The motherboard - No! Really, no it's not!

        As mentioned I'm not a hardware engineer - but I am a systems engineer - and (or so I like to think) not a complete muppet.

        If your battery starts acting up, but has been otherwise fine for over a year and half, it's not going to have been your motherboard. Really.

        If you installed FIRMWARE on your motherboard then broke the firmware in such a way that you couldn't then flash it and that firmware then caused some interference with the recharding (all of which being massively unlikely and very definately not in my case, or I suspect anyones) - then yes, you would need to do that, but my firmware flashes just fine so no it's not that.

        I think you may be getting confused between on board batteries (which hold things such things as the system date and time, and - once a upon an OS long long a go - the background pattern on your desktop). I've certainly heard of unscrupulous sales weasles telling people their computers (e.g. iMac's) have 'expired' and they need to get new ones when this happens, but in reality even this can be replaced (for the cost of a new battery, which costs all of around $5 from your local PC hardware store).

        oh wait, two years old and you're f'd

        In fairness you can buy Apple Care anytime, if you buy a standard minimal extention at purchase time your covered for three years.

        I'd *always* recommend this for any iBook or PowerBook (it's not like one of those horrible rubbishy in store insurance rip offs), it may *seem* like a lot but Apple are VERY good at replacing stuff if covered by Apple Care, even when you've done something stupid to abuse your computer. Not much point in it if you have a iMac or Desktop though (unless you have pre-teenage children or are amazingly clumsy ;).

        Doesn't bother me much, I've now have my PowerBook G4 in a rackmountable Cisco 2500 chassis while I mull over whether to go for a new 12" PB or a 17" PB with DVD burner...Hmmmm......

        (Interesting: I've been informed by our local rep they have loads of trouble with the 15" case design - and I can't think that he'd have any reason to lie as he know I'd probably just opt for the smaller 12" instead. The 12" and 17" design certainly seems a lot more sturdy, the 12" in it's iBook like case certainly more so, though I think the screen is a little cramped - think I'll wait till they increase the resolution on it).
  • Last week we had an 18-month-old iBook's battery exchanged, under Apple extended warranty. (Glad we took it...) It had started to systematically go flat in about 20 minutes (of watching a dvd).

    The catch is... it was (and is) still running 10.2.3. For us, that upgrade seemed to have triggered the problem.

  • I just got a new TiBook 15, 1GHZ, OSX 10.2.4. A week after I got it, I was using the battery power and around 80% the screensaver came on right in the middle of my work! Then minutes later the laptop went to sleep (also in the middle of my work). No questions asked, apple replaced the battery (overnight I might add), could the problem be defective batteries?

  • by seigel ( 94101 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @12:36PM (#5477355)
    After reading some posts, I was wondering if anyone sees the relationship between the date reset problem reported when people upgrade to this release (10.2.4) and the Power Manager, which when reset causes the date to be reset as well?


    • by stochasticprocess ( 657976 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @01:30PM (#5477794)
      You may be right, seigel. I had a similar problem with a non-charging battery when receiving my 2002 iceBook (running 10.2.4) back from a logic board repair. The battery would discharge as expected, but would only recharge very, very slowly. My battery was about 6 months old and I duplicated the problem with a 3 month old battery as well.

      Solved the problem by resetting the Power Manager:

      http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=144 49

      and I am now getting 3.5+ hrs battery life from both batteries.

      Hope this might be useful as a first line strategy, before having to contact Apple, to see if it is indeed the battery which is at fault.

  • My 9 month old iBook (OS 10.2.4) now only works for about 2 minutes with the battery. It has progressively gotten worse over the last 2 months to the completely unportable way it is now.

    The local Apple shop won't just exchange the battery; they have to order it from Apple as it is a warranty issue. What a pain, especially now that they are 3 days beyond when they told me it would be in.

    I like everything else about my machine but this battery issue really sucks.
    • by Mikey-San ( 582838 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @02:57PM (#5478554) Homepage Journal
      This is how inventory works in retail-service shops.

      The regular Slashdot "I know more than you, here's how it should be" people will chime in, but I don't give a shit. I've been doing this for years.

      If my ordering guy orders twenty PowerBook G4 batteries to put on the shelf, I can't just take one and stick it in someone's machine and call it a day when I need to replace a battery.

      Doing so adds extra fucked-upedness to my ordering guy's inventory system, and DOES NOT integrate with Apple's Global Service Exchange system for tracking and completing repairs. It's not meant to.

      Apple has its own DIRECT channels--that's right, kiddies, most of the stuff you see in the store comes not from the manufacturer directly, but a wholesaler like Ingram Micro--to get service parts to service providers.

      By using the in-place service system and channels, the customer gets:

      1. Service that's integrated tightly with Apple.

      2. The ability to track their own repair on Apple.com.

      3. To avoid middle men like Ingram Micro. They suck. Hard.

      Doing it the "give me one off of the shelf, you stupid lackey" way gets you:

      1. Nowhere.

      2. Absolutely no record of your computer ever having been repaired by a service provider; your machine won't have any history with Apple. This is a BAD THING, because if you start to have stranger issues down the road, and tell Apple you had X problem before, and they don't have a case or dispatch number to look up, you're "S.O.L.", as they say.

      3. Charged for a battery, 'cause the service provider can't send a battery to Apple for no reason. (Think about it: You get a battery off of the shelf, and they send the defective/failed battery back to Apple. Apple didn't send one out, but they just got one back for some unknown and inappropriate reason. Apple to service provider: "WTF?")

      Also, here's something else to consider which might not be apparent unless you've worked in retail-service situations before:

      You order your stuff for the showfloor, FOR the showfloor. You order your demo units FOR the demo counters. You order service stuff--you get the point. You can always say, "I ordered twenty iBook power adapters for the shelf," and know that's how many you're going to have until people start buying them. You know how many you have to order, because a smart ordering guy will conference with the sales manager (and staff, depending on the size of the operation) and find out he needs to order another dozen because demand is trickling off as of the past month.

      Service is a different beast. Sometimes, it has patterns similar to sales, most times it does /not./ If sales and service are pulling from the same pool of stuff, things will get hosed quickly. Some might say, "Why not talk to the service manager, too?" Well, that's great, if they can say, "We'll need X units from App--oh, shit, yeah, our ordering process is completely different, sales goes through a distributor and we don't, and we can't stock exchange parts. Never mind."

      No, not all places go through Ingram. Some go through Apple directly. Not all. Even the ones who do face the rest of the other problems.

      Efficient customer service requires an efficient, right-method-for-the-job, organized back-end.

      I need service parts, I go through service channels /streamlined for service./

      I need to sell someone something, I go through sales channels /streamlined for sales./

      I need to get flamed, I post to /Slashdot./ ;-)

      Anyway, those are my dual shiny, copper discs. Flame on.

      • You forgot:

        'Doing it the "give me one off of the shelf, you stupid lackey" way gets you:'

        4. Your new battery, in hand, with which you can walk out of the store and be up and running

        "By using the in-place service system and channels, the customer gets:"

        4. A multi-day (or multi-week) wait for a part that they can see sitting on the shelf in plain view!

        This is called annoying customers who will go to another provider the next time they need a machine.

        Retailers need to choose how highly they value customer loyalty vs. the ease of using the aforementioned channels. If a retailer makes me wait days to replace a defective item when I know that they have it in stock "for the showroom", I can personally guarentee I would never, ever use that retailer again, and tell all my friends about the experience.
        • Let's do it your way:

          Guy: "My battery isn't working right."

          Dude: "Okay, lemme check it in and check it out for you."

          Dude does his diagnosis. Battery is hosed. Replace battery, Dude says. Guy comes back the next day.

          Dude yanks one off of the shelf.

          Guy goes home.

          Dude's internal service report reads: "Replaced battery with one from the shelf."

          Dude: "Hey, Ordering Man, I replaced that Guy's battery with one of the twenty you ordered from the distributor instead of getting one specially shipped in from the manufacturer."

          Ordering Man: "Okay, I'll pay our distributor with the reimbursement from the manufacturer."

          Dude: "The manufacturer doesn't reimburse us for the warranty repair when they don't send us warranty parts. I mean, who would? They don't have any way to know for sure that we actually ordered something and did a repair."

          Ordering Man: "So how do I pay our distributor?"

          Dude: "Normally, we don't pay for the batteries we replace under warranty."

          Ordering Man: "Where do you normally get your batteries?"

          Dude: "The manufacturer. Is that a problem?"

          Ordering Man: "Not as long as we pay our distributor."

          Why does this sound like an episode of Bastard Operator from Hell? Because your "high and mighty, the customer should never understand that there are real people with real logistical problems on the other side of the counter" stance is just the kind of mindset that spawns classic BOFH stories.

          Let's look at the scenario a little higher up the ladder.

          Ordering Man: "Hey, Distributor Guy, we used three batteries as warranty replacements."

          Distributor Guy: "What the fuck are you smoking? We pay the manufacturer for those! Where's our money for those!?"

          Ordering Man: "You mean the manufacturer--"

          Distributor Guy: "Of course not, you asshat! Do we look like a service provider? Where. Is. Our. Money."

          Ordering Man: "We're keeping our customers irresponsibly happy!"

          Distributor Guy: "And you're making our lawyers happy. Money, please."

          Or from another angle:

          Distributor Guy: "Here's our monthly invoices."

          Manufacturer looks over the NET-30s.

          Distributor Guy: "These ten thousand batteries here, they're warranty replacements. Please give us that money back."

          Manufacturer: "You were talking about smoking crack earlier ..."

          Oh, wait!

          It doesn't always work that way in retail! Sometimes, the person above you doesn't get paid until you sell things! (See Bungie's old Rant on how video games get shelf space for more goodies here.) So you might think that this solves the problems itself, right? On the contrary, it causes more!

          So we have this scene instead:

          Distributor Guy: "Here's our monthly invoices."

          Manufacturer looks over the NET-30s.

          Distributor Guy: "These ten thousand batteries here, they're warranty replacements. We don't need to pay you for /those./"

          Manufacturer invoices Distributor, who is $100,000 short because of warranty replacements. Distributor, meanwhile, invoices all of those local shops doing replacements with store stock for that $100,000. Well, the local shops can't/don't/won't/shouldn't pay because the customer didn't pay anything--it was under warranty each time.

          Local Shops say to Manufacturer, "Give us this money, so we can pay Distributor, who can then pay you!"

          I won't even get into lines of credit and all of the messes that come with /that/ stuff.

          How is this remotely good for you, the end-consumer? Is it really so hard to understand these kinds of logistical concerns from that side of the counter?

          Seems like it. I have to explain this more and more these days, as people want EVERYTHING IN TWO SECONDS FLAT. They can't hold on to their machine while the new battery arrives and eliminates all of these problems (and thus, reducing your beloved shop and manufacturer's internal costs and troubles, IN TURN making your shit cheaper in the long and short run), because that just "isn't good customer service". I can't tell you how many times a loaner computer has been demanded of me because of a dispatch (mailed-in) repair or I'm repairing a machine that isn't functional. By your logic, I should just give the guy a new computer off the shelf!

          Part of good customer service is the good customer. Someone once told me that, and it's the complete truth. In this world, you get what you give.

          If you're upset with a shop's service, they DO have an obligation to make it right. If you're an asshole, making un-thought-out and unreasonable demands, they have the right to be human and watch you walk out of the door.

          Instead of acting like a toddler and taking your toys home, if it takes more than a few business days to get that battery, /complain to the source of the delay./ Getting uppity with the local shop puts an extra step in between that and your complaint getting to the manufacturer (yes, a good shop will bitch to the manufacturer when they can't get parts on time, don't worry about that ;-)) ... It also will get you an annoyed sales or service department.

          We're humans, Goddamnit. Treat us like we are, and understand that we don't like waiting a week for a part we should get overnight or within two business days, either. "Just give me one off of the shelf" is a more complicated imperative than it seems. ;-)

          • Of course people want everything in two seconds flat. That's not being an inconsiderate prick, it's simple business reality. You, as a business person, can either:

            1) choose to try to satisfy said customer and have them come back next time they have $$ to spend


            2) explain to the customer standing there holding $nonworking_component why they should give a flying pigs arsehole what your logistical problems are, and that they should be happy to walk back out with $nonworking_component, staring longingly at $working_component sitting on shelf that they can't have, because it's going to help your bottom line, and indirectly to feed starving children in third world countries and cure bad hair. Anyway, they'll have their replacement in a few days. Maybe a week or two, tops. And they should be happy to hold onto their nonfunctioning device for that time. Maybe it will make a nice (nonworking) conversation piece. Because it's helping your business to hold down it's bottom line, and they should care out of the goodness of their hearts.


            No customer could care less what your problems are. I've yet to meet a person who says, "Boy, I sure hope I'm doing what I can to help this store to hold down their costs, and indirectly the prices I pay, even if it means some inconvenience to me." Customers simply, positively, don't care. Not even a little bit. And if you don't want to accept that and take care of your customers, there are plenty of other businesses who will. Not because they like these customers, or want to make them feel happy and warm and fuzzy. Simply because they know that no business that torques off their customers can survive. And that if they keep the customers happy, they stand at least a little chance of making it to the next quarter.

            I'm not suggesting that businesses should do whatever a customer wants in any situation. But sometimes, every now and then, you're going to have to eat a battery, just like every now and then a restaurant's going to have to trash a perfectly good steak just because some annoying guy (who's cholesterol is 450 and shouldn't be eating it anyway) feels it's a touch overdone. Because if they don't next time that annoying guy is going to go to Morton's rather than Ruth's Chris, and he's going to tell his friends what a horrible lump of charcoal you put in front of him. And that will translate into lost sales, and layoffs, and then an annoyed ex-employee puts a paper bag full of dog feces on your doorstep and lights it on fire, and none of us want that to happen.

            I have my own business to attend to. And my laptop has to travel with me. And it has to hold charge. And if it doesn't, I'm going to get a replacement. What am I going to do? I'll tell you what-- if you won't replace it off the shelf, I'm going to buy a new battery from you. And get my old one dealt with under warranty. And when I get my replacement battery, I'm going to return a now used battery, well within the thirty days or whatever your return policy is. Because I, as a customer, no more care about your problems than my customers care about mine. Do you think the people I work for care that my battery's not working? No, all they see is that I didn't fix the parts of my presentation that needed fixed on the flight, and I look unprofessional. And they're not going to hire me. So see, caring about your problem will create problems for me, and that's not something I'm going to do. I'm going to care about MY customer's problems, because that's where my money comes from. And since your money comes from people like me, I'd suggest that you care about our problems, and figure out how to deal with your own rather than appeal to our sympathy. 'Cause my friend, it just ain't there.
            • "No customer could care less what your problems are..." That is not true. There are still a great many people in the world who understand that the world does not revolve around them and that reasonable people should not expect unreasonable things. I would be annoyed (by the situation, not by the retailer) but understanding if told that a store could not replace my dead part from their stock because said store would not be reimbursed if they did so. Many people I know would also be understanding. If your sympathy "just ain't there" then you're part of what is wrong with our society. Why do so many people do so many bad things to other people? Because they don't care about others, they only care about what they feel they're entitled to. Well, you don't have an inalienable right to a free battery any more than some crackhead has an inalienable right to my former roommate's bass amp. Taking something to which you have no right without providing any payment/reimbursement is not something you can reasonably expect. You're apparently a real jackass and if the people around you aren't understanding of your problems it may be at least occasionally because you're not understanding of theirs. Get a life and understand that those other bipeds of humanoid appearance surrounding you are also honest-to-goodness people.

              what a nimrod! ***grumble*** whatever happened to common courtesy ***grumble*** and decency ***grumble...***

              • I don't think, in general, customers have so much sympathy for a for-profit business that they'll put themselves out for the for-profit business' interests. I've never suggested that there's any excuse for mistreating another person. Please point out to me where I've ever suggested that a salesperson, service person, manager, or any other human being should be mistreated, spoken to harshly, or an any other way have their day made harder? I haven't.

                I never suggested that anyone had an inalienable right to anything. I would never advocate taking something that belonged to someone else. Esp. not a bass amp. The world does not revolve around me, it revolves around the center of mass of the Sol-earth system. Nor do I expect anyone to go to unreasonable lengths to make me happy. I don't feel entitled to anything. I keep my agreements, and I expect others to keep theirs. That includes agreements to service merchandise under warranty. I expect someone who's sold me something under warranty to do their best to fix it if it's not working. As per the agreement made when I purchased the item from them. The people I work for expect me to do my best to service them. I would suggest that asking a customer to ignore your stock of batteries that are sitting there doing nothing, and asking them to hold onto a non-functioning machine, under warranty, for a week while you order The Exact Same Thing As The One On Your Shelf is being more than a bit unreasonable. If the system you've set up produces, as a byproduct, unsatisfied customers, then I'd suggest that you try to see if there's a way to alter your system to produce satisfied customers. Like the computer store I've been using for some time now, who has on more than one occasion replaced a defective part with one from stock. Their system can handle it, they get a happy customer who spreads the word. If your system can't handle it, no big deal. Your choice. But don't expect to maintain happy customers if you're not willing to invest the time into developing a system that works for both you and the customer.

                Consider a store operating both retail and service functions. Could be an Apple(tm) store, or a car dealership. To borrow from another thread, how would you feel if you had a broken steering wheel, and took it to your dealer under warranty. Say they have a stack of perfectly good, new steering wheels sitting there. But those are for customers who want to have a spare steering wheel. They will have to order one for you, and ask, "Would you be kind enough to drive around with a broken wheel for a couple of weeks?" I strongly suspect you'd be more than mildly annoyed at the situation and the dealer. I know I would be. And I probably wouldn't come back. No lack of common courtesy. No lack of decency. But an unsatisfied customer who probably won't be coming back. Not because you couldn't do something, but because you wouldn't.

                Again, this is a business-customer relationship. And in the real world, people don't fundamentally care about a for-profit business' problems. Not that people are mean, or impolite, or jackasses. But they have their own problems, and any business who appeals to a customer's altruism rather than trying to please that customer is not one I'd like to invest in. I save my sympathy for people who need it, not businesses. I have my list of charities, and last time I checked, for-profit businesses weren't on it.
                • Consider it this way: If it were not for the proper channels, and the direct line ways of doing things, you wouldn't be able to get your battery free of charge anyway, so instead of holding onto a non functioning machine for a few more days, you'd have a non functioning machine untill you could fork over the cash for a replacement.
  • What's happening? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 2nd Post! ( 213333 ) <gundbear@pCHICAGOacbell.net minus city> on Monday March 10, 2003 @02:07PM (#5478097) Homepage
    I just got my PowerBook battery replaced, and this was the situation:

    Charge to 100%
    At about 70%, the battery would instantaneously go to zero and sleep.

    Rinse and repeat.

    However, what the article *seems* to describe is batteries not charging fully, or batteries with reduced lifespan.

    My new replacement battery has a lifespan of 4 hours and 20 minutes
    My old spare battery has a lifespan of 3 hours and 40 minutes
    The dead replaced battery had a lifespan of about 20 minutes before dropping to zero, even though it reported a full charge.

    Is this what others are seeing? The 10.2.4 problem doesn't seem to sound like any of these. The new battery is fine, the spare battery just sounds old, and the dead battery sounds like it was broken.
  • by Tjp($)pjT ( 266360 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @02:14PM (#5478165)
    I still get 2-3.5 hours off my original G4's battery. I do find the annoying fan noise has gotten louder over the years and the fan seems to run more, but battery life is still pretty close to the day one figures. Most lithium battery tech wants the batttery "topped off" frequently for maximum life (unlike some older NiCd technology). I've only deep discharged (below 20%) maybe 5-6 times. If you deep cycle your batteries, then expect periodic replacements. It is much better today than when 1-2 hours (if you were lucky) was enough to drain a laptop a few years back. Now I hook into the airplanes power when flying, the hotels when I travel, the cars when driving... And obviously the houses when home. As the battery technology gets better look for easily removable ones to disappear. (My cell phone/pda does not have an externally replaceable battery already.)
  • Same old story (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jcbphi ( 235355 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @02:29PM (#5478302) Homepage
    These claims seem to crop up everytime Apple releases a new update to OS X. I remember reading the exact same claims when 10.2.3 was released, in the Apple support forums.

    Lithium Ion batteries (the type used in the iBook/TiBook) simply don't last very long. Best estimates I've heard is 300-500 charge cycles. Depending on how often you charge your battery, its easy to go through this problem.

    I had awful problems with my iBook battery, after only 5 months. In a matter of weeks, it went from 4 hours of battery life to under an hour. But when I did the math out, my estimated charge cycles in those 5 months was around 400.

    Nothing to do with the OS update...just a battery at the end of its life. Good thing it was still under warrenty...after a few calls to Apple tech support I got a new battery.
  • Yeah, you. Aren't you wishing you could easily go back to 10.2.3, with which there was nothing wrong, and from which you had no reason to upgrade?

    You wouldn't be if you had listened to me. [slashdot.org]
    • With which there was nothing wrong?

      Oh, PLEASE. I mean, yes, I *like* MacOS X, but it's kind of a hard sell, convincing me that there was nothing wrong with 10.2.3. And I'm not saying that just to be annoying... there are a bunch of things that annoy me about X, and I installed 10.2.4 hoping that some of them would be fixed. A couple of them were, neither of which were on the list.

      (An example: there was an issue where a feature I requested a year ago, dragging files or folders into standard nav services dialog boxes would select that file (for open boxes) or the location of that file/folder (for save boxes). They implemented it as of either 10.2 or 10.2.1, but it didn't work in a number of cases, including mounted disk images. Now it does.)

      It also, as has been pointed out before, included several security fixes.

      The updates have lots of little fixes, and tend in the direction of making things work better. I like that tendancy, so I install them. You can ignore them if you like, but don't tell us that updating is dumb. This is not MS... for every one thing Apple breaks in an update, they tend to fix dozens.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Dumbass. As this guy [slashdot.org] points out, 10.2.4 fixed a VERY critical bug for many of us, which caused kernel panics fairly often upon logout. I don't know about you, but I like software upgrades that make my machine more usable. Thankfully I wasn't affected by the battery issue, but for anyone who was affected by both, your snotty 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' attitude certainly isn't the solution either.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Don't have time to register, hence the anonymous thing...

    I work for a school district as the Apple Service technician, and I've seen a sudden upsurge of batteries needing to be replaced of late... I've noticed a few things:

    1) Our batch of iBook (dual USB) batteries seem to be slowly giving up the ghost after being in service for about 14 months - for example, my own personal machine from this batch will work fine till about 50% (with brightness all the way up) or 30% (with brightness down to 1 bar) before it suddenly drops into sleep mode - no warning whatsoever. Other problems seen include a battery that will only charge while computer is shut down or in slee and one battery that registered 100% charge but would completely die after 10 minutes of use.

    2) Our newer iBook (16VRAM) machines are doing similar things but much quicker. These machines have only been in service since September!

    3) Except my own personal machine (which is 10.2.4), all these iBooks are running under 10.1.5.

    Finally, battery charge can be very subjective and time consuming to trace down... I saw a link to a little app, X-Charge, which simply graphs your battery charge - very handy for charting your battery life. Link is http://www.pol-online.net/index.php?page=freewares .

    Anyway, that's my 2 cents, hopefully it helps a bit.

    • I have a 16 station iBook lab (purchased last summer) in my classroom and have been having battery problems that started before 10.2.4 - I replaced 2 batteries through Applecare already, and have 3 more that need it now too. These last three started haveing problems before I upgraded. I wonder if the real problem is hardware, and the timing of these failures is just being associated with the OS updates.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    there appears to be 2 "camps" of updaters

    those that performed the 10.2.3 --> 10.2.4 update are now complaining about modem issues, battery problems

    those that performed the "combo" update 10.2 --> 10.2.4 don't seem to have any of these problems

    I wish people would mention WHICH update they performed

    I did the "combo" update on my iBook and have had zero problems so far.

    • Pismo, 10.2 clean install -> 10.2.4 combo, normal battery life.
      My mother's iBook 2001 500, 10.2.3 -> 10.2.4, what appears to be a problem, the problem persists but seems lessened after resetting PMU.

      I think I'll perform a clean installation and combo upgrade on the iBook tomorrow. :-[

      • DOH! too little sleep and too much work make mez a dull (-witted) boy. While the Pismo does seem completely unaffected by the battery issue, I do have what may be a literally unique factor in play - when I work at the office, it's plugged into a Duo power adapter which powers the 'Book but will not charge the battery. I've worked at home a good bit recently and would expect to have been affected by the drainage issue, but the adaptor may be a factor. I may even use my other Duo adaptor at the house to be safe...
    • I updated 10.2.3 -> 10.2.4 on a powerbook 800 and have seen no battery problems. i never use the modem, so.
    • Not so here. Just had my iBook in for repair, and decided to do a "fresh" install of everything from scratch. 10.2.4 was released while it was in the shop, so I did a 10.2->10.2.4 combo update ,then reinstalled all my apps. I then noticed that my battery life went to hell. I let it go for a while, but after reading about similar complaints with 10.2.4, I looked a bit further into the problem. It seems to be an issue with the 10.2.4 software updating the chip in the batteries to lower their capacity incorrectly. I have two batteries - one get 90 minutes (closer to what I had previously, but stll pretty low), the other about 20 minutes (drastically dead comparatively). The "deader" battery was in my system during the install - the "better" one was not. What's appalling here is that there has been no official Apple response, even to the over 100 messages about this on their own discussion boards! I am getting the one battery replaced, then I'm testing some options. If I kill the second battery, I'm calling up my corporate Apple contacts and bitching them out for the lack of public info.
  • by cryptochrome ( 303529 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @06:24PM (#5480338) Journal
    For the record, I'm getting less than 5 min of life on my battery (which I now use only because it still works for sleep). Now that I think about it, it has been progressing this way since after upgrading to 10.2.4.

    Any hope for a software fix? My trusty Wallstreet never had this problem.
  • by CottonEyedJoe ( 177704 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @07:04PM (#5480639) Journal
    I'm typing this from my iBook dual USB (2001 500 MHz) on the original battery. I was about to buy a new battery until I saw this article because of recent rediculously short battery life I've been getting (30 mins or less) Well, I tried something after I saw this article and, lo and behold, I've been running on 0% battery life (incl the green LED's) for the past 30 minutes. I'd be curious to know how many of those who report very short battery life have tried going beyond the system warning... cause mine is still running.
    • I'd be curious to know how many of those who report very short battery life have tried going beyond the system warning... cause mine is still running.

      I had the exact same thing happen with my clamshell (firewire) iBook. However, if the energy saver kicked in, it wouldn't wake up unless I plugged it in.

      I tried something I saw in the Apple Support discussions that seems to have worked. I got a VST charger and recharged the battery fully--and everything seems to work fine now. It seems as if the iBook wasn't recognizing the battery and the charger reset it or something.

      I found the charger on eBay for $5! Here's the Dutch auction:

      http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&cate gory=25437&item=3405556190&rd=1

    • I tried something like that too. When my iBook dual usb 2001 battery was starting to run down faster and faster, I lowered the screen brightness to minimum and turned off all programs except bbedit. Lo and behold, it ran for hours even after it reached 0%.

      My theory is that the battery is somehow not providing enough voltage to run the computer (or the computer is requiring more voltage than the battery can provide) which shuts itself down, even though its capacity is not terribly diminished.

      I tried that again recently (now that my comp gets about 2 minutes of battery life) but it didn't work. My battery only shows a green flashing light on the bottom indicating it is empty.
  • by zarqman ( 64555 ) <tm@nOSpAM.zarqman.com> on Monday March 10, 2003 @07:35PM (#5480901) Homepage Journal
    okay. i'm seeing several comments about battery life and that liion batteries should be treated differently from nicad and nimh batteries.

    i know in nicad days, it was best to let them run down and then charge them fully. from my experience with cell phones and nimh batteries, that's a relatively good idea there with them too, although their propensity to develop memory was weaker.

    but, what's best with modern liion batteries? should i keep my laptop on the charger whenever possible? let it run down to xx% and then charge it? is there a difference in how i should treat them in my cell phone vs. my laptop?
    • yes.. feed us information. :)

      I'm not really sure what the 'proper' way of getting the best life out of a liion battery either...
    • According to the Apple KB document 10970, lithium ion batteries should be depleted fully before recharged. It also says that fully depleting the battery isn't absolutely necessary, but is recommended.

      Other useful Apple KB articles to follow are 18241 and 88104 (PowerBook Power and Battery Frequently Asked Questions, Parts I and II).

      Apple's Knowledge Base can be found here [apple.com].
      • Afaik that is bullshit, i've read (some years ago) on various manufacturer's pages that lion batteries like being full.

        Best reference i can provide is: http://www.powerstream.com/li.htm [powerstream.com], they say a safety mechnism for overdischarge of lion batteries should implemented: "stops discharge when battery voltage falls below 2.3 volts per cell"

        From my own experience, it's just about carma.

        So keep 'em full.
        Ain't got an Apple, yet.
    • Apple recomends in their instruction manuals (you know, those funny books with all the pictures that came with your computer? No those weren't for your daughter to color in, oh well...) that to maximise your battery life for the duration of your laptop's life (or the battery's life as the case may be) to run it down without any interuptions untill the first low battery warning appears, and then plug it back in and allow it to charge fully.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    One of the biggest disappointments for me when I went from a Firewire G3 PowerBook (don't remember all the code names) to an 867MHz G4 TiBook this past June was the dismal, by comparison, battery life.

    My G3 PB could easily get four+ hours of battery life when using apps and at least 3-1/2 when doing something really processor intensive like modifying PhotoShop files or watching a DVD (the latter seems to be the real killer). With the ability to put dual batteries in the bays (I loved those bays and miss them dearly!) I frequently worked all day (8 full hours) on battery life when not near an outlet. And, I never replaced either of my two batteries in the three years I used the G3.

    My TiBook on the other hand gets MAYBE two hours of battery life, and that's on a good day. I've seen lots of stuff online about how to "extend" the life of a TiBook battery and recently tried this (http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=2003 0217044725215&query=battery) from Max OS X Hints, which some people think is a bad idea and others good. My result was about a 15 minute increase in the listed charge time, but I'm not sure if it actually added real world minutes. I do have two G4 batteries and both last about the same amount: 1-1/2 to two hours, which is really not long enough to be all that useful.
  • While I haven't had this particular issue with my iBook, its logic board promptly ate its self this weekend when I plugged in the AC adapter(no it wasn't surged.) I got an email from a freind with a similar experience this weekend also. While the iBook is a great laptop when it works I can't help but think in the PC world if batteries acted up like this, and logic board randomly failed we would be talking class action lawsuit not discussing it calmly on slashdot.

  • Just chiming in with another data point:

    My 1.5 year old TiBook 400 still gets 3 hours or so with full brightness. I generally only discharge down to 50% or so, but it's certainly been down to zero several dozen times.

    This is much better than the Dell laptop I had in the past, which spent almost all of it's time plugged in but was only getting 30-45 minutes after a year of use. It also ran the fan intermittently while in standby, which never made much sense.
  • Yes, this is true (Score:5, Informative)

    by RobTerrell ( 139316 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @01:09AM (#5482616) Homepage
    For those who posted above "you're totally wrong" or talked about battery cycles or whatever, this is an actual issue.

    I have three PowerBooks (TiBook, Pismo, Wallstreet). The batteries of the three vary and at least one is, in fact, very new. After upgrading each to 10.2.4, I saw the exact same behavior, which was previously present in none of them.

    - The reported battery life is about half what it was before the update was installed.

    - If you work through the low power warnings, you'll be rewarded with a fair amount of life in them as the power meter reads 0%.

    - At some point, the book will just sleep with no warning. No, this point isn't quite where you would have expected timewise -- it's not just the reporting of the available power that's at fault.

    I've had a stack of powerbooks going back to the Powerbook 100. I still have a 520c -- if you want to talk about battery cell lifetime issues, that's the one to start with.

    This is totally new behavior for each of the affected systems. The recent system update makes it a culprit, although it's very possibly something else.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      thank you for sharing this information. i could not otherwise find an indication the hardware-scope of this problem (some pmu issues in the past have been hardware-model-specific) since it's easy to assume most everyone running os_x is running 21st c. devices.

      my story: running 10.2.3, my (4 year old) wallstreet battery went from ~2 hours of life per charge to dead one day a few weeks ago. i just bought a new battery, but now i'm afraid to use it until 10.3...would that there be a 10.2.5!
  • by Jrono ( 470199 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @01:45AM (#5482715)
    I got a 15" PowerBook G4 a couple of months ago, with 10.2.3, and it had battery problems from the beginning. It would not charge above 96%, and the battery meter would report that it was calculating the time until it would be fully charged. I usually have the computer plugged in, so it went for weeks like that.

    I started trying different things: draining the battery to near 0, resetting the PMU, booting into OS9, and charging with the machine powered off. I also upgraded to 10.2.4 around this time. It's maximum charge started to drop. First in the 60s range, then 30s, and 20s. When I finally drained the battery completely, it would not go above 0%.

    I called Apple and had a replacement battery sent, which seemed to work fine at first. After a few days, the charge was at 97% and had been plugged in all that time. Before I called up Apple again (this time fearing the computer itself was defective), I decided to look it up in their online help database, and came across this [apple.com], which says that in OS X, the battery is kept charged between 95 and 100%, and charges back up to 100% after going below 95%. This is for various PowerBook and iBook models running Mac OS X 10.0 and later.

    I don't trust this very much, since I have never noticed this type of behavior on other laptops. It seems to work fine now though. If I power off, it charges back up to 100%, otherwise it seems to stay around 97%.
    • This is normal behavior for the Powerbook G4 -- don't panic. :^) The main reason why this is done is because of the limited amount of recharges that a lithium ion battery can take. By recharging only when it reaches 95%, the total number of recharges over time is greatly reduced, thereby increasing battery life. I agree that it is confusing at times, but if it provides a longer battery life, I feel that it's worth it.
    • It would not charge above 96%

      Did you try removing and re-inserting the battery first? I thought it was my new BTI battery doing this, but maybe it was a system software change at about the time my second Apple battery died. It will charge up all the way if I let it discharge sufficiently, but it will not "top off" the battery if it loses a few percent from being in sleep mode. I suspect the topping off was the reason my first two (Apple branded) batteries lasted a little over a year each.

      and the batt

  • This article is a bit clueless... It would be helpful if it had even mentioned the possibility of Resetting the Power Management Unit [apple.com].

    The other thing is that it's quite normal for the battery to just sit at 97%, no matter how long you've left it plugged in for.

    It's designed this way so that the battery isn't continually charging every time it's a little bit away from 100%. Recharging doesn't happen until the battery drops below 97%.

    If this person had unplugged the power, let it drain the battery for a little while, and then plugged the power back in, it would have returned to somewhere between 97% and 100%.
    • Staying at 97% doesn't seem normal to me. I had a 500 MHz iBook for over a year, and whenever it was plugged in and fully charged, it remained at 100%.

      I now have an 800 MHz iBook that I picked up in December. I have seen all of these battery problems other people are having, though I did not notice if they got worse after 10.2.4... drastically shorter battery life, sudden sleeping when the battery is showing 75% or more full on its built-in meter, spurious "low battery" alerts, and other things.

      I plan to get the battery replaced under warranty, but not until Apple acknowledges the problems and releases a software fix for whatever they fucked up in 10.2.4-- otherwise the new battery will probably just suffer the same problems as the old.

  • have a 667 tibook, get like 2.5-3 hours of battery depending on use ( or an hour and one cd burned with my external:) . i upgraded to 10.2.4 and haven't had a single complaint. even leave the airport card running non-stop.
  • Battery wouldn't charge past 15% Switch PowerBook Off (Do not remove battery) Hold Down Shift+Ctrl+Alt & depress the Power button for 1 second let go then wait 5 seconds before powering up as normal... sorted.
    • Is this key combination correct ?
      Is it specific to the PowerBook ?
      Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Power just powers up my 12" iBook (White, 500Mhz, dual usb) straight away.
      Is this combination supposed to reset the PMU ?
      I'm getting very sucky battery life on my iBook lately.
  • A few notes that may be of use to people.

    The bash script [macintouch.com] spoken of in an earlier comment on this topic produces charge and capacity results in microamperes per hour (mAh). (The script's own creator did not know what units the numbers produced.)

    This entry [apple.com] in their Knowledge Base gives you the initial capacity of each of Apple's batteries, out of the box, in amperes per hour. Given that information, you can determine what percentage of its original capacity your current battery has.

    Also, XBattery [kezer.net] allows you to track your battery's capacity over time, as well as a great deal of other battery-related information, in a nice GUI wrapper. It is freeware.

    For what it's worth, my own results from the bash script are:

    voltage=16666 flags=5/0x005 amperage=1200 capacity=3544 current=3538 [99.8%]

    A fresh battery for my 14.1" iBook would hold a charge of 3.9 Ah, and thus my 3.544 Ah battery still has 91% of its original capacity.

    Like an earlier poster, I am able to turn down the brightness on my screen to one notch away from darkness, turn off my AirPort card, and in doing so extend my battery life up to five hours or more. It's not the way I normally wish to work, but it's good to know. I had no idea that the screen's brightness level affected battery life so much.

    • I misspoke. XBattery [kezer.net] is shareware with a $15 registration fee. (It is, I think, one of those rare shareware programs that is worth what its author is asking for.)

      X-Charge [pol-online.net] is freeware, but is not as fully featured as XBattery.

    • That's weird, my 12" iBook (32MB VRAM model) battery is also rated as 3.9 Ah, but my current maximum capacity is 4.192 Ah :) You won't hear me complaining about that though!
    • A quick note about the bash script. It seems that whoever wrote it didn't have a Pismo, which reports numbers for two battery bays, listing the right battery bay first.

      $ ioreg -p IODeviceTree -w 0 -n battery | grep oltage
      | | | "IOBatteryInfo" = ({"Voltage"=0,"Flags"=131,"Amperage"=1200,"Capaci t y"=10000,
      "Current"=0},{"Voltage"=12554,"Flags"=7,"Amperag e"=1200,"Capacity"=4050,"Current"=3867})

      The bash script ends up doing this:

      voltage=0 flags=131/0x083 amperage=1200 capacity=10000 current=

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"