Got me a 12" iBook G4! And some easy questions...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by zen, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. zen macrumors 65816

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #1
    Finally got my 12" iBook, complete with 640MB RAM. Going from a 333 Mhz iMac to this is totally mindblowing!

    Anyway, did all the chores like erased hard drive and installed 10.3.2 from scratch, installed all the software updates (now running 10.3.3), fixed the f12 eject button bug, calibrated the battery and did the advanced setup on the screen. Then did the important stuff like install Warcraft III and Neverwinter Nights

    I'm a total newbie to the iBook (although a Mac user) so I have a few qs...

    1. Battery/power
    Although I've calibrated the battery, for the most part the iBook is just going to be used at a table, and occassionally moved to the couch. Is it ok to run the iBook off the mains power when it's at the table (eg 90% of the time)? Is the battery ok, sitting there fully charged? Or do I need to unplug it now and again and let the battery get some use?

    2. Screen
    I did the advanced options in the screen calibration so now it's looking a lot better than it did out of the box, but it's still bright down the bottom (where the lamp is I guess) and darker at the top. I guess this is just what you get with a 12" screen? Does anybody have the "perfect" calibration?

    3. Sleep/disconnect
    When not in use I just close the lid and it goes to sleep (light pulses). I noticed that this disconnects the modem (just on a dial-up here). Does sleep HAVE to disconnect? I sometimes leave stuff downloading overnight and have just left the lid open and let the screen turn off after 10 mins. Can I close it and keep downloading?

    That's it. Apologies if these have been covered ad nauseum but being the proud new owner of an iBook G4 is rather exciting!

    Cheers

    Zen
     
  2. KershMan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    VA, USA
    #2
    First off, congragulations on the iBook. My wife just got a G4 iBook this week and loves it as well. Great little system.

    On the battery issue I think you are fine. That is typically what I do with my 'Book. However, when you do run it on battery it is best to let it run down once in a while and do a full charge. Too many short charges could decrease the life span of the battery. You will notice that quite often if you only use the battery for a short period and then plug it back in that the battery will not charge. I believe it *has* to fall below 95% to charge. This is one way the system tries to prevent the short charges.

    On the sleep issue, I think you are stuck. When the computer sleeps, everything sleeps. I know you can have it *wake* on LAN/Modem access, but I don't think it is possible to keep the modem from disconnecting when the computer sleeps. If you need this behavior, leave it open and just have the monitor go to sleep while you are downloading.

    I don't have a suggestion for the screen.
     
  3. realityisterror macrumors 65816

    realityisterror

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Location:
    Snellville, GA
    #3
    can't tell you anything about the battery or screen. but i can tell you 2 things...

    1) sleep mode basically turns off all hardware except for the ram. basically it is shutdown, but when you turn it back on, the os and everything is sitting there in ram so there's is little wait. you can't do anything with the computer while it's sleeping except stare at how mind-blowingly beautiful it is ;) ... in your case you should just let the display turn off and let 'er sit all night. or buy broadband (is possible...)

    2) you bought a hella beautiful and amazing computer. i'm jealous, and let me tell you, if that ibook g4 had come out earlier, i'd be typing this to you from one. but no ibook for me, so be happy because you're special :D

    reality
     
  4. fBaran macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    #4
  5. ingenious macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    #5
    1. ive read that this can harm your batt. its best to only plug it in when its below 50%
    2.my 12" PB does not have this problem, so i can't help you here.
    3.it will always disconnect when it goes to sleep. you can lengthen the time until it goes to sleep in sys prefs.
     
  6. sleepypants macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    Hate to say "me too", but me too! Quite impressed with my own 640MB iBook, having been a PC-only user before.

    For the lid closing, Mac-type people tend to advise against it because of "heat issues" -- though my IBM Thinkpad never had any such problems running overnight with the lid closed. However, the iBook screen gets pretty close to the base, and I'd worry about the screen heating up -- especially where the top-left of the screen would hit the area to the left of the trackpad (where the HD is). I usually just dim the screen all the way down, and lower the screen (but not enough to put it to sleep).

    I've never experienced any problems about "screen calibration" like you mentioned. The brightness/colour/everything else is even across the entire screen. There is no 'lamp' per se in an LCD, so I don't know what might be causing what you describe. If it bothers you enough, maybe you can bring it in and get it checked out...
     
  7. zen thread starter macrumors 65816

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #7
    Thanks for the replies. I love this machine - I love the matt white finish of the "workspace". And it is so damn quiet (does it have a fan?).

    Regarding the screen - it is slightly brighter down the bottom, so on a high brightness setting the dock looks little washed out. I guess it does depend on the angle you are viewing anyway. It's no biggie - I can see anything at all when it's running Warcraft or playing a DVD etc.

    Closing the lid - I never thought of the heat issue. Is this a problem? Basically it just sits on the table. I was intended to close the lid each night, and also while I'm at work during the day. So perhaps I should just put it to sleep, but leave it open? I'm getting a screen protector for Radtech.us (the sort that just stops the keys pressing into the screen when it's closed...I'm not sure I like the idea of the screen "exposed to the elements" all the time...then again if the heat of the hard drive is going to cause problems?

    I guess I could shut it down, but that defeats the purpose doesn't it? Mac OS X doesn't really need to shut down...or I guess (similar to what Sleepypants suggests) I could put it to sleep, then just lower the lid but not right down.

    Coming from a desktop iMac - portables are quite high maintenance, aren't they ;)

    Zen
     
  8. reh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #8
    Not sure if this'll help you or not, but you can use the disconnect-on-sleep option to your advantage. For large overnight downloads (i'm on dialup as well) I use two free command-line apps; wget and sleepnow. Install both of those and then run something like this in the terminal.

    Code:
    wget www.something.com/somefile.dmg; sleepnow
    As soon as the download is complete, your iBook will go to sleep and free up your phone line.
     
  9. KershMan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    VA, USA
    #9
    The screen issues for heat is only if you use the "hack" to keep the iBook awake while the lid is closed. The normal behavior is for the iBook to automatically sleep when the lid is closed. You won't have a heat issue like this. In sleep mode everything is basically off except for RAM, where your current environment is stored.

    One thing you will notice with your iBook and OS X over PCs, it wakes incredibly fast and without problems.
     
  10. zen thread starter macrumors 65816

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #10
    Aha! I don't use the hack, so when I close the lid and it goes to sleep everything powers down, which means the "hot-spot" on the left of the trackpad will actually cool down? Therefore no screen-heat issue? Cool.

    Yeah that's interesting - I've come from an iMac which I never slept, and I've never really used sleep on a PC. When the iBook wakes, to me it seems pretty instant - I open the lid, and bingo, it's awake. I never even thought about it :cool:

    Adam
     
  11. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    NH
    #11
    Geezz... now you've all got me concerned. My iBook G4 doesn't go to sleep when I close the lid. I have to manually put it to sleep before I close it in order to get it to sleep. If I simply close the lid, the little blinking light doesn't turn on, and the white apple on the top stays lit up (as thought the screen is still on, which it is). I really wish it would just go to sleep when I close the lid, and I haven't a clue about hacks, so I am sure I didn't de-activate it. Does anybody know how I can actually fix this???

    Thanks all!!

    :)
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    More of a thanks than a help, but I just did the screen calibration on my iBook and I think it's a real improvement. In particular, the contrast of things like the ridges in the menu bar is much better than it used to be. The back of the menu bar looked almost the same as the white in the batter meter before. :rolleyes:

    Regarding the brightness uniformity issues, I think on a lot of laptops you see a bright spot in the bottom or on the top because there is a little bit of light leaking around the LCD from the backlight. My iBook d/n have this problem but my work Thinkpad does. I do have some dark semicircular spots on the left edge...maybe these are spots where the mounting screws or whatever apply some pressure on the LCD? I think most of this, unfortunately, is made up of build quality issues that SW wouldn't fix.

    Regarding the go-to-sleep when you close the iBook thing -- keysersoze that sounds really strange. I don't think the iBook has a setting for that, like on PCs or (I'm guessing) PB's, where it says "when I close the lid, do this:" -- does the latch secure firmly? The computer should immediately go to sleep when you latch it, and turn on as soon as you pop the latch. On mine, it seems to stay on with the lid at very shallow angles....
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #13
    Oooh, I forgot to ask what I wanted to ask. Does the screen calibration depend very strongly on the angle of the head to the screen, or on the users eyes? (semi-facetious) :)
     

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