Leaving iBook on.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Hummer, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. Hummer macrumors 65816

    Hummer

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    Feb 3, 2006
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    #1
    I used to leave my old desktop on 24/7. Is it okay to leave my iBook on also as long as the lid is open. And since I will be leaving it on on my power adapter will it ruin the battery life?
     
  2. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

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    Jan 24, 2006
    #2
    nah, go ahead and leave the ibook on, it'll be fine. I could be wrong, but I believe that no battery is being used when plugged in and fully charged - so no problems on that front either. I would however, just completely dim the screen if you're leaving it for long periods of time.
     
  3. CoMpX macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

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    #3
    Every month or so, you should unplug the iBook and let its battery drain all the way down to refresh the battery. Besides that then everything should be fine.
     
  4. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #4
    My iBook has been running (or sleeping) 95% of 3 years and is still doing fine. Don't worry about it.

    As CoMpX said, don't forget to run the battery down once in a while ;)
     
  5. Hummer thread starter macrumors 65816

    Hummer

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  6. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

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    Jan 24, 2006
    #6
    I didn't know about that calibrating the battery once a month thing.. i thought that was bad to let happen outside of the first time?
     
  7. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

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    Jul 17, 2004
    #8
  8. NewbieNerd macrumors 6502a

    NewbieNerd

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    Sep 22, 2005
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    Chicago, IL
    #9
    What about all the inactive memory that builds up? I've got the activity monitor running, showing me the memory usage in the dock, and the inactive memory is up to about half. What is that stuff?
     
  9. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #10
    IIRC, it's memory that was used by applications that have been quited. If you load them back up again, they will already have lots of stuff in memory and should thus load much faster. If OS X needs that inactive memory for something else, it'll just take it.

    Memory should be maintenance free in OS X. One less thing to worry about :)
     
  10. jtown macrumors 6502

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    Jul 3, 2003
    #11
    Don't worry about any of it. Even the "discharge your battery monthly" stuff. Don't worry about leaving it running. Don't worry about leaving it plugged in. Don't worry about "flusing the memory". It all takes care of itself.

    The charging system doesn't constantly charge the battery. The charger shuts off when the battery is full. It doesn't kick in again until the battery is down to 95%. Then it charges back to 100% and shuts off again.

    It's actually better to leave the machine running because there are regular maintenance tasks that run when the machine is idle. Memory management takes care of itself. "Unused memory" isn't wasted. It's just not being used at that particular moment. Hence, unused memory. If that memory is needed by an application, it will be used.

    There are some tasks that are run during startup and do need to be run regularly (file system check, for one) but you'll get a system update every month or so that requries a reboot. It'll get done then.

    My ibook's been running and plugged in almost constantly for 2.5 years. I still get 3+ hours of runtime with pretty heavy processor use. I don't know exactly how long it'll go because I've only run the battery all the way down once. While the battery will lose its capacity over time, there isn't anything you can do to avoid it. That's just the nature of the battery. No matter what "conditioning" you give it, you'll see a noticable loss of capacity after a few years. (Actually, it's a steady loss but you generally don't notice that first 15-20 minutes of runtime when you're used to 4 hours.)

    BTW, when you do replace the battery, check the manufacturing date of the cells in the new one if you can. :)
     
  11. dvdh macrumors 6502

    dvdh

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    Apr 6, 2004
    #12
    I would beg to differ in opinion from jtown. I find (on my ibook) that if I don't run my battery down every few months, I do notice an obvious decrease in life. Interesting enough, when I do let it run down until it is completely dead, often I will get the warning message that the machine is about to go asleep, but then it will stay on for up to half an hour more. It seems like there is some calibration that eventually loses it's accuracy if the battery is not depleted from time to time.

    I tend to follow this as a guide (where appropriate) with my notebook, cellphone and digital camera: http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm
     
  12. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    Apr 17, 2004
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    #13
    Know how to test this? Fell the charger while its charging, its hot. After it's charged, feel it again, its cool (after 30 minutes, both ways).
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
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    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #14
    Yes, if you're a sceptic. ;) The easier way to notice is that the charging ring goes green. This isn't some kind of Jedi technology. Pretty much every laptop stops charging the battery when it gets full. ;)
     
  14. NewbieNerd macrumors 6502a

    NewbieNerd

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    #15
    But the regular maintenance requires that the computer actually be awake, right? For most people the computer, laptop or desktop, goes to sleep when not in use, so 3 AM maintenance or whenever doesn't happen. Now I've got my iBook and iMac so that they never go to sleep (when the iBook is plugged in of course), but it should just be reminded that you need them awake.
     
  15. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #16
    True about the charging system going between 95%~100%... but not true that that means it is OK to leave your 'book plugged in. You should use the computer on its battery at least once a month (down to ~80%, but that's just a number I think works fine) to avoid damaging the battery. (damaging meaning, letting it get comfortable at its ~100% full state)

    If you are worried about the 3AM stuff not getting done, don't worry. I've had uptimes on my iMac that hit 54 days without seeing any issues with RAM and I've had my PowerBook asleep at night for 2.5 weeks and it did fine. You can run stuff like in here. [guide]Enhancing_Performance_Of_Mac_OS_X#Routine_maintenance[/guide]
     
  16. captainbeefheat macrumors regular

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    Jan 21, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    I think it says it somewhere in the above guide but for the 3am maintenance you can do that at any time using the terminal, u just need the right command and your user and pass.

    Turning any electronic device off completely is usually not the best thing to do unless you have to. I'm no expert on this sort of stuff so some of it might use the wrong words but...basically when you cold boot things you have to power up the transistors from cold, but from standby there already warmed up, so your doing less damage each time, so theoretically electronic devices should last longer if you leave them on or on standby all the time. Power usage is very small, but thats the same for computers in general. Partically true with separate hifi, it's amazing the sound difference you notice when you leave it all on standby instead of cold booting each time.

    Personally my laptop is on all the time, unless I need to reboot for whatever reason. When I'm not using it I just put the lid down and leave it in sleep, same at night. I usually run the battery right down then charge then unplug, or if it's at night I leave it in over night to charge, if I know I'll be going somewhere I can't charge I'll charge to full whatever the current state, although it seems rare that happens, in all the labs there's plugs, trains and eating areas have plugs scattered around.
     
  17. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #18

    Do a search for anacron on versiontracker.com.
    It basically checks every 15mins for overdue cron jobs and runs them if necessay. It's a one time install thing, then never needs touching again :)


    And I urge some of the later posters here to check out the battery link. A Li-ion battery is a bit like a gasoline-engine: even if you don't use the car for a whole year, you still need to turn it on from time to time to keep bits moving (ie electrons in the case of the Li-ion battery). :rolleyes: :)
     
  18. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #19
    If any of you didn't know, the program 'onyx' takes care of all of the automated tasks that happen at 3am. That way, you can let it sleep during the night if that's what you normally do.

    Just run the script once a week or so and you'll be fine. It requires a reboot after.
     
  19. whocares macrumors 65816

    whocares

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    #20
    Hence use anacron. No script running, no rebooting, no nothing - truly maintenance free Macs. :cool: :cool:
     
  20. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
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    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #21
    Apple never super clearly explained this, but ever since Tiger, cron was adapted in OS X to resolve this issue. What it seems to do is run these scripts on wake sometimes when they have not been run recently, even if it is not 3AM or whatever. So this is probably not particularly necessary. In addition to using the terminal to run these scripts, I used to repair permissions and reboot on a regular basis, and also force updating of prebinding. I've completely given up on doing any of that, and Tiger seems more, if anything, stable than it was before for me.

    I don't think that the daily / weekly / monthly scripts do any "harm," though. As for me, I reboot my iBook once every four weeks or so when there is new software. Seems to be enough. :) Every once in a rare while, I repair permissions if something seems hairy.
     
  21. jtown macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    #22
    You sorta rebutted your own argument there. The battery life gauge is not an aboslute measurement. It's not like a gas gauge in a car measuring a physical quantity of fuel. It's a calculation based on statistical data obtained by measuring the rate at which the energy stored in the battery is depleted over time at various loads. The less data the program has to calculate the run time, the more inaccurate it will be. When you run the battery down completely, it gives the software a good set of data to provide a more accurate estimation of runtime.

    Running the battery all the way down and recharging it has no significant effect on the battery's ability to store and release energy. It just gives the monitoring software the data it needs to more accurately calculate runtime. The software is (if it's designed logically) going to error on the side of caution and report runtimes on the low side. Nobody's going to complain much if they see a runtime estimate of 2:30 and actually get 3:15. After a complete discharge/charge cycle, the monitoring software will have data to provide a more accurate reading. The next time it his the same point where it read 2:30, it will probably report something closer to 3:00. Doesn't mean you've recovered half an hour of run time from the battery by fully discharging it. It just means the software that estimates runtime has the data required to make a more accurate prediction.
     

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