Good Idea to Leave Computer On Over Summer?

7254278

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 11, 2004
2,365
0
NYC
Hey Guys,
I am leaving for a 1.5 month vacation in 4 days and I am taking my ibook with me, I wont be able to fold on the ibook becasue I am going to a remote location where there is no internet.
I was wondering would it be ok to leave my sawtooth on and folding(with the monitor turned off) over summer un-attended. I want to continue folding and even though 400mhz isnt much its still something. I was wondering, is it a good idea to leave it on un-attended over such a long epriod of time?
 

_pb_boi

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2004
382
0
I definately wouldn't feel comfortable with leaving it unattended for that length of time; on, yes, but unattended, no...

Apart from anything else, if it hangs the day after you leave, you're wasting electricity for nothing. Not a lot, it won't cost much, but still.

andy.
 

livingfortoday

macrumors 68030
Nov 17, 2004
2,903
0
The Msp
Other than the cost in electricity (which would be barely anything, I'm sure), there isn't much danger in leaving it on all summer. At worst it'll crash and stay locked up until you get back, but I doubt there's really any real danger. I mean, do you unplug your fridge when you leave for a month? Same principle, only you can't use the Mac to store and cool drinks.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
DeSnousa said:
As much as the points would be great, i would not recommend it. It could catch on fire and wreck your joint. Best to turn it off IMO
Yikes. Has anyone's Mac ever burst into flames? :confused:
 

Josh

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2004
1,640
1
State College, PA
Theoretical possibility:

Crashes, fans go haywire...constantly increase the speed and have nothing to tell them to slow down...

Meanwhile, your neighbor is mowing the lawn, just as the high-velocity fan breaks loose, flys out of the case, and kills your neighbor.

Not a good situation to come home to, and could possibly ruin your day.
 

GimmeSlack12

macrumors 603
Apr 29, 2005
5,396
7
San Francisco
To be honest I'm not sure what "folding" is, I'm imagining its something like SETI@home? Yes, no?

Anyways, if that is the case, do you have anything to gain by keeping it on? And do you have something to lose my keeping it on?

I think you have more to lose than to gain by keeping it on (although the risk is quite low). I would recommend turning the machine off.
 

asif786

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2004
1,027
0
London, UK.
well, i did some stalking (actually, i like to call it 'research') and..

Patmian212 is 16..so it's not going to be alone in an apartment or something..there'll be people around..right? (unless you're 16 and live on your own..in which case you're very lucky ;) )

anyway, i wouldnt do it..feeling the hard drive on the back of my imac right now..its too hot to touch. imagine being in the madrid head for 6 weeks ..something could burn out..
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,570
0
I personally wouldn't leave my Mac on unattended for that length of time. Six to eight hours is one thing, but one and a half months would make me very uncomfortable. Chances are nothing would happen, but with electrical equipment one just never knows. Having a light turn on for security is acceptable, but it isn't on 24/7.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
IJ Reilly said:
Yikes. Has anyone's Mac ever burst into flames? :confused:
I don't know about a Yikes specifically :p, but yes, it happens on occasion. There were notebooks that caught on fire due to defective batteries, leading up to the current recall.

It should be mostly safe, but *definitely* no if you don't have a really good surge protector / UPS... another issue is that you will potentially expose your computer to a storm or other surge source that could damage it. I usually unplug major electronics if I am leaving for a week or more.
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,400
3
This happens to be my favorite thing to do.....on accident. Yes, I know it's hard to do on accident, but I did it.

We have a DELL 2.0Ghz 256MB RAM XP Home. Not the greatest, not the worst. Few summers ago we went to Georgia for the summer. The night before I had the idea of keeping the computer on doing windows update. Yeah well morning came and I didn't think anything of it. Haha it was on for like 72 days straight. I came back and the screen that was up said thank you for installing the Windows Updates, click here to restart....no nothing happened, it wasn't even hot.

If it's not your main computer, and you aren't going to be really mad if the HD dies or something (rare, but could happen) I would say go for it. There's a very rare chance that something will happen.

I used to leave my iMac 333Mhz w/ 10.1 on 24/7 and it never had any problems, and those get really hot.
 

noelister

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2005
275
0
I would turn it off

Just like others are saying, what if it just locks up. Nothing is gained. I would unplug the computer from the wall. This will assure you that your Mac will not be fried due to a power surge of anykind. I just may be to cautious but everytime i am gone longer than a week I unplug all my important stuff. I don't ever want to come home to a fried piece of equipment.
 

noelister

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2005
275
0
Sorry did not read all the way through

mkrishnan said:
I don't know about a Yikes specifically :p, but yes, it happens on occasion. There were notebooks that caught on fire due to defective batteries, leading up to the current recall.

It should be mostly safe, but *definitely* no if you don't have a really good surge protector / UPS... another issue is that you will potentially expose your computer to a storm or other surge source that could damage it. I usually unplug major electronics if I am leaving for a week or more.
You and I had the same thoughts except you said it first. :rolleyes:
 

DeSnousa

macrumors 68000
Jan 20, 2005
1,620
0
Brisbane, Australia
IJ Reilly said:
Yikes. Has anyone's Mac ever burst into flames? :confused:
A stormy night could cause and electrical surge and also he is folding meaning the processor is being used to the fullest causing heat.

Patmian give it to a friend, pay him the small amount in electricity and let it fold :rolleyes: :cool:
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
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Palookaville
DeSnousa said:
A stormy night could cause and electrical surge and also he is folding meaning the processor is being used to the fullest causing heat.
You're joking, right?

Please tell me you're joking.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
mkrishnan said:
I don't know about a Yikes specifically :p, but yes, it happens on occasion. There were notebooks that caught on fire due to defective batteries, leading up to the current recall.
Does it really? With the exception of laptop batteries (which in fact rarely caught fire, but were judged by the manufacturers to be a risk for catching fire), I have yet to hear of such a thing. Do you worry about your refrigerator bursting into flames while you're away from home? If not, why not? (It draws a heck of lot more power than your Mac.)

Anyway, how about this as a suggestion: Set the Energy Saver control panel to shut the Mac down for a few hours each day. That way, it can cool down and lower your chances of having it self-immolate to something on the order of being hit by a meteorite.

Which, btw, does happen on occasion. :p
 

jsalzer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2004
607
0
To Fold

Here's what goes through my mind - if you're folding 24/7 already, anyways, the fact that you are or aren't in the same building for half of the day really doesn't change the "threat" of fire. The only difference being that if you're in the same room, you might be able to stop the fire from spreading.

So, make sure your fan isn't blowing hot air at paper or a book of matches, and let the boy keep folding! He'll appreciate the uninterrupted time.

And, yes, a good surge protector and some clear space around your Mac are good ideas, but I hope you're already doing that for the 12 hours a day you're currently away from your Mac. :)
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
CanadaRAM said:
Yes. Both a Mac Plus and a Titanium Powerbook here in Victoria BC. The TiBook was the one that precipitated the battery recall. Owner left it in a desk drawer, sleeping, for some reason it woke up, and caught fire.
Got any links to these stories?

A Mac Plus -- now that must have been nearly 20 years ago. They had notoriously flakey analog boards. Had one of mine give out. No flames. Had transformers burn out in CRTs. Nasty acrid smoke in one case. No flames.

Personally, I'm a lot more concerned about crossing the street.
 

GeeYouEye

macrumors 68000
Dec 9, 2001
1,652
4
State of Denial
I left my Wintel on, Folding for a month for winter break. No damage. Left an iMac DV+ on for two weeks at least, no problems. I wouldn't worry about it. Just set up a server on it and check in periodically. If there's something wrong, just shut it down remotely (leave remote login on, ssh in, type "sudo shutdown now" or "sudo sync; sudo shutdown" and enter your password at the prompt.
 

SpaceMagic

macrumors 68000
Oct 26, 2003
1,740
0
Cardiff, Wales
Macs wont catch fire... that's silly. I've left my G5 Seti-ing for 2 weeks over xmas while i was away, monitor off. Came back and CPU was slightly cooler than usual as rest of machine wasn't really being used.

I'd recommend puting your mac in a ventilated area, as my G5 is on the desk... this is not for fire, this is just for overheating reasons. Also if you live in a hot place then your room may get warm.

Perhaps, do be on the safe side. Does anyone know if you can AppleScript ThermometerX or something else so it turns the machine off if temp raises above more degrees than it should? Anyone?
 

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
15,630
3
キャンプスワ&#
Patmian212 said:
Hey Guys,
I am leaving for a 1.5 month vacation in 4 days and I am taking my ibook with me, I wont be able to fold on the ibook becasue I am going to a remote location where there is no internet.
I was wondering would it be ok to leave my sawtooth on and folding(with the monitor turned off) over summer un-attended. I want to continue folding and even though 400mhz isnt much its still something. I was wondering, is it a good idea to leave it on un-attended over such a long epriod of time?
Un-attended --> Definitely no.

Computer parts can and do fail. The result could be devastating.

Also, you mention folding. Many times folding or SETI will stuff up the computer so you may only have a day or two out of the whole period that is devoted to calculations anyway.

BTW, I just had a hub burn up on me. It fried. My guess is a fire would have started had I not been there to turn it off.

Sushi
 

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
15,630
3
キャンプスワ&#
IJ Reilly said:
Yikes. Has anyone's Mac ever burst into flames? :confused:
I've numerous monitors (Non Apple) of all sizes burn up. Usually it is the power supply or tube and there is no flames. Sparks but no flames.

The most recent monitor actually had some small flame spurts. Before it went, there was static discharge type noise which caught my attention. I was ready to unplug it before it went so my reaction time was very quick as I did not want to see what would happen.

Sushi
 

stevep

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2004
875
2
UK
Other than the cost in electricity (which would be barely anything, I'm sure)
Its 1008 hours. At say 8p/kWh thats £16.12 - so its not 'barely nothing'. I'm sure.

"Don’t leave TVs or other electrical devices on stand by. If everyone in the country turned off their TV at the power point overnight and didn’t leave it on standby we would save enough energy to shut down one whole power station." (Source http://www.calderdale.gov.uk/build-plan/planning/sustainable/youcando/energy.html).

I've got a bit of a bee in my bonnet about people leaving stuff switched on for no reason, and I wish everybody else did as well.
Leave the folding to happen in the background while you're working on something else.