Category Archives: Hardware

Disabling Ethernet Prevents Mac OS X From Waking

Problem: When MacBook lid is closed, fan continues to spin and MacBook becomes very hot.

Description: When in use the MacBook fan behaves as expected. On closing the lid to put the MacBook sleep, the fan continues to spin and the base of the machine becomes very hot.

Opening the lid displays a black screen. No mouse or login screen displayed. Fan continues to spin at what seems to be maximum RPM. Closing the lid again does not stop the fan from spinning.

Only available option is to hold the power button to shut down the system.

On pressing the power button to restart the system, the MacBook starts, displays grey start up screen for a second or two and then restarts automatically. MacBook then starts normally.

Once the user logins, the system works as normal again. Putting the system to sleep, causes the problem to reoccur.

Solution: The user deactivated the Ethernet interface within System Preferences -> Network. Reactivating the Ethernet interface and restarting the machine resolved the problem.

(Who’d have thought that disabling the Ethernet interface would prevent the system from sleeping? Certainly not me when I decided to do so.)

Copying Mac Address Book to LG Viewty (LG-KU990)

My phone contract was up recently, and as an incentive to sign on for another year, my provider offered me a free upgrade. So I took the LG Viewty also known as the LG-KU990.1 I’ll do a full review later, but for the moment, I want to talk about one issue I’ve experienced with it.

LG Viewty (LG-KU990)

LG Viewty (LG-KU990)

I go through so many phones that I like to keep my address book on my MacBook and sync it with my phone. While the Viewty does have Bluetooth, it’s not supported by iSync. Even worse, Bluetooth File Exchange couldn’t see any of the files or folders on the phone2.

I had the same problem with my Nokia 3120, so I was somewhat hopeful that I’d find an iSync plugin to get me up and running.

After a lot of searching, I discovered that LG use their own OS on the phone which is overlaid with Flash screens to enable interactivity. Worse still, LG don’t implement the SyncML protocol used by the other major manufacturers, and by iSync. So there’s no way to sync my brand new phone with my MacBook.

My only concern is the phone book, I don’t use iCal, and I really don’t want to have to manually enter every name in my Address Book. Luckily, there is a work-around, and here’s how:

  • Open Address Book,
  • Use CMD-A to select all the entries in your Address Book,
  • Navigate to “File” -> “Export” -> “Export vCard…”,
  • When prompted save the vCard.

The next step involves connecting to the Viewty via Bluetooth. If you have not paired the devices before, then you should do so now.3

  • Click the Bluetooth icon in the Menu Bar and navigate to “Browse Device”,
  • Select your phone name from the list and click “Browse”,
  • Tap “Yes” on the Viewty to accept the incoming connection request,
  • On your Mac, click the “Send…” button in Bluetooth File Exchange,
  • Locate the vCards file that you saved earlier, and click “Send”,
  • Once the transfer has completed, the Viewty should prompt you to “Restore Contact backup file”, tap “Yes”.

And that’s it. Your Address Book has now been copied to your phone.

  1. I’d usually link to the official site, but it’s flash based and doesn’t work on Mac OS X – and there doesn’t seem to be a text based version available []
  2. Even though Bluetooth File Exchange won’t display any files or folders, the phone is still connected via Bluetooth and files can still be transferred in the normal manner. []
  3. Short and simple explanation: Turn on Bluetooth on your Mac, turn on Bluetooth on your phone, click the Bluetooth icon in the Menu Bar, select “Set Up Bluetooth Device” and follow the Setup Assistant. []

The Next Must Have Gadget for Your Mobile Phone?

Convergence is a word used heavily in the mobile phone industry. We’ve come a long way from from bricks that used to do basic voice calling to modern mobiles with GPS, wireless networking, multi mega-pixel cameras, video recording, MP3 ringtones, video conferencing, VOIP, gigabyte memory cards and all the bells and whistles. And all in your pocket.

For the modern phone manufacturer, the biggest trade off has been portability versus screen size. Yes, you can watch a movie on your phone, but who would want to on a 1.5 inch screen? 3M may have the answer. How about a built in projector in your phone capable of displaying an image up to 50 inches, or a 60 inch image in perfect lighting conditions? Now if only they could get a popcorn maker into my phone, I’d be happy!

iPhone Sim Unlocked – Twice in One Day

Various media outlets are reporting that the iPhone has been cracked to allow any SIM card to be used.

First some back story, when Apple released the iPhone, they did so in the US only and with the condition that coverage was provided by AT&T. To ensure this, the iPhone was locked to prevent SIM cards from other mobile providers being used in the phone.

Since the initial release there have been plenty of attempts to circumvent the SIM lock on the iPhone. Today there were two announcements made in relation to the SIM lock being cracked. The first involves a hardware crack and the second involves a software update. Apparently the hardware hack takes about an hour to complete, while the software update takes a couple of minutes.

So what’s the fuss about? Half the planet went pretty much insane when it was released. But because the iPhone is SIM Locked, it can only be used in the US. With an unlocked iPhone it can be used anywhere in the world, and within the US, it can used with any provider.

Upgrading Memory on a MacBook

When I bought my MacBook, I went with the most basic specifications. Mainly because of the cost, and also because the basic system was more than enough for my needs. After using it for the last while, I felt it was time to throw some more memory into the system.

The original specification included 512MB of memory, so I was considering upgrading to 1GB, just to add some pizazz. I checked out the Crucial UK website, and they had 2 x 512MB chips for €41.11 including VAT. 2 x 1GB chips would cost just €86.94. As that kind of price point, I figured that it was worth going the whole hog and putting in the full 2GB that the system could handle. With next day delivery via UPS, the entire cost came to just over €90.

I used to do tech support for Dell laptops, so replacing memory is a job I’ve done many times before. Usually it’s just a matter of powering off the machine, earthing yourself, slipping out the old chip if required and putting in the new one.

Putting memory in a MacBook is pretty much the same. In this case the memory slots are located under the battery, so you’ll have to use a coin to remove the battery and then a small philips screwdriver to remove the L-shaped slot cover. There are 3 screws and they do not separate from the slot cover, so you can’t lose them. If you have butter fingers like me, this will save you hours on your hands and knees looking for any tiny screws that you may have dropped!

Each memory slot has a lever used to release the memory chip. Once it’s out you can insert the new memory. Like all memory chips, the slots are “keyed” so that the chips can only be inserted one way. With the now empty battery cover closest too you, and the open memory slots facing towards you, the notch on the memory chip should be on the left. One thing that I did notice is that it takes a bit of force to get the chip seated properly. You’ll know it’s seated properly because the lever will retract towards the main body of the laptop and will tighten.

After that it’s just a matter of replacing the slot cover and the battery and switching on the computer. If you’ve installed the memory correctly, then your MacBook should start normally. Once you’ve reached the desktop, you can check that the memory is being detected properly by going to the Apple Menu -> About This Mac -> More Info. This will open the System Profiler. On the left hand side, under Hardware is the Memory section. Clicking this will give you details of the memory in each slot.

And that’s it. I haven’t really had a chance to fully test my new memory, but I have noticed that opening certain programs has speeded up considerably, though for some reason Firefox takes just as long as ever to open up.