This article about iBook battery problems is seriously freaking me out. Apparently some people are reporting that after the 10.2.4 OS X upgrade their batteries get drained flat in no time, and the only recourse is to get them replaced. As mine is mostly a desktop machine I keep it plugged in pretty much 24/7, so I haven’t noticed this yet. I’m almost afraid to unplug it though. Anybody else having problems?

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  1. I haven’t noticed any problems yet and I run off the battery pretty much exclusively. But then again, my iBook never got great battery life with OS X anyway. 1 1/2, 2 hours tops. OS 9 was better, back when I still used it. Anyway, whatever this bug is, I think I’m immune.

  2. That makes me feel a little better, Dan. How old is your computer? I’ve been getting 3 hours but I kinda thought that was crap given that they *say* you should be getting 5. Maybe nobody gets that great a time in reality. My machine is a year old anyway, so I guess it’s just getting less efficient. And the Snook actually had it on battery power down in the living room the other day, and I didn’t notice any problems when we charged it back up. So maybe I’m immune too. *crossing fingers*

  3. My computer is a good 18 months old now but it is one of the 1st gen. white iBooks, which came out, what, like 2 years ago now? That 5 hours thing is a total scam. If I ever need to do some real work on the iBook I know I need to have an outlet nearby. (In the old days I could actually get near 5 hours with OS 9, a temporary RAM disk, and a HD spin down button–OS X doesn’t seem to have those features). Anyway, I freaked out today because when I cracked the ‘book open the battery said 3% even though it had been charging for many hours. D’oh! But wait, looks like I just didn’t plug it in all the way! I’ve never done that before, but it does appears to be charging now so that must be what happened.

  4. I had a similar freakout today with the iPod. I had it plugged in all last night but when I turned it on at work today I only got about five seconds of music before it shut down. I did a Google search on “ipod battery problem” and turned up REAMS of stuff. I was starting to get real worried (it’s over a year old so I doubt it’s still under warranty, and anyway it was bought in the US) until I remember that I was fiddling with my laptop energy saver settings last night in my battery conservation frenzy. I’m pretty sure I set the machine to go to sleep all night, whereas normally I just leave the screensaver running. So that’s probably it, right? I mean, when the thing’s shut down it’s not pulling any power, so it naturally wouldn’t charge up the iPod. I’m still at work so I don’t have any way of testing this, but that has to be it… *nervous* Right?

  5. Buh. Good luck with that. Unfortunately, my iPod hasn’t been holding a charge, Kris. I can’t listen to it for more than maybe an hour at a time, even with a full charge. I had a feeling that something like that would happen, but I really don’t feel like paying to send it back to Apple, not right now. I guess I’ll just continue to use it when I’m doing chores at home, or keep it plugged into the cigarette lighter in the car when I’m travelling. There’s no sense in taking it out elsewhere.

    You had a year’s warranty on your iPod? In America they only allowed for 90 days, I believe. Or maybe it was 60. I know it wasn’t a year, darn them!

    We’ll see, though. I love my iPod far too much to give it up so willingly. Hey, I just had an idea… Maybe I’ll hand my current iPod over to my husband to use for when he’s doing chores around the house, and then head on out to the Clarendon Apple Store to buy a new 20GB one (I need all that disk space for bringing work home with me, of course… 😉

    Oh, and I’ve also noticed my iBook has been acting wonky, as far as the battery thing is concerned. I thought it was just because I usually leave it plugged in all the time, so I don’t really know how long it’s supposed to last, but there’s a MARKED difference. It’s done in, like, an hour. I’m a little frustrated with Apple over this problem, but I did buy a 3 year Apple Care package, so hopefully I can convince Apple to replace the battery pak for me. Maybe? Heh. I’m not holding my breath. 😉

  6. Well, mine seems to be okay. I just had it plugged in all night (with the machine NOT asleep) and it’s back up to 100%. I usually get a good two days of listening to it at work from a full charge. What firmware are you running? (You can check on the “About” menu.) I’m on 1.2.1, which I think is the latest and corrects the battery problems of 1.2. That might be a possibility for you. Some of the sites I saw yesterday also recommend that you turn off the “Alarms” feature (since it’ll constantly keep part of the iPod draining power even when it’s “off”) and the backlight. I’m going to time and see how long it lasts.

    Oh, I don’t know about the warranty. I had my friend buy this in the US for me last night and then bring it out when she came to visit. (They were sold out in Oz.) I’ve probably got a warranty somewhere, but I haven’t looked at it since that first day. Sheesh, only 90 days? That sucks. If yours is out of warranty, this site claims that they’ll crack it open for you and fix it for $50. Might be worth looking into…

    I think I’ve decided that the iBook is okay, battery wise. I keep mine plugged in too, but the Snook used it unplugged all last weekend and it charged back up to 100% just fine. If I take out the charger, the meter reads around 3 hours (that’s with full brightness). So it’s probably okay, I think.

  7. Upon further inspection my iBook battery is definitely alive. As far as iPods, yeah looks like you got that figured out. I have one of the 1st gen. iPods too and it’s battery is not as reliable as it used to be. I’m sure you’ve read the tale: iPod battery mysteriously drains overnight. Based on a tip I downgraded my firmware to 1.1. Now she can hold a charge again, but still isn’t as robust as she used to be. But my iPod is a survivor. She’s taken a lot of abuse. One time I even killed her, but she willed herself back to life. No joke. Anyway, just for safety’s sake I try to keep her plugged in the the wall outlet each night so I will have the charge I need the next day. Oh, and the one thing that’s always been completely stupid no matter what is the battery indicator. Totally schizoid.

  8. I’ve noticed that too. It’s like, oh, I have half a charge! And then 10 minutes later it’s dead. I’ve learned not to rely on that. 🙂

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