This station is now the ultimate power in the universe

This station is now the ultimate power in the universe

As we were preparing to leave for Austin last week, I prepped my MacBook Pro for the flight ahead. We agreed that the best way to distract Isabella for a couple of hours would be to play her favorite movie, “Finding Nemo”, which she calls “Fish! Fish!”

However, I knew that playing the DVD in the notebook would burn up battery life like crazy so I ripped it to my hard drive. (Yes, I own the DVD and I had it on me at all times.) This way I could run it from the hard drive and not the electricity-sapping DVD drive. Yet, even so I had still disturbingly short battery life on the MacBook. As in less than 2 hours on a full charge. What gives?

I figured out what gives when we arrived in Austin. I started the neat little application Coconut Battery that tells you the original maximum capacity of the battery and the current maximum capacity. It’s a fact of rechargeable batteries that over time they eventually lose capacity. But in the space of 9 months my battery had been reduced to just about 50 percent capacity!

Thankfully, there is an Apple Store near my in-laws’ home at a new chic shopping center called The Domain. I made an appointment at the Genius Bar and my mother-in-law graciously drove me the next morning.

Incidentally, I love going to the Genius Bar and showing off my Mac ninja moves to the Genius and having him get all impressed at at the level of my Mac wizardry. Does my geek cred good.

Anyway, he checked the number of charging cycles on my battery, only 79, and said that a normal wear and tear for a battery with only 50% capacity should happen at about 300 cycles or more. That meant a free replacement battery. Whee!

Unfortunately, none were in stock so I’d have to wait until Wednesday or Thursday. Then, that afternoon I got a call. They got a shipment that day. Yay!

So here I have a brand new notebook battery with hours and hours of off-the-grid power, all thanks to Apple standing behind its products and their excellent customer service. Apple Store FTW!

  • I upgraded to the IPod classic at Christmas and after a day something was wrong and I returned it by mail.  It was an easy process and the customer service was the best I have experienced in some time.  I’m not happy something went wrong with it but when you get a company who makes things easy and stands behind their product it is easier to handle.  I’m thinking about buying a Mac the next time I get a computer.  Their commercials have been influential.  Any recommendations?

  • Well, as always, it depends on your budget and needs. There isn’t a dog in the whole lineup.

    If you want something for the desktop, the iMac is powerful for most purposes.

    The Macbook and Macbook Pro are among the most popular notebooks on the market.

    The Mac Pro is some serious iron for heavy duty work.

    If you have a monitor and keyboard you like and just want to ease into the Mac life, the Mac mini isn’t expensive.

    Just remember that if you’re attached to particular software like Office or Photoshop, you’ll have to buy a Mac version. The software that allows you to run Windows on your new Mac is good in a pinch, but I wouldn’t want to run it for my everyday apps, except on the higher end iMacs, Macbook Pros, or Mac Pros.

    Macs do come with the iLife suite and you can get iWork for cheap money. The iLife package includes iPhoto, Garageband, iMovie, and iWeb. iWork has Pages (word processing and page layout), Keynote (presentations) and Numbers (spreadsheet).