Happy Birthday Mac

Today is the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Apple Mac, so Happy Birthday Mac.

My first Mac was in 2002, and it was a Titanium G4 PowerBook. I was Director of the Western Colleges Consortium in Avon, and one of the partner colleges was not happy about the support they were getting in using the shared VLE and online learning content on their Macs they used. They were using G4 PowerMacs, so in order to support them better I decided to order the “cheapest” G4 Mac I could and that was the Titanium G4 PowerBook.

Titanium G4 PowerBook

I remember thinking that if I was going to really understand the needs of the users of these strange devices I had better use it as my main device for a few weeks.

Within a week, it had become my main computer and I soon upgraded it with an Airport 802.11b wireless card so it was more useful. I remember how much I liked the fact that you shut the lid, and when you opened it, it came back on almost immediately.

It was a dual boot machine running OS 9 and OS X 10.1 Puma. It had a 500MHz G4 chip, a 10GB hard disk drive, 128MB of RAM and a DVD Drive.

It was a very different experience to the Windows 2000 PCs I was use to, and the user interface was in many ways a combination of “easy” and “challenging”. It took me a few months to work out how to drag and drop.

It lasted a few years and was eventually replaced with an Aluminium G4 Powerbook a few years later.

Since then I have had and used many Macs, including the G5 PowerMac which was an amazing computer, very powerful, various incarnations of the iMac, most recently a 27” model. With the move to Intel, I used a range of MacBooks, I really liked the MacBook Pro Retina and I am currently typing this article on an 11” MacBook Air.

Fans Flashback

This evening using my MacBook Pro I had a fans flashback to the days when I had a G5 PowerMac.

I really liked the G5 PowerMac, it was a huge beasty, but a very powerful beasty.

Though now and again it would do a jumbo jet impression and try and to set the fans going so fast that it sounded like it was trying to take off!

I believe that this was a bug caused by the PowerMac failing to realise how hot it was and setting the fans to maximum to try and ensure that it didn’t overheat.

Quite a few updates were sent out by Apple to try and fix it, but as I recall not all those fixes worked.

I have been finding that if I push my MacBook Pro I can make it get very hot quite quickly. Even quicker if I have the battery in and even faster than that if I am charging the battery at the same time.

This evening I was using the MacBook Pro and was watching a video whilst doing some simple web browsing, when the fans kicked in. Now the battery was fully charged so I was quite surprised. Charging the battery and using the MacBook Pro is a simple way of getting the fans going. However this time the battery was fully charged!

The fans just got louder and louder…

Eventually I decided enough was enough. I shut the lid, turned the MacBook Pro over and waited until the fans stopped (nearly 30 seconds or thereabouts). I then removed the battery and turned back over. Opened the lid and continued where I left off.

No fans, but still quite warm.