Macbook battery requires service

I think my Macbook is reaching that stage in life that every laptop eventually goes through; the battery isn’t holding charge like it used to, and the power meter tells me to “service battery”. I think that is Apple Speak for “take to Genius Bar, walk out with new battery and less money”.

I had a look in the System Profiler, and the battery shows 276 charge cycles, with 3679mAh remaining out of a total 3847. According to the Apple website the battery should retain 80% charge after 300 cycles, so I suspect there is some sort of counter inside OSX that looks for batteries that are reaching 300 cycles, and the “service battery” warning is enabled.

This isn’t really an issue, I tend to use the battery as a convenient UPS and since OSX will suspend the computer to disk if the battery dies while the computer is sleeping, I’m not concerned about the battery running out when the machine is closed and unplugged.

Motor bicycle

So Amy’s got a new job, and due to various health reasons she’s getting an electric bike so she can get to work. The bike has a 15 mile range from one charge, work is two miles away.

Since the bike is electric, it’s just a bike – no road tax or MOT etc needed.

But what’d happen if we strapped a petrol generator to it to charge the battery while it’s moving? Would it still be an electric vehicle, or would it be a petrol powered one?

Since if it remains an electric vehicle, I’m going to remove the engine from my car, replace it with electric motors, fill my boot with batteries and use the petrol engine to charge the batteries while the car is running.

… it’s how a lot of trains work, so it’s not as daft as it sounds.

My car is posessed!

OK my car is officially weird. Not just “a bit odd” or “it has a character”. No, it’s completely barking crazy, which is quite an achievement considering it’s an inanimate object.

For a while it’s randomly decided the battery is flat, and – accompanied by a nice chime – tells me by lighting the ‘buggered battery’ warning light. Usually when I go down the road. So somehow, with the engine running it thinks the battery is flat.


Today the weirdness went up a full 7.6 wombats by allowing me to control the ABS and Air bag warning lights using my heater controls, and later the brake pedal. Also, the window wipers went reealllyy sllloowwlly.

However the engine continued running perfectly well, and the only mild concern was when the power steering turned off for a bit. Kind of messes up your angles when the steering wheel goes from free and easy to like stirring set concrete.

All I can think is the engine management computer is somewhat knackered (maybe it runs Windows) and thinks the battery is flat, so starts trying to ‘manage’ the power by turning off nonessential bits of the car.

Really though, being able to flash lights on your dash by pressing the brake pedal is just plain weird. And the ABS does work, I got to test that a lot in the snow earlier this month.

I shall take it to a garage tomorrow and see if they can plug a diagnostics thing into the car and find out what’s going on.

5th Generation iPod Video battery replacement

Insides of a 5th Generation iPod Video
Insides of a 5th Generation iPod Video

Amy has a 5th Generation iPod Video which contains a faulty battery. Due to its age, the battery no longer holds a decent amount of charge. After looking on eBay we found a replacement battery for around $10 including delivery.

By following the guides on iFixit I was successful in taking the iPod apart without damaging anything. It’s not uncommon to bend the metal casing out of shape, but through careful prying using a plastic pry tool the case popped open easily.

The insides of the iPod Video are very compact, with the HDD and screen taking up most of the space. It is important to carefully watch the thin ribbon cables as they are easy to break.

See more pictures from the repair.