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MacBook Pro Fan & Battery Issue Fixed, I’m a “Genius”

Let me preface this post by saying that I’m not an Apple Genius but I am a Genius Googler which was how I ultimately solved my issue.  However I did recently overhear a genius at the Apple Store asking another genius how to fix an issue that I knew the answer to so maybe I’m a junior genius.

So here’s the situation, my parents went away on a weeks vacation.  Wait that’s a Will Smith song sorry wrong situation.  About six weeks ago my less than two year old MacBook Pro went from getting between five and six hours of battery time down to around two and a half hours if I was lucky.  I didn’t think much of it at the time because I usually have it plugged in and I wasn’t traveling anywhere so it wasn’t a big deal.  After a few weeks, I realized that I could barely make it through my DVR’d @HistoryChannel Swamp People and Pawn Stars before completely draining the battery.  Now it was getting annoying and I needed to get this issue solved.  Before making a genius appointment and heading over to the Apple Store I figured I would try a few things on my own to see if I could fix it.  I used my mad Google skills to search for things like “MacBook Pro battery draining”, “MacBook Pro eats battery” and finally, “Why the F is my MacBook Pro battery life sucking even though nothing is running” but all the things mentioned didn’t seem to solve the problem.  I tried a few more things on my own like:

* Checking Activity Monitor for rouge apps running
* Removing old applications that I don’t use anymore
* Removing some new applications I had recently installed
* Reduce the size of my Entourage database (I know reducing it to zero and removing it from my Mac would be better but I have been lazy in that aspect.)
* Archive old files
* Run the battery out and charge it back up

During the process of trying out these things it would trick me every once in a while and show me three and a half hours so I felt like I was making progress then it would quickly drop down to under two hours shattering my hopes that I was truly a genius.  None of these things seemed to do it and it was starting to get annoying so I broke down and made a reservation at the Genius bar.  I gave them the long and short of what was going on as my personal genius processed it all.  They ran a diagnostic test on my baby and she came back healthy as a horse.  They then ran a battery test on it and it showed that it was more than 50% used up.  He then suggested that a new battery would probably fix the issue.  I excitedly agreed because the test seemed to verify that the battery was on it’s way out since 50% use seemed logical that I would be getting only about 2.5 hours of use.  Unfortunately they didn’t have the battery in stock so they had to order it.  My luck seemed to continue when I received a call the next morning that my battery was in.  I made another genius appointment so I didn’t have to wait around.  The genius had the new battery in, in about 10 minutes which unfortunately didn’t have a full charge.  When I turned it on I was not very optimistic when I saw that the battery life at around 50% was reading around 1.5 hours.  This was about where I was before.  The genius asked that I go home and charge it up fully and check it again.  I reluctantly left the store and went home to charge it up.  After a full charge, the time had come to pull the plug and test er out.  I pulled out the plug and watched after a few minutes as the battery was being eaten up.  Now here is where most people would call Apple and freak out, not my style, I was determined to get this fixed without freaking out.

I called Apple Support and spent time on multiple calls over a two day period however my brand new battery was no better than my old battery.  After almost giving up I changed my google search criteria a little bit after realizing that my fan was ALWAYS on and my mac was running very hot.  I searched for “macbook pro fan always running” and low and behold, I came across this article by Tom Meagher from June 2009.  After reading Tom’s article, I checked my printers under preferences but didn’t see any rouge print jobs.  My hopes of getting this resolves yet again seemed shattered but I read on determined that I was on the right track.  I noticed one of the posts mentioned using the Unix utility lpstat  I wasn’t familiar with this utility but knowing that many unix commands and utilities are built in to the OSX, it seemed logical that this could be my answer.  I typed in “lpstat” and saw a job that was trying to print to my home Canon color printer. I used the “cancel” command to cancel the job and like magic the fan shut off and within a minute or so my battery life shot up to 7 hours.  I literally jumped for joy that my ordeal was finally over. I called my wife to tell her the good news. When I told her the details including the date of the print job she paused for a moment and asked me if I knew the significance of that date.  I thought for a second and then it clicked. The day in question was my daughters birthday and the print job in question were pictures of her and her friends for an art project that kept getting g stuck. I ended up printing it from another computer and forgetting about it because I was in a rush.

So I guess the moral of this story is that if you continue to refine your Google search and don’t get frustrated then you too can feel like a genius.  Oh and some patience, you gotta have some patience.

The Best Jerky Marinade

This is a bit of a stray from my normal blogging about technology related things and stuff. Earlier tonight I carefully with surgical precision cut two large turkey halves in to strips of the perfect thickness to make turkey jerky. While preparing the marinade, I thought it would be appropriate to share the recipe with the world (well in a few hours when Google picks it up). This recipe was derived (really morphed) from a couple of recipes that I had tried, taking what I thought to be the best of both. I usually let the meat marinade for at least 24 hours to soak up all the salty goodness before dehydrating it. If you like the recipe or have any suggestions for improvement, please let me know. Without further bore, get your dehydrators ready….

1 tbsp – Garlic Powder
2 tsp – Onion Salt
2 tsp – Ground Pepper
1 tbsp – Honey
5 tbsp – liquid smoke
1/4 cup – Teriyaki (I used a Yoshida’s Sweet & Savory marinade)
2/3 cup – Soy Sauce
2/3 cup – Worcestershire Sauce

BTW, for those of you who were waiting for the geekiness in this post to rear it’s head, I will not disappoint you, this blog post was written on my new iPad using the WordPress App :). Enjoy.

Round Two of Mother Natures Punishment on the DC Metro Area.

As many of you have heard, the DC Metro area is in the midst of a second major snow storm. Since we have not recovered from the first yet, the conditions are even more hazardous. Our number one priority at this time is keeping our employees safe so we have our staff working remotely until conditions improve.

Please continue to use GL Jive for eLoop inquiries as this is best way to ensure you will receive the assistance you need. For emergencies, please email

We appreciate your patience and understanding. Stay tuned…updates and pictures will soon follow!

The Gold Lasso Team

My Dad drives a Prius; does that constitute me helping the environment through genealogy?

I have often thought of ways that I could help the environment, but they always seem to get back burnered by other things going on in my life. I do want to help; I guess it just hasn’t been a top priority. I do the basics like recycling paper, boxes, cans, bottles, etc. at home, but consciously or unconsciously, things slip through, or I’m too lazy to run the tuna cans in to the garage and drop them in the bin, or whatever the case may be at the time. My estimate is that in our house we recycle about 75% to 85% of the items that can be recycled which isn’t too bad but that number could be higher. I have seen various facts on T.V. or read an article on the internet and I always tell myself that I’m going to try harder but I never follow through because of busy schedules, or laziness or whatever. I know that busy schedules or laziness isn’t a good excuse, however it’s an excuse none the less and if it’s an excuse then I have to do something about it.

So what can I do?

One thing that I have done is that up until 10:30 this morning, we were using those big 5 gallon plastic water jugs that we got through our local water delivery company at my office. These bottles are not just a pain to change and deal with reordering, I also just recently learned that they are rarely recycled and they take approximately one thousand years to decompose back in to the Earth if they are not recycled properly and end up in a landfill.

Well, last week I met a very nice and knowledgeable woman named Susan Bierly from IMC Water Coolers who introduced us to the IMC Bottle Less Water Cooler System. Not only does this system produce better tasting water, it also helps the environment by not using those big 5 gallon plastic jugs. I also found out some other interesting facts about these water jugs that I won’t share here in case some of you may actually use them. So with the help of a corporate lease, I guess I’m helping out a little bit by switching over to a bottle less system.

So this brings us to right now and what I’m prepared to do to help the environment. This morning I was reading my morning Slashdot and saw the post about Blog Action Day, and decided to get involved in some way by writing this blog. I’m also going to do the following five things to help out even more:

1. I will be more conscious at home and take the extra few steps to throw that tuna can in the recycling bin.

2. I will talk to my daughter about how and why recycling is important to our environment.

3. I will Research and setup a recycling program in my office.

4. I will be more conscious when printing things out and use my PDF writer more often for archiving documents.

5. I will be more conscious of items that I purchase to ensure they are safe for the environment.

I know that there is a lot to be done as far as awareness is concerned and educating people about how we can help the environment so I hope that Blog Action Day assists in this quest. I will start with the above few items and see where it goes from there. Who knows in a few months I may be collecting rain water to water my backyard. Check back for updates as to how things are coming along.