East of the Sun, West of the Moon

2006/10/12

Cool It!

Filed under: OS X,Software,Technology — Erwin @ 8:21 pm

Fan Control Preference PaneStep 1:

Someone writes a minimal program to interface with Apple’s SMC (system management control), helpfully calling it smc. Version 0.01 does the basics, allowing you to query the current values and to set them as you see fit, as long as you know what the cryptic names mean. (It explains what several of the values mean.) Aside from that it displays in a more readable format what the status of the fans is, a sign of things to come rather quickly.

Step 2:

After some discussion back and forth, people start writing wrappers around smc to adjust the minimum RPM setting, including hooks with other (all licensed with GPL) programs to make sure that the adjustment is applied at boot time and after waking up from sleep.

Step 3:

Someone writes a GUI (a preference pane) that interfaces with a background process to adjust the fan speed according to the user’s settings, all wrapped in an installer package.

Result:

A MacBook Pro with a temperature that hovers around 40-50 Celsius (104-122 Fahrenheit) instead of 60 Celsius (140 Fahrenheit), and I can assure you that’s a LOT more comfortable when using it as a laptop! YAY!

It’s not perfect yet, as I hear that it causes a minor inconvenience when rebooting, but nothing that can’t be fixed within days (and I don’t reboot very often with this machine, it mostly just sleeps). 🙂

Updates: There are now smcFanControl 1.12 and Fan Control 1.1 respectively. I’m sticking to Fan Control because I like the sliding scale and lower/upper threshold settings.

The Votemaster is back

Filed under: News — Erwin @ 7:11 pm

After two years of letting the website gather dust (I assume), Andrew Tanenbaum is back with Electoral Vote Predictor which now follows the polls for the upcoming US Senate & House elections in November.

Click for www.electoral-vote.com Click for www.electoral-vote.com

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