It’s been said that i’ve replaced or repaired almost every part of my macbook pro, and just to make this notion a bit more valid my laptop battery decided to commit suicide in a hilarious fashion.
The issue started when my macbook pro would just power off after about ten minutes running from battery. I figured the problem was a dead cell in the battery and decided i’d need to buy a replacement in the not too distant future.
A few days later i noticed a slight swelling in the battery which had caused one of the corners of the casing to come unglued. Couple of days after that it had spread to the other side, and was now about 2mm of swelling.
Obviously something had to be done, so i called up Apple. The laptop is well out of warrantee at 2 years old, but this issue just wasn’t right. The telephone support guy explained that they had no policy for the 17″ macbook pro battery (though, apparently if it had been a 15″ they’d have replaced the battery – it got recalled or something). I argued with him a bit. Of course i understand that batteries have finite lifespans, i’m fine with having to replace dying batteries and with MTBF in general – but it’s a different story when the things are inflating dangerously from chemical reactions!
Telephone support guy explained that as far as Apple were concerned the 17″ macbook pro battery was safe, and because of that they wouldn’t replace it. So i got him to agree that if mine DID explode/catch fire apple would be entirely responsible. I felt bad though and didn’t ask for the guys name.
Anyway, i bought a new battery (for £100, sadly) and things were fine. But after about 10 days i noticed that the battery (which was sitting on my desk) was a good bit bigger than it had been when i pulled it out of the laptop!
I had an idea a while ago for a bit of fun, and finally got around to making it:
The UK’s current threat level, portrayed by Doomguy.
For those that don’t know, in the classic and mighty first person shooter Doom your health is represented pictorially by an image of the main characters face, as you take damage his face makes it clear. So i wrote some code that scrapes the UK’s current threat level page, takes the current level, and displays the relevant image from one of the following:
Low An attack is unlikely
Moderate An attack is possible but not likely
Substantial An attack is a strong possibility
Severe An attack is highly likely
Critical An attack is expected imminently
The Home Office page that displays the threat level is fairly weighty and the scraping code isn’t all that efficient, so it’s fairly slow to load (though does cache the result for 10 mins or so), but considering this is just for fun i doubt i’ll re-write the backend. Sadly considering our current state of affairs it’s fair to say our threat level won’t be changing all that often either.
What i may do, however, is make a nice new frontend for doomguy, in flash, with mouseovers for the other statuses – and animations. I also intend to write one for the American threat level.
Re-Jigged my desk again.. I like it more than the last twoattempts.
Macbook pro on the left, can’t close the screen at the moment for a reason i’ll explain in a later post. It’s driving the 24-inch dell in the middle.
On the right is a 19-or-20-inch Dell LCD driven by the dual xeon linux workstation under my desk. It’s running ubuntu at a pitiful resolution at the moment because i can’t find a PCI-E 8x graphics card. Stupid diminutive slots.
In the lower left is my new MSI Wind, which i should post a review of at some point. It’s running Windows XP because i know the wifi card is troublesome in both Linux and OSX – i need wifi working when i’m in Berlin, so i’ll tinker with it after i’m back.
This blog is the home of Aaron. Server monkey, security enthusiast, indie games developer, sword-fighter, lowercase fan. Committee member of Edinburgh Hacklab. Also an occasional web developer, database administrator and photographer.