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What Energy Saver should have been!

Message #1 - Posted 2008/06/03 - Mark Conrad

There is a software utility that radically expands what
a Mac user can do with an "Energy Saver" type of utility.

Costs $30 (USD)

http://www.dssw.co.uk/powermanager/

The creators push it as an energy saver, however it has
a lot of features that are useful for Mac road warriors.

For example, I can schedule remote power-on for my
MacBook Pro - - - not just waking from sleep, but a
real power-on event.

The power-on/power-off schedules can be minutes apart during the day, impossible to do with the regular
OS X "energy Saver".

This is _very_ handy if you do not know whether your hotel room will be ready at 12 noon, or at 3 PM.

Also allows me to keep my expensive MacBook Pro at home, and carry a 8 year old "Lombard" powerbook on the road.

I guess I would cry a lot if the old Lombard was stolen, but I would cry a lot louder if the MacBook was stolen.

Once perched in my hotel room, I can fire up the old Lombard, then wait perhaps ten/twenty minutes or so
until my at-home Macbook Pro was due to power on.

Viola! - I can grab control of the MacBook Pro via
my Timbuktu app' and put it busy doing heavy duty rendering of video clips.

Power Manager has a lot of quirks that take some time
to get used to, but so far I am impressed with it.

Power Manager is fully scriptable, for those geeks who
like to mess around with such arcane things.

I find the GUI interface adequate for everything I need.

Mark-

Message #2 - Posted 2008/06/03 - Jolly Roger

Previously, Mark Conrad wrote:

There is a software utility that radically expands what a Mac user can do with an "Energy Saver" type of utility.

Costs $30 (USD)

http://www.dssw.co.uk/powermanager/

Old news. The author spams this news group occasionally about it.

Note: Please send all responses to the relevant news group. If you must contact me through e-mail, let me know when you send email to this address so that your email doesn't get eaten by my SPAM filter.

JR

Message #3 - Posted 2008/06/04 - Mark Conrad

Previously, Jolly Roger wrote:

Old news. The author spams this news group occasionally about it.

Really? I never saw it.

Wish there was a better utility created here in the U.S.

Something along the same lines but a less quirky GUI interface.

So far, my Googling has not turned up anything else.

FWIW, here I was very close to doing things the really stupid way, by tearing into the guts of my MacBook Pro, just to reach the tiny wires going to the power-on button and automating that button so I could "turn on" my MacBook remotely.

That of course would void my 3 year Applecare warranty.

Mark-

Message #4 - Posted 2008/06/04 - Mark Conrad

Previously, Mark Conrad wrote:

Previously, Jolly Roger wrote:

Old news. The author spams this news group occasionally about it.

Really? I never saw it.

Wish there was a better utility created here in the U.S.

Something along the same lines but a less quirky GUI interface.

So far, my Googling has not turned up anything else.

FWIW, here I was very close to doing things the really stupid way, by tearing into the guts of my MacBook Pro, just to reach the tiny wires going to the power-on button and automating that button so I could "turn on" my MacBook remotely.

That of course would void my 3 year Applecare warranty.

muttering to myself...
****************

Just a parting thought, now that I had some time to think about it.

Perhaps I would be better off opening up my MacBook to modify the wiring, AND using Power Manager also.

I am fairly certain that I can "disguise" my modifications, if it ever becomes necessary to send the MacBook to Apple,
under the 3 year Applecare plan.

Consider what I really am trying to do:

1) Leave my home Macs for months at a time, yet be able to remotely control them, look at their screens, turn on/off the main AC power to the Macs, be able to completely
power them on/off remotely, not merely put them
to sleep or wake them up.

2) Remotely control _both_ the OS X partition,
_and_ the Vista partition, on each Mac. (Boot Camp)

3) Have the setup "bullet-proof", so if a freeze occurs, that I would be able to recover from it.

Most of the time Power Manager would work, but in the case of a hard freeze the only way I could recover would be to have some way to "remotely hold down" the power button on the Mac for approx' four seconds.

That can only be handled by tack-soldering two wires to
the power-on switch of the Mac.

(actually, to the wires going to that power-on switch)

The regular wires to the power switch appear to be two tiny stranded black wires, about 36 guage.

I do not have to cut those wires, merely melt away the insulation on them, in a tiny area of about 1/8th of an inch - - - then tack-solder a tiny insulated stranded wire to the bare spot.

The tacked-on wires go out of the MacBook to a special relay, which allows me to "push and hold down" the power-on button of the MacBook, remotely, for roughly 4 seconds.

I have already done the above modification of the power-on button of an older Mac Mini, so know that it works.

...end of muttering to myself, think I have talked myself into a course of action...

Now to find some blog on the web that shows how to open up a 15 inch MacBook Pro, without screwing it up.

Mark-

Message #5 - Posted 2008/06/05 - Ric

On 5 Jun, 06:04, Mark Conrad wrote:

Previously, Mark Conrad

<this... wrote:

Previously, Jolly Roger wrote:

Old news. =A0The author spams this news group occasionally about it.

Really? =A0 I never saw it.

Wish there was a better utility created here in the U.S.

Something along the same lines but a less quirky GUI interface.

So far, my Googling has not turned up anything else.

FWIW, here I was very close to doing things the really stupid way, by tearing into the guts of my MacBook Pro, just to reach the tiny wires going to the power-on button and automating that button so I could "turn on" my MacBook remotely.

That of course would void my 3 year Applecare warranty.

muttering to myself...
****************

Just a parting thought, now that I had some time to think about it.

Perhaps I would be better off opening up my MacBook to modify the wiring, =A0AND using Power Manager also.

I am fairly certain that I can "disguise" my modifications, if it ever becomes necessary to send the MacBook to Apple,
under the 3 year Applecare plan.

Consider what I really am trying to do:

1) Leave my home Macs for months at a time, yet be able to =A0 =A0 =A0 remotely control them, look at their screens, turn on/off =A0 =A0 =A0 the main AC power to the Macs, be able to completely =A0 =A0 =A0 power them on/off remotely, not merely put them =A0 =A0 =A0 to sleep or wake them up.

2) Remotely control =A0_both_ =A0the OS X partition,
=A0 =A0 =A0 _and_ =A0the Vista partition, on each Mac. =A0(Boot Camp)

3) Have the setup "bullet-proof", so if a freeze occurs, =A0 =A0 =A0 that I would be able to recover from it.

Most of the time Power Manager would work, but in the case of a hard freeze the only way I could recover would be to have some way to "remotely hold down" the power button on the Mac for approx' four seconds.

That can only be handled by tack-soldering two wires to
the power-on switch of the Mac.

(actually, to the wires going to that power-on switch)

The regular wires to the power switch appear to be two tiny stranded black wires, about 36 guage.

I do not have to cut those wires, merely melt away the insulation on them, in a tiny area of about =A01/8th =A0of an inch - - - then tack-solder a tiny insulated stranded wire to the bare spot.

The tacked-on wires go out of the MacBook to a special relay, which allows me to "push and hold down" the power-on button of the MacBook, remotely, for roughly 4 seconds.

I have already done the above modification of the power-on button of an older Mac Mini, so know that it works.

...end of muttering to myself, think I have talked myself into a course of action...

Now to find some blog on the web that shows how to open up
a 15 inch MacBook Pro, without screwing it up.

Mark-- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -

This whole scenario seems like a classic example of going about things the wrong way. However...

1) Look in preferences>energy saver> options> wake for ethernet administrator access or *after a power failure*. Turn on the latter. 2) Buy an ethernet powerstrip - these have a small webserver within them and allow you to remotely turn on/off individual outlets on the strip:
e.g. http://www.leunig.de/_en/_news/prs/2002_02_eps/eps_mfot.htm 3) Plug macs into this, and setup port forwarding on your home router so you can access the powerstrip remotely.
4) Connect to powerstrip over internet, cycle power, wait 30 seconds, log in. Anything fucks up, power cycle - if it's a MBP, you'd need to remove the battery to get this to equate to power off.

Start soldering your MBP? Ugh. The very idea.

Ric

Message #6 - Posted 2008/06/05 - Mark Conrad

Previously, Ric wrote:

This whole scenario seems like a classic example of going about things the wrong way.

I am always willing to learn a better way :)

Look in preferences>energy saver> options> wake for ethernet administrator access or *after a power failure*. Turn on the latter.

I hesitate to to that, because the MacBook battery acts as ballast to smooth out over-voltages and under-voltages.

i have very lousy power in this rural location.

Buy an ethernet powerstrip - these have a small webserver within them and allow you to remotely turn on/off individual outlets on the strip:
e.g. http://www.leunig.de/_en/_news/prs/2002_02_eps/eps_mfot.htm

I hesitate to to that, because the MacBook battery acts as ballast to smooth out over-voltages and under-voltages.

if it's a MBP, you'd need to remove the battery to get this to equate to power off.

I hesitate to to that, because the battery acts as ballast to smooth out over-voltages and under-voltages.

A UPS would solve that problem, however in the past I have had a UPS actually catch on fire. (Tripp-Lite brand)

Did so on its own, no load was being used at the time.

I was lucky, I was in the house at the time, to put out the fire.

That is why I prefer to shut down all electrical gear in my house when on the road, including the computers.

Dead cold turn off, not merely putting the Mac to sleep.

Among other things, in this mountain area lightning is fairly common. My immediate neighbor had all his house wiring zapped by a lightning strike that hit his buried phone line, 200 feet from his house.

My completely powered-off MacBook is less prone to lightning damage than a sleeping MacBook, assuming an indirect strike where most of the energy comes in by way of the power cord.

The AC power strip should "blow", kind of protecting the Mac. (assuming you have a highly rated model of power strip, with a very high joule rating for peak energy)

With a direct strike near the house, all bets are off.

Computer insurance would help, but not many people are willing to pay for that, including me.

BTW, now I have a _different_ brand of UPS, however
I _remotely_ shut off main AC power to the UPS when it is not in use. (use "PowerKey 650" to turn off the AC power)

Start soldering your MBP? Ugh. The very idea.

Not that bad, actually. Only damage done is to gently melt a small area of insulation off the wires feeding the power switch, using a tiny 10 watt soldering iron.

If later I need to take advantage of Applecare, I merely re-melt some insulation from a spare black wire,
to cover up the bare spot on the wires feeding the power button. Apple tech' is none the wiser.

Besides, the challenge of out-foxing the Apple tech'
is too much for me to resist.<g>

Now, where did I put my hammer and chisel, for opening
up my MacBook Pro.

I still have 2 years to go on my MacBook Applecare.

Mark-

Message #7 - Posted 2008/06/06 - Ric

On Jun 5, 7:12=A0pm, Mark Conrad wrote:

Previously, Ric

<infobub... wrote:

This whole scenario seems like a classic example of going about things the wrong way.

I am always willing to learn a better way =A0:)

Look in preferences>energy saver> options> wake for ethernet administrator access or *after a power failure*. =A0 Turn on the latter.

I hesitate to to that, because the MacBook battery acts as ballast to smooth out over-voltages and under-voltages.

=A0i have very lousy power in this rural location.

Buy an ethernet powerstrip - these have a small webserver within them and allow you to remotely turn on/off individual outlets on the strip:
e.g.http://www.leunig.de/_en/_news/prs/2002_02_eps/eps_mfot.htm

I hesitate to to that, because the MacBook battery acts as ballast to smooth out over-voltages and under-voltages.

if it's a MBP, you'd need to remove the battery to get this to equate to power off.

I hesitate to to that, because the battery acts as ballast to smooth out over-voltages and under-voltages.

A UPS would solve that problem, however in the past I have had a UPS actually catch on fire. =A0(Tripp-Lite brand)

Did so on its own, no load was being used at the time.

I was lucky, I was in the house at the time, to put out the fire.

That is why I prefer to shut down all electrical gear in my house when on the road, including the computers.

Dead cold turn off, not merely putting the Mac to sleep.

Among other things, in this mountain area lightning is fairly common. =A0 My immediate neighbor had all his house wiring zapped by a lightning strike that hit his buried phone line, 200 feet from his house.

My completely powered-off MacBook is less prone to lightning damage than a sleeping MacBook, assuming an indirect strike where most of the energy comes in by way of the power cord.

The AC power strip should "blow", kind of protecting the Mac. (assuming you have a highly rated model of power strip,
=A0 =A0 with a very high joule rating for peak energy)

With a direct strike near the house, all bets are off.

Computer insurance would help, but not many people are willing to pay for that, including me.

BTW, now I have a =A0_different_ =A0brand of UPS, however
I =A0_remotely_ =A0shut off main AC power to the UPS when it is not in use. =A0(use "PowerKey 650" to turn off the AC power)

Start soldering your MBP? =A0Ugh. =A0The very idea.

Not that bad, actually. =A0 Only damage done is to gently melt a small area of insulation off the wires feeding the power switch, using a tiny 10 watt soldering iron.

If =A0later I need to take advantage of Applecare, I merely re-melt some insulation from a spare black wire,
to cover up the bare spot on the wires feeding the power button. =A0 Apple tech' is none the wiser.

Besides, the challenge of out-foxing the Apple tech'
is too much for me to resist.<g>

Now, where did I put my hammer and chisel, for opening
up my MacBook Pro.

I still have 2 years to go on my MacBook Applecare.

Mark-

Whilst the battery may well act as "ballast" to cope with interupted power, I am not convinced it offers any further protection to the machine: I think a major power spike is still going to hit the machine and do whatever damage it's going to do whether the battery's in or not. If you're this paranoid, perhaps you might like to think about the fire risk of LiOn batteries in your house.

UPS -> ethernet powerstrip -> mac.

everything gets smoothed power this way. if your mac is on, connect to it remotely and power it down when you're finished, then connect to the powerstrip and turn it off. if your mac is off, connect to the powerstrip and turn the power on - mac powers up.

the chances of electrical damage to your MBP seem much higher if you open the thing up and start fvcking about with it than the relatively small risk of electrical damage due to lightning strike or surge when you're protected by a UPS. besides, you have backups and insurance, yes?

whether your mac is powered off, or powered on, a lightning strike is going to do its damage - I can see no reason why the effect would be worse if it were powered up. I've seen lightning strikes in the UK take out a dell desktop PC (powered off), a TV, a video, a central heating clock, the phones etc all in one go. A UPS might help (although it probably won't as it's not the same as an industrial power conditioner and most cheap spike protectors aren't particularly functional) but the only way of protecting it completely is going to be unplugging it.

I don't particularly care if you want to open your MBP up, but it seems an inelegant attempt to solve a problem that could be done in a much easier way, with no real risk.

Message #8 - Posted 2008/06/06 - Mark Conrad

Previously, Ric wrote:

I don't particularly care if you want to open your MBP up, but it seems an inelegant attempt to solve a problem that could be done in a much easier way, with no real risk.

Well we are both going to think along different lines, mostly based on our own past experiences, plus the experiences of our friends.

I believe there is value lurking in both of our viewpoints :)

I do not share your concern about opening up a MacBook, as I have done this many times in the past, at least with older models such as my 8-year old Pismo, to replace hard drives etc. - - - also opened up a Mac Mini, which is a fairly cramped Mac, in order to perform "surgery" on it by temporarily tack-soldering wires to original wires.

The web is a good place to look for instructional blogs, as regards opening up a Mac. I expect even the recent super-thin Mac will succumb to an article describing how to crack it open.

By the way, I showed my Mac Mini to a friend after I had _removed_ all traces of my "surgery", and my friend could not detect any traces of my previous dastardly modifications.

Believe me, the original wiring is tiny and delicate, seems to be about 36 guage stranded, _very_ hard to work on.

I agree with you that there is no practical solution to damage by lightning, to a MacBook, other than uplugging all lines to it.

Impractical to do, when one is trying to remotely control it.

Whilst the battery may well act as "ballast" to cope with interupted power, I am not convinced it offers any further protection to the machine: I think a major power spike is still going to hit the machine and do whatever damage it's going to do whether the battery's in or not.

I am not worried about spikes, as a very good power strip should burn out its own protective circuitry and protect the Mac.

Notice I say "very good" power strip, not the usual cheap models that unknowledgeable users buy at discounted prices.

However I am worried about longer overvoltage "surges", which a power strip will not protect against. Even most UPS brands sold here in the colonies do not handle overvoltage surges - - - exception being the very high priced UPS models designed for 24/7 servers, which us hobbyists are too cheap to buy.<g>

An in-place MacBook battery _will_ protect against an overvoltage power surge, due to the batteries ballast effect.

Remove that battery, and you risk the overvoltage surge damaging the components of your Mac. I just do not trust the regular Mac power device to take in a temporary surge of 160 VAC and not grind out higher-than-normal DC output to the Mac.

...and yes, I know that the regular MacBook power supply will work with 220 VAC, however I think there is a trip point involved, where the AC voltage has to be very near 220 VAC in order to "trip" it into the higher voltage mode.

I do not know if 160 VAC is sufficient to kick it into high voltage mode, especially on a short "surge" of say half a second.

Anyone know the exact characteristics of the MacBook power supply? Perhaps my concerns are not well founded.

whether your mac is powered off, or powered on, a lightning strike is going to do its damage - I can see no reason why the effect would be worse if it were powered up.

You probably have a valid point there, although I just _feel_ better when my MacBook is not sleeping for days on end while I am not using it.

Besides, there is not much point in placing my MacBook into sleep mode, when I have the capability of shutting it off entirely.

I _have_ to be able to shut it off remotely by my power key kludge, (wiring up the power key) - - - for those instances where I lose control due to hard freezes, or persistant "modal" messages that can not be bypassed.

Those damn modal messages are not even visible on the controlling computer screen, so you have no clue as to why the MacBook being controlled is suddenly not responding.

In my case, I do the following to recover:

1) Terminate my Timbuktu application in my hotel room
to free up my home telephone line.

2) Grab the nearest touch-tone phone, press in my house phone number, then type an additional bunch of numbers
such as 123, which wind up effectively
"pressing the power key" of my home MacBook for several seconds, causing my home Mac to shut down completely.

3) Allowing time for the home Mac to shut down, I press in a different set of numbers, say 456 for example.
That powers on my distant home MacBook, end of problem.

Control regained once I restart Timbuktu on the controlling Mac in my hotel room.

Fortunately, Macs use a lot fewer modal messages than Windows machines do.

besides, you have backups and insurance, yes?

Backups, yes; computer insurance, no.

Backup so robust that it can restore the Vista partition on my MacBook Pro at the same time as the OS X partition, using the same backup file.

Backup so robust that it can restore the original GUID partition table, protecting against that most vicious virus, a partition table virus.

Usual backup/restore util' leaves that virus intact, unless specific means are used to overwrite the entire GUID partition table, not usually done by ordinary Mac users.

But that is grist for a separate thread.

Mark-

Message #9 - Posted 2008/06/10 - Graham Miln

Previously, Jolly Roger wrote:

Old news. The author spams this news group occasionally about it.

Jolly Roger, we have been here before:

<http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.mac.system/browse_thread/thread/ 755309fc8bb0d9f2/4c44da2ab332dde7>

mailto:support@dssw.co.uk
http://www.dssw.co.uk Mac energy saving solutions

Message #10 - Posted 2008/06/10 - Graham Miln

Previously, Mark Conrad wrote:

Power Manager has a lot of quirks that take some time to get used to, but so far I am impressed with it.

Mark, thank you for the positive comments about Power Manager.

Could you get in touch and let me know about the quirks you want smoothed in the future versions?

Thanks,

Graham Miln

mailto:support@dssw.co.uk
http://www.dssw.co.uk Mac energy saving solutions

Message #11 - Posted 2008/06/09 - Mark Conrad

[[ This message was both posted and mailed: see
the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for details. ]]

Previously, Graham Miln wrote:

Mark, thank you for the positive comments about Power Manager.

You bet, very good product.

Could you get in touch and let me know about the quirks you want smoothed in the future versions?

They are minor things, nothing to be concerned about.

Allow me a bit of time to do some more playing with it, about a day from now at the latest.

Will post my comments in this NG.

Thanks again for a useful utility.

Mark-

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