Hot CPU? Three Ways to Keep Your Cool

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For a product as cool as the MacBook Pro, it sure does get hot. Too hot, sometimes. I’ve had many laptops in my time, and I’d never go back to plastic IBM compatibles as long as Apple (s aapl) keeps churning out these beautiful aluminum machines. But heat dissipation is a real problem for anyone who makes their MacBook work hard.

It’s important to keep temperatures as low as possible because a hot CPU is a stressed CPU, and if a processor runs too hot for too long, it runs a higher risk of becoming damaged. Until then, a machine that runs too hot is prone to freezing or crashing.
There are two things to keep in mind before we get started. The first is that — for the most part — MacBooks don’t normally “overheat.” Sure, they get hot, but they are designed to get hot. A casual few minutes spent on Google reveals far too many people casually talking about their machines “overheating,” when what they really mean is that their machines are getting “hot.” And by “hot,” we mean “very warm.” But not painfully hot. And certainly not egg-frying hot. If your MacBook truly reaches those temperatures, you should stop using it and take it to your nearest Apple dealer for repair, not complain about it on discussion boards!
The second thing to keep in mind is that a MacBook’s fans have been pre-programmed by Apple. There’s more on this below, but it’s worth remembering that Apple has invested a great deal of time and expense developing today’s MacBook range. If anyone can be considered an expert in MacBook cooling, it’s Apple. So if you are unsure about how to proceed, or don’t feel comfortable modifying your Mac’s settings, then simply skip to the Common Sense Fix below.
I have a three-pronged approach to keeping my MacBook cool. There’s the Hardware Fix, the Software Fix and, overarching both of those, the Common Sense Fix. Let’s start with that one. Read More about Hot CPU? Three Ways to Keep Your Cool

Want To Cut Storage Power? Turn Off Disks

If you’re running a data center, energy costs are a top concern. It takes power to run computers, store data and keep the place cool. In 2007, the U.S. spent $1.3B to power and cool drives, according to IDC. “We estimate that 60 to 80 percent of power costs in data centers are related to storage,” Suresh Panikar, director of worldwide marketing for storage controller maker Adaptec, says.

Most drives can shut down after a period of idleness to conserve power and reduce wear and tear. Unfortunately, many operating systems constantly write housekeeping data, such as registry information or timestamps, to attached drives. This keeps them spinning and, as a result, using power.

Adaptec is tackling the cost of storage with a line of RAID controllers that can reduce the power a drive uses by more than 70 percent, depending on the model, simply by powering it off. The new controllers — part of the company’s Green Power initiative — are smart enough to identify this housekeeping data. They store it in a battery-backed cache and only write to the drive when really needed. The controller can also periodically spin up long-idle drives to check their health. Read More about Want To Cut Storage Power? Turn Off Disks

Bursting the Cloud Bubble: 5 Reasons It’s Not Just Hype

With all the hype about cloud computing, it’s easy to label it as the latest fad, especially when everyone whose application talks Internet is trying to rebrand themselves as a cloud. But the long view shows that this really is an important change, one of several major shifts in computing that have taken place over the last 40 years, each of them driven by costs and shortages.

Once upon a time, computing was expensive. As a result, programmers carried their stacks of punched cards into basements late at night, and ran them on the mainframe. The CPU was always busy; humans were cheap.

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One red paperclip and a dream

I don’t write about non-tech related stuff very often but when someone comes up with a truly innovative idea I just have to talk about it. Kyle MacDonald is a blogger in Montreal who has a dream. He had a red paper clip sitting by his computer and an idea was born. What if he could trade that red paper clip for something better, and then continue trading up until he traded for a house. Or an island. Or a house on an island. So the One Red Paperclip blog was born and so far Kyle has traded up several times and now owns a red power generator. The cool thing that Kyle is getting out of this is not the items he is trading for, no he’s getting a host of experiences he would otherwise not have. Kyle travels to personally trade with each party that has something they are willing to part with and he is meeting some nice folks from all over. He chronicles the whole process on his blog and has been mentioned in the New York Times and USA Today. You go, Kyle.