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MacBooks Experiencing Bluetooth Problems

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the don't-sleep-too-good-either dept.

Bug 120

flowolf writes in with news that Apple seems to be having difficulty getting to grips with a Bluetooth problem on MacBooks. Bluetooth goes unavailable intermittently from what users are assuming is a hardware problem, and while it's out the machines won't stay in sleep mode. Complaints started last spring on the Apple forum, which is still quite active. Many people have had to send their MacBooks for repair more than once without a satisfactory resolution.

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So? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20821421)

Oh noez. And about a week ago they released a keyboard update to improve usability. And a graphics update so the freak'n iMacs would stop freezing (though some still are).

Let's hurry up and post another article about the Intel microcode update so we can flame them too.

Obviously.... (-1, Troll)

packetmon (977047) | about 7 years ago | (#20821435)

Must be some new patch Apple [] put out to disable its users from using their equipment in a meaningful way.

Re:Obviously.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20823843)

It turned out people were listening to music from iTunes over Bluetooth, which violated the T&C. Apple just 'fixed' the problem.

I got the fix right here (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20821445)

You have a tooth problem from sucking so much dicks

Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (5, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | about 7 years ago | (#20821469)

I recently moved, and found some troubling differences in Bluetooth performance. At the old place, my bluetooth keyboard and mouse worked quite solidly: smooth responsive mouse motion and I could type full speed without problems. The range was quite good with no deterioration at 5ft. At the new place, the mouse often jitters or sloshes as I move it, and if I type quickly, once in a while it will receive the keystrokes in a different order. (At first I felt it was just an occasional transpose mistake on my part, but every once in a while, a whole word will be received *mostly* backwards.) There's a noticeable improvement/degradation effect if I simply move a Coke can around on my desk, even if I keep the mouse within about 2ft of the Mac. The mouse is so bad I switched to an older radio-based wireless mouse instead.

I'm guessing from other cases mentioned on the web that Bluetooth gets stuck trying to resend packets if there's interference killing some packets. I imagine this sort of jitter and resend loop can be a big problem if it happens in a sleep mode.

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (4, Interesting)

AltGrendel (175092) | about 7 years ago | (#20821547)

I'd be curious as to the age difference between the two places. Newer construction tends to use the metal studs internally for drywall, I'd like to know if that makes a difference. Did you move from a townhouse to a house. An apartment maybe?

Anyway, I'm sure that the difference in construction have a lot to do with it.

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (2, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | about 7 years ago | (#20821701)

I would have thought that adding metal would make the signal worse. If anything, it's the opposite. I moved from a 12-year old apartment building with steel central vents, and a glass-and-steel desk, to a 120-year old house with wood floors, slat-and-lath walls, and a mostly wood desk. If anything, the old place must have been *absorbing* signal.

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (2)

rootofevil (188401) | about 7 years ago | (#20822511)

crappy wiring in the old place may have something to do with it. crappy cabling = leaky RF = interference.

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | about 7 years ago | (#20822581)

I don't know, my apartment is about 100 years old and has something that looks like chickenwire in the wall(some metal mesh). It seems that it was used to keep all the straws in places that holds the cement. Anyway it does a good job of blocking wifi.
It is layered like this:
[cement] [straws] [metal wire] [wood planks in a # pattern] [metal wire] [straws] [cement]

These are walls that does not carry any weight, those that does, are at the very least 11 inches of bricks, the outer walls are almost double that. Although that might be a good thing in this case, since I guess that limits the range of my net to the outside world(if I covered the windows with something).

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (3, Funny)

bigdavesmith (928732) | about 7 years ago | (#20822839)

[cement] [straws] [metal wire] [wood planks in a # pattern] [metal wire] [straws] [cement]
I love your construction description.

[bun] [meat] [cheese] [lettuce] [tomato] [pickle] [bun]

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | about 7 years ago | (#20824749)

What about the [ketchup] and the [mustard]? That burger is being abused!

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | about 7 years ago | (#20824695)

Dude. I'm in my mid 20's and even I have heard of plaster walls [] . Where have you been?

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (2, Informative)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | about 7 years ago | (#20824745)

It is called wire lath (spelling?) It was (maybe still is) used with plaster walls. I had it in a house built in the 1950s. FM, wireless signals only worked in that room, not room to room. Even cell signals had issues. Then again having that wire on the walls and ceilings made each room like a Faraday cage.

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (1)

PlatyPaul (690601) | about 7 years ago | (#20821563)

Strange... I've never had any problems with my 4-years ancient Bluetooth keyboard and mouse despite placing it in locations where other signals (most notably WiFi) were noticeably dampened.

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (1)

alphafoo (319930) | about 7 years ago | (#20823339)

I have the same issue with letters getting transposed if I am typing quickly on my Apple BT keyboard. Sometimes just a letter or two, but sometimes a whole word is reversed. I am not clever enough to do that on my own so I'm guessing it's a BT issue.

But I am on my third Mac notebook in just 18 months (PowerBook then MBPro then MBPro again) after the first two had to be replaced following months of hardware failures, and I'd like a little time off from interacting with Apple's support folks on a weekly basis, so I will live with the occasional drow transposed.

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (1)

A440Hz (1054614) | about 7 years ago | (#20824095)

Did you try Mountain Dew instead of Coke?

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20825927)

I recently moved, and found some troubling differences in Bluetooth performance.
Maybe you need to hire more gentle movers.

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (1)

code4fun (739014) | about 7 years ago | (#20830423)

I have a PPC based Mac mini with an Apple bluetooth keyboard. This thing works flawlessly! I also have a USB based Microsoft wireless laser mouse 6000 which works great. The only time I ever get a "Lost connection" is when I need to replace batteries for my wireless keyboard and/or mouse.

Having said that, I have a Mac Book Pro which I bought a nice Microsoft Presenter Mouse 8000. I am, however, seeing intermittent problems with it, but I'm not sure it is a hardware problem. Also, I don't really know how Bluetooth works or the time to debug this. The thing I see is my Bluetooth mouse just loses connection after a few minutes of inactivity... The way I get around this is to just keep moving the mouse around until my laptop responds to it. It usually takes a few seconds and sometimes I have to do something more drastic by turning the switch off on the mouse and turning it back on before the Mac recognize the device.

A couple things I need to point out here: First, the Microsoft Presenter Mouse is a hybrid mouse which also has presenter buttons and a laser pointer (currently supported on Windows and not supported on the Mac). Typically, Microsoft supplies their own mouse drivers, but this one did not have drivers for OS X so I'm using the generic mouse driver. This could be part of the problem...

Second, my mouse came with a USB bluetooth dongle, but I was able to use the built-in Apple Bluetooth by successfully pairing it. This required pressing and holding the reset button on the mouse for a few seconds until it was in discovery mode. I then went in the System Preference's bluetooth utility to add the mouse device. I did not want to have to carry the dongle around with me. In fact, I seem to have lost that dongle piece...

Third, I had found the pairing instruction for the Mac and my Microsoft mouse by doing a search on the net. So, this is really something unofficial and neither Microsoft nor Apple suggested. The only way I can prove this is a hardware problem is to go buy another mouse, preferably an Apple brand mighty mouse which one would hope have better software support. Considering I spent $100 for this mouse, I'm less inclined to pay for another mouse.

One thing I read on the subject threads is that users are having problems putting their Macs to sleep. I must say I do not have this problem. My Mac goes to sleep without problems. It wakes up when I move the mouse or press a key. However, the mouse only stays connected for a few seconds (3-5 secs) and then loses connection again. I then have to keep moving the mouse until the Mac responds to it or I toggle the switch. The workaround is a bit annoying...

Again, I can't conclude what I'm seeing is a hardware problem. It could be an issue with the software stack or the driver mishandling an event. I'm hoping the latter since it is easier to fix.

If there is anyone with similar hardware and have a better user experience, please share it with the rest of us. ;-)

Re:Bluetooth mice and keyboards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20830427)

You know, this is funny.

After going back for 3 times through applecare I got a brand new macbook because my bluetooth was defect (it went on/off/on/off/on/off).

Nobody believed me then.... now see this.

Apple should focus more on these problems in early stages.

Not to worry (5, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | about 7 years ago | (#20821471)

Complaints started last spring on the Apple forum, which is still quite active.

Oh don't worry, we're working on erasing those complaints.

- Apple's Support Team

Re:Not to worry (0, Troll)

mattgreen (701203) | about 7 years ago | (#20821907)

I'm betting you're going to get 1 or 2 troll moderations by the end of the day.

Blame Microsoft, Again. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20824909)

This is more fallout from the ACPI dissaster [] and highlights the risks Apple take in using Intel hardware.

Going Intel was a bad idea for Apple for more than technical reasons. Apple is now subject to hardware sabotage of the kind M$ likes to inflict. They took this risk for the dubious ability of their customers to buy and run M$ software under virtual machines, which can be sabotaged with an "update". In other words, the only "benefit" of moving to second rate hardware is the ability of their customers to waste money on M$ software that eventually won't work.

Non free software sucks life and M$ sucks harder than any.

Re:Blame Microsoft, Again. (2, Insightful)

lazy_playboy (236084) | about 7 years ago | (#20825949)

I always assumed apple went to Intel for the better processors. PowerPC always seemed a bit of a dead end compared to x86 to me.
I really can't imagine apple wanting to suck up to running microsoft software.

Re:Blame Microsoft, Again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20826769)

Twitter has already posted once [] on this story - but because he can only post once a day because of his negative karma (mostly due to ignorant falsehoods such as the ones in this post and his journal) he's now shilling his point of view anonymously.

Silence from Apple (5, Interesting)

klagermkii (791101) | about 7 years ago | (#20821515)

The real problem is the total lack of communication from anyone on Apple's side to these kinds of problems. Bluetooth problems have been an ongoing issue since I started using Tiger (10.4.4), with everything from the aforementioned "Bluetooth unavailable", to problems with using DUN via Bluetooth (dial up too often via DUN and it just mysteriously dies), to issues where Bluetooth PAN simply disables itself. Now after a good 2 years this kind of stuff gets really tiring but no one at Apple says a word which adds an extra layer of frustration to the whole process. Are they even aware of the problems from their aluminium tower?

Now compare that with Microsoft who also had Bluetooth problems [] with their phones, and you can actually get some kind of interactivity with the developers. Your end users might end up being a bit nasty to you on the forum, but it's far less than the ill-feelings your brand generates if you just clam up.

Re:Silence from Apple (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#20821739)

The real problem is the total lack of communication from anyone on Apple's side to these kinds of problems.
This seems to be Apple's MO in recent years at least. Because all of their grass-root marketing efforts revolve around "it just works," they seem reluctant to acknowledge when problems do exist.

Look, Apple, there's nothing shameful about having problems in your product. It happens all the time. The computing industry is relatively young, and the technology that's involved is usually not very mature compared to products in other industries. It's far better to admit there's a problem than to go on pretending it doesn't exist. "We acknowledge there's a problem and we're working on a fix," is far better than "Problem? What problem?"

Re:Silence from Apple (1)

topham (32406) | about 7 years ago | (#20821905)

Meanwhile, some of us have been using Bluetooth on OS X since 10.3 and never experienced significant issues.
3 different machines. G5, MacBook Pro (CD), and iMac Core Duo.

Re:Silence from Apple (1)

klagermkii (791101) | about 7 years ago | (#20822435)

Meanwhile, some of us have been using Bluetooth on OS X since 10.3 and never experienced significant issues. 3 different machines. G5, MacBook Pro (CD), and iMac Core Duo.

I don't doubt that. I'm sure that 95% of Mac users that use Bluetooth never experience any problems with it at all. Maybe the other 5% just suffer from some strange combination of being unlucky, or aren't using Apple designed Bluetooth devices [] (I was unable to use that mouse properly for a good month before I found that hint), put more traffic over Bluetooth than the average person, or put their MacBooks to sleep instead of shutting them down (the forum linked in the story has that as quite a common theme).

The problem is we're not just making this shit up to be difficult, and without any kind of comment from Apple those with problems get worried that the good people at Apple may take your approach and go "I've never had any problems, so you must be doing something wrong". All I want is them to either say
1) "Yes, we know there's a problem and we're trying to figure out how to fix it. Be patient." or
2) "We can't find this problem but we believe that you're not just lying, here's a logging tool that you use when it fails that will give us an idea of what was happening."

Re:Silence from Apple (1)

thegnu (557446) | about 7 years ago | (#20828817)

That sounds like the problem with the electrical jack on the G4 iBooks. Not everybody had it.

Re:Silence from Apple (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | about 7 years ago | (#20824341)

I wonder it's a problem with Bluetooth itself. First Microsoft was having problems with bluetooth devices, then Sony with their PS3 controllers, and now Apple? That can't just be a coincidence.

Re:Silence from Apple (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 7 years ago | (#20824905)

Maybe the bluetooth has a cavity problem?

Re:Silence from Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20826107)

"The real problem is"

That as a standard Bluetooth blows chunks. Bluetooth mates a crappy low cost, low performance, 1970's technology frequency hoping radio with a more modern (read expensive) base band. So you have the worst of both worlds. The silicon footprint needed to support all the bells and whistles of a high end network base band with all of the low performance of a low data rate frequency hopper. The result is a standard the is remarkably expensive, slow, and prone to interference, that does not play well with others. Added is that trying to get frequency hoppers to connect quickly to the network is a hard problem with no real reliable solution.

It's sort of understandable why that was done, when the standard was developed one had to use Gallium Arsenide to build 2.4HGz radios. That technology is expensive and true spread spectrum was novel. So the idea was build a very minimal radio in GA and mate it to a standard network interface. Bluetooth would then be the standard that noobs at home use for their home networking and 802.11b being so very expensive would be the standard that businesses would use for wireless networks. On the other hand those guys were smoking crack. Mostly because they were a bunch of bell heads. Decreasing transistor size meant that by the late 1990's it was possible to integrate a 2.4GHz radio onto standard CMOS. And the $100 per point cost for 802.11 in the late 90's was going to decrease exponentially. Something that is expected in the chip business, but not so much in the bell head world. It is even more crazy when you think how much it costs to run a wire in a home (running a wire $100 clams... 802.11 $100 clams... hmm...), and how your average teenage boy wants to take his laptop into his room and flap to porn, which requires a connection speed well above the 0.5 MHZ that bluetooth offers. And how at the office people are mostly sitting in one place slopping emails around. Madness.

The best thing that could be done would be to add a low data rate spec to the 802.11 family of standards. So that wireless mice, keyboards, etc could talk directly to the 802.11 wireless network hardware. The changes needed on the 802.11 side of things would be mostly minor changes to the base band and firmware, dirt cheap. On the HID (mice/keyboards) side, 2.4GHz radios on Standard CMOS are dirt cheap, and the base band requirements for HID cable replacement are minimal, think USB). That would be simple, reliable, and low cost. And the standard would play well with others.

Safari's acting up recently too (-1, Offtopic)

Deacon_Yermouf (900678) | about 7 years ago | (#20821519)

I don't know about anyone else, but it seems to me that the recent round of updates has done something to slow Safari. Some sites hang, seemingly at random. I open the same sites in Firefox, and they load just as quickly as they used to. Other people I've talked to seem to have the same problem... I wonder if it's widespread.

Re:Safari's acting up recently too (1)

MichaelWhi (906967) | about 7 years ago | (#20821537)

on my mbp with all updates installed safari is just still the fastest browser I can get (didn't really tried OmniPro, I have to admit) - faster compared to both FF and camino.

Bluetooth, meh (5, Interesting)

kevmatic (1133523) | about 7 years ago | (#20821561)

I haven't been terribly impressed with bluetooth. I bought a (rather expensive) bluetooth mouse for my Acer laptop, and I keep experiencing random disconnects in Windows with it. Not in Kubuntu, though. The mouse works perfectly in Linux.

And evidently the XP Bluetooth stack is some third party thing you can uninstall and reinstall, because I had to reinstall it to even get it to do anything.

And it seems that most phones have very few bluetooth features beyond headsets. Like you can't upload and download photos without some crappy phone tools software if you have a Motorola.

Has anyone found bluetooth to be reliable for them? Any success stories?

Re:Bluetooth, meh (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20821645)

When it comes to Bluetooth on phones, your issue is with the provider. Try GSM phones instead of Verizon.

With my Motorola RAZR from Cingular/AT&T, I can download/upload images and songs/ringtones via the Browse device on my PowerBook. I can also sync my calendar and address book with ease. I can pair my Headset and my Acura TL Handsfree with ease. And last, but not least, I experience the good old days of slow Internet browsing when I use it as a modem. (It's slow because it's GPRS.)

So, yeah. Cell phone provider's suck. The only ones that let you do anything good with your phone are those that don't require your phone to physically designed to only work with that provider. I just wish there was a better option than AT&T in my area. (T-Mobile doesn't work 5 feet into my house.)

same towers (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 7 years ago | (#20823175)

I just wish there was a better option than AT&T in my area. (T-Mobile doesn't work 5 feet into my house.)

That's highly unlikely, given the tower-sharing and roaming agreements beween TMobile and AT&T/Cingular.

You're seeing a difference in handset capabilities, not providers.

Re:same towers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20823299)

I had T-Mobile for exactly 2 days. I had the Sony Erricson T-610 phone. 5 feet away from my front windows or 5 feet away from my back windows it didn't work. Did not matter which floor I was on.

I switched to AT&T Wireless with the Sony Erricson T-616 phone. No problems anywhere in my house.

I think, while Cingular/AT&T may have shared _some_towers with T-Mobile, they obviously didn't share them all.

That was, at least, 3 years ago. I haven't tried recently. I could try again, I guess, but AT&T is so much fun...

Re:Bluetooth, meh (1)

trix7117 (835907) | about 7 years ago | (#20826149)

While it's true that the providers are (most) responsible for the limited Bluetooth functionality on phones, most of the things you mention being able to do are possible with a year-old KRZR on Verizon (although I can't believe I'm defending them). Out of the box I was able to transfer pictures and songs (not ringtones) to/from my Mac Mini using Bluetooth. With a few tweaks to iSync, the KRZR was able to sync my calendar and address book as well. Of course, it also synced with the TL Handsfree, but that's to be expected.

Some hacking of the phone allows you to use it as a modem without signing up for Verizon's expensive data plans, but I don't believe that feature is available out of the box (I didn't try until after I had flashed my phone). Of course, the Verizon firmware that they put on every phone is so bad that I flashed my KRZR over to the Alltel/Motorola firmware within 2 days of getting the phone, but that wasn't necessary to use most of the bluetooth functions.

Re:Bluetooth, meh (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 7 years ago | (#20822221)

Has anyone found bluetooth to be reliable for them? Any success stories?

Not sure, but I have a strange situation with a Plantronics 910 bluetooth earbug that I use with its associated USB dongle for Skype. (Incidentally, it's apparently also capable of being used with mobile phones, but I haven't tried this.)

Anyway, I have a lot of drop-outs and white noise when used with my computer and USB2.0, but on my old computer at work, which only has USB1.1, reception and transmission are crystal clear. Go figure. Maybe it's just this machine, but I won't know until I've tried it with more candidates.

Re:Bluetooth, meh (1)

langelgjm (860756) | about 7 years ago | (#20823071)

And it seems that most phones have very few bluetooth features beyond headsets. Like you can't upload and download photos without some crappy phone tools software if you have a Motorola.

This is a result of vendor lock-in. It seems a lot of cellular companies want to be able to charge you $3 for a ringtone, so they disable Bluetooth file-transfer in case you thought you might do it yourself.

I just bought a new unlocked phone, and besides headset, I can use all the file transfer features, in addition to using it as a modem. My old phone was an S60-based smartphone, and I was actually able to use a portable keyboard with it. I liked it, but it was non-US tri-band (and being held together with a rubber band), so I had to replace it.

Re:Bluetooth, meh (2, Informative)

ArcticFlood (863255) | about 7 years ago | (#20823825)

I use Bluetooth on a daily basis, though it is mostly with a Nokia 6126 and a Motorola headset. I also have a cheap Bluetooth USB adapter, and I use that fairly frequently. On Kubuntu, I can push files and games to my phone, pull pictures from my phone, and even control Amarok from my phone to a degree [] . I had similar luck with transferring files under my previous Gentoo installation. I can also connect my headset to my computer for Skype after running a command with the address of the headset.

My friend's new RIZR phone will not work with my phone, but it accepted my headset and took files from my computer (though slowly). USB was a better option for transferring files, which worked (to my surprised, as the previously owned RAZR didn't work with USB).

However, I have began to have more disconnects and range problems since moving into college dorms. Most of the time, I can see at least two other computers (one of which I know is a Mac). I don't know how many other devices are out there, but I do think that this is the problem (since disconnects happen even putting the devices adjacent to each other). The disconnections are mostly between my phone and my headset, though. Once my computer gets connected to something, it's pretty good.

Regarding Windows (2000 in this case), I recall hearing problems from my dad about using a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard on a desktop computer. The problem was not disconnects (usually). It was causing the CPU usage to skyrocket during screensaver (which had to be set to 5 minutes for a program he used for work).

Re:Bluetooth, meh (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 7 years ago | (#20824343)

Has anyone found bluetooth to be reliable for them? Any success stories?
Yup. My Wiimotes have pretty reliable reception.

Re:Bluetooth, meh (2, Informative)

el_gordo101 (643167) | about 7 years ago | (#20824581)

Verizon for sure disables many of the bluetooth (and other) features of their phones. If you are feeling brave, you can go to [] , look up your make/model of phone and see if they have instructions as to how to enable these features. You do run the risk of bricking your phone, you most certainly will void your warranty, and Verizon will not even look at the phone if you bring it into the shop, but you can hack the phones to turn on all the features that they disable.

Re:Bluetooth, meh (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | about 7 years ago | (#20826539)

>>I haven't been terribly impressed with bluetooth.

I have mixed results. I use Logitech MX5000 keyboard and mouse with Ubuntu. Had to do some tweaking with Edgy Eft to get them to work (running it via USB bluetooth dongle), but since then, no problem whatsoever - even after upgrading to Gutsy Gibbon.

But when I use the same mouse with T60 running XP, I see the connection breaking once in a while. And this is very surprising - given the fact that T60 hardware as well as XP both are supposed to work with bluetooth out of box, not my old machine without any bluetooth capability running on Ubuntu.

Re:Bluetooth, meh (1)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | about 7 years ago | (#20829409)

And evidently the XP Bluetooth stack is some third party thing you can uninstall and reinstall, because I had to reinstall it to even get it to do anything.

Your problem sounds more like an issue with the phone.

However, there is a Microsoft Bluetooth Stack available for XP, and Vista ships with a native stack.

Yes (3, Interesting)

El Lobo (994537) | about 7 years ago | (#20821597)

My girlfriend (yes, I have one) have a macbook pro and has been experimenting this problem since the day she bough the thing. Sometimes it works well, but some days blue toth connections just intermitently sut downs and there is no way to get it right. The thing is that there is no way to consistently reproduce the problem.

The funny thing is that Apple support here in Stockholm said to here that "there is nothing wrong with it".... Oh well...

Re:Yes (1, Funny)

MikeTheMan (944825) | about 7 years ago | (#20821819)

I think your post fell into a spelling tornado on the way here.

Re:Yes (3, Funny)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | about 7 years ago | (#20824235)

Either that or he is typing this on his girlfriend's mcbook with a bluetooth keyboard which is losing packets intermittently.

Re:Yes (1)

Pope (17780) | about 7 years ago | (#20821827)

Not related to the MBP, but I was having problems with my Mini disconnecting my Bluetooth mouse & keyboard after bootup, sometimes after a minute, sometimes longer. Restarts, re-installs, nothing seemed to work. On a whim I installed Temperature Monitor, and found out that the fan controller had stopped working, and the machine was running super hot! Once the temp got beyond a certain point, BT stopped working. Using a fan control program to keep the temps below 60C seems to have fixed it.

Re:Yes (1)

Mistah Blue (519779) | about 7 years ago | (#20822033)

You may have found the problem for lots of BT issues! I use a V270 on my work ThinkPad T60p and it occasionally disconnets. Power cycling the mouse is sufficient to re-establish the connection. It tends to happen only after the laptop has been on for quite a while (such as an extended period at home on the dock).

Re:Yes (1)

analog_line (465182) | about 7 years ago | (#20821879)

The thing is that there is no way to consistently reproduce the problem.

You've just hit the nail on the head. THIS is the real problem. As someone that does tech support work, and has had to deal with many inconsistent problems like this, the fact that it isn't reproducible makes it near impossible to fix it without a total replacement of the systems involved with it.

I had some issues with a PC I built, where it would randomly reboot itself. Electrical fault you'd say, and you'd be right I'd imagine. Except, which part of the PC caused this problem? Rebooting didn't happen at any particular time, or after taking any particular action. I don't have a magical electronics problem detector wand. I ended up having to replace every piece of hardware except the memory and the CD burner before the problem stopped. I can't say I'm the best at troubleshooting problems with hardware, but I'm at least as good as the people working at the "Genius Bar" at the Apple Store. If it something works correctly every time you try to use it, what reasonable person is going to come to the conclusion that it's actually broken?

Re:Yes (0, Offtopic)

Nimey (114278) | about 7 years ago | (#20821919)

My girlfriend (yes, I have one)
I call BS until you post JPEGs. :-)

Re:Yes (0, Offtopic)

suv4x4 (956391) | about 7 years ago | (#20821925)

My girlfriend (yes, I have one)

Where's your temple, oh mighty one, so I could fall on my knees and praise you!

Re:Yes (1)

illumin8 (148082) | about 7 years ago | (#20825449)

Sometimes it works well, but some days blue toth connections just intermitently sut downs and there is no way to get it right. The thing is that there is no way to consistently reproduce the problem.
Sounds like you have 2.4 ghz. interference in your area, probably caused by too many wireless APs/cordless phones/microwave ovens/etc.

I'm not sure who's braindead idea it was to invent the Bluetooth protocol using 2.4 ghz, then proceed to embed it into notebook computers that use 2.4ghz for their WiFi cards as well. You have a recipe for disaster. Two competing wireless devices in the same box using the same frequency. Sure, they are designed to work in shared public spectrum, but not all devices play nicely, and not all devices handle interference well.

I would have loved to see Bluetooth use 5.8 ghz spectrum, which is also available for non-commercial public use, but seems to have fewer devices that share it.

Re:Yes (1)

juniorbird (74686) | about 7 years ago | (#20826529)

I can consistently reproduce the problem -- switch to Windows XP. I've never been able to keep Bluetooth consistently working on my Dell.

Re:Yes (1)

GNious (953874) | about 7 years ago | (#20827389)

Does your Dell use Toshiba bluetooth hardware? Many do (e.g. D620), and it is utter crap. Honestly, I've been through several BT stacks and HW implementations, and nothing comes close to the utter ********** that is Toshiba Bluetooth. Actually impressive that they can get it THAT wrong. Even the older Linux releases would come out ahead of the latest stack from Toshiba (at least in some areas).

Bluetooth? Stay away from Toshiba and Apple (since Apple seems to think it is only for mice, keyboards and phone-headsets)


Old problems... (2, Interesting)

sakusha (441986) | about 7 years ago | (#20821613)

I've noticed a few oddities with Apple's BlueTooth keyboards and mice, but nothing that makes them totally unusable. I have a Quad G5 and a BlueTooth Keyboard and Mighty Mouse. Every two weeks or so, I get a "Lost Connection" message about my mouse, it goes totally dead, so I have to plug in a USB mouse, go to BT Settings, and manually re-pair the mouse before it will work again. Now just the other day, I got the same error with my Apple BlueTooth Keyboard, had to re-pair that too. But after the re-pair, everything works fine. I'm baffled, there is no obvious cause for the loss of contact, and even if it was something basic like RF interference, the devices should work again if I just power them down and back up again. But that's not sufficient, I have to delete previous BT settings and re-pair. That sounds like a software problem in the OS or drivers. Oh well, it doesn't happen often enough to be more than a minor annoyance.

I use external Bluetooth (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20821623)

I got a sweet offer on an Apple store refurb GMA950-based iMac (the late 2006 educational one). That means having to use external Bluetooth. Sometimes, it simply doesn't see the dongle (I've tried 2, my current choice being one of Belkin's that came with a BT keyboard) on reboot (and very occasionally on waking), so I have to remove and re-insert. On my old Powerbook, which used PCMCIA Bluetooth, sleeping kills Bluetooth more often. They're both running 10.4.10, so I concluded that something was just crappy in Apple's Bluetooth support - every other USB/PCMCIA device is detected fine. But I guess that provides a solution for people with problems: disable internal Bluetooth and find a dongle.

It also seems to take a good 10 seconds to reconnect all Bluetooth-connected devices, but that might be to do with the dongles being Bluetooth 1.x - can anyone please suggest a USB Bluetooth 2.0+EDR USB dongle that works grrreat in OS X?

Re:Gotta be 10.4.10 (1)

jddj (1085169) | about 7 years ago | (#20825043)

This started happening on my Powerbook G4 right after upgrading to OS X 10.4.10 - never had trouble before.

Sounds like Apple service to me (1)

teneighty (671401) | about 7 years ago | (#20821649)

I've found Apple to be a real PITA to deal with for hardware with intermittent faults. I recently had a bad experience with that with a MacBook with a faulty MagSafe connector that still hasn't been replaced because Apple's tech support doesn't believe me, since he claimed it was "not a known problem"!

Apple's support is medicore consumer-level stuff at best. It's little wonder that few businesses purchase Macs.

Re:Sounds like Apple service to me (3, Insightful)

captainjaroslav (893479) | about 7 years ago | (#20821735)

Consumer Reports' surveys consistently give Apple's support the highest rating of any computer company. Enterprise-level support might be a different story, but calling their consumer-level support "mediocre at best" is not an opinion that is supported statistically. What it may mean, of course, is that the entire industry's support is so awful that Apple only looks good in comparison. I'm just sayin'.

Re:Sounds like Apple service to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20824025)

That's just because it is against the religion of the MAC fanboy club: hear no evil, see no evil.

Re:Sounds like Apple service to me (1)

FellowConspirator (882908) | about 7 years ago | (#20824881)

There are three companies that I have to deal with for issues related to hardware problems, ironically both for home and work (large biotech): Dell, HP, and Apple.

If I'm calling related to an issue with a system at work: HP is the least responsive (they are our companie's "preferred" vendor) and Dell and Apple are both excellent (for Dell, we purchase the highest level of support and, for Apple, we just have standard AppleCare).

If I'm calling related to an issue with a system at home: HP is more or less worthless, Dell is onerous but, if you persist for long enough they general fix whatever the issue is. Apple has proven to be quite good. Actually, I'd give Apple some additional points because, despite a large segment of their user-base being non-technical, they don't treat you like a computer-neophyte and they seem quite comfortable listening to a problem and rationally troubleshooting it with you rather than adhering to a script.

Since someone mentioned forums: Dell does sometimes respond to users in their forums directly, and even usefully. Typically, they are people with technical acumen. HP, not so much. Apple's forums are user-only and you never see any posts from employees. That said, the majority of useful content on all of them is user-submitted responses to questions. The users are invariably more candid, concise, and correct with their responses.

Re:Sounds like Apple service to me (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 7 years ago | (#20825747)

It's not just Consumer Reports either. Nearly ALL reviews of computer service rank Apple #1, and usually by a huge margin.

Re:Sounds like Apple service to me (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | about 7 years ago | (#20822431)

I have to post my own anecdata refuting yours. A few months after I bought my eMac, strange things started happening. The guy on the phone was great, he didn't talk down to me, once I told him all the things I'd tried (resetting the PRAM, etc) he didn't try to explain to me how to reboot the computer or anything (unlike my other main tech support experiences, with cable companies). He told me where I could get to the RAM and how to test each stick, and said that if either was bad to take it to the Apple store. I took the bad stick of RAM to the store, they tested it, and handed me a new one. The whole process was amazingly painless. I was really worried I'd have to take the whole 51-lb monstrosity to the store, but just bringing the RAM was enough.

FUD (3, Funny)

darinp (1076055) | about 7 years ago | (#20821691)

Steve would have told us if there were any issues. That's why we love Apple. Fellatio in exchange for things that just work. Everybody knows where they kneel.

Linux is free, Apples just work (0, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 7 years ago | (#20821693)

2 common misconceptions. Apples apparently 'just work' if you spend time crawling the forums.

Not a troll, just a comment. If you had to do this with a Dell, people would be all over Dell for bad HW. Since its Apple, its a vendor-sponsored Easter egg hunt.

Re:Linux is free, Apples just work (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about 7 years ago | (#20821789)

I've noticed that everyone seems to have a preconceived notion of "the cult of apple" and "if it were Windows, you'd be asking for a head on a platter" no matter what the issue is. (it's almost as ubiquitous as the "BSD is dying" comments). It's not that there aren't cultists with everything.. I mean c'mon... there's even a loyal following for bathroom cleaners for crying out loud.. but mistaking a lack of mob mentality (pitchforks and torches) when something goes wrong with Apple's stuff as a blind obedience to the Steve is sometimes off the mark... (but sometimes people are right to call 'em fanatics.) Blanket assertions such as yours simply agitate the cultists. ;)

Truth is, like it's been said in the thread above... bluetooth's pretty lame. The PS3 has random controller disconnects that affect some people, but not others... now we see Macbook issues with bluetooth (that now anecdotally seem to be in all Apple products with Bluetooth adapters installed... desktop and laptop...) I have no doubt that there's a bit of blame to go around on both sides of the fence, but from the looks of it, I'm betting bluetooth's still a little green.

(Not to mention I've only experienced the PS3 controller disconnect once... whereas others have many frustrating problems...)

*shrug* we'll see how it pans out.

Bluetooth sucks on my iMac compared to my Toshiba (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 7 years ago | (#20821773)

I use a BT headset for Skype and Vent. I have tried it on both my iMac and my Laptop, the laptop is a Toshiba Sattelite. Simply put, I never use BT on my iMac any more unless I want to be "tethered" to the machine as if with a cord.

Using the mac it got static from as little as 5 feet from the machine and it would go "choppy" on occasion even while sitting at the machine. My laptop meanwhile will let me get nearly across the house to the back patio before it goes to static. My laptop has also not lost communication with the BT headset.

Re:Bluetooth sucks on my iMac compared to my Toshi (1)

bhima (46039) | about 7 years ago | (#20822059)

I've got a quad G5 PowerMac and can say the same thing except I get the choppy sound with the headset pressed up against the bluetooth antenna on the back of the machine (under my desk). It did not always act like this... previously it would quickly crash the whole system and require a reboot. I use skype *a lot* and I've had so much trouble with using the Mac port I wound up putting skype on an old laptop running windows xp.

I was hoping when I moved to a MacPro this would not be an issue. :(

Re:Bluetooth sucks on my iMac compared to my Toshi (1)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | about 7 years ago | (#20829573)

I am far from an Apple apologist, but I have seen several laptop brands that have poor range when using internal bluetooth.

5 feet is extra short though. Usually 20feet range with a lot of 2.4ghz interference will kill a lot of bluetooth.

Sadly bluetooth is in a saturated radio range, and doesn't push much power. When it was first 'designed' it was more viable than when it started getting used as it is today with all the usage in the same range.

However, for the 'premium' people pay for Apple products, they deserve to get the upper end of components, and anymore Apple is average when it comes to hardware.

Apple needs more Engineers (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20821775)

I am starting to get fed up with OSX - I got a brand new replacement MacBook Pro after going through three weeks of unsuccessful repairs and damage during repair. I continously get dropped Aiport connections along with a ton of errors in system log about ath_intr_proc or something like that. Apple says they are aware of this problem - yeah ok, it's 3 months already. Where is the fix?

Next, every update kills some applications - 3rd time now, iWeb 2.0.2 update killed the whole iLife set of apps - they no longer start due to missing framework or something. This is a long known bug with Apple's linker dyld which zeroes shared libraries while pre-linking. No word from Apple on when/if it will be fixed - so people have to keep their fingers crossed everytime they do an update. Apple's response for the time being is to replace those zeroed files from install DVD. _ALL_ of my previously reported bugs (some 2 years old now) have had no updates from Apple yet.

Contrast this with MSFT - The network stall issue is already being worked upon and they handled the whole thing in a good way - there was even Developer interaction. Similarly with slow file copy I was able to talk to their support team and Engineers - a fix is already in place. Recently I tried installling Blackberry software which failed - Vista automatically applied right compatibility settings and restarted the install - it went on successfully. Vista is again very nice with Driver support attempts - Even with 64-bit edition, most of my MacBook Pro hardware gets drivers from Windows update - WHQL certified Silicon Image drivers for my expresscard SATA work flawlessly on Vista - suspend/resume/yanking-the-card all works fine. With Apple I have to download them from obscure Silicon Image website, they are not certified or tested, they crash regularly and even eat my iPod disk for no reason and I have nowhere to go to complain.

Microsoft is a company built to handle the problems that come with widespread success - Apple is clearly not and they need to recruit to catch up.

Re:Apple needs more Engineers (2, Funny)

Hanners1979 (959741) | about 7 years ago | (#20822073)

Favourably comparing Microsoft to Apple? With Vista as an example no less? You must be new here. ;)

Re:Apple needs more Engineers (2, Interesting)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | about 7 years ago | (#20822477)

I agree that Apple is stretched beyond its resources at the moment. They've even admitted as much when they delayed the next OS X because they were working on the iPhone. Personally I hate the iPhone, because from what I can tell it's destroying Apple from a company management standpoint. They are dealing with resource constraints now, getting more heavy handed than they have ever been when it came to hacking their devices and pre-announcing products to manage stock price. I wonder if we'll (other apple supporters/fanboys) look back and see the iPhone as the jump-the-shark moment for Apple?

Re:Apple needs more Engineers (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | about 7 years ago | (#20823237)

Contrast this with MSFT

What, you mean the way they had a fucked bluetooth stack on XP for about 4 years, and didn't have a bluetooth device driver programme, so that every bluetooth driver has to have the lame "Continue anyway" dialog when installing?

You're right, that does kind of suck.

Re:Apple needs more Engineers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20823695)

Yes, but the OEMs that sold you XP on the computers did provide a working Bluetooth stack - I have had no problems with any Bluetooth devices on XP. That my expresscard won't work with Macbook Pro, I need external, uncertified, untested drivers from third party to get it to work and when it eats my data I have no one to complain - sucks more than anything else has ever sucked. They need to get it right.

Re:Apple needs more Engineers (1)

Samizdata (1093963) | about 7 years ago | (#20828769)

Having recently dealt with a prelinking issue (10.4.10, G4 400), the key to avoiding such issues is simple...


The use of other applications can potentially interfere with the prelinking process. So, during those times, pretend the machine is radioactive or some such.

USB 1.1 related? (1)

ericof (175183) | about 7 years ago | (#20821801)

I'm facing the same problem with my MacBook and tried every recipe available to keep it working (send my MacBook for a 2 or 3 weeks vacation at Apple is not an option right now) and the one that worked for me was to unplug every USB 1.1 device (in my case a mouse and a keyboard connected to an USB hub) and restart the computer.

I know, it sucks, uptime is now comparable the ones we got with a win9x box, but, at least, it's working.

Non-story? (5, Insightful)

captainjaroslav (893479) | about 7 years ago | (#20821843)

Anecdotally, I have a MacBook and the Bluetooth has always worked fine, but I realize that anecdotal evidence isn't worth much.

For the very same reason, I'm not sure if this is a story if the only evidence to support it is a thread or threads on Apple's discussion pages. You hear this all the time: "Hundreds of people are posting to the forums about this problem, but [whatever company, Apple in this example] refused to acknowledge that it's a major problem!" Well, here's the thing, if the company sells millions of computers and a hundred people are having a problem... in fact, let's say that the posters on the forum represent only a small percentage of people that are having the problem, so, it's a few thousand units that have the problem, it's still statistically small, even if it looks like a major issue on the forum and feels like a major issue if it happens to you.

It's not that it's not important or that Apple shouldn't fix it, it's just that it's not a news story, IMO.

Posting this to Slashdot with no other links about the story seems like somebody's just looking for an excuse to write a negative Apple story, but maybe that's just my tinfoil hat talking.

Re:Non-story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20822177)

If there are hundreds on complaints on forums, there are probably ca. 100 times more people, who experience the problem, but don't complain on forums. And these people are still a small subset of the hundreds of thousands of people, who have the same fault on their Macbooks, but never experience it, because they don't use Bluetooth, or just happen to be lucky.

Re:Non-story? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 7 years ago | (#20822827)

People used to say the same thing about the Xbox 360 "Red Ring of Death" problem. At first MS tried to play it coy just as Apple is doing on the Blutooth issue. Then they finally came out and admitted that this problem effected some 30% of all consoles. Anecdotal evidence is just that until you start noticing an obvious pattern involving significant numbers of people. And it looks like this discussion here on /. is running about 2:1 in favor of "I've had blutooth problems on my Mac" vs. "I've not had any problems," which seems to suggest a definite pattern of problems (especially on a website that is traditionally very Apple friendly).

Logitech Bluetooth Has Similar Problems (2, Interesting)

Gertlex (722812) | about 7 years ago | (#20821881)

I use just a bluetooth mouse for my everyday computing.

My Logitech V270 occasionally stops working. The most efficient solution I've found has been to toggle my Dell laptop's bluetooth via the wireless hotkey (Fn + F2 for me), pause, turn off mouse, turn on bluetooth, pause, turn on mouse.

The fact that it occurs both with and without Logitech's Setpoint software indicates that it's either a hardware problem or bluetooth stack problem. And it's not just me, it's a common complaint on Logitech's forum that has gone unanswered.

Apple Userz.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20822915)


Seriously, quit sucking Steve Jobs' dick and get a real computer.....Apple is a dead company waiting to be buried.....

Weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20823055)

I haven't had any problems, but I only use it for my Wiimote, which I haven't done in a while.

This is obviously a lie. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20823231)

On Slashdot, Apple could never do anything wrong. Ever.

So an old thread at Apple equals news now? (2, Informative)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 7 years ago | (#20823279)

I have an Apple Macbook Pro and I've been using bluetooth wireless keyboard, mouse, cellphone, and headset without problems.

I'm not saying that these people aren't having problems. What I am asking is why this is "news" when the thread is old except a single post that was made this morning (maybe by the submitter?).

Anyway I'm sure that their problems will be resolved.

One last thing, it is hard to tell if the old issues were resolved from a forum thread because we depend on the original poster to keep us updated... Some people don't come back and post "Hey I found the problem...".

M$ and ACPI Strike Again. (0, Offtopic)

twitter (104583) | about 7 years ago | (#20824761)

This hardware failure has joined my M$ ACPI Poision" list. [] It shows that ACPI is a weapon against Apple as well as free software.

Re:M$ and ACPI Strike Again. (1, Informative)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | about 7 years ago | (#20825015)

Hey, look everyone, especially you Apple engineers. Stop your triage, stop your diagnosis, stop everything!

Twitter knows what the problem is! He's here to help.

Through the magic of his genius, and technical intuition, with almost no evidence whatsoever that the problem isn't circuitry, it's not temperature, it's not a bad driver, it's not any one of a hundred, if not a thousand potential causes, but that it's ACPI.

And ergo, despite ACPI being a standard developed by hardware companies, including Intel, HP, and others, we know the culprit, and who to blame:


Microsoft! Sorry, uhh, Micro$oft.

Fear not, loyal Apple fans and Linux lovers, we cannot lay fault at Apple's feet for this. It's purely the workings of the Evil Empire(TM). After all, Twitter said so...

"Widespread Issues" (2, Informative)

fauxhammer (1148803) | about 7 years ago | (#20824793)

Not a day goes by that I don't have a customer asking me if "I know about the problems that Apple is having with ____ product". More often than not its not a widespread problem at all. It's an isolated incident that has happened to a handful of people who have found eachother on Apple's support message board. By far the most common of these loaded questions i frequently receive is "Has Apple fixed the problem with the laptops running unbearably hot?"

The most common "widespread" problems that I see (and I work at an Apple authorized service provider) are bad power supplies on G5 iMacs (and this is extremely widespread), bad logic boards on G3 iBooks, and swelling batteries on 17" Macbook Pros. All of these problems except the iBook logic boards are still covered under warranty extension programs whether or not you paid for the extended warranty.

Re:"Widespread Issues" (1)

seb785 (1166045) | about 7 years ago | (#20828209)

I have to tell you that the "warranty extension programs" are a joke for me. I experienced those power supply problems on my iMac G5 (in 07/2006). There was already such a "warranty extension program" setup for the iMac. Call to Apple FRANCE (I was in that country) and they tell me to BRING (no shipping possible) the computer to an Apple repair center so that they can determine if it is covered by the program (a one an half hour drive each way). Then I was told that it was not exactly the problem described by the program that I was experiencing (my serial number should have been in that other range) and charged EUR 172 (that is around USD 240 today) for the power supply replacement (I could probably have bought a server redundant power supply for that price ...). In the mean time they issued a second "warranty extension program" for the iMac G5 power supply issues. I have been fighting for more than 6 months with Apple France and Apple US to get reimbursed (as they state in their program) and the procedure is still going on ... Probably if it happened in the US everything would have been smoother but I have to say that Apple France really SUCKS. Their hotline is unresponsive and you seem to be bothering people going for lunch when you call them (moreover you pay for each minute of the call, even waiting : that was for me around EUR 10). They don't make sure your issue is answered. Moreover they don't have Apple Stores like here in the US : you have to go to other company shops to buy your item or get them fixed. I don't understand why people in France buy their products at a 30-40% higher price than in the US for such a poor service and support.

Ah, so it's Bluetooth! That explains everything... (1)

Wonderkid (541329) | about 7 years ago | (#20825437)

I have been through TWO Rev A Macbooks. The first one was so unreliable and faulty, our (excellent) dealer (Micro Anvika, London) replaced it a few weeks after purchase. My second one, now a year old, has suffered ongoing problems related to sleep. a) After logging in, it would go back to sleep and be very difficult to wake up using a combination of closing and opening the lid or getting impatient and doing a data losing hard restart. b) The machine would simply not wake up from sleep or wake up with the pointer visible, but no login panel. (I have photo to prove it.) c) Machine waking up on and off during the night, despite the 'wake for network activity' checkbox switched OFF. In addition, my otherwise excellent Apple Bluetooth keyboard does sometimes lose the connection, although that could just be power saving. Anyway, what is interesting is that one of the service techs at Micro Anvika once mentioned they had to replace my Bluetooth module as it had failed while they were fixing something else. And they mentioned this was common. So, it seems all these reports are correct and if it's Bluetooth that's behind all these sleep problems Macbook owners are experiencing, then maybe this will help Apple find out what's the haps and fix it pronto liko before peeps get iGry. Are YOU iGry?

Re:Ah, so it's Bluetooth! That explains everything (1) (741064) | about 7 years ago | (#20826287)

After logging in, it would go back to sleep and be very difficult to wake up using a combination of closing and opening the lid or getting impatient and doing a data losing hard restart

Maybe is has Narcolepsy or itn't getting a restful nights sleep.

About the MacBook Pro, its hardware and Linux (1)

cyclop (780354) | about 7 years ago | (#20826273)

I was planning to buy a MacBook Pro as a Linux laptop (Kubuntu or Gentoo). It looked like a powerful and reasonably priced thing; from the howtos etc. I've read I've seen that probably it is not straightforward to have Linux running flawlessly on it, but it's nevertheless doable. However I'm constantly hearing of hardware horror stories about the MacBook Pro, this one being only the last: see here [] for example. Is the Macbook Pro really so bad? Is, let's say, a Sony VAIO, better or I am hearing more noise about the Macbook just because people expect Apple hardware to be perfect?

Re:About the MacBook Pro, its hardware and Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20827033)

No, it's not so bad. Early 2006 MacBook Pros had a lot of problems, most of which were mentioned on the Wikipedia page you linked to, but the problems were fixed a long time ago.

Bluetooth headsets work poorly on MacBook Pros (1)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | about 7 years ago | (#20826285)

I bought a good-quality bluetooth headset a few months ago, intending to use it for Skype VOIP on my first-gen MacBook Pro. The reason I didn't get a USB headset is that I wanted to be able to move around while talking. Bluetooth is advertised to have a thirty-foot range, so I should have been able to connect from anywhere in my apartment.

Well the real range is about two feet, and only if I keep the laptop and the headset in a precise orientation with respect to each other. Otherwise I get a loud crackling sound that is defeaning to the person on the other end.

I finally did buy a USB headset, and it worked perfectly.

Digital audio is pretty low-bandwidth. Shouldn't this work better?

Re:Bluetooth headsets work poorly on MacBook Pros (1)

jasonwea (598696) | about 7 years ago | (#20829229)

I have the same problem with a Jabra BT200 and my new Jawbone. The Jabra works well on my Nokia 6230 and the Jawbone works brilliantly. On my MacBook Pro however, both cause bad crackling and latency. Disabling Airport doesn't help.

Jawbone's FAQ [] says "Right now, we're not supporting PC or MAC Bluetooth compatibility due to the large variability in the performance of computer Bluetooth systems.". That doesn't sound good.

It's totally useless so I'm just using the built in mike with headphones. Vastly superior sound quality than both headsets and no lag. I'm really hoping that Leopard has some magic fix for this.

Wiimote (1)

phreakhead (881388) | about 7 years ago | (#20826553)

Yeah, my brand new Macbook Pro often will not connect to my Wii remote, which is really annoying. I don't know if it's a Max problem or a problem with the laptop, but sometimes it takes 10 minutes of clicking "connect" to get it to actually connect.

Leaky microwaves and sloppy electronics (3, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | about 7 years ago | (#20826993)

A lot of interference on both Bluetooth and WiFi can be traced back to microwaves, cheap electronics and so forth. Why I say that? Simple: my neighbour starts cooking and I get interference on WiFi, I start cooking and I get no WiFi, I replace microwave with new model and WiFi is strong as ever. Everything that has something to do with waves or radiography these days is in the 2,4GHz band. It used to be the 433MHz band that wasn't useable, now it's the 2,4GHz band.

Especially cheap/sloppy electronics and landline wireless phones. Manufacturers think they can use the whole spectrum at full blast to just send an 8-bit code in serial to the receiver (those cheap 'radio' remote controls). If you look at the circuitry basically it's an excited crystal that is extremely amped up (which adds lots of sideband noise if you put it on a scope), somewhat filtered with a small capacitor and what we used to call either a resistor or coil is now just a little squiggle on the printboard. And for the wireless phones, I have seen those things eat up literally 6 WiFi channels at the same time every time it is used.

And yes, Bluetooth, WiFi and the likes are all on 2,4GHz and as long as the FCC keeps their thumb on and only gives us very little of the air (or ether if you're really old) to use. For the rest of the air you have to pay big licensing costs.
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