Giving bored MacBooks something to do

by Giles Turnbull

The comments on Derrick's "What are your MacBook Pro impressions" post from a few days ago have been broadly positive, but there are one or mentions of the "whine" some units are emitting.



Elsewhere, such as Macintouch and MacFixIt, there are a great many reports of strange hissing and whining sounds from the MacBook Pro. The cause has been hard to pin down - some say changing the screen brightness makes a difference, others that running a processor-intensive app like Photobooth makes a difference.



This last tip got Daniel Jalkut thinking. If the problem was cured by running Photobooth, maybe the whine was caused by one of the Core Duo processors getting bored with nothing to do?



So he wrote a short script to put spare processing power to work doing some meaningless mathematics when no real applications are using it. With a certain amount of experimenting, he worked out that he needed to use up 8% of CPU to get rid of the annoying whine.



Are you troubled by MacBook whining? If you've tried out Daniel's script, or cooked up a solution of your own, do post a comment about your experience.


5 Comments

girlwithglasses
2006-03-14 05:00:05
You could always use the processing power to do something useful, for example, take part in the distributed climate prediction simulation at http://climateprediction.net/... :)
ThoperSought
2006-03-14 05:32:50
or, http://cmgm.stanford.edu/~cparnot/xgrid-stanford/
Kevin Buterbaugh
2006-03-14 05:59:04
or, http://folding.stanford.edu, which I personally like because they are trying to find solutions for some of the more troublesome health problems of our time...
Scott Bourne
2006-03-14 07:53:51
Wow, sort of makes me wish my MBP suffered from the whine. But it doesn't - hasn't whined once. If it ever does, I'll give this a try.
charles
2006-03-14 10:20:10
Thanks for that, ThoperSought!
I thought about it too after reading Daniel Jalkut's post...


charles