P16: a blog by Matt Kangas home archive
22 Jan 2008

For MacBook Pro Owners – Sleep Easier!

I'm working on some more Erlang stuff today, will post the results shortly. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you an excellent tip for MacBook Pro owners.

I recently upgraded from a Powerbook G4 (Aluminum) to a spiffy new MacBook Pro. The new machine looks almost identical to the old one, and is blazingly fast in comparison. But after a month of usage, two things were really starting to bother me about it:

I was starting to worry if I'd gotten a lemon. I had a G4 tower years ago that had weird intermittent USB problems, the kind that are impossible to demonstrate when you're asking for a warranty replacement. Argh. Maybe Apple was coming out with an OS update to fix this.

After anxiously checking Software Update every day for a week, I started Googling and discovered, hurrah! – the solution was waiting for me in:

Great! It's a known issue, and there's a firmware update! But this only solves the keyboard issue...

I always loved how the Powerbook G4 went to sleep instantly, and awoke in a flash. This article explains how sleep-mode works differently on Intel Macs, why it's different (by default), and how you can change it back.

There is one BIG CAVEAT: you must use new default mode if you intend to change batteries without plugging into the wall. The G4 Powerbooks had a "last resort" power source that could keep RAM refreshed for a minute or so, even without the battery. Intel MacBooks don't have this.

However, I don't own a spare battery, so I don't care. All I needed was one command:

sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0

Hooray! My MBP now sleeps and wakes instantly, just like my beloved G4. Finally, I have a worthy successor to that machine. :-)