July 16, 2010


Mac Roundtable 2010.07.14 Episode #86

Filed under: Podcast — jcost @ 2:12 am

John F. Braun

The Mac Observer?s Mac Geek Gab http://www.macgeekgab.com/

Monday?s Mac Gadget http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/features/mondays_mac_gadget/

Twitter: @johnfbraun

Steve Stanger

The Mac Attack http://www.themacattack.tv

Twitter: @tmasteve

Jonathan Cost

Mac Tips Daily! and Thinkmac Reviews

Thinkmac.net – www.thinkmac.net

twitter: @MacTipsDaily

Chuck Joiner

The MacVoices Group http://www.macvoicesgroup.com

Twitter: @chuckjoiner

Bart Busschots


The International Mac Podcast – http://www.impodcast.tv

Twitter: @bbusschots


smcFanControl http://www.eidac.de/

A cool CPU is a happy CPU.  I’m actually wondering if there’s any quantitative data showing the benefit of a cooler CPU versus minimal power consumed by running fans a bit faster.

CoolBook  http://www.coolbook.se/CoolBook.html

Reduce processor voltage to reduce clock speed

ThermographX (no update since 2008, doesnt’ see all temp sensors, but does graph)


TemperatureMonitor (free, current)


Shows values, can store history as well.

iStat Menus (now pay), MenuMeters (free), Matias iRizer (portable stand)


Thermapak  http://www.thermapak.com/

Podium CoolPad and Traveler CoolPad  http://www.roadtools.com/index-2.html

Griffin Elevator  http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/elevator

Be careful if the little rubber “feet” fall off your laptop – replaced my lost one with a penny taped to the bottom of my MBP!

Even if you’re not experiencing a heat-wave, it’s worth monitoring your temps and fan speeds anyway. If they begin to creep up over weeks or months, your machine may be full of fluff and crap! I vacuumed out my G5 iMac because it over-heated and always had fans going, now it runs much much better.

(Side note: UPS protects computer equipment against brown outs and possible power surge during heavy peak power use times.)


Many cable modems offer a status page here: or typically.

(nice if your cable modem isn’t locked down)


**Some important figures are**

Receive Power Level and Transmit Power Level (in dBmV)

Downstream/receive should be between -15 and +15

Upstream/transmit should be between +5 and +58 (below 50 is best)

Another important figure is SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) may not be available, have to break out the big guns to get this value:


This is a Java program that will extract many values (via SNMP I assume) that web status page may not make available.

Run from command line:

docsdiag -jar docsdiag.jar (-vvv)

SNR should be 30 dB or higher, mine is 34.5 right now.

There are also error figures

SigQu: received without error        = 1737538425 codewords

SigQu: correctable errors            = 106961 codewords

SigQu: uncorrectable errors          = 9387 codewords

I was told if the last two values steadily increase, this can also indicate an issue.

iPhone 4 Antenna Thoughts:

Article on Engadget from their experiences.


Our Picks:

John: 3M MPro 150 Pocket Projector ($395 retail)


Steve: http://safariextensions.tumblr.com/ – list of available Safari extensions to tide you over until Apple opens their gallery.

Bart: Apple World Travel Adaptor kit – http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB974ZM/B?fnode=MTY1NDA4NA&mco=MTA4NDYwMDk ($39)

Jonathan: Sirius XM APP: http://www.siriusxm.com/oniphone/indexd.xmc

Requires Premium streaming account, but allows you to listen on your computer and your iPhone/iPod.  Free 7 day trial.  You can add it onto your SiriusXM account for an extra $3 a month.

Chuck: Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go MiFi with pay-as-you go plan


Chuck’s Review: http://www.chuckjoiner.com/2010/07/14/virgin-mobile-broadband-mifi-portable-connectivity-with-no-contract/


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