My flickering Macbook

I thought I had got off lucky with my Macbook. I had dodged the problems with sudden shutdowns that others experienced and I was happy with it. Unfortunately, for the last two days the screen on the laptop has flickered for about 30 seconds after coming out of sleep mode. It looks like someone is adjusting the brightness up and down a few notches really quickly. Here’s what it looks like:

Is there a fix for this? Not yet. There’s speculation that a firmware upgrade might fix it but I have my doubts. My laptop is still under warranty but I presume it has to be sent to Dublin for repair. I better read the warranty card.

I’m not the only one affected by this. Check out these other blogs and discussions:

It’s very disappointing.

In other news, I’m looking for a quiet PC to replace my noisy desktop machine. It’s possible to tell from anywhere in the house when the machine is off. It’s that noisy! My brother has a nice quiet Dell desktop, but I think he got lucky. I’m very seriously thinking of buying another laptop and hooking a proper keyboard, mouse and my LCD monitor to it. I can cope with having a relatively small harddrive in it. All my backups are now done to an external 500GB disk anyway.

Author: Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

8 thoughts on “My flickering Macbook”

  1. hey Donncha — I went for the laptop option, in the same scenario, and don’t regret it at all. not only is it quieter, it’s also a lot smaller and can deal with the odd power-outage or tripped-over power cable…

  2. hi donncha – i just replaced my desktop machine with a dell lattitude d620. i picked it up off ebay for GBP500 (2gb ram, dual core etc). latitudes are made really well (as good as thinkpads i think), it’s very quiet and best of all for me, you can a) put a 2nd internal hard drive in so that vm’s and the like run really fast (i’ve got 2 160gb 7200rpm drives which really fly and are dead quiet) and b) get a docking bay for about €60 off eBay which gives you DVI, loads of USB ports and other goodies. then when you want to go mobile you can just undock and you’re away – no unplugging loads of cables.

    also – when docked and using an external monitor you can have dual screen – nice for vm’s! and finally it uses 120 watts less than my desktop did which should save on the blls.

    i’m very happy!

    (having said that… my home-built nearly silent desktop machine is for sale 😉 i just needed to go mobile!)

  3. As luck would have it, there’s a thread on the ilug mailing list about Dell laptops and Latitudes are recommended by one person there.

    ‘Course, just like last year when I bought the Macbook, I should have bought it before my end-of-year in June.. oh well. Tax bill has to be paid one way or another.

  4. I’ve had this problem as well on my MacBook. I had it for about 3 months before it just seems to have gone away. It pop’s up every once and awhile but not as much as it did before. And it also didn’t happen after waking up from sleep. It just starting doing it when i wanted to. Which made is hard to do work while it play’s with the brightness control. One way i would fix it was just hit one of the brightness buttons which seems to translate in to “Knock it off!” to the MacBook’s mind. 😉

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