Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Web Developer and Java Champion. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

The Angular Mini-Book The Angular Mini-Book is a guide to getting started with Angular. You'll learn how to develop a bare-bones application, test it, and deploy it. Then you'll move on to adding Bootstrap, Angular Material, continuous integration, and authentication.

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The JHipster Mini-Book The JHipster Mini-Book is a guide to getting started with hip technologies today: Angular, Bootstrap, and Spring Boot. All of these frameworks are wrapped up in an easy-to-use project called JHipster.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

What's up with my PowerBook?

My PowerBook seems to be dying a slow death. When I put it into hibernate mode (by closing it), often it won't startup again. I open the lid and nothing happens. I often have to hold down the power button, power it off, and then restart it.

What's this mean? It means I'm rebooting the damn thing once or twice a day. It's especially frustrating when I'm about to give a talk at JUG meetings or conferences. I get everything setup (IDEs open, Keynote open, etc.), close it as I walk to the front, and then after I plug it in and open it - nothing happens!. This leads to me spending the next 5 minutes rebooting and opening everything again. It's extremely frustrating - especially since it's such a slow-ass machine. ;-) This week, I've headed to the coffee shop (3 blocks away) several times to write, and it seems to happen every time I open it. Each time I think, "Did I save before I closed it?" Luckily, I have Word set to save every minute, so it hasn't been a problem yet.

I believe this happened when I first I bought the machine. However, it was only a couple of times per month. Now that it's become a daily event, and I think it's time to take it in. Has anyone else had similar issues?

The good news is I'm back in love with my PowerBook after using it so much this week. It's really an excellent laptop - especially for writing. I hooked it up to my 23" for the first time in a few months today and I thought, "I really need to get a G5." In reality, I don't want a G5 - my Windows box suites me just fine. What I want is a faster PowerBook - when's the next revision?

Posted in Mac OS X at Dec 18 2004, 05:18:15 PM MST 19 Comments

I'm wondering if I missed the boat here. The more I learn about J2EE, the more I come across developers talking about their apples. I guess I never was able to justify the costs as your typical broke college student. I wouldn't mind having one around to check websites I'm working on to see if they're compatible, though.

Posted by PJ Hyett on December 19, 2004 at 01:07 AM MST #

Sounds like the mythical "reset power management unit (PMU)" problem. Apple has a document on this here: It seems to solve all kinds of weird sleep-related misbehaviours.

Posted by D'Arcy Norman on December 19, 2004 at 01:38 AM MST #

This started happening to me more often after I installed a (relatively cheap) 1GB SODIMM to my 15" PowerBook. It's not quite annoying enough to drop a bunch more bucks on standard Apple memory, but still annoying.

Posted by Chris Winters on December 19, 2004 at 01:54 AM MST #

Matt, my powerbook exhibits the same behavior from time to time. I notice it most if I plug in my external mouse or power adapter prior to opening it. It never happens if I open it up and plug these in after it is fully awake. Also, D'Arcy is correct, try resetting the PMU, I have had that fix other issues.

Posted by Mike Shoemaker on December 19, 2004 at 02:14 AM MST #

Hey, you're not crazy. I've got a 12" PB that has the same problems. I'm glad to hear that other people are having the same problems and it's not me and something I did to my PB. I haven't quite figured out what causes the problem, but it's definitely related to closing the lid w/ the power cord in, then unplugging the cord, and then opening the lid. I'm really now getting bothered over the problem but I'm guessing the people at the Genius bar will think I'm crazy when I try to explain the problem. Matt, if you find a solution please post it on your blog.

Posted by Erik Weibust on December 19, 2004 at 03:32 AM MST #

I have the same problem but it only happens in connection with unplugging the power cord, as Erik. One thing to note is that the screen looks black but it actually isn't! If you look close enough under optimal lighting conditions, you will notice a multilingual message which is very dim and just barely discernible. I somehow got the message to be displayed with the monitor lit up once, and all it says is that you should cycle the power, without explaining why. Another thing: those mysterious lockups seem to have disappeared after I upgraded to OS X 10.3.7, but it's only been a few days ago, so I'm not yet sure whether they're gone for good.

Posted by Ugo Cei on December 19, 2004 at 01:33 PM MST #

Ugo, could you do me a favor and let me know if you have the problem again after updating to 10.3.7? I'm updating right now, which will require a reboot so while I'm rebooting I think I'll try resetting my PMU.

Posted by Erik Weibust on December 19, 2004 at 01:58 PM MST #

Erik, I did the update last Wednesday, Dec, 15th, and haven't got any problems since then.

Posted by Ugo Cei on December 19, 2004 at 06:15 PM MST #

I upgraded to 10.3.7 a few days ago and I've experienced the issue since then. I reset the P-RAM this morning - it'll be a few days before I know if that worked.

Posted by Matt Raible on December 19, 2004 at 06:17 PM MST #

Hmm. Lets see. We all three appear to have the same problem. Ugo, you did the 10.3.7 update and haven't had any problems. Matt, you did the update and still saw the problem. Ugo, you didn't do the PMU update. Matt, you did the PMU update and haven't seen the problem since. I wonder if we don't have the same problem.... Matt, I'll be anxious to hear if the PMU update worked for you.

Posted by Erik Weibust on December 19, 2004 at 09:09 PM MST #

Matt, this issues has been discussed at great lengths on Apple's site in the PowerBook discussion forums. You can read there and try the different things that have worked for some people (reset PMU, reset PRAM, set processor to highest setting in energy preferences, turn off AirPort before putting to sleep, set PowerBook not to wake when lid opens). I've been fighting it for awhile and looks like it was a 3rd party memory module. Just to clarify, when your PowerBook tries to wake up can you still turn the caps lock off and on? Also, if you turn your volume up and down can you hear the sound it makes? I've had it happen both ways. When it was the bad memory module I couldn't hear anything when adjusting the volume and it had to be shutdown the hardway. After removing the module there have been a couple of times when switching between external monitor that the display did not return. But in this case I could hear the volume adjusting and I was able to put the laptop back to sleep and the display worked when it resumed. A lot of people believe it is related to OS updates (after 10.3.2 I think). Others believe it has to do with the video adapter drivers (which were updated in 10.3.7). Hope thats not too much for you.

Posted by David Holmes on December 19, 2004 at 10:12 PM MST #

OK, it happened again :-( so upgrading to 10.3.7 definitely does not fix it. I will probably try to reset the PMU next.

Posted by Ugo Cei on December 20, 2004 at 10:40 PM MST #

Hi Matt, I had a Dell portable that did that alot! I shut off hibernate in the BIOS and it quit doing it. Maybe Abby did it and was trying to get you to unhook. Pappy

Posted by Your dad on December 21, 2004 at 03:54 AM MST #

Hi Matt,

Same thing happens to me. I have the same behavior as Mike Shoemaker describes above. However I've not ever had to actually reboot. Sometimes the machine comes back if I mess with the brightness buttons (turn it up or down) but it also works fine if I close it for 10 seconds then reopen it (let it go back to sleep after I've plugged in the power cord or mouse/keyboard).

New Powerbooks @ the apple conference in January, new powerbooks in january, well if I say it often enough it just might come true :-)

Posted by Bill Dudney on December 21, 2004 at 05:02 AM MST #

This is the easiest question: Get a 17inch Tosiba Laptop and put Fedora on! It's Much faster. Just try it and you'll see. Fedora makes a PC into a Mac. (PJ, most Java applications are deployed to Unix, so we might as well use it, and Apple is Unix and ... Fedora is). .V

Posted by Vic on December 21, 2004 at 02:29 PM MST #

A Toshiba laptop running Fedora is like a 1969 VW Bug with an BMW hood ornament :) Powerbook, there is no substitute(or was that a Porsche add?).

Posted by Mike Shoemaker on January 03, 2005 at 01:09 AM MST #

Please, could you share the specs of your Powerbook, I am a developer and have always used x86 machines, I am dying to change my main development environment to a Powerbook, I usually run: db server, jboss, and a java ide ( idea|eclipe) plus mail and browser instances. Could I be programming happily with the fastest PB today? Or should I wait till 200X for a G5 PB. For example, my wintel machine is a P4 2.4ghz/1GBram Thanks

Posted by katarn on February 03, 2005 at 06:23 PM MST #

Katarn - my PowerBook is a 1.33 GHz, 17" with 1 GB of RAM. Here's a performance comparison between the different machines I use. I have friends with 1.5 GHz PB with 1-2 GB of RAM and they are satisfied with the speed. I would suggest going down to your local Apple store and trying out a PowerBook. They're usually pretty good and will let you install/compile/etc. I plan on doing that soon b/c I think it'll be 6-12 months for faster PBs.

BTW, resetting my PMU fixed the problems raised in this post.

Posted by Matt Raible on February 04, 2005 at 05:13 AM MST #

I believe my Powerbook G4 17in 1.5Ghz has the case of a bad PMU battery backup that needs replacing because I've tried every RESETing method on the book. My question is: Is there anything I can do about a couple of "Test Points" on the motherboard of my laptop. See it in this link ( The top side is the monitor side, to the right is the backup battery, and in the middle to the right of a large chip are these 2 solder contacts labeled PMU Reset and PMU NMI. CAN I DO ANYTHING WITH THESE? THANKS!

Posted by Pedro on May 12, 2008 at 04:45 PM MDT #

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