MacBook Shutdown Site Continues Its Mission

The Web site about a MacBook shutdown problem is now drawing about 5,000 visitors a day, and Apple has indirectly responded.

About a month after its launch, is continuing its mission of bringing attention to what it claims are random shutdowns of Apple Computers MacBook notebooks.

The site is now receiving about 5,000 visitors a day and has totaled 100,000 page views since it launched on Aug. 15, according to site creator Matthew Swanson, who lives in Atlanta.

Swanson started the site after his wife bought a new 2GHz MacBook for her business. About a month after the purchase, the MacBook began suffering from what Swanson calls "RSS"—Random Shutdown Syndrome.

Swanson took his frustrations to the Web and the site developed a small but determined following.

Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., has not officially responded to the site, but the companys Web site now offers a short acknowledgment of the problem and instructs users to contact its support services.

"We wait for news from Apple and deal with the issues on a one by one basis for now, I guess," Swanson wrote in an e-mail to eWEEK.

An Apple spokesperson referred back to the companys posting on its Web site.

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Although Swanson said the reasons behind the MacBooks RSS vary, it appears that the most commonly cited complaint involves the notebooks heat sink. When the heat sink is replaced by an Apple technician, users commented, the shutdown problems stop.

Swansons personal experience is typical of the RSS problem.

"In fact, since our MacBook was fixed with a new heat sink about three weeks ago, we havent seen the RSS happen at all," Swanson wrote in his e-mail. "Even after leaving it on the couch one night—it was smoking hot in the morning, but it powered on fine and no random shutdowns have occurred since the fix from Apple."

How widespread the MacBook random shutdowns are is not clear, and even Swanson admits that it might not be a far-reaching problem.

Still, the frustration of some MacBook users comes through in the sites postings.

One reader posted, "My employers recently bought a new Mac Book Pro for the office (the thing is MAYBE two weeks old), and Ive been doing a tremendous amount of work on it. Tonight I hear the fan go into overdrive and ten seconds later the whole machine just crashes and wont power back up."

In addition to postings chronicling his own problems with the MacBook, Swansons site now offers a "test" to determine if a users MacBook is prone to the random shutdown.

"Its not a guarantee but it will be a good benchmark to see if their MacBook is affected," Swanson wrote.

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