Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Sep 2006 21:12 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Alan Cox, the famous Linux kernel hacker, saw his Thinkpad explode. His wife writes on her weblog: "Alan was on the other side of the room from the laptop. I was elsewhere. He yelled out, I ambled towards the room in my own good time, and then I heard 'Fire! Real fire! Call the fire brigade, now!' and I speeded up a bit." This is the first laptop of a tech 'celebrity' to explode.
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Scary
by rx182 on Mon 25th Sep 2006 21:33 UTC
rx182
Member since:
2005-07-08

My laptop is almost 3 years old (a Compaq, AlthonXP mobile 2500+, 512mb RAM) with a huge 15 inches LCD.

I was considering buying a smaller laptop, mostly a Sony VAIO. But all these events stop me from buying one. It's common these days to see laptops explode...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Scary
by kaiwai on Tue 26th Sep 2006 05:27 UTC in reply to "Scary"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Hmm, whats wrong with a 15incher? good lord, having used a 12inch one, you might as well get out a microscope; but then again, I've moved from having a desktop computer to a Laptop - a good laptop (which I have) is a Toshiba, 1.73Ghz, 1gig memory, 256mb video card, 80gig hard disk, and a dual layer dvd writer.

No problems so far, everything is very nice and stable, and no battery problems either ;)

Reply Score: 1

Great...
by Tuishimi on Mon 25th Sep 2006 21:40 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...now laptops will be confiscated at the airport.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Great...
by uteck on Mon 25th Sep 2006 21:56 UTC in reply to "Great..."
uteck Member since:
2006-07-16

They are already banned by some airlines because of this. But that was just Dell and Apple, now I suppose they will ban all lappies now. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Great...
by The Baron on Mon 25th Sep 2006 22:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Great..."
The Baron Member since:
2005-07-06

I fly a lot for business and if they would make me put my laptop in as baggage it wouldn't be that big of a deal for me since you can fit a 14" laptop in your trey with someone leaning back. I am interested in seeing if my MacBook would be able perform that trick.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Great...
by CuriosityKills on Mon 25th Sep 2006 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Great..."
CuriosityKills Member since:
2005-07-10

Well they can always make you shutdown the laptop and detach the battery from laptop. I don't see why airliness would ban it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Great...
by Tyr. on Tue 26th Sep 2006 13:55 UTC in reply to "Great..."
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

...now laptops will be confiscated at the airport.

Airline security taken to the next level, "Naked Air" :

http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/868.html

Somehow exploding laptops don't seem so bad anymore :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Great...
by Tuishimi on Tue 26th Sep 2006 14:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Great..."
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah... I like this quote from that site:

"It's a nice fantasy, but the reality would be not so pretty."

Reply Score: 1

Help GNOME help you.
by subterrific on Mon 25th Sep 2006 21:47 UTC
subterrific
Member since:
2005-07-10

http://hughsient.livejournal.com/4240.html

GNOME developer trying to come up with a warning system for defective batteries.

Reply Score: 5

v Some justice
by bnolsen on Mon 25th Sep 2006 22:34 UTC
RE: Some justice
by Get a Life on Tue 26th Sep 2006 00:23 UTC in reply to "Some justice"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Yeah being banned from a MUD has to be the single worst thing that can happen to a man. I would totally hold a grudge over that for a decade or so.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Some justice
by thjayo on Tue 26th Sep 2006 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Some justice"
thjayo Member since:
2005-11-11

It's funny. Laugh ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Some justice
by Dorfl on Tue 26th Sep 2006 17:19 UTC in reply to "Some justice"
Dorfl Member since:
2006-03-03

"Early 90's he was involved in a situation where I was framed then banned from the AberMUD at MIT. Some poetic justice, I guess."

That was my first thought when I read this newspiece - that f--ker finally gets his due for that early 90's AberMUD debable at MIT.

Reply Score: 1

Meep!
by kadymae on Mon 25th Sep 2006 23:01 UTC
kadymae
Member since:
2005-08-02

Y'know, considering that my laptop happens to be, y'know, ON MY LAP when in use, this is making me really nervious.

Not about my Laptop (6 year old Powerbook Pismo) but about the fact that I am going to have to replace it due to dying DVD drive and dying LCD.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Meep!
by Trollstoi on Tue 26th Sep 2006 13:57 UTC in reply to "Meep!"
Trollstoi Member since:
2005-11-11

You shouldn't use your laptop on your lap if you want to breed anyway... the heat is bad for that region.

Reply Score: 1

Geniune IBM battery? I wonder...
by Arawn on Mon 25th Sep 2006 23:13 UTC
Arawn
Member since:
2005-07-13

I just read this blog entry, and after thinking a bit about the Ebay part, I'm wondering if the battery wasn't really a genuine IBM shell with replaced cells. I read a few days ago some articles how to replace dead cells inside notebook's battery packs, complete with images detailing the procedure.

Just wondering if this is the case, someone replacing cells inside batteries and selling them as genuine.

Edited 2006-09-25 23:13

Reply Score: 1

So, why/how do Li batteries explode?
by kadymae on Mon 25th Sep 2006 23:28 UTC
kadymae
Member since:
2005-08-02

Good explanation of the topic and why there's no warning signs before the ::kaboom!:: here:

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=14417

Reply Score: 5

Wow
by Sphinx on Mon 25th Sep 2006 23:44 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

That really went off, doesn't leave much for forensics.

Reply Score: 1

Well
by Kabal on Tue 26th Sep 2006 00:05 UTC
Kabal
Member since:
2005-07-09

I'd be more worried about the batteries im always carrying around in my pocket (PSP, Phone, iPod) than my Macbook. Ouch.

Reply Score: 2

guys
by davegetrag on Tue 26th Sep 2006 00:08 UTC
davegetrag
Member since:
2006-03-31

This looks like a Thinkpad 600 which is rather old... Mine is a 600E which is a 366mhz machine. I LOVE it and have bought newer laptops and sold them but my 600E remains right here with me. Great size, not too heavy, not too light not too small not too big!

AFAIK he was using third party batteries so that is likely the cause I would guess. I have had no problems with mine.

I do know that there were a lot of battery issues with these. Not exploding batteries but rather just going dead. So a lot of replacements going around and some of them state way higher capacity than the IBM batteries so I never purchased those due to not knowing if it would have a effect. I wonder if this is the result?

Shame to lose a TP600, I feel sorry for Alans loss since he is my all time favorite linux kernel dude!

Reply Score: 2

Steve Job's PowerBook explodes
by Joe User on Tue 26th Sep 2006 01:51 UTC
Joe User
Member since:
2005-06-29

Who's next? Steve Ballmer? Mike Dell? Steve Jobs?

Reply Score: 1

v Same thing happened to me.
by linuxh8r on Tue 26th Sep 2006 02:26 UTC
RE: Same thing happened to me.
by davegetrag on Tue 26th Sep 2006 02:34 UTC in reply to "Same thing happened to me."
davegetrag Member since:
2006-03-31

So knowing that none of that was configured and working properly you STILL chose to leave it on overnight? Geez talk about not being ready for primetime - keep your day job please. ;)

This was likely a issue of third party batteries - nothing else anyway. Some scary "replacements" out there and some really bad IBM replacements as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Same thing happened to me.
by elsewhere on Tue 26th Sep 2006 03:19 UTC in reply to "Same thing happened to me."
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Later, I determined that Linux was the cause of the problem. Since the APM, ACPI and lmsensors have never worked properly in Linux, I guess the fan was not coming on when it was supposed to.

If the cpu gets too hot, it shuts down, end of story. Much like a circuit breaker. No matter how hot your laptop feels, the CPU will not cause it to "smoke". APM, ACPI and lmsensors exist to try and prevent that CPU choke from happening, but they have nothing to do with a frying notebook.

If your notebook smoked and burned, it was either because of the battery, or because you bought a Presario. Linux had nothing to do with it.

Reply Score: 5

Never buy 3rd party batteries
by Brad on Tue 26th Sep 2006 03:49 UTC
Brad
Member since:
2005-07-06

When will people learn to never buy 3rd party batteries. They are about the worse industry for cutting corners. Bad cells, missing over charge circuits, bad overall quality and so forth. Never buy them, for anything.

This is why companies like sony are working on chips in their batteries to block 3rd party knock offs. It's not to rip you off, it's to stop this from happening.

What's worth more to you. Save 15 bucks, or loosing your house to a fire?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Never buy 3rd party batteries
by jaylaa on Tue 26th Sep 2006 09:35 UTC in reply to "Never buy 3rd party batteries"
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

This is why companies like sony are working on chips in their batteries to block 3rd party knock offs. It's not to rip you off, it's to stop this from happening.

I guess ripping us off will just be a side-effect.;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Never buy 3rd party batteries
by stestagg on Tue 26th Sep 2006 10:19 UTC in reply to "Never buy 3rd party batteries"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

The 'ripping you off' part is just a bonus ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Never buy 3rd party batteries
by PowerMacX on Tue 26th Sep 2006 12:15 UTC in reply to "Never buy 3rd party batteries"
PowerMacX Member since:
2005-11-06

"When will people learn to never buy 3rd party batteries. They are about the worse industry for cutting corners. Bad cells, missing over charge circuits, bad overall quality and so forth. Never buy them, for anything.

This is why companies like sony are working on chips in their batteries to block 3rd party knock offs. It's not to rip you off, it's to stop this from happening.

What's worth more to you. Save 15 bucks, or loosing your house to a fire?"


Yeah, why lose your house to a fire when you can lose it to a genuine Sony Fire (tm)...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Never buy 3rd party batteries
by Buck on Tue 26th Sep 2006 13:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Never buy 3rd party batteries"
Buck Member since:
2005-06-29

What's that smell?

"It's a Sony(TM)!"

Reply Score: 2

RE: Never buy 3rd party batteries
by Soulbender on Tue 26th Sep 2006 14:04 UTC in reply to "Never buy 3rd party batteries"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"When will people learn to never buy 3rd party batteries."

When there's an actual quality difference other than a brand sticker and an insane price?

Reply Score: 2

The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

I don't know that manufacturers blocking 3rd party batteries is the way to go though... it's more a quality control issue. Isn't that what government standards are for? Just make it illegal to sell batteries that don't meet certain standards, if its not already. (I mean for more complex batteries than your average AA cell). Competition is preserved, and so are the laptops ;)

Reply Score: 1

yiked
by happycamper on Tue 26th Sep 2006 03:59 UTC
happycamper
Member since:
2006-01-01

yikes not yiked for my subject.
I'm glad mr cox was not hurt and all of this stories about laptop fires are giving me second thoughts about my empower laptop.

Edited 2006-09-26 04:02

Reply Score: 1

NiMH batteries were better
by ozonehole on Tue 26th Sep 2006 04:21 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

I really have to question the wisdom of moving to Lithium-ion batteries. NiMH batteries never exploded, but the laptop and cell-phone manufacturers seem to be convinced that Li-ion batteries are what the public wants. I'd rather do with a little less battery life and a laptop (not to mention a lap) that remains in one piece.

Edited 2006-09-26 04:22

Reply Score: 2

well
by davegetrag on Tue 26th Sep 2006 05:25 UTC
davegetrag
Member since:
2006-03-31

Would the cheap replacements that IIRC offer higher voltages and/or amps cause the problem of high heat and maybe along with having it on a soft surface or something that did not allow the heat to dissipate?

I know the batteries say not to expose to heat above 100c which I THINK would be around 190f. Would a laptop get that hot? Would a battery generate that heat?

I know my older batteries used to get warm and the heat was suppsedly the cause of them dying. The heat would trip a circuit in the battery rendering it useless. I went thru a few batteries until I found the one which no one seemed to complain about it dying and then searched until I found some new ones from a battery dealer for around 50 bucks. The battery does not even get warm when sitting on my lap. The laptop still gets a little warm - comfy warm not uncomfortably warm.

I would not run out and get a battery for a 600 until this is cleared up but I have went thru the various model numbers and the one I have found to be the "good" battery for these laptops is FRU 12P4064 mine has the letters MO out from the FRU number also and the ASM P/N is 12P4065.

Oh and even the fake replacement batteries have the yellow labels like IBM puts on their batteries.

Reply Score: 2

v A brief intermission
by Buck on Tue 26th Sep 2006 07:11 UTC
Is that a Sony battery again ?
by Manuel FLURY on Tue 26th Sep 2006 07:34 UTC
Manuel FLURY
Member since:
2005-07-05

Hope IBM will offer another one before next linux release ;)

Reply Score: 1

davegetrag Member since:
2006-03-31

Another battery or another laptop? I cannot imagine IBM will replace anything that old either but if they do then I will make mine explode somehow. ;) Actually, I thought Alan had somewhat stepped back from devel work....

Edited 2006-09-26 08:27

Reply Score: 1

lol
by Duffman on Tue 26th Sep 2006 09:45 UTC
Duffman
Member since:
2005-11-23

IBM has a very personnal manner of supporting OSF =)

Reply Score: 1

Sony
by dmitry on Tue 26th Sep 2006 10:50 UTC
dmitry
Member since:
2006-01-16

Oh boy, Sony is definitely the company of the year ;)

Reply Score: 1