Yufang has an Early 2008 white Macbook, which we upgraded to Snow Leopard last year. Since adding 64bit software to her daily processing, she’s had to deal with a lot of loud fan revving and droning while using Safari and Adobe Flash Player. Tonight, I finally thought of a solution that, so far, seems to have done the trick. Up to this point, I have tried everything short of a nuke-and-pave reinstall of MacOS X, including: installing all Apple updates, continually updating Flash, repairing disk permissions, and resetting the SMC. Tonight, I was watching what was going on in Activity Monitor, and I thought about the fact that Safari runs in 64bit mode by default and Adobe Flash is still 32bit software on MacOS X. I wondered what would happen if I launched Safari in 32bit mode and tried loading up some Flash videos. Eureka! Now, Flash isn’t identified as running in Activity Monitor, and I assume is running within the Safari process (or via some kind of process reporting magic). Whatever the case, it seems that if you are experiencing this same problem on a MacBook (probably due to its lack of a real GPU), you can resolve this problem by running Safari 4 in 32bit mode: Select the Safari icon in the Applications folder > File > Get Info > Check “Open in 32bit Mode” > Close window > Relaunch Safari. Good luck, and please comment if you have other ideas or if this doesn’t fix your problem.
There is one thing that I learned very early on after beginning my teaching assistantship at Kent State, and that is some folks in Satterfield Hall are unacceptably loud. What do I mean by “unacceptably loud?” Well, if you are in another part of the building, and I can hear you shouting about how much you hate men at an alarmingly recurring rate of several times a day, then you are unacceptably loud. If you are two offices away from mine and you need to shout into your cell phone, and I can hear you better than the Verizon guy, then you are unacceptably loud. If you are down the hall and my office door is closed, and I can hear your booming laughter like so many jet fighters breaking the sound barrier, then you are unacceptably loud.
Normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with this behavior, because I could relocate myself. However, I am a teacher, and it is advantageous to my students and my pedagogical mission to utilize my office as much as possible. Additionally, I do try my best to endeavor at academic work that is part of my duty to my university and my continuing professionalization. If these things were not that important, I would encourage each and every person in Satterfield to put their hair down and let loose. Unfortunately, we do have some things to do here that require a modicum of attention and unadulterated focus. Please continue talking and collaborating, but do it in a rational and conscientious manner that doesn’t disturb others behind solid walls and heavy wooden doors. And above all, please make your work fun, but not at the cost of others’ peace of mind.