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MacBook Air software update targets ongoing freezing issues

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
Apple this week released a small software update to the MacBook Air's system management control (SMC) that it hopes will put an end to intermittent freezing issues that have plagued some early adopters of the ultra-thin notebook.

Specifically, the 551KB update fine tunes the speed and operation of the Air's internal fan, which is responsible for cooling the machine and preventing instances of overheating.

The fan, according to several users posting to Apple's support forums (1, 2) over the past two weeks, has failed to perform adequately thus far, resulting in random lockups that render the Air unresponsive for periods of about 10 to 15 seconds at a time, if not longer.

In most cases, the intermittent freezing would occur under CPU intensive operations such as digital video playback, downloading content from iTunes, and the use of resource-intensive applications such as Safari or FireFox.

In these instances, the MacBook Air's internal temperature would rise to abnormal levels, causing one of the system's primary processor cores to power down completely. The weight of the operations would then be shifted to the single remaining core, which would be unable to handle the load, eventually causing the systems to stutter and lock up repeatedly.

"I called Apple Customer Service in Italy, they said they knew about the problem, asked me to run some 'resetting' sequences, but the problem is still there," one Air owner wrote last week. "I really think it is a 'overheating' problem, it only happens when running heavy applications, like video playback or video chatting (skype)."

The issue has been particularly troublesome for Air owners who reside in warmer climates, as the surrounding environmental temperatures serve only to compound the overheating problem.

"Same behaviour here with my MacBook Air running 10.5.2," said another Air owner. "Things seens a bit worst to me because I'm in Brazil, São Paulo. This means 86º F is a ordinary day."

Unfortunately, a couple of owners report that they are unable to apply this week's MacBook Air SMC Update 1.0 because their MacBook Airs shipped out of Apple's manufacturing facilities with the update already applied. These users continue to report freezing issues.

"I download the the update but it told me I was already up to date," one said. "Fingers crossed for a fix soon."

Separately on Tuesday, Apple also released via iTunes iPod shuffle firmware version 1.0.4, which addresses a few bugs and enhances support for the just-release 2G version of the player.
post #2 of 59
I downloaded the MBA update to my MBA, but it said that I was up to date as well. I got mine about a month ago so maybe this is only for the real early owners?
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post #3 of 59
Anyone else have their non MacBook Air MacBook freeze for a few seconds when running hot?
post #4 of 59
Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

Thin, hot and bewildered!

The iMac revisited.
post #5 of 59
New MacPro's don't wake from sleep.
Graphic glitches in the MacPro ATI 2600 card
Freezes in the same card models.
MacPro nVidia 8800GT slower than ATI 2600 in pro apps
MacBookPro sleep issues.
MacBook flickering display
MacBook trackpad delay
MacBookAir Freezing
iMac 24" (white) displays breaking down (mostly just over the standard one year warranty period)
iMac 20" (alu) condense forming behind the glass cover of the display.

Fifteen years ago you know that your Mac was going to last longer than that was necessary, now a day's you are lucky if you can keep it running for three years! And o o o if you didn't buy AppleCare.

It is a really BIG SHAME. This is going to hurt Apple significantly in the nearby future.
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post #6 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by flinstone View Post

blah blah blah.


Yeah, you really should stop.
post #7 of 59
Ah ha. And why?
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post #8 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by flinstone View Post

New MacPro's don't wake from sleep.
Graphic glitches in the MacPro ATI 2600 card
Freezes in the same card models.
MacPro nVidia 8800GT slower than ATI 2600 in pro apps
MacBookPro sleep issues.
MacBook flickering display
MacBook trackpad delay
MacBookAir Freezing
iMac 24" (white) displays breaking down (mostly just over the standard one year warranty period)
iMac 20" (alu) condense forming behind the glass cover of the display.

No, no, no. That must be wrong. It must be people's imagination. Those things aren't really happening. Haven't you heard? Macs "just work"

Quote:
Originally Posted by flinstone View Post

now a day's

The word you are after is "nowadays". Whilst I'm on the subject, the plural of "Mac Pro" is "Mac Pros".
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post #9 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by flinstone View Post

New MacPro's don't wake from sleep.
Graphic glitches in the MacPro ATI 2600 card
Freezes in the same card models.
MacPro nVidia 8800GT slower than ATI 2600 in pro apps
MacBookPro sleep issues.
MacBook flickering display
MacBook trackpad delay
MacBookAir Freezing
iMac 24" (white) displays breaking down (mostly just over the standard one year warranty period)
iMac 20" (alu) condense forming behind the glass cover of the display.

Fifteen years ago you know that your Mac was going to last longer than that was necessary, now a day's you are lucky if you can keep it running for three years! And o o o if you didn't buy AppleCare.

It is a really BIG SHAME. This is going to hurt Apple significantly in the nearby future.

I agree wholeheartedly that Apple has serious quality problems. And that they need to fix it before it affects them significantly.

You know what else? Increasingly, Apple's products (even software) seem to be designed for tech geeks rather than for the average user that was attracted to the Mac in the first place. What keeps them going with the latter audience is the continued simplicity of iTunes/iPod/iPhone/iPhoto.
post #10 of 59
I agree with flinstone. Apple computers used to have the reputation for reliability (and rightfully so). In the past few years they have been plagued with just too many technical glitches. This makes it especially hard for us in Europe where macs are incredibly expensive. (Don't know the price of Applecare for MBA, but for MBP it's a bit shy of 700$ for example)
post #11 of 59
Completely eliminated the freezing/stuttering issues using the excellent little piece of shareware called CoolBookController.

This little piece of genius allows you to undervolt your MBA (less heat, same speed) and throttle the frequency (slow the thing down) when it reaches a pre-determined temperature (I use 75c as my threshold).

Since installing, I'm back into stutter-free HD video while downloading via iTunes.

Can you say, "Apple should be spanked for not getting this in the firmware the first time around?"

They do some things really well, but stuff like this drives me absolutely insane.
post #12 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by flinstone View Post

New MacPro's don't wake from sleep.
Graphic glitches in the MacPro ATI 2600 card
Freezes in the same card models.
MacPro nVidia 8800GT slower than ATI 2600 in pro apps
MacBookPro sleep issues.
MacBook flickering display
MacBook trackpad delay
MacBookAir Freezing
iMac 24" (white) displays breaking down (mostly just over the standard one year warranty period)
iMac 20" (alu) condense forming behind the glass cover of the display.

and not a thought of a problem with the mini!
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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post #13 of 59
Bought mine REALLY early and it says I'm up to date. I get the stutters in Safari from time to time...
post #14 of 59
FYI, here's a free app that allows you to control the fans in your Mac:
SMC Fan Control
post #15 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by flinstone View Post

Ah ha. And why?

Because Mac's aren't having more problems than before.
How many Macs are effected by the problems you've listed? Do you have those numbers? If yes, I would like to see them so we can really discuss this in a serious matter, without the full picture it is just gossip.

There are 2 further points:
-Macs being sold; more products;more possible problems.
-Apple is always in the spotlight, for good and for bad reasons, if Steve Jobs farts the AAPL index will drop a few points.

Of course Apple should do their best to keep their hardware and software perfect, and I think they manage to do so pretty well compared to other brands.

My MacBook AIR (bought day one) worked perfectly this weekend in the sun in Palm Springs, I did however install the update today, you never know.
post #16 of 59
don't forget the >20,000 views on the apple forum with people with airport extreme issues that have gone unresolved since at least october.
post #17 of 59
I don't think Macs are the problem its this retarded Air. This was the stupidest move Apple could have made. Congrats on pissing off 95% of customers by creating this instead of tending to other products and now pissing off the 5% of trend monkeys who actually wanted it.
post #18 of 59
I wonder what glitches you could possibly have at this stage of the game in an iPod Shuffle? I wish there was an update for my 3G Nano so my contacts and iCal entries would appear on it like they are suppose to. (And do on my 3G iPod.)

--Dave
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post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by flinstone View Post

New MacPro's don't wake from sleep.
Graphic glitches in the MacPro ATI 2600 card
Freezes in the same card models.
MacPro nVidia 8800GT slower than ATI 2600 in pro apps
MacBookPro sleep issues.
MacBook flickering display
MacBook trackpad delay
MacBookAir Freezing
iMac 24" (white) displays breaking down (mostly just over the standard one year warranty period)
iMac 20" (alu) condense forming behind the glass cover of the display.

Fifteen years ago you know that your Mac was going to last longer than that was necessary, now a day's you are lucky if you can keep it running for three years! And o o o if you didn't buy AppleCare.

It is a really BIG SHAME. This is going to hurt Apple significantly in the nearby future.

That's a load of crap. Duos had loads of troubles. Power Macs were notorious for their problems. They never for the 7100 or 6100 sorted. Quadras had loads of issues. G5 towers had enormous heat problems and then the water-cooled ones sprang leaks.

This good ole days stuff is for the birds. We just didn't have such large forums to hear reports from the field. Wake up.
post #20 of 59
Mine also reports that it was already up-to-date. Has anyone successfully installed this?
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post #21 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuneman07 View Post

I don't think Macs are the problem its this retarded Air. This was the stupidest move Apple could have made. Congrats on pissing off 95% of customers by creating this instead of tending to other products and now pissing off the 5% of trend monkeys who actually wanted it.

Having a bad day?
post #22 of 59
WHY is Apple so conservative with fan speeds? Is completely silent operation really worth higher running temperatures and unstable systems?

I use SMCFanControl on both of my Macs. My Macbook Pro used to get extremely hot when just *idle* doing nothing but web surfing and IMing. Cranking the fan speed to 1500RPM (from 1000) made it a lot cooler, and I can't even hear the difference.

My Mac Pro was reporting temperatures near 100C for the motherboard chipset and the controllers on the FBDIMMs. Cranking the default minimum fan speed to 900RPM from the default 500 dropped the temperatures drastically. Almost no perceptible noise difference.

Come on Apple, run your fans a bit faster. Cooler systems are more reliable systems.
post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by netdog View Post

That's a load of crap. Duos had loads of troubles. Power Macs were notorious for their problems. They never for the 7100 or 6100 sorted. Quadras had loads of issues. G5 towers had enormous heat problems and then the water-cooled ones sprang leaks.

This good ole days stuff is for the birds. We just didn't have such large forums to hear reports from the field. Wake up.

Where are your stats to back this up? What problems exactly did all these Macs have? I had a Duo 280c, Power Mac G3, and a Quadra 650 and none of them had any problems. The G5 towers did not have enormous heat problems as they ran cooler than the Power Mac G4's. The G5 liquid cooling models have had reports of leaking after years of use, but it is a radiator inside and the seals won't last forever.

I currently have an iMac G5 20" (iSight), iMac G4 17" 1 GHz, PowerBook G4 15" 867 MHz, and an LC 575. All of them are rock solid and none of them have had any problems whatsoever. Even the LC 575, which is 14 years old, runs flawlessly.
post #24 of 59
It should be noted that we only see these problems on Macs and not other brands (so much) because it is the Mac users that whine loudest. This has a lot to do with brand recognition, and we see all the more with handy sites like MacFixIt to turn to. There is no ToshibaFixIt following the latest hit Toshiba products and their problems. I work enough with new PCs, though, to know that they all have their own issues, too, and they tend to be far worse than almost anything we see and far more common.

That said, yes, it seems like Apple has been seeing a few more problems lately [but it should be noted that problems of this sort trail all the way back to the first computers -- we just have short memories]. I wonder why that is happening? Maybe they are getting a bit too far ahead of themselves. Of course people here will whine one way or the other. "OMG! Leopard was delayed! Apple is the new Vista!!!111" or "OMG! Leopard has bugz! Apple is the new Vista!!!111"

My 3.2GHz Mac Pro sometimes reboots instead of waking from sleep. At least I know this is a known issue and that it is affecting many people. I probably don't have to put up with it too long until it is fixed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

and not a thought of a problem with the mini!

Mini's launch problem was wireless connectivity, if I recall correctly.

I remember owning one of the Minis with the wireless issue. Leopard fixed it for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Where are your stats to back this up? What problems exactly did all these Macs have? I had a Duo 280c, Power Mac G3, and a Quadra 650 and none of them had any problems. The G5 towers did not have enormous heat problems as they ran cooler than the Power Mac G4's. The G5 liquid cooling models have had reports of leaking after years of use, but it is a radiator inside and the seals won't last forever.

I should point out that I believe Apple makes the finest quality of products in the computer market -- hands down. The issues we see here are nothing compared to problems other brands experience. That said, you should actually do some research yourself before getting too flustered about this. Even a trip through the MacFixIt shows the occasional bumps Apple has had to overcome with new releases. Fortunately it also documents the rather excellent solutions they came up with to solve these problems. My Macbook ran hot when I first got it, just like many other people reported. I didn't think much of it because it still ran cooler than most Windows laptops. Apple released a few updates over the months and now the thing runs so cool I hardly even notice it -- and our whiney Mac community started bitching about actually being able to hear the fans! New technology comes at the price of occasional hiccups and that is just the way of life.

It sounds like you are defending a one-year failure of the liquid cooling system in a G5 due to the inclusion of a radiator. I hope you don't consider something like that to be acceptable! Fortunately liquid cooling system failures in G5s were extremely rare, and the chance of a person actually encountering them was quite slim.
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post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Having a bad day?

NO- he's just keeping it "real".
MacWorld has just given the MacBook Air only 3 1/2 stars- hardly a good review.
Basically the only thing they like is the weight- BFD.
A slow overpriced piece of s*$t!
post #26 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

A slow overpriced piece of s*$t!

Oh for crying out loud! The MacBook Air is easily the fastest, and amongst the cheapest, 3 lb laptop on the market.

To make it any faster, Apple would have had to use larger, more power-hungry chips, making the whole machine bigger and heavier, resulting in... a MacBook! Oh wait, they already make one of those.

The whole point of the Air is to expand Apple's range of offerings. Are you a Mac user? Do you have a MacBook? If so, great, you are not in the Air's target market, so don't expect to like it.
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post #27 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Where are your stats to back this up? What problems exactly did all these Macs have?

Well... I've had pretty much every model of Macintosh since 1997... hazard of the job. There are plenty of issues, from serious ones like the data corruption with ATA drives in the first two generations of the B&W G3 (ATA controller bug), various motherboard problems (iBook, 1st gen Intel portable Macs), display cable issues (eMac), to more operational glitches like G5 fan control problems (excessive repeated cycling, heat sensor of the drive bay in the wrong place where it won't adequately cool the drive bays), to cosmetic stuff like the paint pealing on almost all Titanium G4 PowerBooks.

With that said, we are talking about high tech equipment that sometimes goes through the worst abuse. Apple does have excellent quality control with respect to its peers, but that doesn't say all that much since the overall glitch level is pretty high. I do not like the warranty coverage that Apple provides as default or with AppleCare - it should be better (more onsite options for consumers, option for complete coverage, not just manufacturer defect, etc.) As with buying any 1st gen high tech product from pretty much anyone, if you buy the first few off the production line, expect issues, whether it be computers, cars, or fighter planes. Care the see the pages and pages of errata on the Intel Core line of chips?
post #28 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

WHY is Apple so conservative with fan speeds? Is completely silent operation really worth higher running temperatures and unstable systems?

I use SMCFanControl on both of my Macs. My Macbook Pro used to get extremely hot when just *idle* doing nothing but web surfing and IMing. Cranking the fan speed to 1500RPM (from 1000) made it a lot cooler, and I can't even hear the difference.

My Mac Pro was reporting temperatures near 100C for the motherboard chipset and the controllers on the FBDIMMs. Cranking the default minimum fan speed to 900RPM from the default 500 dropped the temperatures drastically. Almost no perceptible noise difference.

Come on Apple, run your fans a bit faster. Cooler systems are more reliable systems.

They want the quietest machine possible in the smallest package with the fastest CPU. When you do that, you're dealing with razor thin margins.
post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Oh for crying out loud! The MacBook Air is easily the fastest, and amongst the cheapest, 3 lb laptop on the market.

To make it any faster, Apple would have had to use larger, more power-hungry chips, making the whole machine bigger and heavier, resulting in... a MacBook! Oh wait, they already make one of those.

The whole point of the Air is to expand Apple's range of offerings. Are you a Mac user? Do you have a MacBook? If so, great, you are not in the Air's target market, so don't expect to like it.

An totally unnecessary product. Go lift some weights if 5 lbs is too heavy for you.
post #30 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

An totally unnecessaray product. Go lift some weights if 5 lbs is too heavy for you.

So all laptops under 5 lbs are unnecessary products? Why do so many manufacturers sell them then?
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post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

So all laptops under 5 lbs are unnecessary products? Why do so many manufacturers sell them then?

No- only ones where function is sacrificed over form. Ask MacWorld who wrote the review and gave it only 3 1/2 stars, not me.
post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

No- only ones where function is sacrificed over form. Ask MacWorld who wrote the review and gave it only 3 1/2 stars, not me.

You were the one who called it "slow" and "overpriced". Compared to other 3 lb laptops, it is neither of those things. You also say that the MacBook Air is an "unnecessary" product, because if 5 lbs is too heavy, you should go do some weight-training. But then you come back to me and say that that criticism is specially reserved for the MacBook Air (you say other laptops under 5 lbs are not unnecessary products).

You need to brush-up on your logical-reasoning skills and get your criticisms straight.
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post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

You were the one who called it "slow" and "overpriced". Compared to other 3 lb laptops, it is neither of those things. You also say that the MacBook Air is an "unnecessary" product, because if 5 lbs is too heavy, you should go do some weight-training. But then you come back to me and say that that criticism is specially reserved for the MacBook Air (you say other laptops under 5 lbs are not unnecessary products).

You need to brush-up on your logical-reasoning skills and get your criticisms straight.

You need to face the fact that MacWorld has given it only 3 1/2 mouse rating - the WORST rating of any APPLE product in its line.
post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

You need to face the fact that MacWorld has given it only 3 1/2 mouse rating - the WORST rating of any APPLE product in its line.

3 1/2 is still above average though, isn't it?

A poor product would be given less than 3 stars.

All I'm saying to you is that you aren't in the target market for the MacBook Air (neither am I for that matter), and it's tiresome to read you repeating the same old nonsensical criticisms of it. It is not slow and it is not over-priced, and these facts won't change no matter how many times you repeat it.

What is true is that in order to deliver a faster processor, larger screen and larger keyboard than other 3 lb laptops, Apple left out several ports and the optical drive, and are using an integrated battery. Will this be a problem for them? Have they misjudged the market? Do people consider the slow speed and small screen and keyboard size of other ultra-portables to be a big enough problem that they are willing to sacrifice ports and an optical drive in order to get the faster processor, bigger screen and keyboard? I don't know. Time will tell.

What I do know is that it's time for you to stop calling the Air a slow overpriced piece of shit, because you are demonstrably wrong on all counts.
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post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

An totally unnecessary product. Go lift some weights if 5 lbs is too heavy for you.

If you can't find the good in the MBA then it is not the MBA's fault.

When you call the MBA a piece of something, what do you think of the people who purchase the MBA? Any better? I certainly can say with confidence that my MBA is not a piece of anything other than a good addition to my portable office and that it already enabled me to get a lot of quality work done. Yes, I am a pro user.

And yes, I can carry a 50-pound pack from the shore up to the peak of a 3000-foot mountain and consider it just a morning walk. Lighter is better.

BTW: "totally" is preceded by "a", not "an".

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

If you can't find the good in the MBA then it is not the MBA's fault.

Anything can be marketed. Anything awful can have a useful purpose to someone.
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

3 1/2 is still above average though, isn't it?

A poor product would be given less than 3 stars.

All I'm saying to you is that you aren't in the target market for the MacBook Air (neither am I for that matter), and it's tiresome to read you repeating the same old nonsensical criticisms of it. It is not slow and it is not over-priced, and these facts won't change no matter how many times you repeat it.

What is true is that in order to deliver a faster processor, larger screen and larger keyboard than other 3 lb laptops, Apple left out several ports and the optical drive, and are using an integrated battery. Will this be a problem for them? Have they misjudged the market? Do people consider the slow speed and small screen and keyboard size of other ultra-portables to be a big enough problem that they are willing to sacrifice ports and an optical drive in order to get the faster processor, bigger screen and keyboard? I don't know. Time will tell.

What I do know is that it's time for you to stop calling the Air a slow overpriced piece of shit, because you are demonstrably wrong on all counts.

MacWorld called it slow- not me. Wall street calls it overpriced- not me. And Tuneman07 was the one who started criticizing it - not me. Get your facts straight.
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

MacWorld called it slow- not me. Wall street calls it overpriced- not me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

A slow overpriced piece of s*$t!


Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

And Tuneman07 was the one who started criticizing it - not me.

Did I say that you were the one in this thread to start criticising the Air? No. Another failure of your reading comprehension and reasoning skills.
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post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Anything can be marketed. Anything awful can have a useful purpose to someone.

Or can some people find good when others can't or are unwilling?

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Did I say that you were the one in this thread to start criticising the Air? No. Another failure of your reading comprehension and reasoning skills.

Whenever you loose an argument or disagree with one's point of view, you constantly resort to criticize that person's grammar or vocabulary- not mentioning that ridiculous grammatical lesson watermarked on each of your postings. Whatever!
You inferred that I was the only one here bad mouthing the MBAir, which is full of s*&t!
Read the MacWorld review yourself and go come here and spin it as a good review.
The only failure I've had is responding to your preposterous postering of the MacBookAir.
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