PC Doctor October 11, 2011

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Dear PC Doctor,

I've been using my Macbook Pro at school a lot lately. Instead of turning it off every time I leave class, I like to just close the lid to put it to sleep so it starts right up again when I open it later. I carry it around in my bag and I'm just a little worried that it might overheat or something. I haven't had any problems yet, but I've heard of some Macbook Pro's having overheating problems. Is it ok for my laptop to be in my bag without being turned all the way off?


Dear Dave,

After doing some research, the short answer is that no, carrying your Macbook Pro in your bag while it is in sleep mode should not cause your computer to overheat. It's hardly using any power to keep the processes in memory (so it's able to start up immediately when you open the lid later) so there shouldn't really be any danger of it overheating when it's in your bag. However, try to not get into the habit of simply putting your laptop to sleep whenever you're not using it. Give your computer a break and turn it off if you know you're not going to use it for a while (i.e. overnight).

However, I've read that you need to be careful to let your laptop finish going to sleep before you carry it around in your bag. Why's that? Twenty seconds or so after you close the lid, the hard drive may still be “parking the heads” so any jostling might impair your hard drive! If you have one of the solid state hard drives you won't have anything to worry about, but the older (but not outdated) hard drives have actual moving parts. This is why it's never a good idea to shake your laptop! When you put your laptop to sleep give it about twenty seconds for everything to slowdown before you pick it up and drop it into your bag.

            PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor,

I have more than one email and it's becoming a pain to check each email every day. I know there's a way to set up to forward email but it's beyond me. Can you persuade me that it's easier than it seems?


Dear Andrew,

Wow, talk about coincidence... I just went and set up another email address to forward to my primary email address! I'll first say that it's really easy and pain-free. Very much worth the effort since you'll save so much time not logging in and out of those email accounts daily.

My primary email address is a Gmail address. If you don't already have a Gmail address, I highly recommend it. It's pretty much the best email client out there and setting up email forwarding to a Gmail account is incredibly easy. First, log into your new (or not-so-new) Gmail account. Up in the right corner of the page, click on the gear symbol and in the menu click on Mail Settings. Click on the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” label near the top. Right at the top is the “Forwarding:” section. Click on “Add a forwarding address” and a new window will appear. Put the address you want to forward your email from. So far, I've had great success with forwarding emails from Hotmail, Yahoo and other Gmail accounts. I'm pretty sure the other email providers will work just as well. Clicking Next will send a setup email to the email address you just typed in. Before the emails start arriving you need to verify the email address. Log in and check the email of the address you want to forward from. In the email you will have received from Gmail, memorize (or simply copy and paste) the confirmation code into the verify box in Gmail. It’s right next to “Verify (your email address) ” under settings. Click verify and be sure to check the box that says “Forward a copy of incoming mail to...” and then click Save Changes at the bottom of the page. Repeat for the rest of your email addresses!


            PC Doctor

Until next time... happy computing!