Monday 25 May 2015

Replacing a MacBook Air battery in Cape Town (and solving an NVivo for Mac 10 software license issue)

Written mostly for MacBook Air users in Cape Town and NVivo for Mac 10 users anywhere.

After replacing my MacBook Air's hard-drive, the next project to support its longevity was battery replacement. Mine was lasting just two hours, a far cry from the initial nine. Apple recommends that battery replacement be done via an authorised service provider. Although online tutorials suggest that is perfectly feasible to do a MacBook Air battery replacement oneself, EveryMac has identified difficulties in sourcing batteries of sufficient quality for post-2009 models.

Since I required speedy and safe replacement in a later model, I followed Apple's advice: Digicape Cape Town were prompt to respond with a quote after I provided them my MacBook Air's serial number. A battery (from Europe) plus installation came to just over R 3,100, including VAT. Although not cheap, the peace-of-mind this provided seemed well worth such expense: Digicape did an MRI/Apple system diagnostic to confirm the fault and to validate the order. After confirming the quote, it took just three days for the battery to arrive. I then dropped off my laptop and the replacement took just over an hour.

A surprising benefit of this replacement was fixing an NVivo for Mac 10 software issue: I was using this qualitative research software to code 25 journalist transcriptions for South Africa's contribution to the 'Journalistic ethics and work practices in conflict societies’ MeCoDEM project teamwork. After installing NVivo 10.2 and running the software, it showed the error message: 'Your NVivo license has been cancelled', then 'Your NVivo license has expired'. After QSR Support fixed this via a remote help session, I was surprised to experience the same error a few days later. The options under the licensing menu were all low-lighted, so there was no way to enter my institution's registration key to authorise the software. With an NVivo project file submission deadline looming, this repeat problem was a potential showstopper...

In messaging a QSR technician during the second fix, he recommended that I get my laptop's CMOS battery checked. When the laptop runs out of battery, CMOS behaves as a backup of the system's date and time. If the CMOS is faulty or not working the time gets set to default which was likely to cause the expiration and cancellation of one's license. Post-battery replacement, I am pleased to say that I have not experienced this problem again, so I'm hoping his explanation is optimal!

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