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Apple Fixes Firmware, Nixes MacBook Pro Heat Problems

Apple Computer Inc. quietly issued a firmware update Tuesday for its Intel-based systems that users said fixed overheating problems in the MacBook Pro notebook, which has been plagued with heat and noise issues since it was introduced in February.

The firmware fix -- available directly from Apple's download site or retrieved automatically via Mac OS X's Software Update mechanism -- was released without fanfare and with virtually no details. The update's explanatory page, for instance, neglects to actually say what the update does or is supposed to fix.

That left Mac users guessing. The title of one thread on Apple's own support forums told the tale: "What the **** is this new SMC Firmware update for MBP?"

"Thanks Apple, nothing says we love our customers like posting an update, AND NOT TELLING US A SINGLE FREAKING clue what it fixes," raged one user identified as 'Cizer.' "Or would that just mean you'd have to admit some of the issues we've been having?"

Although Apple said that the update was to "System Management Control (SMC)" firmware, it was up to MacBook Pro (MBP) users to figure out that SMC is the specialized controller that manages thermal and power conditions, and is in charge of running the portable's fans.

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