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Great Moments in Tech Support

It was a beautiful Easter Sunday today. The weather was almost as nice in our backyard as in Florida. One thing I missed while I was gone was a new 4.x release of FreeBSD, so I opened up the ThinkPad on the patio and set about updating the BSD machine and the ThinkPad itself. Update source, build world, build kernel, install kernel, reboot, install world.

Everything went smooth as silk, but a few minutes after booting up the ThinkPad, it starting beeping, quietly but consistently, every three minutes or so. Had I mistakenly turned on power management? A cosmetic flaw in my ThinkPad is that the battery doesn't charge. OK, that would be a fatal flaw for most users, but I only use the ThinkPad around the house and plugging in to an outlet isn't that big a deal. But power management would complain about a low battery.

So I checked 'ps -ax', but no apmd is listed. I check /var/log/messages... nothing unusual there. The machine beeps again. I shut down X. I do a restart. The beeps continue. I turn the sound volune down to zero. I check the BIOS settings. The machine beeps again. Frustrated, I turn the whole thing off.

The machine beeps again.

Now that I have the screen folded down, I see that one of our cordless phone handsets is on the patio table. The battery is low, and it is beeping, quietly but consistently, every three minutes or so.

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