Macworld readers are reporting further bugs in Apple's recently released Mac OS X 10.2.4 update.

The company has already recognized that the update can reset the computer date to 1969 or 1970. Apple has issued advice for a temporary fix for this problem.

Now, iBook owners - principally of the dual-USB 700MHz model - are complaining of significant reductions in battery-charge life.

One reader said: "I have a battery life of five to ten minutes since upgrading to OS X 10.2.4." The effect of this is that owners cannot use their iBooks except on mains power. "So much for the year of the notebook," the reader complained.

Apple's own iBook discussion threads carry dozens of reports of the same problem, though Apple has given no official advice at this time.

The symptoms vary, but reports indicate that once OS X 10.2.4 is installed the iBook's power level read-out drops from its usual amount to a much smaller figure, (typically 45 minutes). In use, the iBook will also run out after a much shorter time - in some cases under ten minutes.

Some report unexplained activity of the hard drive and fan on the machines. A minority of reports claim that there are no problems, with others saying their Mac no longer recognizes that a battery is installed, showing a red X through the Menu bar's battery icon.

Affected users may need proof to make their case to Apple. has a utility, called X-Charge 1.0. This monitors battery behaviour, offering an anti-aliased graph of its behaviour over time and logs battery events. The software also provides information about battery charging levels. It is available for free download here.

Apple sold 185,000 iBooks in the final quarter 2002, and the affected configuration is one of its most successful product lines. The company has not yet issued guidance on the matter.

Have you any insight on the problem? Have you found a succesful fix for it? Or are you a readers that's been bitten by the bug? Have your say in Macworld's Reader Forum discussion of the topic.