View Full Version : Help with using Powerbook on desktop!

Feb 13, 2002, 10:45 AM
I need help fellow Mac users. I need to figure out how to use my powerbook as a desktop. Here is how I have everything set up - I have the powerbook connected to a monitor, USB keyboard, and USB mouse.... simple so far.

So now I need to know how to be able to close the laptop and not have it turn off - but instead simply turn off the screen. Right now what I have to do is leave the screen partially open or the laptop shuts itself off. Is there anyway to tell the laptop that when I close the lid I don't want it to power down/sleep? Its kinda pointless to have the screen open a few inches just to be able to use it :(

Feb 13, 2002, 11:43 AM
Are you using the docking station??? I know that there's a company out their that builds docking stations for the TiBooks/Powerbooks. Why don't you give this a shot. May work. Not positive though.

Feb 13, 2002, 11:56 AM
Which external keyboard are you using??? If it is the Apple Pro, then you can get an item that goes onto one of it's USB ports that will allow you to power up the computer with the lid down. Otherwise, get a Macally USB keyboard and use the power button from that to turn on the computer with the lid down. If you did go for a dock for the PowerBook G4, be prepared to shell out over $200 for it. The keyboard is much cheaper then that.

Feb 13, 2002, 12:02 PM
I used to use my powerbook with an external monitor with the lid almost closed (and almost closed in transfer disk mode as well). I quickly learned that this isn't such a good idea. A good deal of heat comes out of the speaker vents and keyboard, and it discolored my screen (for a day or two, then it went back to normal).

But still, I'm not taking any more chances.

Just my experience if it helps.

Feb 13, 2002, 01:30 PM
Well I have a macally iKey keyboad connection to the TiBook now and when I close the laptop screen everything goes off. Then I press the power on the keyboard - and every thing comes on.... for a few seconds and then goes off again :confused:

Any other ideas?

Feb 13, 2002, 02:03 PM
Why have such a nice 15" screen and not use it? I'm typing this right now on my Ti 550 using a 19" NEC monitor, Macally keyboard, and Kensington mouse, and have the powerbook sitting to the right of my NEC monitor with dual-monitor support on... it's the best... yeah, I've read somewhere that in recent upgrades of OSX, they made it possible again to run it closed with external monitor and everything (it was broken at first, may still be), but with an extra monitor (the TiBook) just use it :D Plug the monitor into the back, then press Command+F2 and it will refresh the displays with the second monitor attached, or unplug the display and press it again, and the display bounces back to the TiBook.

Go into the display section of the System Preferences and you can adjust where the monitors sit in relation to each other....

Just my opinion, but there's no point in closing and wasting the very nice 15" screen and extra real-estate when that's what this expensive beast was designed for.....

It's an awesome expensive beast though that I just love :p

Feb 13, 2002, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by gregorypierce
Well I have a macally iKey keyboad connection to the TiBook now and when I close the laptop screen everything goes off. Then I press the power on the keyboard - and every thing comes on.... for a few seconds and then goes off again :confused:

Any other ideas?

How about when you power the computer up with the lid already closed???

Feb 13, 2002, 03:05 PM
If you have an external keyboard with a power button, such as the Apple USB Keyboard, you can use the PowerBook with the display closed by following these steps:

1. Shut down the computer.
2. Connect a monitor, keyboard (with power button), and mouse.
3. Close the PowerBook display.
4. Press the power button on the keyboard to turn on the computer.
Note: The Apple Pro Keyboard does not have a power button.


To use a PowerBook G4 computer and PowerBook (FireWire) with the display closed and an external monitor connected:

1. Place your PowerBook in sleep mode by closing the display.

2. Connect the power adapter and external monitor.

3. Connect an external Apple USB keyboard and mouse and the PowerBook will wake.
To activate the internal display again, put the PowerBook to sleep and wake it with the display open.


1. If you are using your PowerBook with the computer closed, you cannot utilize Video Mirroring. If you have both a VGA and S-video source connected to the PowerBook, it shows an image only on the VGA device.

2. Connecting an external monitor increases the power requirements of the PowerBook. Therefore, you must use the AC adapter whenever the PowerBook is connected to an external monitor. The PowerBook will not wake up if the power adapter is not connected, and if you disconnect the power adapter the computer will go to sleep.

These are the links they came from but I don't know if it will work because it appears to be based upon my login....



Feb 13, 2002, 03:38 PM
I got it to work just fine... so that the powerbook display acts like it doesn't even exist, even when I re-open the lid while it's running and press the Command+F2 keys.... the keyboard and trackpad still work though, even with the display off....

My keyboard, even though it has the power button on it, didn't want to power the thing on, so I opened the lid, pressed the power button and quickly closed the lid as it chimed, the rest worked just fine, the Apple icon came up on the external monitor instead of the powerbook, and it runs just fine like that.... the display preferences only sees the external display as well.

So, power off, connect the monitor, keyboard and mouse, power on with the external keyboard, or as I did, with the powerbook itself then quickly close the lid.

However, after doing all this, I'm rebooting it with everything still connected so I can have my second monitor back which I really like to have :)

Have fun and hope it works for you....

Feb 14, 2002, 11:39 AM
The approach proposed by benjc works! Its funny though because I have to time it and quickly get it closed and then everything comes up on the external VGA monitor :D

Hopefully Apple will be able to resolve this in a later release or something because its silly to have to do this. Thanks everyone :)