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View Full Version : Powerbook as desktop replacement


andypop
Nov 20, 2004, 03:21 PM
Hello.

Is it possible to plug in a keyboard, mouse, and monitor to my Powerbook and run it CLOSED as a desktop replacement?

iLikeMyiMac
Nov 20, 2004, 03:26 PM
Yes but it might be a good idea to open the lid for better cooling if you are doing any processor heavy work.

wwooden
Nov 20, 2004, 03:58 PM
I have my 12" connected to a 17" external LCD. You have to have an external mouse and keyboard in order to do it. All you do is connect the monitor, put the computer to sleep and close the lid. Then just hit any key on the mouse or keyboard and the computer will recognised that the only screen you want to use it the external. You can then Set the resolution to whatever you want it to, as if the external was the only display. As the other person mentioned, I think it is best to leave the screen open when I do this. It helps with heat and it increases my Airport signal.

SumoHamster
Nov 20, 2004, 04:17 PM
I run my PB with the lid closed 99% of the time. Closing the lid will put it into sleep mode, so there's no need to add an extra step of putting it to sleep before closing the lid.

timnosenzo
Nov 20, 2004, 06:30 PM
To help with the cooling issue, you could always pick up a Griffin iCurve, too. Keeps the PBook nice and high off the desk.
http://www.griffintechnology.com/images/products/prod_icurve_ibook_sml.jpg

Jaz
Nov 20, 2004, 07:02 PM
I see no problem with running a PB with the lid closed. I ran a PB as a desktop for while and it was fine.

As long as the left, right and rear fan vents are not blocked and it is on a flat surface (or raised a la iCurve) then it will cool fine.

Apple note in all the material that the only surface that needs attention is the bottom. I should have space and airflow and should not be pressed flat against something as it is a primary cooling point of transfer. The keyboard space is fine and can be run closed.

DanTekGeek
Nov 20, 2004, 07:08 PM
hope its ok to link to another forum, but here it goes. http://www.macosx.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46236&page=1&pp=15
thats a large thread discussing this issue. good luck.

JasonL
Nov 20, 2004, 08:45 PM
I do it all the time with no problems...and I use my PB for hours every day both at home and at school. Of course one of the great things about the PB is using two displays at once.

DickArmAndHarT
Nov 20, 2004, 10:12 PM
Yeah I know you can do it but why would you want to when you can just have a dual screen set up. Thats what im planning on when i get another monitor. So what are you reasons for only using the external instead of both at once

wwooden
Nov 20, 2004, 10:26 PM
Yeah I know you can do it but why would you want to when you can just have a dual screen set up. Thats what im planning on when i get another monitor. So what are you reasons for only using the external instead of both at once

I only have 32 mb of video ram, so when I run both displays at max resolution (12" at 1024 * 768 and the external at 1280*1024), I notice all the things that involve the video card slow down, like expose' or if I have a lot of windows open. Also, I just find it easier to look at one screen then going back and forth between the two. The only time I use both is when I am writing a paper or doing something were I need to reference information from another program, it's easier to have both open and visible.

JasonL
Nov 21, 2004, 07:36 AM
Oh yeah, with the 32MB GPU that would be true.

The other reason I was going to mention is gaming, which is when I just use my external display (17" LCD).

bursty
Nov 21, 2004, 08:49 PM
I have my 12" connected to a 17" external LCD. You have to have an external mouse and keyboard in order to do it. All you do is connect the monitor, put the computer to sleep and close the lid. Then just hit any key on the mouse or keyboard and the computer will recognised that the only screen you want to use it the external. You can then Set the resolution to whatever you want it to, as if the external was the only display. As the other person mentioned, I think it is best to leave the screen open when I do this. It helps with heat and it increases my Airport signal.

Do you have to have an external keyboard and mouse hooked up to run an external LCD screen?

jared_kipe
Nov 21, 2004, 10:48 PM
You can make a stand out of a wire coat hanger, just make sure you cover the parts that will touch the computer with electrical tape so it doesn't scratch or slide.

Mechcozmo
Nov 22, 2004, 12:10 AM
Do you have to have an external keyboard and mouse hooked up to run an external LCD screen?

No. But for the lid to be closed... ;)

spasticmutant
Nov 22, 2004, 02:21 AM
Hello.

Is it possible to plug in a keyboard, mouse, and monitor to my Powerbook and run it CLOSED as a desktop replacement?

I do this every workday, both at work and at home. I have external USB keyboards, external USB mice, and DVI monitors in both locations. I carry Bender around in a Waterfield sleevecase with D-rings, suspension strap and piggy back. It's a very lightweight and mobile configuration.

My tricks to get it working properly:

1. plug in everything first before booting - keyboard, mouse, monitor, power, etc.

2. When you power up the system, close the lid immediately. Press the power button and shut the lid fast.

3. Make sure the system is plugged into power before booting or it won't be able to use the external monitor. Otherwise, it goes directly into sleep mode after boot. This is understandable considering what the graphic processing and power requirements must be to push an external monitor.

4. I like to power the system down between work and home. The combination of different monitor configurations and different networking configurations is enough to justify a power-down. The system just can't handle sleeping between a home config with wireless networking and a 23" monitor, and a work config with wired ethernet, several nfs mounts, and a 20" monitor. Invariably I get a system freeze of one kind or another. Plus, I also noticed that when moving from a larger monitor to smaller, the Stickies program can put Sticky notes in places inaccessible from the smaller monitor configuration. Oops.

5. Buy and USE a lock! It's worth the expense to know that your system will still be there when you get back from the restroom. It's only a second or two extra to lock up the Powerbook when I'm already plugging in power and data connectors.

6. I also bought a little keyboard cushion to cover the keys when the monitor is closed. I suppose it isn't required, but a keyboard cover separating the keys from the monitor will prevent any previously discussed issues regarding keyboard imprints on the laptop monitor. Plus, it looks cute. :p

7. Oh yeah. I also have elevated coolpads in both locations. Elevating the machine to allow airflow under the system seems to go a long way in cooling it. I feel no heat on the top when it's closed but running - it's all on the bottom. I rarely hear the fan kick in as a consequence.

Anne Marie

Mustafa
Nov 22, 2004, 04:12 AM
You might also want to consider a docking station, particularly if you have several peripherals. I've just got one of these:

http://www.photo-control.com/bookendz/

Probably only worth having if you intend to carry your PB around much.

spasticmutant
Nov 24, 2004, 12:10 AM
You might also want to consider a docking station, particularly if you have several peripherals. I've just got one of these:

http://www.photo-control.com/bookendz/

Probably only worth having if you intend to carry your PB around much.

Their website doesn't specifically state that it supports my powerbook version. Without explicit assurance of compliance, I'm reluctant to make that investment. If they can assure me that their product works with the current latest revision of 15" powerbook, then I'd seriously consider it. I'd love to have a docking station for my powerbook!

Anne Marie

Mustafa
Nov 24, 2004, 02:57 AM
Their website doesn't specifically state that it supports my powerbook version. Without explicit assurance of compliance, I'm reluctant to make that investment. If they can assure me that their product works with the current latest revision of 15" powerbook, then I'd seriously consider it. I'd love to have a docking station for my powerbook!

Anne Marie

Can't see why it shouldn't -- mine is a 1.25MHz PB, a year old, but surely the ports are all in the same place? Why don't you call them to confirm?

aussie_geek
Nov 24, 2004, 03:11 AM
To help with the cooling issue, you could always pick up a Griffin iCurve, too. Keeps the PBook nice and high off the desk.
http://www.griffintechnology.com/images/products/prod_icurve_ibook_sml.jpg

Definately consider buying one of these. I just got one today and it is easier to use my PowerBook because I am not looking down at the desk all the time.

Combine an iCurve with an Apple wireless keyboard and a Logitech MX900 bluetooth mouse and you will have a great desktop replacement setup. ;)

aussie_geek

Mord
Nov 25, 2004, 12:31 PM
5. Buy and USE a lock! It's worth the expense to know that your system will still be there when you get back from the restroom. It's only a second or two extra to lock up the Powerbook when I'm already plugging in power and data connectors.

you know you can disable most of those locks by jamming a biro in them and twisting.

spasticmutant
Nov 29, 2004, 07:54 PM
you know you can disable most of those locks by jamming a biro in them and twisting.

Since when are Kensington locks compromised by twisting a biro in them? Can you do it? I've heard about the Kryptonite bicycle locks with this problem, but not the Kensington (or other) laptop locks.


Anne Marie

spasticmutant
Nov 29, 2004, 07:57 PM
Can't see why it shouldn't -- mine is a 1.25MHz PB, a year old, but surely the ports are all in the same place? Why don't you call them to confirm?


I don't trust phone flunkies. I want the site to specify specifically that it works, that they've tested it, etc. I don't want to find out that there's some small electrical flaw or misalignment after the fact, and then get told that it's my fault because their website doesn't specify exact compliance with my version of powerbook.

Plus, I'd like to see it in person.


Anne Marie