connecting my Macbook to a projector (even with the mini dvi port it doesn't work)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by channamasala, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #1
    Hi all,

    There was another thread on this that I found via Google, but now I can't seem to find it again.

    I have to occasionally hook up my Macbook (not a Pro) to various digital projectors at different companies. I bought the $20 attachment thing. I brought it in and have not been able to get any projector to recognize it at all. This is on several different projectors. I try hooking it up both before and after turning the computer on and it doesn't work.

    I went to "Display" in System Preferences but there is nothing there about changing the display (to "dual" or "mirror" or anything), it just says "Color LCD" and some preferences about size, bits and stretching. There are no tabs.

    The worst part is that I teach at a lot of tech companies, so the people there should all know how to fix it, but...1.) I'm in Taiwan and the people who can help can't read English that well, and my Chinese is OK but not *that* good, and 2.) they all use PCs. Macs are like aliens to them. So they can't fix it either.

    The manual is worse than useless. I have yet to find a post online that really helps, either.

    So...er...help please! Thank you!
     
  2. macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #3
    this is going to sound hilarious, I'm sure, but...

    Seems to be VGA to Mini Display Port. It fits the projector cables everyone uses.

    I did notice that the symbol on the adapter (a square with a line on either side to look like a projector) does not match the only port it fits into (which has a circle with three branches of two radiating lines). The port with a matching symbol...well, it just doesn't fit.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #5
    Well, it should fit into the third from the left...but it doesn't. As you can see by the photo of my own ports that I attached, my port with this symbol on it looks different from the one in that image. (I bought this Mac in Taiwan if that means anything, and it was not the latest model).

    I also, as you can see, have a port that is not in your photo, with a different symbol. The adapter I bought (in the USA but I don't think that should matter) only fits into this other port that I have, and not the one in your image (third from the left) that it seems it should fit into.

    But it attaches just fine to the projector cables I'm meant to use...
     

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  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #6
    to clarify

    let me clarify...

    It seems like it should fit into the port third from the left in my shot, which has the same symbol as - but is not the same kind of port as - the one in your shot that is also third from the left. (The adapter has the same symbol on it to match the port). The next port over, which I have but your photo does not, has a different symbol, and the adapter does fit into that port, but it doesn't work.

    It's all very frustrating...
     
  7. macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #7
    That's FireWire, a completely different type of connector. The plug fits in there entirely by chance; there is no connection being made.

    You've purchased the wrong adapter. That's a Mini Displayport to VGA adapter, and your computer has a Mini DVI port. You need one of these.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #8
    oh, sigh

    The woman at the Mac store sold it to me saying it was the right one. Sigh. And of course I'm too far away from that store now to return it (nor do I still have the receipt - I travel a lot and it got lost in the airport shuffle), so basically I've just blown $30 on something I'll never use, that I was told to buy by someone who should know better?

    (I'll spare my rant on how I was so excited to get a Mac, only to find that to do the simplest thing like hook up to a projector, I had to buy some other thing and spend even more money. Ugh.)

    Also, it doesn't look like the projector cables I'm meant to use work with that thing. But I'll deal with that when I go to buy one. Arrrggghhhh....I am trying really hard now to remember why I bought a Mac when the simplest thing is causing me trouble...

    Anyway. None of that is your problem, it's mine. Thanks for your help! I really appreciate it!
     
  9. macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #9
    Yeah, I was a bit disappointed to discover that I had to order a separate DVI adapter for my MacBook Pro when my early 2008 iMac came with a free one. Hell, my old Power Mac G5 came with a DVI to VGA adapter AND a ADC to DVI one, but I guess when you spend $2700 on a computer you should get all of the perks.

    Why won't they work? The VGA connector is exactly the same as on the adapter you had.
     

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