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Hacking 12" PB Resolution

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by JRM, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. JRM
    macrumors member

    Does anyone know if you can hack the resolution on a 12" PB? Say to 1280 or something, coz i reckon i'd like that extra little when i get my Rev D 12". I'll definitely miss the 15" TiBook's screen, but in the face if portability i opted for the 12". It's no major problem if i can't but it would be nice.
  2. macrumors 68000


    i think the 1024x768 max is fine for the 12" screen. if you want better resolution hook up to an external monitor. but i unfortunatly do not know of a place to get a hack. interesting idea, i probably wouldnt mind giving it a try but im guessing it wouldnt be of much benifit.
  3. Moderator


    Staff Member

    It's not possible. Laptops use TFT displays. Unlike CRTs where there is a more or less continuous layer that can be used for pixels, with the resolution limited to how well you can control the electron gun, TFT panels have a finite number of transistor switched pixels. In the case of a 12" PB there are 1024x768. You cannot do anything to improve this short of using a different panel.
  4. macrumors member

    Not entirely true, some hardware hacks can cause the LCD to simulate higher resolutions (much like some digital cameras) but the result is usually very unsatisfying and shortens the life of the display. in addition to this its a mod only done by experts.
  5. macrumors 601


    I've seen applications that up the resolution of LCD displays through software. It's ugly, imo, as it just hacks off every Xth line of pixels. This was for PocketPC, not OS X mind you, but I just wanted to point out that it is probably technically possible, but I would recommend against it. As suggested above you can always get an external monitor for things that you need more deskspace for.

  6. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Hacking the display via software will simulate higher resolutions without actually displaying more pixels. I don't really think that this counts as you will have a really nasty looking display! You best hope is for Tiger + Quartz Debug to set the effective resolution higher and put up with all the rendering glitches (yes Tiger contains the basis for resolution independant display but its still way buggy and will not be exposed as a user control until 10.5).
  7. Moderator emeritus


    Is the result of this essentially similar to what Expose does to display all the windows simultaneously -- you can sort of see all the content in them, but its fuzzy, and it shifts around as pixels trade from showing one detail to the other? I guess it would be more useable, though, if you didn't bump up the resolution as much as Expose does.
  8. macrumors 68040


    what you guys are describeing is sub-pixel rendering. like already pointed out, LCDs consist of a definite, physical number of pixels so you cannot vary the resolution like CRTs.

    because each pixel is made up of three colors, all ordered in the same way in the horizontal direction, you can get a degree of "sub-pixel" rendering in the horizontal direction. here's a good page describing how this works.


    however, this does not constitute "improving the resolution" in the traditional sense.
  9. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Similar but the effect is actually better. Expose works by scaling the window buffer (i.e. a bitmap) of the window. So it kind of looks OK, but a bit fuzzy. The resolutions slider in the Tiger version of Quartz Debug actually alters the DPI that quartz calls are made at (note at the moment it only alters apps launched after it's changed). The means that the application draws at the smaller (or larger) size nativly. So if it's doing vector drawing (or font usage) it doesn't look fuzzy, just smaller or larger. Unfotunatly bitmap parts of the UI look really bad (or sometimes don't get drawn at the new scale) so scroll bars and so on look a bit rough. These issues will get sorted out (as will Carbon apps that use QuickDraw which basically don't work with this) for 10.5.
  10. macrumors member

    Thanks for the info ;)

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