Powerbook as desktop replacement

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by andypop, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    #1
    Hello.

    Is it possible to plug in a keyboard, mouse, and monitor to my Powerbook and run it CLOSED as a desktop replacement?
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    iLikeMyiMac

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis
    #2
    Yes but it might be a good idea to open the lid for better cooling if you are doing any processor heavy work.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    wwooden

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #3
    I do it

    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.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    soloer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    Omaha
    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Location:
    ct, us
    #5
    To help with the cooling issue, you could always pick up a Griffin iCurve, too. Keeps the PBook nice and high off the desk.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Jaz
    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #7
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Ware, MA
    #8
    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.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    #9
    Ok

    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
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    wwooden

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #10
    my reason

    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.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Ware, MA
    #11
    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).
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    bursty

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    STL
    #12
    Do you have to have an external keyboard and mouse hooked up to run an external LCD screen?
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #14
    No. But for the lid to be closed... ;)
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Clara
    #15
    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
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Shenfield, Essex, UK
    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Clara
    #17
    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
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Shenfield, Essex, UK
    #18
    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?
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    aussie_geek

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #19
    go the iCurve

    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
     
  20. macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    Old York
    #20
    you know you can disable most of those locks by jamming a biro in them and twisting.
     
  21. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Clara
    #21
    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
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Clara
    #22

    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
     

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