Powerbook G4 – simultaneous viewing built-in and external display?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Rhythmdvl, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. Rhythmdvl macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2008
    New to Macs here, so forgive me if this is beyond obvious—but all of the answers I’ve found so far talk about dual external monitors.

    Short version: A Powerbook G4 1 GHz with OSX Tiger has an external display attached via the DVI port. How do we cycle through i) external display only, ii) Powerbook display only, and iii) display on both screens simultaneously?

    Pedantic version:

    Setup: Home office, editorial and graphic design. At my desk, the keyboard and mouse run through a USB switch box (switch, not hub) and connect to my machine, a Linux file server, and the Powerbook. All video is connected to a Dell display with multiple inputs. The Powerbook sits on the side of my wife’s desk. It is a Powerbook G4 1 GHz, running OSX Tiger.

    Issue: The issue is twofold. First, we occasionally need to look at the same screen. It’s not necessarily problematic for her to walk over to my desk, but it’s a larger interruption than if she could just look at the Powerbook screen. Second, she occasionally needs to use that Mac herself. With the DVI plugged in, her screen is blank until we either unplug it or go through some mysterious sequence of keystrokes to return the display to the Powerbook.

    From what we’ve been able to figure out, there are three states: external display only, Powerbook display only, and both displays simultaneously. We haven’t been able to figure out what combination of keys switch between the three (Fn+F7? Shift>Fn+F7? ...). The Mac sleeps a lot (it’s something of a spare machine), so could restarting or putting it to sleep in a particular state be key?

    In addition, those few times where the display was shared (how’d we do that?), it was in the lower resolution native to the G4. That is understandable, but I’m left with a severely cropped screen on the display. Is this more likely a display issue that I should take up with Dell, or is there something else that can be done on the Mac to reset/size?

    Again, I hope this isn’t a too-simple question to be worth answering.


  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    1. Connect PB with display, close PB lid. OR Close PB lid and connect with display. Wake PB with USB peripheral without opening the lid.

    2. Do not connect PB with display.

    3. Connect PB with display. Should auto detect. You might have to open Display Pref and uncheck mirroring.

    There are no key combinations that I know of.

    You might want to change energy setting to never sleep (or few hours) if you don't want it to sleep during work day.
  3. Wheelhouse macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2008
    PB G4 that does not sleep when closed -- can I use external display?

    I have a question similar to Rhythmdvl's.

    Mac: Powerbook G4 15" 867 Titanium
    External Display: ACER 22" AL2216WBD

    When I connect my PowerBook to the external display (via DVI) the monitor appears "active" and system preferences indicates that the monitor is connected, but the monitor is black.

    If I switch into mirror mode, I can see the distorted mirror image on the monitor. I have read that I should close my laptop so that it goes into sleep mode, connect the monitor, and then wake the computer using an external device -- and then the monitor will work. However, my laptop does not properly close and does NOT go to sleep when shut.

    Will I be able to use an external display with my cranky old PowerBook?

    Is there a way to fix the PowerBook so that it does go to sleep when closed?

    Extra info: I connect this same monitor to my MacBook using the same cable (but with mini-DVI converter) so I know that the cable and monitor work properly.

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