DIY, food, hacking and many more.

  1. iBook G4 Dual display and clamshell mode


    Lately I wanted to connect an external monitor to my iBook G4 and use it for dual display. I have already found a nice utility called “Screen Spanning Doctor” which seems to be reconfiguring something in the OSX and the Firmware(?) of the computer and allows you to use external monitors for dual display.

    When you apply this configurations with the above utility, you are also able to set the resolution of the external monitor to something higher than 1024×768. Which is great also. My problem was that when I connected a monitor that supported 1280×1024 for example, I was not able to set the resolution to this setting. In spite that the iBook was giving me this option. I tried that with a Philips and also a Samsung TFT display, as also with a cheap CRT display. After some search in the net, I found that some guys where able to do that with some Dell displays. While there where too few sites referring to problems like the one I had.

    Another thing I noticed was that many people where trying to work with their iBook in what is called “clamshell mode”. Working with the laptops lid closed. Any iBook user knows that when you close the lid the computer goes to sleep. And there is no option to disable that in OSX. Though there are some tricks that may work and some of them are applied from this “Screen Spanning Doctor” utility.

    So here is my approach to clamshell mode: Before a couple of months my iBook’s hard drive failed. I bought a new one and I disassembled the iBook to replace the failed HDD. Everything went OK. But as always I forgot something. What I forgot to put was a tiny magnet! Which was located under the position where the “left arrow” key is. Under the upper metal cover of the inside of the laptop. This metal cover is what you see if you lift up the iBook’s keyboard. Apple has this magnet there as a replacement for one of the screws that keep in place this metal sheet and also to activate the “sleep switch”, which is located behind the TFT screen. Indeed in this generation of the iBook, if you take a magnet and wave it in front of the TFT screen (warning don’t scratch the screen 🙂 ), you will see the iBook going to sleep :).

    So my iBook is now an insomniac :D.

    Anyway, DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! YOU MAY DESTROY YOUR IBOOK. Not that I care…but…