The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tip #1: Running a portable in clamshell mode!

There are two tips planned for today (the other one is coming later in the day)! A great tip submitted by both Nessuno and Joel Adria: Running a portable in clamshell mode! The clamshell mode is a way to run your laptop with an external display and an external keyboard and mouse. It can be very useful if you use your laptop as a desktop replacement or if you hook up your portable to an HDTV (it is great with Front Row). According to Apple, it is considered safe to operate the newer MacBooks and MacBook Pros and the PowerBooks in this way. Apple doesn't officially support doing this on iBooks (it may cause overheating). One of the best application to do that is InsomniaX 1.2. You can download Insomnia X here from MacUpdate. When InsomniaX is installed, you can simply change the settings in the menu of the app to an automatic sleep when the lid is closed or simply turning off the display. Insomnia will add an icon in your menu bar at the right, close to the airport and sound settings:

Thanks for the tip Nessuno and Joel! Don't forget to come back later today for another great tip!


Blogger richie said...

that's not really a tip now, is it?

June 10, 2007 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Is this plausible with an iMac? For video editing and gaming my Intel mac is connect to my Vizio HDTV. I wish I could just have the HD set on and iMac off mirrored... Any hope?

June 10, 2007 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

This doesn't really help me because I'm on an emac. It's sort of a niche tip...

June 10, 2007 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger Frederic Tremblay said...

Yeah, that is one of the reasons why there are two tips. Both are not for everyone.

Christopher: You can easily mirror the screen but I guess what you are saying is you want to be able to turn off the main iMac display?


June 10, 2007 at 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure this is a true clamshell mode?

I think the right software is screenspanningdoctor, isn't it?

June 11, 2007 at 4:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said... describes how to do this without using any other program. I do it every day when I get to work. The site also covers which macs you can and can't do this with. I personally follow this to turn off the laptop screen but then work with the lid open (and screen off) with my external monitor just to keep the computer cooler.

June 11, 2007 at 6:29 AM  
Blogger Simone said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 11, 2007 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Simone said...

Bassoon it's not so easy. According to Apple's instructions you've to plug and external monitor and keyboard. With this little program you can do it with ONE click and without havin to plug anything...

June 11, 2007 at 7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I repeat: for the iBook use screen spanning doctor, which enables the procedure posted by Bassoon even with iBook: it also enables dual monitor, which is, by default, disabled in iBooks: I repeat: not only mirroring, but also dual monitor!

June 11, 2007 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger bootlessjam said...

It's easy do this with out software, just plug all your stuff in, close the lid to make the laptop go to sleep, then press a key on the keyboard to make it wake up, bingo! you have it! Nessuno how are you planning on using a external display, keyboard and mouse without plugging anything in?

June 12, 2007 at 6:51 AM  
Blogger joe said...

In system prefs displays settings try dragging the menu bar in the arrangement tab, like bellow:

June 15, 2007 at 2:12 PM  

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