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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > What to do with a 'headless' PB?

What to do with a 'headless' PB?
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adamberti
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Apr 17, 2005, 04:14 AM
 
So my 15" TiBook got stepped on a few weeks ago. Ouch. I don't know how I didnt kill the guy right there and then. I just had to finish off the last few weeks of classes with no personal computer - tough.

Insurance has covered it - the repair cost was almost $1900 CDN so they just bought me a new one (lucky me - sort of, more on that later). All that was damaged was the screen and power adapter small piece (not the extension part). Here's a couple o' pics



When I first saw it I thought 'hey, it's a new way to protect my screen from the keyboard. My screen will never touch my keyboard anymore!' Funny thing is, AppleCare gave me a brand new screen a mere 2 weeks before it got stepped on - I Was so happy...

Anyways - I'm just wondering if people have any thoughts for it. It's in great condition. 1 GHz, Superdrive, 768 RM, 60GB hard drive, airport. I had considered selling it or parts of it, but it seems like a shame to get rid of it. I thought I could hook it upto my TV as a media server or something.

On a side note - I'm not super happy about my new machine. Maybe it's just because I'm used to my TiBook, but I prefer the click of my old trackbutton and the feel of the keys. I even think my new screen looks worse than the old one in terms of quality. And the sizeing is just barely different but this new PB looks a lot bigger than my TiBook. I also prefer the ports on the back.

Enought ranting, anyone got suggestions for the ol' PB? Thanks!
     
Randman
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Apr 17, 2005, 04:18 AM
 
If you have an external monitor, run it in closed-lid mode and you have a viable desktop computer.

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I was David B.
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Apr 17, 2005, 10:52 AM
 
I would remove the display to make the powerbook look a little less destroyed, maybe sell the hinges and connect to an external display.
     
rasmusnet
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Apr 17, 2005, 11:39 AM
 
Insurance or not, that foot-guy still owes a beer!!!
Bstrgds, Rasmusnet

     
ajprice
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Apr 17, 2005, 12:08 PM
 
Remove the screen and connect it to a monitor .

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
adamberti  (op)
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Apr 17, 2005, 12:31 PM
 
I never would have gone for a beer with foot man, nor will I ever - still trying to get my deductible out of him.....

I had considered removing the screen for a cleaner look. How hard is it? I'm fairly proficient with electronics, I've dissassembled a few things before (iPod, Stereo's, Mac Classsic's, etc). I have seen the take apart manuals for the TiBook, and I realize there are a lot of parts and steps. I guess first I would need the tools.

Then it would be like a mini Xserve
     
romeosc
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Apr 17, 2005, 03:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by adamberti
I never would have gone for a beer with foot man, nor will I ever - still trying to get my deductible out of him.....

I had considered removing the screen for a cleaner look. How hard is it? I'm fairly proficient with electronics, I've dissassembled a few things before (iPod, Stereo's, Mac Classsic's, etc). I have seen the take apart manuals for the TiBook, and I realize there are a lot of parts and steps. I guess first I would need the tools.

Then it would be like a mini Xserve

If you had Safeware insurance...... no deductable!

but they would have kept old computer after replacing....

or give it to me .... I was looking at a Mini to hold audio.....
     
sniffer
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Apr 18, 2005, 01:05 AM
 
Removing the screen sounds like a neath idea. Just hook a mouse into it, and a LCD, and voila, you've got a Mac hiding in the keyboard. That's pretty hard to beat.

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mitchell_pgh
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Apr 18, 2005, 01:50 PM
 
remove the screen and add TWO LCD screens
     
adamberti  (op)
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Apr 18, 2005, 02:55 PM
 
One screen, two screens, red screen, blue scren. That would mean I need some money first... I have a TV, that might do for now.

Oooo, I just had an idea. I could put the powerbook in some sort of a drawer mechanism, with the monitor up above. So I could have it in the kitchen, and it would pull out like a cutting board - I could change the tunes, pull up a recipie, watch some Iron Chef reruns . And then the monitor could be installed into a cabinet door up above. Is there a maximum length on VGA or DVI cable?
     
guywithFX
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Apr 18, 2005, 06:14 PM
 
I see two possibilities for you and your lappy:

1: Take it apart and make a new aluminum slim enclosure for it and have the sickest mac desktop around. You would have the aluminum case act as an all-in-one heatsink for the CPU and GPU. Remove the Keyboard, Trackpad, and Battery and only have the Logic Board, Memory, and Hard Drive. Inside of the enclosure have both a firewire and a usb hub integrated into it.

OR

2: Keep the existing TiBook case and remove the screen and fabricate two metal pieces as fillers for where the hinges used to be. Set up a flat panel display infront of the lower case and use the built-in keyboard and trackpad. (could be a good test set-up with a KVM possibly...)

Good luck with whatever you end you end up doing and definately keep us posted.
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sniffer
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Apr 18, 2005, 06:17 PM
 
Don't know about VGA/DVI maximum length, but if you make a kitchen with build in G4 processor, please share pictures.

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romeosc
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Apr 18, 2005, 06:19 PM
 
I'd like to have it to free up my PB and hook up to 42 inch plasma for home movies etc.

http://www.spymac.com/gallery/show_p...p?picid=288868
( Last edited by romeosc; Apr 18, 2005 at 06:22 PM. Reason: left out link)
     
adamberti  (op)
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Apr 20, 2005, 04:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by guywithFX
I see two possibilities for you and your lappy:

1: Take it apart and make a new aluminum slim enclosure for it and have the sickest mac desktop around. You would have the aluminum case act as an all-in-one heatsink for the CPU and GPU. Remove the Keyboard, Trackpad, and Battery and only have the Logic Board, Memory, and Hard Drive. Inside of the enclosure have both a firewire and a usb hub integrated into it.

OR

2: Keep the existing TiBook case and remove the screen and fabricate two metal pieces as fillers for where the hinges used to be. Set up a flat panel display infront of the lower case and use the built-in keyboard and trackpad. (could be a good test set-up with a KVM possibly...)

Good luck with whatever you end you end up doing and definately keep us posted.
1. If only I had a metal workshop in my basement....
2. I'd still need that workshop, but this is probably the route I will take - or sell it.
     
romeosc
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Apr 20, 2005, 04:38 PM
 
.... Or just fill voids with JB weld and smooth it out!
     
mrgaskell
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Apr 20, 2005, 04:47 PM
 
Dude, you can get a CRT for next to nothing now. I would get an external USB keyboard and mouse, a stand for a CRT or LCD monitor and run it that way.
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romeosc
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Apr 20, 2005, 10:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by mrgaskell
Dude, you can get a CRT for next to nothing now. I would get an external USB keyboard and mouse, a stand for a CRT or LCD monitor and run it that way.

....... you have agreat keyboard and mouse built in just need a monitor


That's why I was going to connect a mini to my 42" plasma........
     
mrgaskell
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Apr 21, 2005, 12:36 AM
 
But wouldnt you need an external keyboard and mouse if it was headless? If the ribbon was disconnected would it still run thinking it was mirroring to the "internal" monitor, or would it think that it was closed/missing and need the external keyboard to run "closed lid" mode?
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maxintosh
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Apr 21, 2005, 01:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by mrgaskell
But wouldnt you need an external keyboard and mouse if it was headless? If the ribbon was disconnected would it still run thinking it was mirroring to the "internal" monitor, or would it think that it was closed/missing and need the external keyboard to run "closed lid" mode?
The keyboard and mouse work regardless of whether an external display is connected. Besides the TiBook didn't support closed-lid mode at all, AFAIK.
     
Ixion
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Apr 21, 2005, 01:51 AM
 
I am the foot man.

Sorry.







Just kidding.
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joshnyberg
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Apr 21, 2005, 02:28 AM
 
All Powerbooks support closed-lid mode, although it does make them run hotter.
Powerbook Repair Shop: G4 parts and repairs at very reasonable prices.

www.powerbookrepairshop.com
     
adamberti  (op)
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Apr 21, 2005, 02:59 AM
 
Yeah - I've got CRT's lying around that I can take. I just wanted to do something cool with it without spending money (I don't think thats possible though). This is probably how I will use the computer for now.

The TiBook did support the closed lid mode. But how do you know if the keyboard works in closed lid mode. Isn't that like asking if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around does it make a noise?
     
adamberti  (op)
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Apr 21, 2005, 03:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Ixion
I am the foot man.
You are??? No wonder I can't find you in the city, you've gone off to the U.S. in hiding...
     
adamberti  (op)
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Apr 21, 2005, 03:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by joshnyberg
All Powerbooks support closed-lid mode, although it does make them run hotter.
Just browsing your site.. You sell plain LCD screens with no casing, but how the heck are you going to find a casing? I thought the things were glued together pretty good.

You figure I can pry mine out and bend the casing back to normal and throw in a new(used) LCD?
     
adamberti  (op)
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Apr 21, 2005, 03:12 AM
 
Another question... if I was to find a screen does it have to be from a DVI model? Or can it be from an older model of powerbook? (eg. 500Mhz ones)
     
SpaceRockness
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Apr 21, 2005, 04:15 AM
 
heh, bending the TiBook casing back to normal IMO would require heaps of effort and some knowledge or skill in dent removal/patching(auto-repair). While you're at it may as well replace the backlight tube(s) since you'd have to gut it before rebending it and who knows if one or all of them got screwed up too. Good thing the TiBooks had airport in the lower shell, on an AluBook the APE+BT antennas would be knocked loose/busted.

Good luck on reuse or rebuilding, I'm still trying to ponder how someone could step on it...
     
mrgaskell
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Apr 21, 2005, 10:48 AM
 
I think the screen from a much older TiBook would work, albeit less brighter as the DVI screens were much crisper.
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mrgaskell
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Apr 21, 2005, 10:58 AM
 
damn repeats...
( Last edited by mrgaskell; Apr 21, 2005 at 10:58 AM. Reason: repeated message)
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adamberti  (op)
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Apr 21, 2005, 04:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceRockness
heh, bending the TiBook casing back to normal IMO would require heaps of effort and some knowledge or skill in dent removal/patching(auto-repair). While you're at it may as well replace the backlight tube(s) since you'd have to gut it before rebending it and who knows if one or all of them got screwed up too. Good thing the TiBooks had airport in the lower shell, on an AluBook the APE+BT antennas would be knocked loose/busted.

Good luck on reuse or rebuilding, I'm still trying to ponder how someone could step on it...
Yeah I guess there are a lot of parts in the screen. I'm better off just using a whole new screen. If I find a dirt cheap one around, might go for that.

As for how it got stepped on.... Man gets drunk. Man does balance beam walk on top part of couch. Man falls off - steps on seat. Person beside seat with laptop falls into foot. Man's second foot comes down on laptop.

I didn't even see it happen. Aparently the screen bent over his forearm as he was trying to protect it. I was at my desktop in my office and someone comes around the corner and says 'you might want to come over here.' I had a bad feeling the whole night that Mr. Drunk Foot was going to damange my PB in some way - either with his body or his booze.
     
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Apr 23, 2005, 06:41 AM
 
That's uncanny. I have the same model TiBook 1GHz, except with 1GB Ram. And no Foot man. I was the backpack-not-designed-for a powerbook man. And in Gatwick airport there are hangars that dont' hold much weight- result: 6 foot drop straight to concrete and a shattered screen and small amounts of bending in the case.

But I loved the TiBook and thought the Al was too thick. Problem was I was working on my thesis on this TiBook. The drive was fine. The superdrive was damaged. Bought a new one on Ebay, and bought a screen. Much pain later when trying to replace the screen, found that it was the wrong version of the LCD (even though I specifically ASKED the seller!). So again, a headless TiBook.

TiBooks DO run in closed top mode, they also will and start and everything "mirroring" for the rest of their lives. I decided the half open screen was tiring. So I openened it up once again (not as simple as it sounds) and removed the screen entirely. Now it actually looks pretty cool (and runs cooler than ever :-). Here is my current setup and alternate setups:

Right now - Tibook is always on. Mirror mode. DVI connector out goes to converter cable (which came with the TiBook) and into VGA connection of my DLP video projector (for home theater).
-Bluetooth dongle is plugged in, and Airport card is functional.
-I live (currently) in the UK, but it's temporary, so I didn't want to buy Region 2 home theater components, sooo.....the Tibook is set to play region 2. My surround home theater setup is a US region 1 system.
-The DLP project (sounds swank, but it was CHEAP-675 bucks) is from LG electronics. Comes with a USB output which plugs into the TiBook. Now the rf wireless remote control for the DLP projector has a small joystick controller which serves as the mouse on the Tibook. Just plugged it in and it plays.
-I did purchase an Apple BT wireless keyboard, which sits on the couch or wherever.
-Sound output from the TiBook runs to my main home theater amp (again sounds swank, but it's just one of those Sony systems that I think cost 400 bucks, but has a sub, 5.1, etc).

How does it all work and so what?....
-I want to watch a region 1, I select the home theater on the DLP remote and play.
-I want to watch a region 2 DVD, I select "PC" again on the DLP remote, and it is a giant Display-then just launch DVD player.
-To surf the web, Safari and the Airport connection through downstairs network I have setup. the wireless keyboard can sit anywhere in the room and the mouse is on the DLP remote for clicking, dragging, etc.
-TiBook sound runs through the main system set to "aux in". When I launch iTunes, I can share my downstairs computer's ITunes music catalog with has 11,000 songs on my main hard drive. You can do this all from the comfortable couch upstairs.
As a home theater setup, is works really well. Alternate region DVD viewing, full music sharing and catalog, internet access for "oh I just had a thought about something I want to look up", or "check my email quickly".

The only only drawback is that the fan is a little louder than I wish it were on the Tibook. (I don't know if the mac mini has a fan or how loud it is. I used to have an old iMac the fanless one, and it was great once the hard drive stopped spinning. But honestly, the Tibook is quieter than the DLP projector, so it is masked. And at movie viewing volume I can't hear it at all except in very quiet segments. I thought about constructing some sort of enclosure, but have not done that.

ALternate setups:
I am a music guy and compose some. The headless TiBook fits on the side of one of my keyboards. Just will need a small LCD monitor if I want to use it that way-maybe I will if I get a mac mini to take over Home theater duties. It will be nice in that role because it has the trackpad and keyboard built in, and I can mount the Tibook to the side, yet put the LCD screen just behind the keyboard and in the Middle. This sounds trivial, but makes for much more comfortable usage if you sit there for hours at the (piano) keyboard playing and modifying passages while constantly referring to the screen.

Many uses still for the headless Tibook.
My main portable now is a 12" 1.33GHz Aluminum, which is great because it is small. But still thicker than the old Tibook. (and has no PCMCIA card slot).

Hope this gives you some ideas. Good luck.

WSKCONDOR
     
   
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