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The iBook comes standard with video "mirroring". Using a simple, pretty much harmless Firmware hack, monitor "spanning" can be turned on. First I'll tell you the difference between the two:

  • Mirroring- When an external monitor is hooked up, the same image is displayed on both the iBook and the external monitor.

  • Spanning- When an external monitor is hooked up, the iBook will have one desktop and the external monitor will have another one, separate from that of the iBooks. This will allow you to drag windows between the two monitors. For example, while doing a research paper, you can have a web browser open in one monitor and AppleWorks in the other.

The Warning: This is for educational purposes only!! If you wish to try this on your iBook, ATM, DSLR, me, and the author of the hack are not responsible for any data loss or damage to your computer. Please only try this if your computer meets the requirements (listed below). THIS WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY

iBook 700-800MHz
w/ RADEON Mobility chipset with at least 16 MB of VRAM. DO NOT TRY THIS ON A RAGE-based iBook.

What to do: (thank you to macparts.de for posting this. Original hack at: Rutemoeller)

This hack works for OS X as well as OS 9.

1st - Disconnect all external Monitors (may not be needed)

2. restart your iBook. Hold down the Command(apple)-Option-O-F keys immediately after the start-up chime to enter Open Firmware.

3. Enter the following text, please note 00000000 are eight zeros not o's. Also note all spaces, they will be shown as *, Do not type them as *'s but as spaces. any space not shown as * should not be typed, and (r) means press the return key. { Press Control-C } means to press the "ctrl" and C buttons.

{ Press Control-C }

The last command will restart your iBook

4. When the iBook has started up, plug in a external monitor (I usually put the iBook to sleep before doing this, you can probably just plug one in on the fly)

5. The screens should mirror. Go to Displays in System Prefs. Then to the "Arrange" tab. Then deselect "mirror displays". (If using OS 9, open the monitors control panel and do the same thing as in OS X)

6. Congrats, you now have a monitor spanning iBook!

If it doesn't work the first time, try again. Some people had to do it a few times to get it to work.

    Recently, a German Website published an AppleScript that performs the same function as the OpenFirmware hack. I have converted this AppleScript from German to English; You can download it here. All the same warnings apply; however you are least likely to mess up using this script because there is no chance of any typos.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to IM me on DSLR or on AIM.
DSLR- ThinkDiff
AIM- ThinkDiff84

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by Thinkdiff See Profile edited by JJ See Profile
last modified: 2003-08-05 08:15:11