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Extended Desktop on iBook G4

Yesterday Kate asked me whether it’s possible to connect her professional Sony display to her iBook G4 to get a better picture and color representation or no. I answered, yes, without any hesitation and… it’s where the tricky part started.

While it was farily easy to connect the other monitor by simply plugging it in, it quickly become clear that it’s useless. Firstly, the second screen showed exactly what was on the main. Secondly, the resolutions of both were the same. That’s what is called Mirror Mode there in Macs. I couldn’t believe my eyes. While I could clearly see that the display settings dialog box has everything for laying out several screens to form a bigger virtual space and controls to change resolutions of the screens separately, there obviously were no ways to enable Extended Desktop functionality itself.

I made a quick Googling and found a very interesting page about Macs firmware patching, enabling this multi-screen feature. Well, I hesitated… There were so many warnings that I started to doubt this pilgrimage. I made a little more Googling and finally found what I was looking for – a prove that it’s relatively safe. It was an article on MacWorld site telling the complete recipe. And again the first site has been mentioned there.

I took a deep breath and installed the DMG… Woohoo, now we have a bigger CRT monitor connected to the iBook. The native screen and the display show their own part of a virtual desktop, having different resolutions, different refresh rates and even different background images. :)

Life is good again!