Is there a way to use my G4 Powerbook (1.5Ghz model) as a monitor for my PC?
November 22, 2004 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to use my G4 Powerbook (1.5Ghz model) as a monitor for my PC?
posted by ism to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Short answer: No

Long answer: Yes, using ethernet and Remote Desktop Client. It doesn't work well for video or games, however.
posted by Mwongozi at 11:51 AM on November 22, 2004

Run TightVNC or RaalVNC in server mode on your PC, and then use Chicken of the VNC for OSX to log in to your PC. You should see Windows on your Powerbook, but with a significant video refresh lag. You'll also be using your Powerbook's keyboard and trackpad to control the windows box at that point. Not sure if that's part of your picture.

The lag is usable for the most part. But forget about video and games, as Mwongozi says.
posted by scarabic at 12:20 PM on November 22, 2004

Forgot VNC when the "host" computer is running Windows. The RDC protocol is way more efficient than VNC here (even "Tight" and other modified versions), and any "lag" is completely negligible unless you load up some video or something 3D.

In addition, RDC is simpler too. (No extra software to install on the Windows box, assuming XP.)
posted by Mwongozi at 12:36 PM on November 22, 2004

Response by poster: I was thinking of it as more of a pure monitor, not a controller. Something as rudimentary as running video out of the PC and into the laptop. There would have to be some sort of video to firewire or USB switch or something.
posted by ism at 12:47 PM on November 22, 2004

Mmmmm yeah. I've certainly never heard of such a thing. You could probably solder up an adapter if you were willing to take the LCD out of the laptop. But your I/O ports, AFAIK, aren't suited to handle incoming video. Not even a little.
posted by scarabic at 12:55 PM on November 22, 2004

On Windows, you could use MaxiVista but there's no Mac client. You could try bugging them about making one.. There may be a free (OSS or just plain free) clone of this software somewhere else but I've never seen anything. (Then, I never really looked too hard either..)
posted by mrg at 1:21 PM on November 22, 2004

Um, you'de have to get some pretty specific hardware. Like a video-in for the laptop and a VGA-video converter for the desktop..... it'd be weird. and Clunky, and low resolution, and you'd have to use the mouse and keyboard attached to the PC. at that point, you'd probably do just as well to hook it up to a tv.
posted by Freen at 2:20 PM on November 22, 2004

A friend of mine tried to use a Canopus ADVC-100 Firewire Video -> DV converter just to be able to watch TV on his CinemaDisplay and found that the lag introduced made it really annoying, not to mention the difficulty in finding a stable OS X app that would show "realtime" video full-screen. He tried (and paid for) a couple of different programs that were flaky as heck. Eventually, he gave up and bought a 17" LCD TV.
posted by xiojason at 4:55 PM on November 22, 2004

s/watch TV/use his TiVo/
posted by xiojason at 4:56 PM on November 22, 2004

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