iBook Clamshell Mode
December 10, 2003 6:31 AM   Subscribe

AskAppleFilter Is there any way of shutting my iBook without it going to sleep? Specifically I want to play music via iTunes with the li' puppy shut up snug.
posted by i_cola to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
It's been a while since I had my iBook, but I don't think so. See here. There is a patch mentioned, called NoSleep, that you can get here. At your own risk, as they say.
posted by grimley at 6:40 AM on December 10, 2003

I remember hearing about some kind of hack that could do this, but apparently there are fundamental problems with heat dissipation issues. Not entirely sure if it would be wise to keep your iBook running with the screen down for any significant period of time... might cook the LCD or something.
posted by adrianhon at 6:47 AM on December 10, 2003

Here's another link to macosxhints that have a few tricks. Some think there's no danger, others advise against. I've not tried these. An iBook is an expensive, heavy mp3 player. I'd get an iPod if I were you.
posted by birdherder at 6:51 AM on December 10, 2003

Here's a low-tech solution, though adrianhon might be right about the heating issues.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:09 AM on December 10, 2003

The process is called "enable clamshell mode" and is mentioned as an Open Firmware Hack together with Monitor spanning, see the fool proof description at extended Desktop. Personally I use the extended desktop but decided against clamshell mode in fear of overheating problems (and because I don't have a use for it). So far monitor spanning works perfectly.

The question is if the space between the lid and the keyboard in the latest powerbooks (that can work when closed without a hack) gives so much more ventilation then that of the iBook. Maybe it is really pure marketing to differentiate the iBook from the Powerbook.
posted by meikel at 7:12 AM on December 10, 2003

It's not safe (the PowerBook is designed to be operated closed (as well as open), but the iBook, not being of the "professional" line, is not). I'd buy one of those cooling laptop stands (usually a block of metal that sits under the laptop) and use the aforementioned Open Firmware hack.
posted by j.edwards at 8:40 AM on December 10, 2003

meikel: The question is if the space between the lid and the keyboard in the latest powerbooks (that can work when closed without a hack) gives so much more ventilation then that of the iBook. Maybe it is really pure marketing to differentiate the iBook from the Powerbook.

I'll say as the owner of a brand-spankin'-new G4 iBook that the clearance between the keys and the screen is at least that of the current crop of PowerBooks I evaluated as a part of the purchase process (and significantly greater than the TiBook/400 I was replacing). The iBook is also not noticeably hotter running than the TiBook either. If ventilation space is the issue, I'd say the only thing between you and using an iBook in "clamshell mode" is Apple's marketing department trying desperately to maintain the difference between a "professional" laptop and a "consumer" laptop...
posted by JollyWanker at 9:13 AM on December 10, 2003

You might want to ask at Mac Mentor.
posted by dobbs at 9:35 AM on December 10, 2003

so, there is no way to shut down the display but not put it in sleep mode when closed? Or is it that it gets too hot regardless?
posted by Hackworth at 9:51 AM on December 10, 2003

I don't know if this helps, but I run my 12" powerbook in clamshell mode 24/7 and it seems to work fine. I have an external monitor hooked up to it, and a mouse I use just to wake it up (I control the machine via VNC from a PC). I use a Podium CoolPad to keep air flowing to the bottom of the laptop and that seems to work great.

I think I've heard the extra fan come on once or twice when I was compressing video while doing 5 other things simultaneously.
posted by mathowie at 9:58 AM on December 10, 2003

You could turn the monitor display brightness to "0" and try that. I believe the main difference between the iBooks and the Al series is that the fans for the iBook vent through the keyboard, hence the overheating potential.
posted by grimley at 11:05 AM on December 10, 2003

My iBook monitor burnt out a few months ago (out of warranty) but the computer itself was fine, so I plugged in an external monitor and then went around looking for the answer to the exact same question. The heat issue kept coming up. My solution is just to turn the brightness down all the way on the laptop (F14 on an external keyboard) and then close it about 90% of the way. I have a stack of Post-Its that I've stuck near the touchpad that holds it open about an inch, which I figure has to be enough for heat dissipation. It's not ideal but at least it doesn't take up as much room on my desk.
posted by web-goddess at 4:49 PM on December 10, 2003

Response by poster: Thanks for all of the replies...very helpful.

To elaborate slightly from the original post, I'm on a 6-month world tour at the moment so the iBook (800MHz G3 12.1") is saving me carrying round a CD/AIFF/MP3 player, DVD/VCD player and spending too long on creaky computers in internet cafes. I can send some fun videos back to my nieces in the UK too. Hell, I may even sort out my weblog whilst I'm at it...

I'm in Sri Lanka at the moment & heading to Thailand & Indonesia so heat is an issue. [It's a hard life ;-)] I'll post back here with any futher findings....cheers.
posted by i_cola at 12:32 AM on December 12, 2003

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