MacBook powering two external displays

I tend to hook up my MacBook on one of my external displays when I sit at my desk. I have two 22″ screens, one which I use for the MacBook the other I used for my desktop PC. A while ago I gave that one away and so the other screen was only gathering dust.

The MacBook only has one external display port so in order to hook up two displays you need to do some research. One possible solution is the DualHead2Go from Matrox. You hook this up on your display port and it basically directs half of the signal to one screen and half to the other. So you need to set your resolution to a rather big one, the MacBook is not powerfull to power two displays at 1680 * 1050. It wil also set you back around 300$/€.

Then there’s ViDock, a very powerfull solution but it comes with a powerful price, almost a new laptop (700$/€).

And then there’s DisplayLink‘s technology, which enables displays to connect via USB. They’ve been around for some time and now have drivers supports Mac OS X. I went for this solution from EVGA, compared to the others it’s relativly cheap at around 70$/€ for their best model (UV-16 +). Which can power displays up to 1680 * 1050, just the resolution I wanted. While it can’t play HD content smoothly, normal usage is just fine.

Replace MacBook memory

Today I upgraded my MacBook (early 2008) from 2×512 MB RAM to 2×2 GB RAM. The entire process took me 5 minutes, including the time to search for a fitting screw driver. It was far easier than expected.

  • First turn over your MacBook, so the top is facing the table. Make sure you have a clean and soft surface to avoid any scratches.
  • Use a 10 cent piece to turn the lock next to the battery to the unlocked position. The battery will pop out.
  • Remove the battery.
  • Use a cross screwdriver to remove the three screws of the plate protecting the memory and the hard disk. They are very small so use your smallest screwdriver you can find. Next pull the plate away, you now have access to the memory.
  • By using the lever per memory slot the ram sticks will pop out making place for the new ones. Gently push them in until you hear a click.

Done ;).

Using the MacBook

While delving through the Monodevelop bug tracking pages, one submitter stated that while the control + click combination didn’t work to get the appropriate context menu you could work around it by using a two button mouse. Why didn’t I think of that? I plugged the mouse of my other laptop in and boom, I had context menus in Monodevelop. Technology of two competitors working together ;).

I took the picture with my iPhone and was able to convert it with iPhoto. One shortcoming however was that when you export a photo it allows you to change the size to small, medium, large and full size. I was missing the size in pixels here, the only way to find out what the program does is to do the export and look at the new file.

The new thumbnail now had to move to the blog, so where’s the ftp program? Well there isn’t, you can connect Finder to an ftp server but that only allows one way traffic. I could have used the terminal and start ftp from the command prompt but who wants to use that. On the Apple site I found a link to Transmit which has an idiot proof interface, perfect for me.