Mac Daniel's Advice

Projecting with a PowerBook

Korin Hasegawa-John - 2001.10.24

One of the great things about being a PowerBook user is that you can easily use PowerPoint presentations or ClarisWorks slide shows to help in work, in school, or just for kicks. The best thing is that with a little patience and a portable projector you can take your presentation anywhere (at least anywhere with the power to run your projector). PowerPoint skills not provided - or guaranteed :-)

I will not make any recommendations as to a projector - that's pretty much up to you. Most of the major Mac magazines (Macworld, MacAddict) review new projectors from time to time, and they sometimes do a large feature article on them. The thing that your projector must have is RGB (monitor) input. This may be in Mac (wide 15 pin) or PC (VGA) form.

Getting Set Up

Almost any PowerBook newer than a 540c, and some much older, have video out. (The 190 series and 1400 series did not include it, but it is an optional add on. The cards for the 1400 are expensive and hard to find.) Most of these require an adapter. The pre-3400/2400 'Books use a video out port called HDI-14. You can buy an adapter for about $20 to change this to Mac video (wide 15). Since most projectors need a VGA connector, you will need another adapter to convert this to VGA. You also need a standard VGA cable, which may be included with the projector.

If your PowerBook is a G3 (not iBook), G4, or 3400/2400, your job is much easier. These PowerBooks came with VGA video out, so all you need is a VGA monitor cable to connect your 'Book to the projector.

Connecting Everything

Turn off both the projector and the PowerBook. Connect one end of the VGA cable to the PowerBook and the other end to the projector. Turn on the projector first, then start up the PowerBook. If an image doesn't appear, or an image appears and then goes away, open your Monitors control strip (or use the control panel) to change the resolution. The best choice is probably 800 x 600. If there is a choice labeled "Simulscan," use that option. The projector should work properly.

Fire up your presentation, and you're all set - or play a really, really, really big game of Alpha Centauri.

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