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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Pro - External Monitor + USB Keyboard


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Tarek

 
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Member Since: Sep 18, 2008
Location: Cairo, Egypt
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Mac Specs: 15" MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5

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Hi there,

So I have been thinking about connecting my MacBook Pro to an external monitor so I could use it as a desktop computer at home and then plug it out and use it as a notebook when I want to. I finally decided to today! It was very exciting when I noticed that the small white monitor adapter that came with the MacBook Pro actually works when you plug the DVI cable in it and the other end in the monitor. At first, I couldn't use the computer when I shut the lid but then I did some research and found that it will wake up again if I interact with any USB device connected to my MBP (like keyboard or mouse) and that worked.

Okay so the problem is, the USB keyboard is NOT recognized. I have a wireless Microsoft mouse which works fine. But when I plug in my keyboard (My keyboard is a PS/2 one so I use the PS/2 to USB converter in order to connect it to my MBP, this exact same converter) it just doesn't work. I have tried two different PS/2 keyboards and no luck. When I plug it in, the three lights on the keyboard (num lock, scroll lock, caps lock) turn on and then off (that's normal) but then when I press keys nothing happens.

I opened System Preferences > Keyboard and there is "Change Keyboard Type" which detects external keyboards and calibrates in order for me to use them normally (I think that's what it does). When I plug the keyboard out, the "Change Keyboard Type" option disappears and then reappears when I plug it back in. I clicked it then NEXT and then pressed the Z button (it said press the button next to the left SHIFT button) but it just doesn't detect it. I don't know what's wrong. Do I need a keyboard that is originally a USB one and not a PS/2 one that uses PS/2 to USB converter?

I need some advice here as using an external monitor will help me a lot. I am thinking of buying another monitor and using a dual monitor as one screen, wouldn't that be great?

Thanks a lot and I am sorry that this is too long, just skip to the "Problem is..." section, lol.

Tarek.
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Tarek

 
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Member Since: Sep 18, 2008
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Posts: 766
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Mac Specs: 15" MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5

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I forgot to mention that the keyboard works fine when I am using Windows 7 (Boot Camp) but it doesn't work on Macintosh, so I don't know what's the deal with that.

I am just afraid of using the MBP as a desktop computer while running Windows because it already gets hot when I am using Windows, so imagine using Windows with a CLOSED lid. I think it'd literally melt in less than two hours. Or would it not?
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VTX1800

 
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Member Since: Mar 11, 2008
Location: Mesa, AZ
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I don't think you have to worry about anything melting with the lid closed. I would try a native USB keyboard, I'll bet that will work fine for you. Why not just leave the lid open and use your laptop monitor as the secondary display? That's what I do, I have a laptop stand that raises the macbook to the level of my 24" Samsung display. I love it!
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Tarek

 
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Member Since: Sep 18, 2008
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Posts: 766
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Mac Specs: 15" MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5

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Thanks for your advice. That's what I've been doing so far, keeping the lid open and it's a pretty good idea. I can also set brightness to lowest (Fn + F1) which kind of turns the screen off but I keep it on anyway. I'm going to buy a USB keyboard today or tomorrow, depends on my laziness, so probably tomorrow!

I've a 22" Samsung monitor and it's pretty good. At least much better than my previous ViewSonic.
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