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dimjim dimjim is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Question Disable backlight of mini LCD when using external monitor? - 02-26-2010, 05:01 AM

Here's the deal: I purchased a refurb Dell Mini 10v from Dell Outlet and received it last week.

I followed the guides on this forum and have successfully installed Snow Leopard 10.6 (and used Software Update to update to 10.6.2).

I also ordered one of the internal bluetooth modules off ebay (shipped from Texas $21) and successfully installed it. I use it with my logitech v470 mouse, GPS receiver (with google earth), and DUN with my Palm Centro.

I have had a few issues with sleep mode (it didn't want to wake up) and solved it by disabling USB Legacy support. I also have minor issues with having to frequently re-pair my logitech mouse (actually, I have to restart to get bluetooth to recognize it again) if I don't disconnect the mouse before closing the lid or putting the machine to sleep.


So things are going pretty smoothly all things considered. My issue is this: I want to run an "extended display" on a second monitor so I can use the machine with higher resolutions. I have already made the external VGA monitor the "primary" one by dragging the menu bar in the display preferences pane over to the external display. This works well.

Now what I want to do is have a quick and easy way to turn off the backlight on the mini's LCD. I want to save energy and it doesn't make sense to power both displays when I'm only going to be using the larger one. I know that I can dim the mini's display down to about half brightness, but I want to turn it completely off.

I found a program called InsomniaX which disables sleep pretty easily and allows you to shut the lid and keep the machine running, but I don't want to do this because, as I understand it, it may be harmful over time because of heat build-up. Also I don't want to spend money on an external bluetooth or USB keyboard when i can hopefully still use the Mini's keyboard, just with the mini's backlight disabled.

I poked around to see if anyone else was doing this, but I didn't see anything right off. I know that our machine's can't do "clamshell"/sleep mirroring on an external display. I thought maybe there was a Mac OSX app out there that might act similar to windows and allow me to "disable" individual displays, including the native netbook display.

I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

Also, just a quick edit: I just tested InsomniaX and it does work. I can close the mini and still use my bluetooth mouse and external monitor. While this does turn off the mini's screen, it denies me access to the keyboard and potentially causes overheating problems in the long run.
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