Displays on OS X Mountain Lion (OS/X version 10.8)

Tidbit for Windows Users: Press Windows Key and P for easy display switching.

With the advent of OS/X Mountain Lion, some simple things became complex things, for now :-)

Here are some things to do. If all else fails:
  • power down the Mac, 
  • power down the projector. 
  • Then disconnect the cable joining the two devices (as sometimes they really aren't off).

  • Then (re)connect the Mac to the  projector . 
    This way the projector will start presenting, at least, analog voltages for very old VGA devices. Most modern devices VGA devices and anything newer will start sending out joyous, digital "I can do this" signals down the wire toward the computer.
  • Turn on the projector FIRST! 
  • Then turn on the Mac. The computer can now accept and digest the projector's digital messages and do a "best guess " of what to do with the attached device. 
  • If nothing appears, try Option and the Brightness adjustment keys 
    As always, the Option (alt) key is your path to hidden Mac functionality :-)

    Also there are free non-Apple apps to make this all EASY
Old Mac hands: Note that the first step here, checking for Software Updates, now uses the Mac App Store as of Mountain Lion (OS/X version 10.8)
Apple's reasoning is good for the long haul. If the problem is something already fixed by a software update, avoid mucking around trying to fix it other ways.  Most times, though, the software on the Mac is just fine.



OPEN DISPLAY PREFERENCES FROM THE KEYBOARD:
Best Keyboard based tip for displays:  
Rather than taking the long route through the System Preferences, hold the option (alt) key on your keyboard and press one of the brightness adjustment keys to open the Display preferences pane straightaway.
  • November 19, 2012

By Simon Slangen
Pro: Works on any OS/X Mountain Lion system.
Con: Remembering the magic keys to press :-)



SETTING DISPLAYS THE STANDARD WAY:

 Apple's standard method for setting displays is found at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5369 entitled:

OS X Mountain Lion: About the Display pane of System Preferences

Here again, the Option key is your friend:
If the detect displays option is not available, hold down the Option key while you are in the Display pane.

Pro: Useful option
Con: Was easily found before, now is hidden by default.


EASY ALTERNATIVE DISPLAY CONTROLS:

People really are not fond of tromping to the System Preferences as in days of yore :-), or remembering to press Option.
Nice, easy solutions are:
  1. A Free App called Display Menu By Milch im Gemüsefach on the Mac App Store.
  2. A Free App called QuickRes found at  http://www.quickresapp.com/

These seem to be good solutions for those  pining for missing Display Preference Menu :-)  
The recent change seems to have been made as the support for AirPlay (wireless Video and Audio streaming via Apple TV) was refined.

(Scroll up or down for more information)

 Hardware connections for digital images:


In a world where "content is king", copy protection lurks down below with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection:
The system is meant to stop HDCP-encrypted content from being played on unauthorized devices or devices which have been modified to copy HDCP content.[2][3] Before sending data, a transmitting device checks that the receiver is authorized to receive it. If so, the transmitter encrypts the data to prevent eavesdropping as it flows to the receiver.

So your digital content is travelling through something descended from a WWII System that allowed Churchill and Roosevelt to communicate securely. Just to go from one device to another.  
Why? Sadly, a digital pirate, having wrenched the raw bits of the work free of the copy-protection, can easily copy, play or modify the work.   Perfect copy after perfect, on and on...



 DIGITAL MESSAGES BETWEEN DISPLAY AND COMPUTER:

Beyond the image headed from your computer to the device, there are other messages going back and forth between your display/projector/TV/holographic imager :-) 

WHAT DIGITAL MESSAGES ARE GOING BACK AND FORTH?

  • What sort of stuff is in that EDID?
    We can ask the Mac questions about the external monitor with a UNIX command like: 
  • new-host-2:~ me$ ioreg -lw0 |grep -6 --color -i edid
  • which produces the not very enlightening:
  • "IODisplayEDID" = <00ffffffffffff004c2d12064451325a0e150103803c22782aeed1a555489b261250542308008100814081809500a940b30001010101023a801871382d40582c45005c562100001e000000fd00383c1e5111000a202020202020000000fc0053796e634d61737465720a2020000000ff0048434b423430303139390a2020004c>
We can hunt for human-readable text in that via:

new-host-2:~ me$ ioreg -lw0 | grep IODisplayEDID | sed "/[^<]*</s///" | xxd -p -r | strings
DQ2Z
?<"x*
q8-@X,E
      
SyncMaster
HCKB400199
new-host-2:~ me$

Hmm. What is SyncMaster?   Well, that's the type of display I have connected!
Here are some pictures SAMSUNG SYNCMASTER monitor

OLDER VERSIONS OF MAC OS/X:

For older versions of OS/X check out the page: 

How to use multiple displays with your Mac

This covers topics including: Video mirroring, Extended desktop and Closed clamshell (laptop as a desktop use).

A NOISE ONLY SOME CAN HEAR :-)

If you, like me,  hear annoying high pitched noises around CRT-based TV's and monitors, here is the reason why.

When they tested our hearing in elementary school, the audiologist  seemed very surprised I could hear the highest range the testing machine could generate.
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