9 Replies Latest reply: May 14, 2009 1:49 PM by Allosaurus
Allosaurus Level 1 (15 points)
Five years ago, when I was young and foolish, I bought a PC. Last evening I dismantled it and the thought struck me that maybe I could use the perfectly good monitor as an adjunct to my FCE movie making. Perhaps I could display the browser on it and have all that prime acreage for my actual editing.

The monitor has two cables and at the end of one is a three point plug which even I can recognize is the gizmo one shoves into those ubiquitous sockets around the house to encourage the flow of (I think its called) electricity. The other cable end is a different matter. I tried to find it on the 'net so that I could name it for you, but no luck. The business part of the plug is a rectangle slightly narrower on one longer side than the other (you may guess that I never took geometry) and recessed inside it are 15 fine metal pins in three rows of five. This was attached by means of two screws into its female receptacle on the console.

You can see where this is going.

Given what I have, is there a way to connect this to my Mac, and if so, how do I do it?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 Duo
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 (115,515 points)
    Sounds like a VGA connector. Look like this?


    You can probably find an adaptor that will connect it to your computer.
  • skalicki Level 5 (4,420 points)
    I believe the cable you are referring to is a VGA cable. Does it look like this?
    If so, you can use it if you get a adapter. What version is your iMac?

    If it is one of the older ones then you probably have a Mini DVI port, in which case you would get this adapter:

    If it is one of the newer ones then it probably has a Mini DisplayPort, and then you would get this adapter:

    Message was edited by: skalicki`
  • Allosaurus Level 1 (15 points)
    Thanks for the reply. Yup, picture of a VGA cable looks like the one I have.

    My computer is a MAC OS X Version 10.5.6. Processor: 2.4GHz Intel Core Duo.

    So, thanks to your links, it looks as though I need this:

    Apple Mini DVI to VGA Adapter - which costs only a refreshing $19.00. However.

    On the Apple site one customer bought this and said it does not fit an iMac as claimed and he had to return and exchange it for a Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter ($29.00) which fits an iMac even thought the Apple sales page says it does not!

    So if you have a word of advice, that would be great. If not I think I'll go ahead and buy the first one ($19.00) and if it does not work, return it.

    Either way, the help is invaluable. Muchas gracias.
  • skalicki Level 5 (4,420 points)
    On the back of your iMac, does it have this port (the one to the left of the two circular ports):

    !http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4f/Kobushi-mini-dvi.jpg/3 00px-Kobushi-mini-dvi.jpg!

    Or this port (in the middle):


    If it is the former then you should get the Mini-DVI to VGA adapter, if it is the second one you should get the Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter.

    +Pictures taken from the Wikipedia articles dealing with them, first picture credited to Joey Hagedorn.+
  • Allosaurus Level 1 (15 points)
    I have both! They are vertical, not horizontal, and my layout is different (the circular ports are on my left) but I don't suppose that matters. I like the look of the top one better as it has a little box-like drawing above it, and mine has one identical to it.

    The lower one in your picture has no drawing over it, whilst mine has one that resembles a fleur de lis. (Identical, now I look, to the one on the left in the upper picture.) But the sockets look alike.

    I guess I was hoping that the Apple cable would have a VGA at one end and a USB plug at the other, as I have a Belkin adaptor that holds four USB plugs.

    If you have no further thoughts, I'll spring for the mini-DV to VGA adaptor.

    Thanks, thanks, and thanks again.
  • skalicki Level 5 (4,420 points)
    Your computer does not have both, it has one or the other. The USB port you speak of will not work with the display. Both the Mini DisplayPort and the Mini-DV port have the same symbol above them, it's just hard to see in the above picture.

    If your port matches the one in the picture above exactly, then get the mini-DV to VGA adapter.
  • Allosaurus Level 1 (15 points)
    Thank you, I shall do exactly that. I am grateful for your patience and assistance.

    Could I ask you for a thought? I was thinking of putting the FCE browser on the adjunct monitor and doing all my editing on the Mac. Do you think that is a good idea, or should I put something else there? ( Although at this point, I don't know how tol do this.) I appreciate your expert guidance.

    Thanks again.
  • skalicki Level 5 (4,420 points)
    That sounds like a good idea. Some people put the browser and timeline on one screen, and the canvas and viewer on the other. Or just the browser on one screen, and keep the rest of the windows on the other like you said. Really, you should align it in the way that is most conducive to your editing.

    When you have both monitors connected, you can just drag the windows between the two monitors, and change their sizing by dragging the corners.

    If you find an arrangement that you especially like, and want FCE to remember it for next time so you don't have to manually align it, you can save a custom window arrangement. For more information on how you do this look at [_*this preview*|http://books.google.com/books?id=2lMK4BCRvt8C&pg=PT34&lpg=PT34&dq=customwindow+arrangement+final+cut+express4&source=bl&ots=-mm87pX5Sw&sig=mHdSYSYSINOpopM-Bafkdfj82yM&hl=en&ei=3m8MSrOVLpms tgeO4Y2FCA&sa=X&oi=bookresult&ct=result&resnum=4#PPT34,M1|click here for preview] of Tom's FCE4 book on Google books, under the section *Window Arrangements.*

    More useful tips like these can be found throughout his book, if you are interested.
  • Allosaurus Level 1 (15 points)
    Whoa. Great advice, and thanks once again.