Impressed by the Mac mini

I’ve been using the box with my 17″ LCD, but tomorrow we’ll be bringing it along on a trip and using a 15″ LCD. When using the 17″ display, System Preferences correctly offers only compatible display options. It was very accurate in displaying only resolutions and refresh rates that were compatible with the monitor.

I set the resolution down to 1024 x 768, the native resolution of the 15″ LCD. While the computer was running, I unplugged the 17″ LCD and connected the 15″ Dell LCD. All was well, but the display options were not updated.

Just to see what would happen, I chose a resolution much too high for the 15″ LCD. I got the “Cannot display this video mode” message. I tried moving the mouse and clicking where I thought the other resolution settings were, but to no avail.

Darn it! Now I can’t see anything and can’t change back. I tried many things. I looked it up online, using my dad’s Dell laptop. Well, you can hold Shift while the computer is starting to reset the video mode. But I didn’t want to force a power off, especially with applications running.

I pressed the power button on the back of the Mac mini. Interestingly, this puts it into sleep mode, complete with the pulsing white power light. I was going to press and hold down the button for 5 seconds to cut the power and reboot, but as soon as I touched the button again, the computer began waking up.

No way I was going to cut the power while the hard drive was starting up/spinning. It seemed that hope was lost. Not so: the familiar Mac OS X interface appeared on the screen.

The proper display modes were now displayed in System Preferences, and all of my other apps were still open. It turns out that the Mac mini automatically redetects the display attached and adjusts the display modes appropriately, not only on bootup, but on waking up from sleep mode as well. If the current resolution is one unsupported by the connected display, OS X automatically changes to a resolution that is supported.

In addition to all this, simply switching video modes is straightforward and smooth. These things are not specific to the mini; they’re all part of OS X Tiger.

I’m impressed.

3 Responses to “Impressed by the Mac mini”

  1. […] In my post about the Mac mini detecting the monitor connected, I didn’t really mention the Windows equivalent. Well, in Windows, it detects whether there’s a monitor connected, too. You can’t enable the external monitor port if there was no monitor plugged in when Windows tried to detect it. […]

  2. matt says:

    My g/f’s macmini is connected to a VGA DELL monitor. It worked fine using the dvi to vga adapter. Then the cable for the VGA monitor crapped out. It was causing the screen to have a purple tint on both her mac and my pc. So I purchased a replacement cable for the monitor. Works great with my pc, but now her mac will not work with it. The odd thing is if I power down the mini and restart with the monitor hooked up, it will show some stuff at 1st. The white screen with the grey apple in it. Then as it goes to the next screen it goes black and says cannot display this video mode, and never returns. I am not an apple guy, I’m a pc guy and this is getting wildy frustrating. If this was an issue with my pc I would have had it fixed hours ago….but that is probably because I am familiar with a PC and the ease of fixing issues(despite what some people seem to think). I am very unfamiliar with macs. Ever heard of this issue?

  3. Ash says:

    how did you fix the display back to normal? have problem the same thing to 17″ monitor dell. i want to go back to its setting but is black no display out. anyone would like to help on this problem.Thanks a lot

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