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2 May 2012

In with the old...

A miniDisplayport, yesterday
 - Jóhann Björn Björnsson
Back in the day, a prime technique in the technician's toolkit was percussive maintenance. If a bit of analog gear didn't work as it should, such as a wobbly TV or recalcitrant starter motor, brute force and ignorance (a thwack) often served as a means of bringing old tech to life. However, it's comforting to know that even in the day today, a bish, bosh, thwack or shove still has a place when dealing with digital gubbins.

This very morn', I had a run-in with a Mini DisplayPort on a Mac. Aye, I've been sorting a few things out in The Surgery (my studio and home to the Fell Cacophone), souping-up systems and streamlining software in readiness for a season of song.

Like many a muzo, I do the bulk of my work on Macs (PCs do feature because some choice sonic gadgets are Windows-only, eg Sony's samploid song sketcher Acid Pro and audio mangler SoundForge).

Lately, Apple has equipped Macs, along with the graphics cards found in the Mac Pro, with Mini DisplayPort sockets. I'm the sort to hanker for two displays per computer and so, with an adaptor deployed between a DVI-in monitor and the computer, I was a bit miffed to find nothing appearing on the screen. Duff adaptor? Nope.

After trawling Apple Support, and happening across all manner of weird solutions for faulty video cards (from flushing motherboard settings to taking the card out and baking it to make the solder re-flow - !), the solution dawned. A Mini DisplayPort plug looks like it's actually plugged in when, in fact, it's not in far enough to make a connection. One brutal shove into the socket and the monitor got its groove going. If only force would work when the computer blue-screens.

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