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Project: Macbook Tablet


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#16 clb

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 03:03

FYI: Mage Software's Display Rotation Menu will not work on a MacBook with an Intel chip set.

Apparently, Apple decided it did not need to write a full driver for the internal display in its white MacBooks from 2006 to 2008. Consequently, portrait orientation is not possible on the internal display on these MacBooks (curiously, they can run a rotated external display just fine). Recently, this decision may have come back to bite them.

Anyway, you can still do a 180 degree rotation with MacFlip or fb-rotate.

What you are doing is quite similar to an Axiotron Modbook conversion except you are using a touch screen, and they use a pen tablet.


#17 OP vetenigma-penguin

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 09:59

FYI: Mage Software's Display Rotation Menu will not work on a MacBook with an Intel chip set.

Apparently, Apple decided it did not need to write a full driver for the internal display in its white MacBooks from 2006 to 2008. Consequently, portrait orientation is not possible on the internal display on these MacBooks (curiously, they can run a rotated external display just fine). Recently, this decision may have come back to bite them.

Anyway, you can still do a 180 degree rotation with MacFlip or fb-rotate.

What you are doing is quite similar to an Axiotron Modbook conversion except you are using a touch screen, and they use a pen tablet.


Ah cheers for the heads up on the rotation, I'll have to use the alternative method then; much appreciated :D . It looks like that one is better than what I was going to be using anyway, so that's awesome. My real goal in all this was to do the conversion in a cheap but effective manner. At the moment the only cost I have incurred is the touch screen and that was under $100. If I can get away with making a tablet mac for 100$ or less I'd be ecstatic, but we'll see how we go and how effective the screen is.

It also looks like the touchscreen has finally made it into the country, but given I have uni every weekday I wont get to it until the weekend. I should post some pics up once I get it in my hand and make sure everything lines up.

#18 OP vetenigma-penguin

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 01:53

The screen arrived and it's damaged, so Im not impressed

Firstly I looked like a crack dealer at the post office:
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Secondly because it looked like the fit was bloody perfect, why am I ****ed the fit is perfect?

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There is a problem...

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With the damage it has it's not fit for use, you can see the marks so clearly with a backlight on

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It's not good at all

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Note: The screen is awesome, its a glass on film overlay and the opacity is fine. I want to use this as the screen for it, but I can't because the screen is damaged. It's a real shame, but now I have to see what the manufacturer will do about replacing the item, it's in a disgusting state for something that's meant to be new.

#19 OP vetenigma-penguin

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 04:22

I decided to install the thing anyway, judt to see how it went...

Just after I installed it:
EDIT: uploaded to youtube: (might still be processing)


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This was after installing the software for the first time:
EDIT: uploaded to youtube: (might still be processing)


The files aren't small 13 and 40 mb respectively, Ill youtube it later. For now ignore the rounded corners and that the screen doesn't line up on top, I'll be sorting that out. The backlight works, the airport works and Ill try something with the iSight soon.

Note to any attempting this: At all times wear a mask when cutting the case
I know it might seem stupid to say it, but trust me you want one on.

and now I have to run to uni! but I wanted to have at least this done by the time I left..

#20 Jase

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 05:08

Looking good sofar!! (Y)

#21 Inklin

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 05:17

Awesome progress so far, it's a shame about the screen damage though.

#22 OP vetenigma-penguin

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 11:44

Changed the videos to Youtube so people dont have to download files.

#23 e-berlin.org

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 11:48

Huge project! Respect, Dahr!

#24 SaltLife

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 13:52

Very creative...

Once the calibration is fixed you'll be own your way. Do you plan to use this as a system? Or are you planing on selling it?

#25 Steve B.

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 13:59

I can imagine the amount of dust that comes off it when you're cutting it, it'll hang around for days!

#26 OP vetenigma-penguin

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 14:08

Very creative...

Once the calibration is fixed you'll be own your way. Do you plan to use this as a system? Or are you planing on selling it?


Im pretty sure I know what was going on with the calibration (aside from the fact I hadn't run the 25 point calibration yet), the top of the screen that I still have to cut properly was actually pressing inside the touchable area; which means every touch I did was thrown off. Once I get time on the weekend I will cut the corners out properly and that will stop the calibration going berko on me. I'll also solder in the usb connection for the screen controller and reduce it's cable down (damn thing is huge).

After the project is done I considered selling it, but I really want to use this at uni for things during lectures (like note taking, diagrams and lecture slides).

Chasethebase, the dust is absolutely insane and it's not something you want to breathe in. Most of it has settled though, but the clothes I wore will probably still smell like burning plastic even after being washed. :p

#27 Inklin

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 14:08

On second looks, to be honest, on a usability point of view the corners for the screen are a little bit too rounded, especially as it's chopping off the apple menu and part of the clock at the top. I think it would look much better if the radius of the rounded corners were not so big. ;)

It's awesome so far though, I just watched the videos and I love it!

#28 OP vetenigma-penguin

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 14:11

On second looks, to be honest, on a usability point of view the corners for the screen are a little bit too rounded, especially as it's chopping off the apple menu and part of the clock at the top. I think it would look much better if the radius of the rounded corners were not so big. ;)

It's awesome so far though, I just watched the videos and I love it!


That's because of the bit I used, the cutting isn't actually finished and you'll see those corners go to points once I'm done ;) The same will go for the apple menu being cut off as well, it's all a matter of getting the margins right and I didn't want to cut too much, I'm more happy with too little and trimming.

also if you look closely there are still little bits hanging off the edges :p

#29 Inklin

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 14:13

That's because of the bit I used, the cutting isn't actually finished and you'll see those corners go to points once I'm done ;) The same will go for the apple menu being cut off as well, it's all a matter of getting the margins right and I didn't want to cut too much, I'm more happy with too little and trimming.


Cool, I think it might look awesome with very slightly rounded corners rather than it being completely rectangular but it is up to you :p

#30 OP vetenigma-penguin

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 14:14

It will be rounded, just not like the above, that's just way too large. :)



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