Exposé and The 30″ Cinema Display

I saw the new 30″ Cinema Display at the Apple Store this weekend for the first time. I gotta hand it to them – it’s great. The price is still way to steep for me to give up my Dell 2001FP, but it was really interesting to use. What really amazed me was how much more useful Exposé felt on the big screen – largely because you could see so much more of the window contents when you are selecting a window, also because you really got a great sense of everything that was happening on your Mac when you saw all the windows layed out on such a spacious display.

So here’s my question for the handful of readers out there who might use a Mac: Tell me what you think of Exposé. Do you use it? Do you love it? Hate it? Why?

It occured to me that this would be the ideal display for the Windows XP Media Center Edition PC in my living room. Has anyone out there had any experience trying to get the Cinema Display to work with a PC? From what I understand it requires a somewhat involved setup on the Mac using two video cards…

Comments (8)

  1. Peter Reiter says:

    Theoretically it should also just work fine with PCs if the necassary graphic adapter is provided

    I think that the new Geforce SLI systems and Matrox Parhelia are capable of controlling this shiny display, but i’m not sure

    well, but i’m a Win user and won’t switch

  2. Uwe Keim says:

    The number of pixel error on such a big display is surely horrible. I’m already in "IBM ThinkVision 19 inch-nightmare" because of the pixel errors. But 30 inches… *sigh*

  3. hash says:

    I keep using Expose all the time in OS X. Specifically I use the "Show the desktop" feature more than the "Expose" feature. I also find I use the Expose feature sometimes as a task switcher, specially if I want to do this with just the mouse and not use the keyboard (I have hot buttons associated with the multibutton mouse). Really do miss the Expose feature when I’m using XP. I wonder if Longhorn will change that?

    re: 30" display

    You don’t need any involved setup to use it on the Mac. The only video card that will drive it is the nvidia NV40 (GeForce 6800) which takes up one AGP slot but over shoots into the neighboring PCI slot because of the huge heat sink. The card is designed to take two slots of space. Other cards will work but you will not be able to run the display at native resolution. Rumor has it the R500s from ATI will also drive this display natively.

  4. Kam VedBrat says:

    Hash –

    Have you tried Win-D or Win-M on your Windows PC for getting to the destkop? Also there are a handful of Exposé clones out there for Windows XP if you want to get similar functionality on Windows today…


  5. Terry Quast says:

    I use Expose and can’t live without it. I find that the smaller the display the more useful Expose is. I have a "clam shell" iBook, with a 800×600 display, a 15" G4 iMac, and a G5 DP with a 20" monitor. The large monitor is no problem, because if I’m working with two different programs, I can put one on the left, the other on the right. The 15" LCD monitor has room for your main application, and a little room around the edges, where you can "tile" your windows. With the little iBook display, there isn’t enough room to display even one program comfortably. Finding a hidden window was difficult, now it is no problem.

    I prefer to use "hot corners" to active Expose on the iMac and G5. Just roll the mouse to the bottom right and see all the windows in the active program, roll it to the bottom left to see all the windows in all the programs. On the iBook, i use the default F keys since it is too easy to accidentially position the curser in the corners, there is so little "real estate".

    Once you use it you’ll find out just how useful it is. The more programs or windows you have open the more useful it is.

    Expose is just one of the features of Macs that make the experience more enjoyable.

  6. Chris Kelly says:

    I LOVE Expose. I use the upper right corner for "show all", upper left for "show current app", and bottom right for "show desktop" (bottom left is screensaver, a carryover for me from Mac days past). It has actually become such second nature to me to manage windows this way that I often find myself throwing the cursor to the corners of my display to switch between windows in WinXP and am sad when nothing happens 🙁

    mmm, 30" display. I can only imagine what Expose is like on that.

    The 30" display is run by a special dual output GeForce 6800 Ultra card. Here you can find discussion on running the 30" in windows. Apparently some of the Nvidia Quadro workstation cards can properly drive the screen:


    and soon, Tiger, where Apple will take Expose one step further with the very Konfabulator-like Dashboard

  7. Ryan says:

    Expose is probably one of the most useful features on OS X, in my opinion. I use it all the time on my wife’s 15" PowerBook. (What is neat to see, and really shows off the graphics horsepower of OS X is to have a few quicktime movies going in several windows, then hit F9 and still see the movies playing in the resized windows…)

    I use WinKey-M on XP, and it doesn’t compare. I’d love to see Longhorn implement something similar to Expose.

    I have yet to try any of the Expose clones for XP – any recommendations out there?

  8. Ryan: There are a number of Expose clones for Windows. From personal experience, and from what I’ve heard most people say, WinPLOSION and Entbloess (Google them) seem to be the two best ones, although the latter might have compatibility problems with certain hardware configurations.

    I don’t think any of them continue to play movies while the windows are "exposed" though, but they’re still quite nice (I’ve been using WinPLOSION).