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April 18, 2003

Pivot point

Since I may have a few more geeks than normal coming by (Thanks, Chad!), I wanted to put forward a profitable idea that someone may be in a position to implement.

I have a ViewSonic VA800 LCD monitor. It supports pivoting into portrait mode. It does, that is, if you're running Windows or Mac OS 7/8/9. The company that created the software, Portrait Display Systems, used to have a page saying they had no plans to support OS X, but now even that is gone, leaving no sign of the Mac on their website at all.

That means that I, and hundreds or thousands of other Mac users with pivoting displays from a variety of makers, can't use the pivot function on our monitors.

Someone needs to fill this vacuum.

April 18, 2003 in Apple - Software | Permalink


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Hi, to whoever wrote the comment about the lack of Mac info re: Pivot Pro's rotation software. Since your comment is about a year old, I was wondering (as a fellow Mac user) if you've found any pivoting software for OSX? Also, since I also have an older Mac that will only upgrade to OS9, will the present version of Pivot Pro work on it?

It amazes me sometimes that these software companies develop hi-end graphics and arts software, but fail to create Mac versions, when most artists are Mac users!!


Posted by: Larry at Jan 18, 2004 1:04:58 PM

Wondering the same - has anyone found an OS X solution for pivoting? I'd like to to use it on a 17" PowerBook.

Posted by: Rus at Feb 13, 2004 8:44:03 AM

Just purchased a Microtek 997M 19" monitor. Pivot Pro cd came with it, but only for Wintel.

I'm also interested in a Mac OS X solution. The monitor works great in landscape mode, but can't adjust for portrait mode.

Posted by: James Joiner at Mar 15, 2004 6:39:48 AM

No way to pivot on OS X as far as I know... would love to as well... Damit!


Posted by: Olivier at Mar 18, 2004 5:16:54 AM

Any updates on this?

Posted by: Sukhjeet at Mar 21, 2004 9:41:35 PM

I wrote to pivot pro support and they said that while they don't support mac os x, (only through OS 8?!?) I should check with the manufacturer of my graphics card as they may have pivot software. I have an older G4 (rage 128) and I didn't see anything in ATI's site regarding pivot displays. I would get a new video card in a second if there was one that would let me pivot on the mac. Anyone explore this route?

In the meantime, bombard pivot pro with requests, and maybe the'll be convinced that making this software will be worth their time...

Posted by: Ron Jones at Apr 13, 2004 7:46:24 PM

i'd be interested in pivoting 90 degrees in OSX too.

Posted by: chris at Apr 24, 2004 7:52:16 AM

Just found these lines. I used a pivoting monitor up to now and wanted to continue that when buying a G4 with OSX now. Seems to me that I habe to buy a quite expensive 20"-monitor now to get vertical documents in full size under OSX !?

Posted by: martin at May 1, 2004 3:23:15 PM

What is with these guys? No pivot support? None even for os 9 for 1200 x 1900 portrait.
So, now I have to take back this monitor. PAIN IN THE BUTT!! Mac is the publishing computer, what is with that? Looks like we are going to have to buy Windoze machines is this kind of crap keeps up.

Posted by: NEEDPIVOT at Jun 10, 2004 6:12:19 PM

The Portrait Display Labs solution under OS 9 was a waste of time in a print production environment -- after all, every redraw/refresh command had to flipped in software, so the speed of your CPU and video card was largely irrelevant. Under OS 7 and 8 things were different (remember the Radius Pivot display?) -- our Macs were so slow, as was video, that the display *emulation* was hardly noticed.

For pivoting to work properly, companies like nVidia and ATI need to simply provide flipped resolutions (in firmware) for their current offerings... there is zero difference for a video card to draw 1024x1280 versus 1280x1024. Would it take more than a couple of days for them to write a firmware flash? Come on card vendors... what's the issue here? It boggles the mind.

Sorry to rant. I feel better now.

Posted by: Barry at Jun 11, 2004 1:49:43 PM

ATI makes video cards w/ pivoting software for osx. i know then it makes the radeon an expensive dongle to use the "versavision" software...

Posted by: tom at Jul 18, 2004 3:16:25 PM

I'm adding my words to the "I want to pivot my osx screen" pile.
I have a 12" iBook.. it's begging for 90degree pivot tools

Posted by: ben at Oct 9, 2004 12:09:20 AM

If anyone's keeping track, add my name to the list of those wanting pivot support for OS X. I have a 14" iBook and want to run my external display in portait mode.

Posted by: Jason at Nov 28, 2004 11:45:33 AM

I went to buy a new dual G5 Mac for my company... and found out that Mac OS X does not support portrait mode! All the video cards that ship with Mac from ATI and Nvidia support pivot/rotate mode under Windows. And the VersaVision from ATI only works with ATI retail cards -- none of which supports dual DVI!

This lack of portrait mode is likely Apple's attempt at forcing everyone to buy their super expensive 30" monitor to get 1600 vertical pixels. It is one way of selling hardware, but it locks out all the people who could afford $900 for a 21.3" rotating LCD which works with a normal single link video card. Instead, it is $4000 for 30" LCD and DDL video card.

We will wait to do software development on Mac when Apple decides to support "feature parity" between Windows and Mac on the most basic of things like video drivers. Otherwise, it is just too much hassle to work with Mac. Maybe the age of Mac as a DTP platform is over and the new generation of Mac is all about the iPod. It would explain why so many neat things from OS 9 are not making it to OS X.

It is funny that Linux will likely have official rotate support from Nvidia before Apple. And considering that Apple has so few hardware platforms compared to Linux... this is sad.

Posted by: goldstein at Dec 1, 2004 3:40:27 AM

i got myself 2 pivot 20 inchers on my new dual 2 ghz G5...
this is indeed pretty damn sad

Posted by: baos at Dec 8, 2004 7:34:48 AM

Hey everyone, a little good news... but not for us laptop users.

From: http://www.macworld.com/2004/10/features/novhotstuff/index.php

Just in case it's gone when you read this here's the whole thing:

Tech Focus: ATI’s Versavision

Mac users were left out in the cold when Portrait Display Labs decided not to update its monitor-pivoting software for OS X. Now, thanks to ATI’s Versavision-enabled cards with hardware-accelerated display rotation and scaling, Mac graphic designers and others can once again view life vertically. Both the $399 Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Special Edition (8x AGP Pro with 256MB of DDR RAM; ADC and DVI ports; G5 only) and the $129 Radeon 9200 Mac Edition (PCI with 128MB of DDR RAM; VGA, DVI, and S-Video ports; G3, G4, and G5 support) include this technology. But Versavision isn't available on the ATI cards that ship with Macs.

The End?

Posted by: Pigumon at Dec 11, 2004 4:47:43 AM

I'm another person gnashing my teeth at lack of rotation support for Powerbook screens. The DVD player works upside down fine, so if you could rotate the screen, you could turn the whole thing upside down and use it as a flip-down-screen DVD player - great for the car.

But only if somebody writes the software to let you rotate the screen!


Posted by: David French at Jan 19, 2005 7:40:35 AM

By the way, I emailed Portrait Displays earlier and got the following response:
"We would very much like to produce a version of Pivot Pro for the Macintosh OSX, but unfortunately due to changes in OSX, we are unable to do so. We have contacted Apple regarding this problem but they have not been willing to address the issue since their focus is on the Macintosh monitors which do not support rotation. If Apple ever addresses the issue, we will make an update of the software."

Posted by: David French at Jan 19, 2005 2:06:26 PM

Have the same problem. Just sended a feature request to apple: http://www.apple.com/macosx/feedback/
Perhaps it will help...

Posted by: ivo at Jan 28, 2005 7:57:02 AM

What's the word now with the Radeon 9200s in the Mac Minis? They do portrait? Anyone using a mini to pivot their monitors?

Posted by: Bubba Franks at Feb 12, 2005 1:13:18 AM

wow - add me to the list, and if this is a apple issue it figures, they just can't clean up their act. I dropped by the local Samsung store and saw their pivot monitors and they are sweet and relatively cheap at $850 for 21.3"!! I'm a photographer and designer and this would just be killer for building sites and retouching images. But then I see there is no rotate software for Mac?!

My employer issued me a new T42 PC, and I thought, well that would be nice to have a second monitor for that that I could also plug into a mini for doing retouching (I find the monitor behind the monitor experience a little annoying). So awesome right?! No. If this is Apple's doing its really annoying and rather typical of their high-end product manufacturing strategy. Damn it they dont even make a swivelling screen! Guess tI won't be buying a mini.

If Adobe would write their software for Linux the whole problem would be over. I would be out of the Mac/PC trap forever!

Posted by: atomicBirdsong at Feb 21, 2005 9:17:45 PM

Just adding my name to the list of mac users who DEMANDS pivoting for OSX!

Posted by: arnor at Feb 24, 2005 6:01:18 PM

Well if you've a PowerBook and want to pivot your external display you could always purchase:

Magma 1-Slot Cardbus-to-PCI Expansion System Full Lenth ($953.95)
ATI Radeon 9200 128MB PCI Display Card ($128.95)

Haven't tested it, but should work... in theory...

Posted by: Chaos at Feb 25, 2005 12:58:05 PM

I am going to try the radeon 9200 on my mac 1.25 dually g4. I hope it works. I also have the 213t. The screen is bad ass just as it is, but a portrait mode would just blow me away. BLLLAAHHHAHHHA BASTARDS!!!!

Posted by: Seeweed at Mar 1, 2005 1:34:38 AM

Got a 12" 1.5 Powerbook and was mad that it does not support Portrait mode when attaching my external 20" LCD who supports it. GeForce5200 chip supports it but the driver and apps called Nvrotate is for Windows only.

Even my $100 PC from Fry's using built-in motherboard video card (Intel 82845G Graphics card) supports rotations (90/180/270) and it works very well on the decades-old VGA adapter.

For most use Cinema widescreen is good, but turning it in Portrait is a kill-apps for my once-a-while hard-core programming (reading hundreds of code at the same time)...It's NO wonder that Apple Powerbook sales went down the tube.

Posted by: Peter at Mar 9, 2005 11:37:38 PM