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Force 17" PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness System

Owners of the awesome 17" PowerBook would all agree the backlit keyboard is even more convenient than first thought. But it does have a nasty quirk - as with the display's ability to self-adjust its brightness, the keyboard will likewise illuminate at a brightness based on room lighting. The problem is if you're in a dimly lit room the backlight will only partially illuminate, causing the lettering light up grey - and grey text on grey keys is rather difficult to read. Thus one is either constantly turning the brightness back up (since it will keep turning itself back down) or just turning it off entirely (at least the black lettering will be a little easier to read).

The solution is to force the backlight to be 100% whenever it's on - by making the minimum light level 100%. Pop into /Users -> your_username -> Library -> Preferences, and open com.apple.bezelservice.plist. Change the value of kHWMin to 1 and you're done! Be careful playing with the other settings though -- until I finally got this right, I was causing my backlight to either be stuck on permanently, not work at all, or (get this!) it was turning ON in the light and turning OFF in the dark!

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Force 17" PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness | 19 comments | Create New Account
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Force 17" PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: semiotek on May 28, '03 12:58:01PM

Could you explain, just a little more clearly, what you mean by "change the value of"?

TIA - Nick



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Clarification about preferences
Authored by: chincotaco on May 29, '03 01:13:01AM
In the file the OP pointed out, there should be something that says
kHWMin
. The next line should say something like 0 Change whatever is between those two tags to 1, and you're all set.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Clarification about preferences
Authored by: chincotaco on May 29, '03 01:16:03AM

Sorry, that should read:

< key >kHWMin< /key > and < string >0< /string>.

Sorry bout that, the formatting lost the tags I originally typed...



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Force 17&quot; PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: figz on May 28, '03 01:48:20PM

I haven't seen the 17" in person, but I wonder if there is a light sensor which you could simply cover temporarily with a piece of opaque tape to "trick" it into thinking the room was completely dark?



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Force 17&quot; PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: semiotek on May 28, '03 01:53:53PM

Only if you're willing to cover the speaker grills too!



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That does not work.
Authored by: C14ru5 on May 29, '03 09:56:37AM

Whenever the PowerBook 17" light sensors are exposed to COMPLETE darkness, the illumination stops functioning. The illumination only seems to work in DIM light conditions.



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Force 17&quot; PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: jmah on May 29, '03 03:36:48AM

Just learn to touch-type. I don't know how I used to use a computer before I could do this (I learnt in the 6th grade)...

---
www.HotFrozenSoup.com



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Force 17&quot; PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: Fofer on May 29, '03 04:17:46AM
Apparently you hadn't learned to spell though... ;-)

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Force 17&quot; PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: displaced on May 29, '03 08:40:15AM

http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/aboutspelling/learnt

"These are alternative forms of the past tense and past participle of the verb learn. Learnt is more common in British English, and learned in American English. There are a number of verbs of this type (burn, dream, kneel, lean, leap, spell, spill, spoil, etc.). They are all irregular verbs, and this is a part of their irregularity."

;-)



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Force 17&quot; PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: DVD Plaza on May 29, '03 10:07:15PM

I've touched typed for exactly 12 years, so what.



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Force 17&quot; PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: solinvictus on May 29, '03 10:26:15AM

There is an easier way to do this. Instead of editing the .plist file for bezelservices by hand, use the built-in "defaults" system. From CLI, just type:

defaults write com.apple.bezelservices kHWMin 1

For more on the "defaults" system, you can "man defaults".

Enjoy!


---
Lex Talionis



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Force 17&quot; PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: DVD Plaza on May 29, '03 10:02:59PM

Excellent! I knew there was a command to do this, but I couldn't for the life of me remember it (figured the editor might reword my article to use it instead) - I'll have to keep that in mind. Thanks :)



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Force 17&quot; PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: Mac-Convert on Nov 14, '03 01:16:17AM

Uh, just wondering what CLI is?

Thanks



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Force 17&quot; PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: notmatt on Nov 14, '03 06:16:29AM

"Command Line Interface"



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Force 17&quot; PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: mikeim on Jul 13, '04 09:27:09PM

I have tried manually changing kHWMin to 1 via TextEdit and also via the Terminal (default etc etc etc)

However the value of kHWMin seems to change back by it self....

any thoughts?



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Force 17&quot; PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: rm53 on Oct 19, '05 09:25:08AM

At least for Tiger you should use the Apple Propertylist-Editor for setting the value to "1.0" - with the command shown above it will be converted to a string which may lead to problems.
Simply double-click the file com.apple.bezelservices in your Library/Preferences



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Force 17&quot; PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: francco on Nov 03, '05 04:12:20PM

Guys, just use F8, F9 and F10 keys if you want to adjust your keyboard's backlight...



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Force 17" PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: jwsullivan on Jun 22, '06 06:04:58AM

This is a very old post but i just tried this on a new MacBook Pro 17" using the property list editor to change the value to '1.0'. The system restores the 'number' value back to 0.073300 after i save the file and reboot.

any thoughts on how to keep the system from changing the value.



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Force 17" PowerBook keyboard backlight to full brightness
Authored by: xcalibre on Jun 03, '08 07:18:56AM

You can lock the plist file. Get Info on it and click the little "Locked" check box.
That's what i've done on my MBP 15" running 10.5.3 to no adverse effects...so far :)



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