DIYer converts grater into working Mac Pro alternative

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working cheese-grater Mac
The iCanWait Mac Pro alternative is a proven multi-tasking machine.
Photo: Tom Owad/Applefritter

Every day since Apple introduced the new Mac Pro, social media has served up endless cheese grater jokes.

But only one has converted an actual tin grater into a working Mac. Well, kind of.

Tom Owad of the Apple culture blog Applefritter built the iCanWait, a “working Mac Pro alternative” that uses a 3.5-inch LCD screen and pocket-sized Raspberry Pi computer.

The cheese grater, which serves as the stand, is sold separately. “The stand is a bargain at $3.44,” Owad writes. “Competing stands cost 290 times that amount.”

working cheese-grater Mac
The internals are easy to install.
Photo: Tom Owad/Applefritter

Owad, of course, is referencing Apple’s audacity to charge an extra $1,000 for a monitor stand that is part of an already expensive work station.

Cheese-grater Mac is up to the task

Apple introduced the long-awaited next-generation Mac Pro during the keynote of WWDC on June 3. The $6,000 tower’s ventilation holes and handles immediately drew comparisons to the common kitchen grater.

Like an aged cheddar, the criticism has been extra sharp because of the additional thousands of dollars creatives are forced to spend to add components maximizing the potential speed and power of the pro machine.

Which brings us to the power of the iCanWait Mac Pro alternative.

“Simply start your processor-intensive task on your old, ordinary iMac, pick up your iCanWait in its convenient portable stand, and go get lunch,” Owad said. “The iCanWait mirrors the screen of your Mac, so you’ll know when you can get back to work.”

DIY cheese-grater Mac
A Dremel tool sets modification in motion.
Photo: Tom Owad/Applefritter

Owad takes DIYers through the steps of programming the Raspberry Pi to set it up for screen sharing with the main Mac. He also shares a couple of options to power it.

To get the grater screen-ready, Owad masked off the top portion of the grater to match the dimensions of the LDC and then used a Dremel tool with a cut-off wheel to create the space.