Have you ever seen two big ol’ Apple Cinema Displays mounted vertically, in portrait mode, bookending an iMac? We didn’t think so. Or at least, it seems like a rare sight. But today’s featured setup has that nuevo-retro styling going on, big-time, and folks took notice.
After all, secondary displays in portrait mode seems to be all the rage lately, but not so much back in the glory days of Cinema Displays. Or were they?
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Two vertical Cinema Displays tower over an iMac
Redditor RicardoDawson offered up today’s setup in a post titled, “My iMac + dual Apple Cinema HD Displays setup.” He uses the workstation primarily for photography work and video editing.
In the setup, a fairly recent iMac sits just behind an iPad, a Magic Keyboard, a Magic Trackpad and an iPhone. A pair of Edifier bookshelf speakers sit in the mix. But what you notice are the Cinema Displays towering on either side in portrait mode.
And the lighting and decor in the photo really make the setup stand out, especially with that fiery red background. You can tell Ric’s a photographer.
“Cool! It’s like a scene in a movie or TV show where you enter a wall-to-wall control room…very CTU!” said one commenter, apparently referring to a Counter Terrorism Unit. Or maybe a Computer Training Unit. Or maybe they meant Crime Scene Unit (CSU). Or CSI? Anyway, you get the idea.
“Anyone else have weird fast food display vibes from this?” asked another. “The setup looks dope though!”
“For some reason, I get this concession stand vibe from movie theaters,” added a third.
A method to the madness
Although you might think from looking at people’s multiscreen setups lately that monitors in portrait mode are a new fad, they’re really not. Even when Apple first put out Cinema Displays, going back to the turn of the century, vertical screens were a thing. Here’s an Apple Communities thread about it from 2006.
Apple turned out its first Cinema Display in 1999, put out the big 30-inch version in 2004, and kept them going in the production pipeline until 2011. Thing is, the displays were so good that plenty of people still use them today.
And throughout that history, like now, it hasn’t been difficult to adjust settings to allow for a rotated screen. One commenter asked how Ric did it.
“You can rotate the image in Display Settings in macOS,” came the simple reply.
A commenter asked how Ric rotated the Cinema Displays on their default stand. Ric replied that he basically stole his method from an enthusiast and linked to evidence, so to speak.
Overall, observers seemed impressed — even grateful — to see the classic displays in a “new” way.
“Thanks, I’ve been a Mac user a long time and this idea never occurred to me,” said one. “Thank you for sharing this. You have made my old monitors suddenly very cool again.”
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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.