‘Messy’ developer’s MacBook Pro rig drives dual external displays [Setups]


If you count the MacBook Pro, it's a triple-display workstation.
If you count the MacBook Pro, it's a triple-display workstation.
Photo: Mia@Detroit

Mia, a software developer from Detroit who writes mobile apps, got in touch with Cult of Mac recently to share her MacBook Pro-driven, dual-display workstation.

“I love your setup articles but sometimes they make me feel bad about myself,” she said.

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‘Messy’ developer’s pair of MacBook Pros drive dual external displays

Mia’s point had to do with how people tend to display their computer setups online, with all the shameless flexing of fancy gear without a stray coffee cup or mess of cables to be seen.

“I’m a messy person. I work best in a mess,” she told Cult of Mac. “And honestly, I honestly don’t believe some of the setups I’ve seen on the internet. I thought maybe you might enjoy a realistic one?”

And we do enjoy it. We feel Mia’s pain. Clearly, we’re guilty of writing about many unrealistically pristine, preposterously expensive setups that we find on social media sites. Sometimes.

We even try to even things out with “normal” setups and we avoid the obviously staged workstations that almost no one would have in real life.

We especially like it when people follow our link, info+setups@cultofmac.com, and send us photographs and information about their setups. because they tend to be some of the most “realistic” ones. And we love hearing folks’ setup stories.

A tale of 2 MacBook Pros and 2 1080p displays

Mia toils away at her setup on both a work-provided, 2021 MacBook Pro and her personal, 2020 MacBook Pro.

“I switch these out of my laptop stand when I get out of work,” she said. “This process can be annoying, as I have to switch the dock, and then reconnect both my Magic Mouse 2 and my Magic Keyboard.”

We include more about what she hopes to do about that annoyance below in the ‘Future purchases’ section.

She mentioned her two monitors are a 1080p Sceptre with a refresh rate of 75Hz and an old, 1080p Asus with a refresh rate of 60Hz. They sit on a dual monitor stand.

Like many of us, Mia places a premium on saving money.

“I use a cheap Hiearcool docking station that utilizes two of my USB C ports,” she said. “In picking and choosing what I spent my money on, I was able to get a three-monitor setup for very cheap, that does the job.”

Firmly in the (refurbished) Apple ecosystem

In terms of other Apple products Mia uses with her workstation, she has an iPhone 13 mini, AirPods Pro and an Apple Watch Series 7.

“All of these things integrate very nicely, as expected with Apple. All but the mini were bought refurbished. I buy refurbished from Amazon, and what’s nice about that is you get a year warranty for free even if you don’t pay for Apple Care,” she said.

Mia uses what she called a “large sticky note” on her desk that doubles as a wrist support in front of her Magic Keyboard.

“Also, I received a picture of a man wearing a Call of Duty shirt from my friend, as you can see in the pictures,” Mia added. “I do not know who the man is, but I highly regard this photograph and framed it appropriately. It has been on my desk for at least a year.”

We asked her what she thought her friend was thinking by sending the photo of a random guy, but no word back yet.

Future purchases

And what does the future hold for her setup?

“In the future I would love to switch to a single large monitor with built-in support for easily switching between two MacBook Pros. I’m also looking forward to the M2 Macs, but we’ll see how much money I spend on caffeine this year,” she said.

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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. 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.


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