| Cult of Mac

IT engineer’s MacBook Pro and Studio Display quietly get the job done [Setups]

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One in landscape, one in portrait. It's what the cool kids do with displays.
One in landscape, one in portrait. It's what the cool kids do with displays.
Photo: endiespie@Reddit.com

Aspects of Apple silicon chips replacing Intel processors in Macs that you don’t always hear about are how quiet and cool the M1 and M2 machines are by comparison. In today’s featured computer setup, an IT engineer sings his M1 Pro MacBook Pro’s praises in that regard, not to mention its habit of sipping battery power rather than gulping it.

And he’s also got a popular dual-display configuration going. In this case it’s a Studio Display in landscape mode and a Dell 4K display in portrait mode.

New Apple headset leaks make our heads explode [The CultCast]

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A manipulated image of a person wearing a virtual reality headset, used to illustrate the contents of The CultCast, our weekly Apple podcast.
Are we the only ones standing around with slack jaws wondering how Apple can make this headset desirable?
Photo: Original photo: Uriel Soberanes/Unsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The more we hear about Apple’s upcoming AR/VR headset, the more we’re perplexed about who is actually going to buy one. We take a long, hard look at the latest leaks — and come up shaking our heads.

Also on The CultCast:

  • We might get a raft of exciting new Macs — including the first Mac Pro powered by Apple silicon — at a March event.
  • Apple’s Pro Display XDR and Studio Display get some high-end competition.
  • Sorry, voice actors. AI narrators look like the future of audiobooks (and Apple leads the charge).
  • Our final best-of-2022 picks.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

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Mac mini and MacBook Pro trade off in student rig [Setups]

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Both a MacBook Pro and a Mac mini drive this setup.
Both a MacBook Pro and a Mac mini drive this setup.
Photo: hyqmavericks@Reddit.com

Back in our day — when we walked 5 miles uphill to school both ways — students were lucky to have plywood on cinderblocks for a desk and a laptop weighing, oh, let’s say 25 pounds (we’re too old to remember things).

Nowadays, these kids have pretty swanky computer setups with desktop machines you could toss in a knapsack. Today’s featured item boasts a Mac mini, a MacBook Pro, a 4K display, Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2 and a Lego building set to die for.

Dual Mac minis and Xbox play in gamer’s workstation [Setups]

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Two Mac minis and an Xbox provide the fun in this gaming setup.
Two Mac minis and an Xbox provide the fun in this gaming setup.
Photo: jjsson@Reddit.com

To a lot of people, “home for the holidays” may mean even more massive amounts of gameplay than usual. That could be the case with the owner of today’s featured computer setup. In addition to two Mac minis, the workstation sports an Xbox Series S with a couple of special-edition controllers.

And two of the three displays in the setup are curved gaming monitors. The other’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro mounted on a stand.

M1 MacBook Air knows how to have fun [Setups]

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Lots of toys live in this MacBook Air and gaming PC rig.
Lots of toys live in this MacBook Air and gaming PC rig.
Photo: daniielrp@Reddit.com

Some setups are no-nonsense, just the facts, ma’am — strictly utilitarian. Others are fanciful and full of toys. Today’s featured setup leans toward the latter, with its burgeoning population of Transformer figures crowding the shelf above the display and even related wall art.

And there’s plenty of gaming going on there, too, via a custom gaming PC and Nintendo Switch OLED in addition to an M1 MacBook Air and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Oh, and it has one of the coolest speaker systems ever made, too.

Today in Apple history: Apple Store celebrates its millionth online customer

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The Apple Store proves that tech fans like buying things online!
Turns out that tech fans like buying things online!
Photo: Ste Smith/Maxime Raphael/Flickr CC

December 5: Today in Apple history: Apple Store celebrates millionth online sale December 5, 2002: Cupertino says it served its millionth unique customer in the Apple Store online, marking a significant milestone for the company. It is a benchmark worth celebrating for Apple, which launched its online store just five years earlier.

Reaching our 1 millionth customer is a major milestone, and is proof positive that our online shopping experience is second to none,” Tim Cook, Apple’s executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations at the time, said in a statement. “The Apple Store is a popular way for a growing number of consumers and businesses to buy Apple products, and with extensive build-to-order capabilities, easy 1-Click shopping and free shipping on orders, it’s never been easier to buy a Mac online.”

Keep the iPad front and center or ditch it? [Setups]

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Would you keep the iPad Pro in the middle of the setup like that?
Would you keep the iPad Pro in the middle of the setup like that?
Photo: pincoded@Reddit.com

Some people like a lot screens in their computer setup, others like to be glued to one and one only. In today’s featured computer setup, the user wrestles with the question of whether to keep his iPad Pro front and center, right in front of the external display, or just leave it out. Meanwhile, a MacBook Pro sits off to the side in clamshell mode.

Because the user asked for opinions on social media, he got them. Lots of them. But it proved to be a tricky question to answer definitively.

MacBook Pro drives dynamic, well-mounted displays [Setups]

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A 34-inch ultra-wide display in landscape mode and a 24-inch monitor in portrait mode make a good combo.
A 34-inch ultra-wide display in landscape mode and a 24-inch monitor in portrait mode make a good combo.
Photo: PassiveInterfce@Reddit.com

Powerful MacBook Pro — check. Extremely capable USB dock — check. Dazzling displays properly mounted in different orientations — check. Two of the best input devices you can buy — check.

Today’s featured computer setup seems to have it all without going overboard, and it all rests easily on a solid standing desk from New Zealand.

And the user even recommends deals on truly stellar noise-canceling headphones. Read on for more and don’t miss the gear list at the bottom of the page.

Apple gear finds stout home on custom maple standing desk and monitor riser [Setups]

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Both the standing desk and monitor shelf sport 3-inch-thick maple.
Both the standing desk and monitor shelf sport 3-inch-thick maple.
Photo: NeuroGuy406@Reddit.com

A great computer setup starts with a solid desk — preferably a standing desk, so you can sit or stand as your aching body requires. Today’s featured setup finds a MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, Studio Display and Dell 4K monitor resting easy on a stout maple standing desk and monitor riser.

Wherever you see wood in the photograph, know that it’s 3 inches thick. That’s one way to reduce monitor wobbling.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get an ultra-wide display [Setups]

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The ultra-wide 1440p display shown here can be had for about $300.
The ultra-wide 1440p display shown here can be had for about $300.
Photo: InfaSyn@Reddit.com

Once you shell out a couple thousand bucks or more for a marvelous Mac Studio desktop machine, how do you add an ultra-wide display without running up your already-tortured credit cards?

Today’s featured dual-monitor Mac Studio setup solved the problem by going back in time. Its owner added an ultra-wide display — and much of the other gear in the workstation — from a few years ago.