Ever wonder what to do if you damage your laptop’s screen? If you have no insurance or warranty coverage, is it simply time to lay that laptop to rest? No. Not necessarily. The rest of that laptop’s body can be reanimated like the creature from Frankenstein — only more productive, as you would expect from a Mac whose time has not yet come. Call it a “SlaBook” or maybe “MacStein.”
Bacioiu Constantin Ciprian, known online as “Zapa,” was born in Buzau, Romania, in 1991, not long after a revolution toppled communist rule there. He loved technology as a kid, but it was expensive and hard to get. And soon enough he realized how much he loved Apple products — especially those around in his youth.
Now a longtime resident of Bucharest, he designs and develops games to run on vintage equipment. And get a load of that retro setup!
Andrew, a customer service experience manager for an internet service provider in Minneapolis, shared his computer setup with Cult of Mac after a big revamp. He replaced a 27-inch 2017 iMac with a 14-inch 2021 M1 Pro MacBook, which he runs alongside his work laptop, a Lenovo ThinkPad T480S. He uses his Apple gear mostly for photo editing and music production.
“With work from home, I needed the ability to use the screen with both my personal computer and my work device,” Andrew told Cult of Mac (he requested we use only his first name). “I had been running Windows on the iMac via Boot Camp and using Miracast to wirelessly extend to the iMac screen from my ThinkPad. When it worked it was great, but it became unreliable over time, and I decided that a monitor with multiple inputs are the way to go.”
Andrew said the Miracast connection with the iMac became unreliable when he got a mesh network. It would sometimes work great, but often fail to connect, despite rigorous troubleshooting. So it was time to do a little shopping.
You see a lot of people busting on each other for “flexing,” or bragging, about their computer setups shown in social media posts. We came across a doozy today with a dual-display setup bathed in a cool wash of color. But it’s not really about the double luxe displays; lots of people have that. It’s about the two expensive Mac Pros tucked under the desk.
I wrote recently about the shameful squalor of my previous “setup” — basically a borrowed PC laptop perched on a pile of junk — and my effort to build something worthwhile around a gleaming new 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook. Well, like a lot of people in the throes of building a computer setup, I found that second-guessing haunted me into buying a whole lot of alternative gear.
You know, for testing purposes. Trial and error. Not because of my apparent shopping addiction. Or not much, anyway.
We see a lot of dual- and multi-display workstations here at Setups Central, but we can’t recall seeing a “dual-display laptop” or a “laptop monitor stack.” Those are terms we made up for a second portable display mounted under a laptop’s screen and on top of its keyboard, as in today’s featured setup.
Sometimes you see a workstation and you can pretty much tell by the gear what its owner does for a living. Today’s featured setup has an M1 Mac mini, a 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro and an Acer laptop, plus a custom mechanical keyboard, a network switch and a huge external hard drive. That led me to guess the person might be a IT staffer or a software developer. And I was right.
Not long ago I sold, gave away or trashed most of my possessions and moved across the U.S. Soon after arrival, I found my computer unresponsive. The ol’ HP Pavilion laptop stopped powering on reliably. So I borrowed a perfectly good Dell laptop from my brother and kept on writing, mainly for Cult of Mac. I just happened to be “between Macs” at the time. But now I have a brand new 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook.
Thanks to the swanky new Apple laptop plus a few other bits and pieces I quickly acquired, as of today I no longer wallow in a PC laptop pigsty (yeah, the photo above is genuine, though I swear it wasn’t always quite that messy). I’ve got a proper Mac computer setup for the first time in a while.
Coincidentally, our last Setups post concerned itself with proper ergonomics, and today’s sticks with the theme. On Friday we wrote about a person making a comfortable and productive workstation out of little more than a laptop. This time, someone has gone “ergo everything” on an M1 MacBook Pro rig with a big external monitor and a nice set of peripherals, furniture and accessories.
From time to time, as you work on making your computer setup all it can be, you order new equipment. And maybe it takes a long time to arrive. Perhaps “supply chain” issues intervene. And if that piece of equipment is your workstation’s visual centerpiece — the magnificent display, placed just so for graphical and ergonomic bliss — then what do you do, when you have no external monitor?
Do you hunch over your laptop until your neck and your back and everything else hurts? Not necessarily.