Because of my tango ignorance, I will be in Buenos Aires for a month. The first week is off, but the next three weeks will be busy mornings and dancing day and night. I am working on a three-dimensional peripheral workplace trying to recreate the ultrawide monitor I use at home as accurately as possible. This is not the first time I have worked while traveling outside the United States. It was not the first time I did in Argentina, but it was the first time I did it for more than a week, which is why I went with a more complex program.
In my home office back in London, I only used one monitor – but that was literally as wide as my desk! The 49-inch monitor is a bit difficult to carry, I definitely have to compromise a bit for my mobile workspace. At the same time, I want to be able to mirror as closely as possible the essential elements of my normal work environment in transfer form. So, what is my schedule here? Front and center are my MacBook Pro. This is a 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pro, which serves as both my center display and keyboard. This is where I store the Chrome browser I used for WordPress.
Three-screen-mobile-service-2. To the left is a 15-inch movement monitor. I have used Gemini and BladeX models before, and this time it was the Espresso Show. After the BladeX mess, I wrote a review when Espresso was on Kickstarter, telling the company I would wait until it was in production, to make sure the project would do. That is the case now, and a review will follow. This is where I store my Safari and Finder windows (the latter was originally used as a storage space for images), to the left of the Mac. My RSS reader, Vienna, sits under Safari, as I use one or the other.
Finally, my 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with Magic Keyboard used as a stand, acts as a right-hand monitor, for Slack chatroom (hidden) and Tweetdeck. This is the power from the Mac, just to make it ready-made for standby use. The map is not for decoration: I found that I continued to use the Keyboard Magic pad when it switched to that display, so I had to cover it!
It’s a setup that works really well, and Apple’s ‘just works’ design is more-or-less the case here. The handset monitor requires a single USB-C cable to connect to the Mac, and it provides both power and video display. To make the iPad display work easily you need to go to Settings Options> Displays and then select iPad from the Add Display menu.
It takes some fiddling to set up shows, but that is one-off. I highly recommend setting the menu bar to appear on every monitor. I use Stop to lock my windows to specific monitors and mobile computers, and this is a tool I highly recommend even if you use a single monitor, as I always do. This means that once both external displays are connected, all windows are in pre-selected settings and sizes.
I say that the system is close to ‘just working’ because the iPad sometimes disconnects, but so far this has happened once daily or so, and every time it reconnects immediately when I reboot. In two days, the schedule worked fine. It provided the same windows in the same locations as I had at home, although in a much smaller way, allowing me to have the same production. The compact form factor of both the monitor and the iPad means I am easily able to fit the entire configuration in the transfer bag.