Mac Setups: The Investigator’s Desk & Truck Workstation

Sep 15, 2012 - 18 Comments

an investigators Mac desk setup

This weeks featured setup is a really great two-for-one arrangement from Tim N., an investigator who was able to replace a bunch of different gadgets and hardware with some killer Apple gear both in the office and on the road.

First up is his office setup, which includes some great Mac gear:

  • iMac 27″ (2011)
  • 24″ Dell monitor
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad
  • iPad 3 64GB
  • iPhone 4S 64GB
  • Creative Labs 2.1 speakers

But now things get even more interesting, because that iPad 3 and iPhone 4S also go on the road into a customized Nissan Titan truck setup to help Tim with his job:

Investigators Mobile iOS Setup with iPad 3 and iPhone 4S

The iPad alone now carries the mobile tech burden and allowed or consolidating a bunch of old separate hardware and gadgets, eliminating clutter and costing less by replacing a Garmin Nuvi GPS unit, ExpressRC XM receiver, Motorola Q, Parrot 6100 Bluetooth, Blackberry, and an iPod Classic for music. So what replaced all those physical gadgets? Apps on the iPad of course! Critical apps include Motion X GPS Drive, Pandora, Spotify, CalenGoo, Skype, and the standard iOS app suite for email and messaging.

How great is it that just an iPad can do all that?

Do you have an interesting Mac/Apple setup you want featured? Send in a list of hardware and what you use it for to


Related articles:

Posted by: William Pearson in Mac Setups


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  1. Tim N. says:

    A final comment on this thread re: Kevin’s comments:
    My brother, his wife and dog were killed Jan 8, 1986 by a distracted 18 wheeler driver. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my brother.
    Kevin’s first and second comments about *only* using my iPad indicated that he assumed I was using all of my iPad features while driving which is why I explained that no, it plays my music, is a navigator, entertainment “for my kids”, and otherwise used on surveillance. Perhaps explaining that surveillance is when I sit for long ours watching a target would have helped him. Other features, of course, are used in a safe manner when I am not driving. My sarcastic comment about reading a novel at 65mph was supposed to draw his attention to his incorrect assumptions and instruction to not respond that I could operate the iPad and the vehicle in safe manner. So he makes assumptions AND attempts to dictate my response.
    I don’t take kindly to a person jumping to a conclusion about me and then taking it upon themselves to preach to me in a public forum without knowing the facts and based on assumptions.
    As far as refuting the facts, the facts about distracted drivers are of course on his side. I have no argument with that and spend every day investigating all manner of severe injuries and death related to distracted drivers and workers.
    So Kevin, thank you for your apology and your desire to change the world. I am sure you are well intentioned. In the future, however, try and gather your own facts and make sure you have not colored your comments with your own assumptions as I’m sure “everyone noticed as well”.
    Are we done here?

    • Kevin B. says:

      Tim N.,

      Well, I don’t agree with your assessment of how we came to this point but I don’t think we’ll ever come to an agreement on that.

      Most importantly, that’s all trivial compared to the loss you’ve suffered. You do have my sincere sympathy for your loss. It was my desire to see that kind of tragedy come to an end that prompted my response. May your brother, sister-in-law, and their dog all rest in peace…

      Kevin B.

  2. Tim N. says:

    Re the Vai poster, I met him when he was touring with David Lee Roth. He was nice enough to interrupt his bike ride to stop by my shop, hang out and sign my poster which happened to be hanging in my back office at the time. Very cool guy.

  3. Tim N. says:

    What an interesting way to turn an otherwise pleasant thread into your own personal platform. And congratulations on your title of just another twit who jumps to rediculous conclusions about someone you do not know. I assume then that you support the removal of all radios, GPS units, children, spouses, pets, roadsigns, weather, other drivers, cheesburgers, makeup and daydreaming from the daily commute of millions of drivers. Surely those distractions make everyone on the road every bit as impaired as a drunk driver. Now please do bugg off, Mr. Troll, I’m trying to finish the latest John Grisham novel while doing 65 on the interstate.

    • Kevin B. says:

      Tim N.,

      I noticed that since you cannot refute the facts that I presented you had to resort to a personal attack on me. Very typical of those who do not have the facts on their side. I’m sure everyone else noticed that as well. You can call me whatever names you want, but you cannot change the fact that I am right and you are wrong…


      • Kevin B. says:

        Tim N.,

        You know what? Upon reflection, I want to apologize for my last response to you. I’ve got nothing against you personally. I’m sure you (and tens of thousands of other people just like you) sincerely believe that driving distracted is no big deal. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Even more unfortunately, innocent people die. But we’re not going to change that in this forum. Let’s just let it go. Again, I’m sorry – it’s nothing personal…


  4. Tim N. says:

    To Kevin:
    No. As mentioned, my iPad is my GPS navigator, my music player, and my video player. My kids really enjoy having the video playing from the front seat and through the sound system in my truck.
    I use my iPad the same way a police officer uses his laptop. I am able to check license plates and addresses and even get satellite shots of the location I am surveilling. It is great to have my entire office synced to my iPad so that when I’m on long surveillance I can work from my carseat. Of course my book library is installed there as well.

    • Kevin B. says:

      Tim N.,

      That’s what I suspected and I’m very sorry to hear that. Distracted drivers like yourself kill and main dozens of people daily. Studies have shown that you are every bit as impaired as a drunk driver. It’s time for the carnage to stop. I hope you will reconsider your actions. Don’t bother responding that *you* can safely operate your iPad and drive at the same time. If you think that you’re only fooling yourself…


  5. Tim N. says:

    Live Wallpaper app (clock) allows you to change background photo. The only issue I have is second monitor boots to same photo of iMac every time. I have to change it back to X-Wing photo. Any advice would be appreciated.

  6. Kevin B. says:

    Tim N.,

    Of course, you *only* use your iPad when your truck is stopped and pulled safely out of traffic, right?

    Kevin B.

  7. B.R. says:

    How do I get that cool backdrop with the clock or how do you make it?

  8. Todd says:

    Nice Steve Vai poster.

  9. Ceveces says:

    Anyone got the star wars wallpapers?

  10. Tim N. says:

    Group is courtesy of a Kimber CDP .45acp.
    Clock is Live Wallpaper app.
    Mount is Bracketron and a generic eBay find repurposed with a little redneck engineeering. I sent a photo of it to the mod for him to publish if he wants.
    The iPhone mount is a Mountek which repurposes the cd slot of your vehicle to hold the phone bracket. It does not damage the cd slot and is an excellent design.

  11. Tom says:

    Very cool setup! Stars Wars fan too!!

    I’m interested in the iPad mount in the truck too….any clues forthcoming?

    Great thread guys!! iPhone 5 coming in 6 days, that’s about 144 hours….but who’s counting? ;-P

  12. Aurelius says:

    how did he display the time & date on his desktop? it looks similar to rainmeter.

  13. Charles L. says:

    How did he mount the iPad in his truck?

  14. Spencer says:

    Nice and tight shot pattern in the background of first pic. I’m guessing detective? I had no idea those guys used Macs, how cool!

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