Mac Setups: The Desk of an Industrial Designer & Computer Science Student

Dec 21, 2013 - 13 Comments

Industrial designer and computer science student Mac setup

Another week, another awesome Mac setup to share, and this time around we have a great Apple desk from Phillip F., an Industrial Designer and Computer Science student. Let’s take a moment to learn more about the hardware and how it’s used:

What hardware does your desk setup consist of?

  • MacBook Pro 15” (Early 2011 model) with Hi-Res Matte Display
    • OS X 10.9 (Mavericks)
    • 2 GHz Core i7 CPU
    • 16GB DDR3 RAM
    • 240GB SSD (Main Drive)
    • 500GB HD (Secondary, replacing the SuperDrive)
  • Dual 22″ Samsung SyncMaster Displays
  • Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station for MacBook Pro 15″
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard
  • Apple Magic Mouse
  • Apple Magic Trackpad
  • Mobee Magic Bar for Keyboard and Trackpad
  • Diamond BVU195 USB to Video Adapter to power second display
  • Targus USB Hub (looking to upgrade)
  • 5.1 Surround Sound speaker system
  • iPad 3 32GB WiFi
  • iPhone 5s 32GB
  • (Not Shown) Unraid Server 11TB Capacity used for General Storage, Media Server, and Time Machine Backup (see here for more info)
  • (Not Shown) Apple TV 3rd Gen

Here is another shot of the desk configuration, with the MacBook Pro in the HengeDock:

Henge Dock with dual screen Mac setup

Tell us a bit about what you do, and what you use your Apple gear for

I’m a student currently studying Industrial Design. I’m also planning to complete a degree in Computer Science. I do a bit of amateur photography in my free time. Everything I have in this setup is to try and get the most for my money and provide the most functionality possible.

My MacBook is my only machine and I use it for everything I do. Thanks to the Henge Dock, it serves as both my portable and desktop machine. Being able to grab and go off the dock is such a great convenience. 

My iPad is used 100% for recreation. It’s great to read articles and browse the internet while sitting on the couch and not have to pull out my laptop. Same for sitting around campus between classes. 

What Mac and iOS apps do you use most often?

I currently use my setup to run Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Bridge, etc.), Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), Keyshot, and Parallels 9 for a Windows 7 VM to run Solidworks 2013. 

A few Mac utilities I use often are:

  • Google Play Music Manager, syncs my music between iTunes and my iPhone
  • Memory Clean, especially handy when running Parallels  (Editors note: this is like a fronted to the purge command)
  • smcFanControl, great for manually keeping my MacBook temps under control
  • NoSleep, quickly keeps my MacBook awake with the lid closed with just one click on the menu bar icon
  • KeyRemap4Macbook, only used for remapping the eject key to a Windows delete key (forward delete) since I no longer have a disk drive.

By far my number one used app on my iPad/iPhone is Newsblur. It streamlines all my favorite sites (included OSXDaily!) so I can keep up-to-date on the go. 

Do you have any tips you want to share with others?

I bought my MacBook refurbished (poor college student) and saved a few hundred dollars. I specifically chose this model for the high resolution and matte display. Another factor I looked for was upgradeability, I bought it with 4GB of RAM and just the 500GB HD with intentions to upgrade them both myself later. So by researching and buying refurbished, I saved myself quite a bit of money.

(Editors note: Apple offers refurbs for sale directly on their website and they come with the standard Apple warranty. We highly recommend certified refurbs as a way to get a great deal on a great Mac!)

Do you have an Apple setup or Mac desk you want to have considered for a Mac Setups feature post? Send it to us! Take a couple of good pictures, answer a few questions about what you use the gear for, and send it in via email at:


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac Setups


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Daniel says:

    I wanted to get hengedock for my 15″, but was worried because I run a lot of apps at the same time. Do you have any temperature issues keeping your mac closed like that?

    • Phillip says:

      My fans do run quite a bit when I get to some intensive work. Sometimes I put a USB laptop cooler behind my MacBook to keep air moving across it. I’ve found that since upgrading to 16GB of RAM, it runs hotter than most MacBooks anyways though.

  2. Klein says:

    Had you any Problems to install solid Works? Have you any Graphical issues?

    • Phillip says:

      I’ve been running Solidworks for quite a while and the only problem I’ve encountered is the OpenGL Magnifying Glass feature when trying to solve errors.

      • Klein says:

        Interesting. I am an CAD-Constructor and I use several CAD and CAM Software at work and I’m wondering why they don’t programm their CAD/CAM Software not for the Mac? I would change my komplete Workstation from PC to Mac (now Mac Pro) at work.

      • Klein says:

        I use also Solid Works.

  3. MacPaul says:

    Ergonomic disaster! He sits too close to the displays and they are not tilted, so the angle is wrong.

    • Phillip says:

      I’ve been looking into a new desk and getting some adjustable arm mounts for the monitors. This will probably have to wait until after I graduate though!

  4. Peter says:

    How did you physically connect the two monitors via your Macbook Pro (u mention the adapter Diamond, is this connecting the monitors ?)


  5. James says:

    Love the two displays. But Isn’t the USB adapter slow?

    • Phillip says:

      Actually, there was a recent driver update (from DisplayLink) for Mavericks and it’s been running extremely smooth.

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