iCanWait: An alternative to the Mac Pro

Do you need to render complex 3d models, or edit 8K video, but can’t afford a new Mac Pro?

Introducing the iCanWait.

Simply start your processor-intensive task on your old, ordinary iMac, pick up your iCanWait in its convenient, portable stand, and go get lunch. The iCanWait mirrors the screen of your Mac, so you’ll know when you can get to back to work.

To build your own iCanWait, you’ll need a Raspberry Pi, 3.5 LCD, and a Mainstays 9" stand. The stand is a bargain at $3.44. Competing stands cost 290 times that amount.

A battery is optional – some people prefer to leave their iCanWait permanently in the kitchen.

Install Raspbian on the Pi. Enable Wifi and the VNC server (RealVNC). In RealVNC, turn encryption off and set authentication to VNC Password. You’ll now be able to connect from your Mac. Likewise, on your target Mac, enable Screen Sharing and the option ‘VNC Viewers may control screen with password’.

Next, you can begin work on the stand. I chose this model because its width is a good match for the Raspberry Pi. Tape off the area you want to remove:

Then cut it out with a dremel cut-off wheel:

A few dabs of hot glue hold the Raspberry Pi and battery in place. In this photo, you’ll also see a piece of acrylic on the back of the Pi. That’s the back panel from the case that came with the LCD. I used it to keep the hot glue away from the circuit board.

Connect the battery to the Raspberry Pi via USB cable and press the power button on the battery. Once the Pi is booted, start a VNC connection to your Mac. That’s it.

You’re ready to wait!

 

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