IPad as Mac Mini monitor

I need always remind myself that I’m living in the future. Somehow it apologizes for the little troubles.

My G4 Powerbook finally went to sleep and it won’t wake up. I indulged and bought two new MacMini’s – one to replace my daughters crawling original Mini, the other to replace my Powerbook – which for the last years has been essentially stationary on my confined desk space – a kitchen counter.

Almost all of my computing since I got [this] iPad in June has been moved to that iPad. What did I use that Powerbook for in those months? Some accounting in Numbers, some Email, some commenting at Macleans, viewing some struggling and jerky Flash videos. Sometimes I played music, or took a quick look at iCal. Almost very bit of that could be moved to the iPad.

So, I’m trying this neat trick of using the iPad through Screens, as the monitor for my Mini. Perhaps it’s just a bit too parsimonious. Yes, it’s a neat trick. It’s just as focused, constrained, and restrictive as the Mac SE I started with. I really only do one thing at a time. Do I need a big screen? Do I need a screen?

The Mini display area is quite large, and appears so small on the iPad. That seems the biggest argument against. So much pinching and zooming and dragging and scrolling. Windows and dialogs pop up somewhere out of your zoomed view. As a dedicated monitor? I don’t think so. As a view to through remote access, portable access, to one or two short dedicated tasks, it functions.

And just how much will I use a screen connected to the Mac Mini? It would be asleep most of the week. And I want it on an adjustable arm or wall mounted rack, and off the countertop, so it can be folded away, or shifted out of the way when not in use.

Ideally, George Jetson would just press a button and it would fold out, do its job and collapse like an accordion when done.


  1. I use my ipad as a VNC viewer for my PC, which works okay with Moch free VNC. But TeamViewer works, although its mouse pointing is terribly unintuitive.

    • Hey, Hi, Thanks for coming by. Yeah, I restrained my babble about about the convenience of the Mouse, and how touch doesn’t completely replace it in this situation, and the confusion of swapping keyboards too. But, yes, as a focused view into one or two tasks, it’s great. Screens doesn’t support the Mouse through this kind of monitor-substitute use. It feels So! Future! to do without a monitor, but still a bit inconvenient.

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