An important note to Stephen…

It is with great sadness that I write to tell you that “TJ’s Sweet Solution” is no more.¹

As you can see, my T5 drive has been freed from the MacBook Air cover where it has faithfully served for many months.

A moment of silence, please…

Thank you. Now, on to the good news!

The reason it is no longer on my MacBook Air, is because I have traded-up to a 16" MacBook Pro with a 1TB SSD. While it’s true that the T5 is a 2TB SSD, but it was primary there to support the 500GB drive in the MacBook Air. Now that I have a much larger internal drive. I will probably use it as a nightly clone, but that does not require affixing it permanently. (Especially now that I’m no longer leaving the house.)

I’ll have more to say about the MacBook Pro soon, but even after 1 day I feel confident in saying that this is the best decision that I’ve made in a long, long time.

¹ Revisit Mac Power Users #515: Stephen Takes One for the Team and related forum discussion if you missed the origin story.


I feel like I see that SSD breathing a sigh of relief.

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I feel like I see that SSD breathing a sigh of relief

That may be because it survived being pried off the MacBook Air cover with a butter knife.

(Yes, really.)

True story: Someone (I think from this forum) recommended that I use 3M Scotch 5952 VHB Tape: 1/2 in. x 15 ft. instead of the scotch tape I had originally used. So I bought it and covered the back side of the T5 with tape before sticking it on the MacBook Air.

Worked great.

Until I had to send it to Apple to have the keyboard serviced, and I needed to get it off. At which point I realized 3M Scotch 5952 VHB Tape: 1/2 in. x 15 ft. is really incredibly frickin’ strong.

I’m not sure that it would have been any less difficult if I had just glued the drive right to the cover.

It took me at least a half an hour of careful work to finally separate it from the cover.

When I got it back from Apple, I thought I was being smart and I used less than ½ of what I had used the first time.

Still too much.

So, I think I may not do that again.

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This feels like taking a spare tire and duct taping it on the front hood of your Lamborghini. Possibly both effective and practical, but rather defeats the purpose in some ways. lol

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I’ve found that gaffer tape & T5s work together well. :smile:

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To be fair, when John made that recommendation he also wrote “It holds the stainless skin on the Walt Disney Concert Hall” - I took note of it at the time as something that would be great for … pranks.


I quite literally laughed out loud when I read that… so thanks for that.

Second, my only addendum would be that it would be like duct taping the spare tire to the trunk of the Lamborghini, because I couldn’t actually see the drive when I was using the laptop :smiley:

But your point still stands.

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I must have missed that part. I had probably switched over to Amazon to buy it and my A.D.D. brain couldn’t handle two things at once.

Having just rewatched Apollo 13 recently, this tape feels like something that might be capable of holding a spaceship together.

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See, maybe not, but we can feel it …

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well, this gives me a lot of feelings…


Looking forward to hearing this as I have an itch to spend some money and am considering upgrading/replacing/complementing my 2014 MBP 13” and my 2014 MacMini. Working from home certainly has changed my computer/tablet use and whilst I will no doubt end up back in the office full time eventually, the importance of screen size and resolution to provide workable side by side full app experience in different locations around my house (I’ve found myself working in my home office, in bed, outside and on the sofa) has really questioned my 13” laptop and 12.9” tablet screen size.

As such I’d really like to hear your feedback on the screen scalable resolutions and whether these allow two windows to run side by side without too much scrolling and at a comfortable text size for some ageing eyes. I know I don’t need all that power under the hood, but the speed/responsiveness improvement (over my 2014 MBP) and the increased screen size are tempting me.


In case you ever get the urge to affix anything again: Command strips work great!

My setup is below. The SanDisk is a nightly clone. The Anker hub connects the webcam and mic. The Samsung T5 isn’t actually attached — it’s just balanced on the monitor stem. I’m just using it as storage for older files that I want to keep but don’t need to use regularly (so they don’t need to take up space on my MB Pro’s SSD, which is only 256 GB).

For what it’s worth, I found side-by-side “acceptable” with the 13" (remember that I had used the 12" MacBook for 4 years) but with the 16" it’s just plain amazing.

I use the “More Space” resolution (2048x1280) rather than the “Default Space” resolution (1792x1120) and absolutely love working side-by-side now.

In fact, it’s so good that I can even use quadrants — 4 apps in smaller windows — and still have a usable amount of screen space. I find that useful enough that I finally made keyboard shortcuts for upper-left/upper-right/lower-left/lower-right.

Two Pages Side-By-Side in

When Apple “updated” iWork to make it more like iOS, one of the things I missed the most was the ability to see two pages in Pages. Fortunately, they finally brought that back, and I use it all the time when working on something I need to fit on a certain number of pages and want to see what the layout is like.

The first one is at the “Default Space” setting:

Original 2-Pages / Default Space screenshot

The second one is the same setup, but with the resolution set to “More Space”

Original 2-Pages / More Space screenshot

The key here is the “Fit Spread” option in Pages. Even the sidebar inspector open (which I use a lot), you get two full pages.

Also note that I set the font here to Helvetica 12, which is smaller than what I normally prefer, but I didn’t want it to seem like cheating if I used a larger font size.

A Pages Document and Safari Side-by-Side

Of course there are also lots of times you may need a web browser on one side, and another app on the other side.

Here is what that looks like with “Default Space”:

Original Pages and Safari / Default Space screenshot

And “More Space”:

Original Pages and Safari / More Space screenshot

Quadrants, just for fun

Here’s what 4 windows look like with “Default Space”:

Original Quadrants / Default Space screenshot

And 4 windows with “More Space”

Original Quadrants / More Space screenshot

Pro Tip: Press T on to put the video in “Theater Mode” if you’re using it in a small window like this, and it will get rid of the “related videos” sidebar.

Now, I realize that looking at full-size screenshots of my 16" MacBook on something that isn’t a 16" MacBook is going to be a bit… tricky, but I’m hoping it is still useful.

Also, I’m pretty sure the forum software has changed them (resized and converted from PNG to JPG) so I’ve also included links to the original screenshots on my website so you can know you’re getting the originals.


FYI if you use Chrome, Brave or any browsers that can use Chrome extensions, Improve YouTube! Lets you customize the look and feel of YouTube windows, set all videos to theater mode if you like, hide comments or sidebar recommendations, set a minimum quality setting, and more. It even has ad-blocking in it. And it’s free.

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That is so so useful TJ. Thank you for taking the time to do that and show the comparisons too. That’s put my mind at rest that I could work efficiently and comfortably with just the single (laptop) display.

The screenshots are great, I can clearly gauge the differences between the two resolutions. Thanks again.


Oh good, I’m glad it was helpful, and that the screenshots were… illustrative :slight_smile:

FWIW - on my desk I also use my 12.9" iPad Pro in “Portrait” mode, connected via USB-C and using Duet Display (which, unlike Sidecar and Luna display, supports portrait mode). The MacBook keeps the iPad charged, and the response time is incredible.

(Duet also has a subscription service for a using an iPad screen via Wi-Fi, but that does not work nearly as well, in my experience, and keeping the screen on constantly will drain the battery anyway, so might as well use USB-C, which you get with a one-time purchase of Duet, I think for like $10.)

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Out of interest, and if you don’t mind sharing, did you go for one of the two default configurations? I’d be interested to know your decision making process to arrive at your final choice. :grinning:

You mean a configuration of the MacBook Pro?

I ended up choosing one of the configurations available on Amazon because I had the option to pay it off over 18 months.

I had wanted 32 GB of RAM and 1TB SSD and could not get both. I could get 32GB of RAM with a 512 SSD or 1TB SSD with 16GB of RAM.

So I went with 1TB SSD and 16 GB of RAM. My reason for going with 1TB of SSD is that I can use that today whereas the RAM is something which seemed like “future-proofing”.

Also, it is an 8-core processor and right now it screams even compared with my 2018 MacBook Air.

I’ve been meaning to blog this since I did some tests, but just to give some idea: I converted the same ~26 minute QuickTime video using HandBrake on my MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. I used the ‘Apple 1080p30 Surround’ setting for both.

The MacBook Air (with 16GB of RAM and the only processor option when I bought it) took almost 90 minutes to convert the video.

The 16" MacBook Pro took less than 12.

And I could still using the computer while it was doing that.

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I did, thank you for sharing. :+1:

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Do you happen to know if a similar extension is available for Safari?