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kenya smallFor once a technical contribution: As a Stargardtien, I can't do much with a laptop: The screen is too far away to work comfortably. The enlargement software helps a little, but it usually ends with back pains because I have to bend over the device. So all that remains is a permanently installed monitor of the correct size and height. Or isn't it?

After some experimentation, I came up with the following setup. With it, I can work with a laptop and therefore be mobile.

  1. Mac Book Pro
    For a long time, Apple was ahead of the game when it came to enlarging software. It was built into the system and you did not have to buy it separately as in Windows. Windows has now caught up, the choice of laptop brand no longer plays an essential role - at least when it comes to accessibility.

  2. External monitor GeChic 1306H-R
    One of the few portable monitors that can be connected directly via HDMI. Most external monitors use a USB port, which works fine until you use magnification software. The monitors with USB connection then no longer manage to correctly reflect the monitor image from the laptop. The connection cables are supplied by GeChic; It is important to ensure that they are always unplugged for transport. I lost a screen because I was in a hurry and packed it in my backpack with the cables plugged in. The plugs were subjected to lateral pressure, which damaged the connection electronics inside the monitor: The next time the monitor was used, the signal was unstable and after a while failed completely.

    GeChic On-Lap 1306H-R

  3. Monkeytail and Vacumdock from Octa
    This small monitor arm is actually intended for a tablet, but the GeChic monitor is about the same weight. The Vacumdock, a kind of suction cup, is attached to the Monkeytail with a special lock and then attached to the back of the monitor. The Vacumdock is stable and only needs to be readjusted every couple of hours. The prerequisite is that the Vacumdock and the monitor back are free of dust. If not, the Vacumdock is not completely airtight and the monitor will fall on your fingers after two or three hours. This setup is a bit of a balancing act because I want the monitor as high as possible above the table. A small pad (e.g. a USB stick) prevents the Monkeytail from rolling back and thus the monitor from tipping over.

    Octa Monkeytail
    Octa Vacumdock

  4. External keyboard and trackpad
    Not really needed, but I don't like working on the tight laptop keyboard. And a trackpad (or an external mouse) is, in my opinion, more convenient than the built-in trackpad.

After using this setup successfully for a while, I realized that I actually don't need the laptop's monitor. To save some weight, I had it removed - a sure way to astonish a service technician: What do you want with a laptop without a monitor? For my assignment in Kenya, I had it reattached, as a kind of built-in backup.

This article is part of the series "Stargardt in Africa".