The Minimal Monthly from Tidymalism 🌱

03/24 Minimal Monthly — The Art of Dumb Purchases

Published about 2 months ago • 4 min read

March 2024

Minimal Monthly

Hi Reader,

Whether it’s a car, appliance or pair of jeans: I tend to use my stuff until it’s on its last leg.

I have an old friend who always chuckles whenever he drops by: "That coffee grinder STILL works?" He was with me when I bought it nearly 20 years ago.

My electric beater is from the mid-80s (yup, the nineteen-eighties). It’s ugly as heck but it still works. It sits in the cabinet next to an electric citrus juicer from 1997, also still in weekly use. You get the picture.

So it was unlike me to oversee a repurposing solution staring point blank at me the other week. I had suddenly gotten it into my head that I desperately needed a small peripheral touchscreen that I could flip vertically and perpetually torture myself with by exclusively displaying my to-do list, which currently has 291 tasks on it and I just want to cry or clone myself, but I digress.

Obsessing over a dedicated device to arrange my to-dos presented a great opportunity to avoid actually doing my to-dos. Happens to the best of us.

So I spent two evenings scoping out all the newfangled skinny touchscreens on Amazon and watching reviews before finally placing an order for a wee $160 screen.

When it arrived, I thought it looked so cool that I sent my friend a picture of my battlestation improvement with a thumbs up. I also asked him if his kid needs my old iPad. Still worked, just too old to receive updates. He said no, and I went about my day.

The new touchscreen started giving me doubts an hour in though. The picture quality was kinda crummy, and the seller failed to mention that the touch functionality was wonky with Macs. Ugh. If only it had good image and touch quality like an iPad, I thought to myself.

Wait a minute...

A quick Google search led me to an $8.99 one-time app purchase called Yam Display. It lets you mirror your desktop for cheap, even on old Apple devices. It worked perfectly. Couldn’t believe it.

I packed up the new touchscreen and sent it right back. The ancient iPad can be used for the rest of its lifespan now as a screen extension. I love it. My to-do list, not so much. Ergo: if you have an old device lying about, maybe you can breathe a second life into it, too.


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Have a great month ahead,

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