Topic: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

Hello,

Santa asked me today if I'd prefer a Macbook or a Macbook Pro for xmas. Currently I'm using a Thinkpad T60, which is an excellent piece of hardware, but Ruby under Windows just sucks. Everything is slow and getting some gems to work is always painful.

Should I go for the cheaper Macbook and it's 13" display ? Will 1280x800 be sufficient for seriuos development ?
Or should I opt for the much more expensive Macbook Pro ?

What's your opinion ?

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

I've just (yesterday) got a Macbook pro - which is very nice. I don't think I'd have been able to cope with the small screen but I guess it really depends on you and how you work.

My MBP was pretty expensive though for 2.6 Core 2 Duo, 200GB 7200RPM HD, 17" Hi-res Glossy Screen - but IMO it was worth it smile

Your right about Ruby development on Windows - it's a nightmare in my experience but then again I moved away from using Windows about a year ago. You'll be much happier on a Mac for development.

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

What do you thing about LINUX? It will run fine on your T60.

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

HerrK wrote:

What do you thing about LINUX? It will run fine on your T60.

I really like Linux on the server side, but every time I tried it as a desktop OS I quickly got disappointed. I'm not interested in the OS details and every distribution that I tried failed when applying some future update. A system that requires me to start the GNU C compiler for some strange reason is no fun for me. It's like building my own car.

Furthermore I think that RoR development under Linux is even more painful than under Windows. No good tools at all (Textmate, e, ...). No support for most gems with native extensions etc.

I think that currently there's just no alternative to a Mac, which is a major problem for RoR's widespread application. Most software engineers just won't get a Mac from their department head and RoR on Windows is far from being nice. So there's no RoR in most companies.

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

The only reason I use a Mac over Windows is the Textmate and iTerm applications.

Although, I'm not sure what you mean about problems with gems under linux - I've never once a problem installing or running a gem under linux.

I also think your point about problems with RoR distribution being the lack of alternatives, is a little short sighted. There are plenty of alternatives: for the first 12 months of my Rails career I was using windows with a linux development server - and I continue to do so although windows has been replaced by OS X. There are plenty of other IDEs/editors people use on Windows and Linux and they are happy with them. If you want to continue with Windows, why not setup a virtual linux server, install rails, sql etc... on that and just use Samba to manage your files? However, running ruby directly on windows isn't a good idea in my opinion.

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

I would love a MacBook Pro, but I have a hard time justifying the expense, being used to laptop prices for PCs. I think an Ubuntu Dell might serve as a poor-man's MacBook Pro. I was able to run NetBeans on Ubuntu via a virtual machine and it worked fine. I use NetBeans to develop RoR apps in Windows and it works well...just wish Ruby on Windows was faster. NetBeans/Ubuntu might solve that problem for me.

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

I do a lot of RoR work on my Macbook and it works well for me. Granted there's not as much screen but it's easily portable (I work on the train a lot), has great battery life, the price was right and it's easy to manage windows using Expose, Spaces, etc. My only regret with buying the MacBook is the graphics card can't run any cool games sad

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

Ubuntu might solve that problem for me.

It will.

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

Macbook Pro is overrated. The aluminum chasis transmits constant electric charge and leaves your fingers numb. I find the Mackbooks much more comfortable to use, and easier on the wallet.

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

Agreed. I'll go for the much cheaper Macbook. As I only use it for RoR development it's an economic solution.

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

pimpmaster wrote:

Macbook Pro is overrated. The aluminum chasis transmits constant electric charge and leaves your fingers numb. I find the Mackbooks much more comfortable to use, and easier on the wallet.

Are you joking? If it was coming from anyone else I'd peg this as a troll.

Out of academic curiosity has this been proven and documented somewhere?

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

You only seem to get an electric charge when plugged in using the "duck head' style plug. If you use the extended lead, it doesn't seem to happen.

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

Personally I'm buying a MacBook Pro.

I've had a 12" G4 Powerbook for a good long time, and I think they're excellent pieces of hardware. I'm upset that Apple dropped the 12" form factor from the pro portable line, but the MacBook isn't enough computer for me. I don't know how close you've been to one, but being in front of one makes it pretty obvious: it's a small, plastic computer. Meh.

Here's how I justify it: Firewire 800, and a full-size DVI port (trust me, the adapters work great for 2 weeks or so, then short out like crazy). If those things don't mean anything to you, find your nearest Apple Store and spend five seconds in front of each. The difference is evident.

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

I've got a Macbook Pro and love it.

I bought the Pro because I wanted to be able to play games ... I run Boot Camp and the Pro graphics can handle just about any modern game. For the money, the Apple is quite competitive for game capability.

I've never experienced any electric shocks.

Toby Hede
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FiniteStateMachine - Software Development for Social Networks
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Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

I've installed Windows through Bootcamp on mine although haven't had a chance to see how well any games play on it... I'll give Crysis and Unreal3 a go later but I'm not holding my breath on the quality.

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

I've got a MacBook, and I'm perfectly happy with it. Personally, I don't get what's worth an extra grand for the Pro, and I think the 13 inch size is just about perfect for me.

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

before making that purchase, i would recommend making a partition and installing ubuntu.  i've had no issues with gutsy gibbon and highly recommend it:

1. it's free
2. i'm a fan of aptana
3. when it comes to deployment, it might help if you're already familiar with the linux environment.  i'm currently deploying on a VPS running gutsy so it's nice having the same environment on both the production server and development machine

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

Ok, until Santa arrives I'll give Ubuntu a try.

I want to install it on VMWare Player under Windows XP. Is there a good preloaded image available that someone could recommend, or should I install Ubuntu from scratch ?

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

jbartels wrote:
pimpmaster wrote:

Macbook Pro is overrated. The aluminum chasis transmits constant electric charge and leaves your fingers numb. I find the Mackbooks much more comfortable to use, and easier on the wallet.

Are you joking? If it was coming from anyone else I'd peg this as a troll.

Out of academic curiosity has this been proven and documented somewhere?

Lots of people have complained, though my original post is probably biased since apparently this is not the case for everyone. What can I say..I am typing this post right now with numb fingers!

I called AppleCare and they sent me a new cable/powerbrick, but the problem hasnt gone away. This has been the case with my last 3 laptops (dating back to titanium G4) When it really gets on my nerves I just use an external keyboard and mouse for comforts sake.

But lets assume that all apple products are perfectly wonderful and never electrocute you slowly..

Point is, Macbook Pro offers a lot more punch than you probably need if you are using it primarily to program. I got it because I do audio and 3d and the extra RAM and goodies come in handy. But if your prime applications are textmate, the shell and a browser, then you should ask yourself if you really need 2GB of memory, extra VRAM and all the whistles and bells.

Re: Macbook or Macbook Pro ?

Woyzeck wrote:

I want to install it on VMWare Player under Windows XP. Is there a good preloaded image available that someone could recommend, or should I install Ubuntu from scratch ?

I installed it from scratch using the instructions in this blog post. The second step requires making a blank disk image using Qemu, which is better documented in this post (That post also has some premade images if you don't want to use Qemu).

Last time I looked, a couple months ago, there were pre-made Ubuntu VM images for some of the older Ubuntus, like 6.06, but not for the newer stuff. That may have changed. I gave up looking and installed my own, and that gave me the opportunity to configure it how I wanted.