Gotta GSD, Don’t Wanna Buy Windows, Here’s Some Options!

Ok, again, I’ve sat down to get some shit done and I immediately stumble into this one strange scenario where … More

Thor Project Opens Up, Building the Cloud Foundry Ecosystem with the Community

The Iron Foundry Team are big advocates of open source software. We write code across all sorts of languages, just … More

Small, Powerful, Elegant, Sexy, and Hard Core

Ok, it’s that time of the year and I’m at the phase of the cycle when it is computer purchasing time. What do I want, what do I need, who has the best options available? In order of priority here’s my wish list for the ideal machine.

It must be able to run Windows & Linux. Even better would be the ability to run OS-X, Windows, and Linux. Preferably with Linux or OS-X as the core operating system and Windows either virtualized or dual booted.
Another high priority is I want elegant, sexy, and strong design. But not just in appearance but in functionality too. I want the device to be strong. I want the material to be fabricated well, I want the quality and durability to be built into the device. This comes down to the device being a single mold, probably of a high quality material like aluminum.
I want as much oomph as I can get out of the hardware. Demanding elegant and sexy usually dictates it won’t be powerful. Demanding tough is usually another strike against that.
Another thing which is super important, but I may be flexible on, is the resolution. I simply want as much resolution as possible.
The last thing, which isn’t as important, is I don’t really want to pay more than about $1500. I’d be all the happier if I can find something for even less.

Narrowing Down the Machines… (click through to read the entire article)

Mac Battles, The Personal Day to Day of Software Development and Morale

I’ve been using a Mac for a couple of months now. My employer purchased a few for us coders to try out, and I’ve become spoiled. I rarely want to use my other machines now, as they seem cumbersome and inefficient. Mainly from a hardware perspective, as the OS itself seems to have plusses and minuses versus Windows 7. But slowly I’m becoming easily as productive, and more, on OS-X as I was on Windows 7. The biggest thing is, OS-X seems to just work the vast majority of the time. In addition, I can dig into parts of it that seem impossible on Windows. In addition, I have almost the entire Unix Ecosystem to play with, which dwarfs the Microsoft Windows Ecosystem by greater proportions than I ever realized. The biggest thing I like about the Mac however boils down to two things:

The Hardware – Simply, the hardware is superb. There is nothing else like it on the market. The single molded body, the touchpad, the keys, everything works better than any laptop I’ve ever used. I’m not saying that as someone that’s used one or two laptops either, I’ve literally used dozens upon dozens of laptops over the years. I regularly try out new ones, and nothing comes close.
The platform OS-X/Linux – Sometimes it may seem like they’re underpowered, this is often a complaint I’ve heard. But considering the efficiencies that OS-X/Unix/FreeBSD/Linux provides, a 4 GB Machine with a simple spindle drive compared to an 8 GB Machine with an SSD running Windows 7 will often perform much better. I have as well as others have benchmarked the Mac Book Pro against multiple Dell Machines, and I’ve seen it done with others, and simply – the operating system gives the Mac an advantage. My suggestion to Microsoft – drop windows and just start building a nice UI on top of a Unix variant like FreeBSD or Linux. It’ll serve Microsoft AND the community better.
I’ll admit, I have installed (not that I currently have it installed) Ubuntu and Windows 7 on the Mac Book Pro (MBP) and windows runs ok, albeit it kills some battery life. Ubuntu runs great, it appears as well as OS-X itself. But even with the others, I’ve primarily just stayed put with OS-X at this juncture. It serves its purpose. In the future, when I purchase a MBP of my own, or even a Mac Air, I will likely run Ubuntu and OS-X on the machine. Setup for Ruby on Rails and lots of JavaScript development.

I know after using this machine, that by the end of the year I will be primarily using Ubuntu and OS-X for almost everything I’m doing – including most likely .NET Development. I however still get the strong feeling that I’ll have a Win7 Machine Floating about and readily available.

My Current Windows Development Machine Software Stack

I recently did a clean install of Windows 7 64-bit. It had been a really long time since I listed the current tools, SDKs, and frameworks that I’ve been using. Thus here’s my entourage of software that I use on a regular basis that is installed on my primary development machines.