Something portable for development purposes

Alright… I’m going to buy something to develop with, and use as a
general thought-dump.
I use Ruby and Ruby on Rails… And I own a Rubymine license, so
recommending a Mac for the sake of Textmate is a bit silly. I will
listen candidly to all advice, though.

What am I looking for? Oh… A clear screen, anti-glare would be awesome;
the keys can’t be too small; the battery life is between reasonable and
awesome; and it’s light.

I do appreciate your recommendations. Pretend money isn’t a problem as
long as it’s under US$2,000 (Yeah, I don’t think you can convince me to
buy a Macbook Pro or a Macbook Air… But maybe you can!)

On 14 Oct 2009, at 05:00, Aldric G. wrote:

awesome; and it’s light.

I do appreciate your recommendations. Pretend money isn’t a problem as
long as it’s under US$2,000 (Yeah, I don’t think you can convince me
to
buy a Macbook Pro or a Macbook Air… But maybe you can!)

My current port-about is an MSI Wind u100 running Snow Leopard and
packing a 9-cell extended battery. Assuming you want a USB DVD drive
of some variety to use with it you could source the same for about
$650 including the Snow Leopard license. Configuration is only a
mildly black art these days (see http://forums.msiwind.net, currently
offline but with all the relevant posts in google’s cache) and you can
be running full vanilla OS X with software update and hibernation in
under a day if you don’t require Windows. Linux is an easier dual-boot
option although that’s only necessary for VGA out.

I was carting this around at LSRC with Leopard installed and it worked
a dream for coding. Now my poor MacBook fears a life of Windows and
games is all that awaits it!

Alternately they’re also very sweet machines with Ubuntu Netbook Remix
9.04 which gives you access to the fully Ubuntu repos.

For those with larger fingers the Samsung netbooks have very good
keyboards, although I think the screens are glossy. Or for some retro
chic, the older IBM X series (X31/41) are hard-wearing, light, blessed
with Thinkpad keyboards and still pack reasonable bang for software
development. They run linux like a charm.

Ellie

Eleanor McHugh
Games With Brains
http://slides.games-with-brains.net

raise ArgumentError unless @reality.responds_to? :reason

Eleanor McHugh wrote:

My current port-about is an MSI Wind u100 running Snow Leopard and
packing a 9-cell extended battery. […]

raise ArgumentError unless @reality.responds_to? :reason

Yes, I just had to keep your signature in there. What kind of battery
life do you get? Does the 9-cell battery stick out like a sore thumb, or
like a malicious growth?

On 19 Oct 2009, at 18:35, Aldric G. wrote:

What kind of battery
life do you get? Does the 9-cell battery stick out like a sore
thumb, or
like a malicious growth?

It’s a bit of a carbuncle, but I get 6 hours from it reliably when
doing heavy processing with wireless enabled. I suspect that could be
extended for lighter usage, or maybe by swapping the HD for an SSD.
Oh, and safe sleep works too which is sweet.

Another nice feature is how cool the Atom processor runs for the bang
it delivers. I’ve had a FreeBSD system building the Gnome ports in
VirtualBox for the last day or so and it’s not appreciably warmer than
when its sat idle.

Hopefully Apple will oneday release a MacBook Nano but until they do,
the MSI Wind is definitely a reasonable stopgap.

Ellie

Eleanor McHugh
Games With Brains
http://slides.games-with-brains.net

raise ArgumentError unless @reality.responds_to? :reason

Eleanor McHugh wrote:

Hopefully Apple will oneday release a MacBook Nano but until they do,
the MSI Wind is definitely a reasonable stopgap.

Well, this thread isn’t exactly the wealth of information I was hoping
for, but this seems to be the cheapest, most reasonable option.
Any thoughts on the new Acer netbook?
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-AO751h-1378-11-6-Inch-Netbook/dp/B002BHN63S/

Brian C. wrote:

A friend of mine has the Dell Mini 9 and is very happy with it for light
Rails development. It’s no longer available, having been replaced by the
Mini 10v, but that’s still cheap and light, and you can buy it without
the Windows tax.

That sounds delightful :wink: I’ll also look at it.

A friend of mine has the Dell Mini 9 and is very happy with it for light
Rails development. It’s no longer available, having been replaced by the
Mini 10v, but that’s still cheap and light, and you can buy it without
the Windows tax.

I have an old Thinkpad X30 which I’m very happy with, modulo some
problems with battery charging. I’d be interested to hear how its
processor (Pentium Mobile 1.2GHz) compares performance-wise with the
current crop of Notebook processors (e.g. Atom 1.6GHz)

On 20 Oct 2009, at 08:37, Brian C. wrote:

current crop of Notebook processors (e.g. Atom 1.6GHz)
I have an X31 with the 1.4GHz Banias Pentium-M and I don’t notice a
huge difference between it and the Atom 1.6GHz for general computing.
The Pentium-M has a larger cache, but that’s offset by the Atom having
SSE3. Also the GMA950 lags a lot less than the underpowered Radeons
that IBM put in the X30s which allows more desktop eye-candy.

Despite the difference in power stats between the two chips, I get
about the same battery life from both per Wh of battery - and still
less than with my old MacBook 1400 :wink:

Ellie

Eleanor McHugh
Games With Brains
http://slides.games-with-brains.net

raise ArgumentError unless @reality.responds_to? :reason

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