In Valid Logic

Endlessly expanding technology

Move to Mac is complete

In late December is when I finally took the plunge and bought my first Mac. Since I did most of my work from my desktop, a Mac Pro made better sense. My laptop was much more of an after-hours machine that I used from the living room at night, or on when I travel (which isn't that much).

I had fallen in love with the Mac, and it really helped me re-realize my love for the command line from my old Linux days. Shortly after getting into Ruby, I had paved my laptop to put Ubuntu on it and had started doing my Ruby coding on it with Gedit. However, it left me with multiple platforms, different programs available for each, and unable to do .NET work on my laptop, since my VMware Workstation license was only for Windows.

So last month, shortly before my trip to TelligentHQ for the Community Server 2008 Launch Party, I decided to finally purchase a MacBook Pro... and I couldn't be happier.

I ended up buying a slightly used one (ie, <6 months old) off Ebay rather than buy a new one. I had been watching Ebay for a while and finally found the deal I was waiting for. 17", high-resolution, 4gb ram, 7200rpm hard drive. Near top specs for a good chunk under retail. Additionally, since it wasn't the newest model, it was cheaper than a new model one with the same specs. I figure with the previous model, all I'm missing is an LED display, the Penren (which maybe adds a few MB CPU cache), and multi-touch. Overall, it still a screaming machine and will last just as long, but saved some good change.

I had been milling over the 15" over the 17" for a while, but in the end, I am very happy with the 17". It is no where near as bulky as I expected, it is actually shorter than my 15" Thinkpad T60 since Apple makes much better use of the space, and at 1920x1200, the display is magnificent.

Now I am working on my multi-Mac bliss. Some things are a true gem... TextMate is love. I use it for everything. Even drafting up blog posts (like this one). Syntonization with .Mac rocks, as I can share mail account configurations, 1Password entries, Transmit favorites, and more. Having SSH in the OS is revolutionary. With one secure port open, I can tunnel VNC, access command line on my desktop, and even access my files (SFTP or sshfs with MacFUSE).

Even better, can use VMware Fusion on both and have the exact same .NET development environment on both. Development with a VM is so much better. I can have one pristine environment, easily create/manage snapshots and multiple backups of it. If Visual Studio gets testy, can easily reboot without having to close out everything.

Overall, I've been very pleased with my move to the Mac. Almost all my everyday programs have been replaced, I've gotten into broadening my horizons, and even find developing on .NET better as a result. I think the next stage would be getting a nice development story with TextMate + Mono... ohh, one can dream, can't I?

Monday, May 12, 2008

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