View Full Version : Need advice on development machine

20 Sep 2010, 4:17 AM
I am planning to purchase a new laptop for all-around use and for software development, and would like some advice. Ideally, it will have three OS's: Mac OS, Windows 7, and Ubuntu. I need all three: Mac OS to develop for IPhone/IPod, Windows 7 for application compatibility, and Ubuntu for LAMP server.

Does anyone have such a setup that is working or not working for them? One idea is 17-inch MacBook Pro with their top CPU and 8 GB memory, running VMWare Fusion for Windows 7 and Linux. Such a MacBook is around $3000 which is expensive. Does anyone have MacOS running on different hardware, such as HP with Windows 7 as base OS? That could be hopefully a cheaper option with maybe even better hardware.

Thanks for your help.

20 Sep 2010, 10:31 PM







20 Sep 2010, 10:55 PM
Keep in mind that to develop for Sencha it is best to have a browser that supports WebKit REFERENCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebKit

Windows based iPhone simulators probably don't have any type of webKit (Mobile Safari) support so development will be slow because you cant test a Sencha App correctly without the iOS device simulator.


To develop iOS apps it is imperative to test on your target device. The iOS simulator is great to speed up development but doesnt replace actually running it on an iPhone/iPad.

21 Sep 2010, 11:49 AM
Thanks Randy.

I did do a price comparison, and a $2000 HP laptop has better specs than a $3000 MacBook Pro. What would be the difference between running a HP w/ Windows 7 and VMWare Workstation to run OS/X and Linux, versus a MacBook w/ VMWare Fusion to run Windows 7 and Linux? That is, what is the difference other than the obvious differences of boot-up OS and price?

21 Sep 2010, 1:09 PM
If you are trying to develop apps for iTunes, my primary concern for you are the unforeseen issues. There may be issues that arise from compiling an iOS app on a strange configuration like what your describing. If you were not targeting legit iOS devices I don't think there would be any problems. I have only developed iOS apps on legit OSX machines. Also I see that VMWare may lag in supporting versions of OSX. And Apple requires specific versions of OSX to run certain versions of xCode.

I could keep going but it is obvious that you haven't published any apps to iTunes. I will be surprised if you ever get an app ready for sale in iTunes.

I dont say that to be insulting, I say it because you may want to limit the scope of your development environment and target iOS if that is what you are in to. If I had to constantly mess with my OSX configuration id never get any development accomplished.

21 Sep 2010, 1:15 PM
Are you saying it's harder to install Mac on Windows, than Windows on Mac?

21 Sep 2010, 3:03 PM
Hey JacobGu,

Looking at your last post we can assume you are not familiar with a Mac system. That's ok because everyone on the planet went from Mac to Windows back in '97 and many are slowly going back or will be completely new to Mac altogether. I made the move back to mac back in 2006 when Apple gave us the first intel iMac.

There are some things I would consider when purchasing a new development machine. Will you be comfortable with the system? Will it require you to learn more about the OS than the software you are trying to develop? I personally would choose the system you are most comfortable with now so you can be the most productive now. Money is also the issue when trying to get what you need done. As a business owner myself in this field I started my career on a discounted refurb. Dell machine running XP in 2002. I ran that until 2006. It did it's job as I saved for the next machine. With that said, Macs can run Windows via Parallels or BootCamp. VMFusion isn't up to par and I don't recommend them. Parallels allows you to run Windows while you are running the Mac OS. BootCamp(built into OS X 10.5+) is an either or situation.

If you've got the money and it's burning a hole in your pocket then go with Mac. Check out MacMall.com. They offer new macs at a reduced price as if you got one from the Apple store. Better yet, they ship with zero taxes. You might be able to get a free printer, free parallels and other stuff after rebate. Too bad you missed the student discount offer from Apple that ended earlier this month - free iPod Touch that you could have sold to help subsidize the cost. You'll need a mac with it's xCode that ships with ever Mac to get an App into the iPhone/Pad/Touch store. Can't do that on a windows machine. If that's not your goal, then anything is possible. Android SDK can run on Windows or Mac. Will you be stationary or mobile? I have an iMac 2006 that is still running strong and I use my MacBook Air (yes it's good enough for web dev.) every where I go. Web dev doesn't require a lot of power except for the software you are developing with and the amount of apps you have open running.

Ok - enough with the talk - Mac machine - http://www.macmall.com/p/Apple-MacBook-Pro/product~dpno~8062487~pdp.gaijech
Get a nice monitor and you'll be set for 4 years.

I hope this helps.


21 Sep 2010, 3:27 PM
Short and simple. Go with the system that will help you be more productive now. You don't want let learning a new OS get in the way of learning about the software that will help you make money. Get productive at one at a time. With that said, Mac's run Windows...not the other way around(legally). Go with Parallels if you do so. I recommend MacMall.com to help get a lot, save a little and not have to pay taxes on a Mac system - if you go with Mac. If you plan on making a native iPhone/Pad/Touch app, you will need a Mac system. All the other SDKs should run on Windows or Linux or Mac just fine.

A good system for a Mac Starter - lowest end MacBook Pro with a nice monitor - so you can be productive while you are mobile and then focus on larger items when you can plug into the monitor. Anything more powerful and it's a waste if all you do is web dev. Graphics heavy development would require you to go higher.


2 Oct 2010, 6:17 PM
Thanks a lot for the tips Nick!

5 Oct 2010, 10:02 AM
One other question: What do you like better about Parallels than Fusion? Most people seem to recommend Fusion b/c it's more stable, and both support running Windows/Linux while running MacOS.

2 Nov 2010, 11:54 AM
I thought I'd just follow up, and say I bought a MacBook Pro, with Fusion running my old 32 bit Vista laptop, and a new 64 bit Windows 7 image, and Ubuntu Server. The Mac is amazing! There's no going back!

Thanks for the advice.

2 Nov 2010, 11:59 AM
Congratulations on your choice!!