OT: buying a Mac computer

Sorry to trigger your anger management issues, but I'm pointing out
that a valid use case exists where, yes, having access to MacOS to
do Mac browser testing is a requirement. And yes, the simplest way
to satisfy that requirement is to buy a Mac :slight_smile:

If that use case doesn't apply to you, great. Where's the problem?

no problem Hassan
in my development factory we got a Mac for graphic, music, media production and so on…and at least we do native tests
but if we talk of a single development machine for raw code developers, case doesn’t apply
Have you ever heard of browser simulators apps? Find it yourself, local or online apps (with some limitations). You can test everything without a Mac, so if a wannabe-developer ask you OT about a Mac for rails development, the correct answer is “Dude, if you want to develop for IOS you NEED a Mac, but if you use a Mac only to develop rails webapps the price is too high”

Peace and respect

The only thing I would use a mac is for iOS development, besides Rails development.

In my opinion you shouldnt buy a macbook if you can get the same with any linux distro. I remember when I started in rails dev and everyone used macbook pro/airs, that made me want to get one but it was too expensive then I search more and the hardware that apple offered was a great deal and I couldnt find other with similar specs. Recently I saw this brand new X1 Carbon from lenovo and I though “GREAT!” but… it seems to have problems and it costs more.

Hope it could help a little :slight_smile:

I’m interested in purchasing a Mac to put myself on the same page as other software developers. (I’m used to Linux distros that provide the look and feel of Windows XP.) I will use
the Mac for software development projects, but I intend to stick with my Linux-powered PCs for general computing. (I don’t want to get locked
into the Mac world, because it’s so much more expensive. Also, there is a case to be made for being versatile.)

If your only purpose is Rails development, it may not be worth it. I use my laptop for Rails, Mac and iOS development, so a Mac is necessary for me. The only benefit for me for Rails-specific development is the BSD-based unix which I like better than Linux, and TextMate, and the MacOS consistent and pleasant look and feel of operating the computer which is very important to me. Also, over the years I’ve occasionally used the 3-year no questions asked warranty and decent network of Apple stores to have a machine fixed quickly and reduce my down-time to a day or two when I have had a hardware problem.

I also use my laptop as my personal computer, and I enjoy the MacOS ecosystem such as iPhoto, mirroring to the AppleTV, the couple games I may play, or anything else I may want to do.

Some questions:

How much has OS X changed over the past several versions? Is something from 5 years ago obsolete? Linux, on the other hand, is free.
Any current Linux distro will work very well on a 5-year-old PC, and there are even some Linux distros (like Puppy Linux and antiX Linux) that work well on PCs that are 10 or more years old.
2. Is it just me, or are used Macs so exorbitantly expensive as to defeat the point of
buying a used computer in the first place?

OS X has changed significantly over the years, but the big change was going from 10.6 to 10.7, when Rosetta (the ability to run PowerPC code) was dropped. The latest OS (10.9) is free, and will run on any 64-bit machine, a Core 2 Duo or newer. You can get decent performance for things like email and web browsing (and probably Rails development) out of an old Core 2 Duo MacBook if you swap in an SSD, but the reality is you will still pay a fair amount for a machine that is 3-5 years old and while the MacBooks and the unibody MacBook Pros are extremely reliable in my experience, things will eventually starting going bad.

Also, the “iOS-ification” of MacOS past 10.6 is just BS tossed around by people that don’t even really use MacOS anymore. Sure, they added the ability to view apps in an iOS-like view, but it’s not the default, you have to go find it. The overall UI doesn’t look much different than it ever has. All the old keyboard shortcuts still work. Bringing gestures support from iOS for trackpads (zooming/scrolling/rotation/etc) is a good thing, it is a natural interaction that makes sense. There has not been any functionality removed that I know of in this supposed “iOS-ification” (except the ability to run PowerPC code from 10+ years ago). From a frameworks point of view, iOS does tend to get more new APIs ahead of MacOS, so it is often nice when they are ported to the MacOS frameworks as well. Now that OS releases are on yearly schedules for both platforms there is much more parity between the frameworks.


Minor nit: there's a handful of 64-bit machines that will run neither 10.8 nor 10.9. So just a note to be careful for anyone who might look at used Macs...