Rails Laptop

I'm buying a laptop, and I'm trying to decide between a Mac or some
other laptop with Linux. I've always been a windows user, and I really
want to try something different.

If it weren't for Textmate, I'd probably have already gone the pc route
(I've only used Netbeans on windows, and that's probably what I'd use on
Linux). How superior is Textmate to Netbeans, and is it worth buying a
Mac for?

Thanks!

hello kyle,

im currently using both. a mac and a pc laptop
generally, it works well under each platform.
my personal disaffection under win32 is the
command line with some disadvantages.

commonly, all tutorials, best practices and useful helpers etc. pp.
are based on a mac(unix) platform, so you have
to rethink on a win32 platform in some cases

shortly: the best and quickest way is the mac way

best regards

shortly: the best and quickest way is the mac way

not the best but definitely the quickest, and most expensive. With
mac, (and im sure to get a wave of complaints my way for this comment)
you get same quality machine for double the price. You pay for
pretty... and you pay a LOT. i just bought a dell, standard crappy pc
with the same specs as a macbook for a third of the money, and i
really cant see why i would have spent more on it. Its a work tool,
not a statement of personality or image.

I installed ubuntu which happens to be free, with gedit also free and
a couple of plugins (i cant stress it out enough FREE!) and voila! a
textmate clone with unix console and all the speed i want for ruby,
rails and small files in general... uuhuhuh theres more:
my media player, office, fpt, mounter, parallels... its all installed
by default FOR FREE.

and if you want flashy graphics (coz you are just one of those that
can live if their desktops dont switch with an animation) you have
plenty more customizable, better, faster animations in ubuntu.

sure it has problems, but so does mac.

i wanted a mac, but couldnt afford it, now i am usig ubuntu, and cant
see why id switch to mac.

by the way, someone is gonna complaint that this conversations does
not belong here... im sorry

wolas

Kyle Murphy wrote:

I'm buying a laptop, and I'm trying to decide between a Mac or some
other laptop with Linux. I've always been a windows user, and I really
want to try something different.

If it weren't for Textmate, I'd probably have already gone the pc route
(I've only used Netbeans on windows, and that's probably what I'd use on
Linux). How superior is Textmate to Netbeans, and is it worth buying a
Mac for?

Thanks!

As big a fan of Macs that I am (though I recognize they are not
perfect), I would not say that you should buy a Mac for one application.
Unless of course, there is absolutely nothing that comes even close to
whatever it is you are wanting to use and you can't get work done
without it. Obviously there are many tools you can use to write Rails
apps. You can use any editor you want, so you can use any platform that
supports Ruby/Rails.

Now, that doesn't mean that I don't recommend a Mac. I switched a bit
less than a year and a half ago. I, like most people, had used windows
at work for years and years. But I've never been fond of it or MS, so I
had been using Linux in some form at home for about five or six years.
Without going into detail, I had an experience one day that was the
proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, and I bought a Mac. There
was a period of adjustment, as with most new things, but my productivity
skyrocketed.

In my own life, my Mac stays out of my way and lets me work. I don't
fiddle with my computer near as much as I did with Windows and Linux. My
wife, who is not really computer savvy at all, has used Windows, Linux,
and Mac as well, and she said she is much happier on the Mac than she
ever was on anything else. In the year that she has had her iMac (she
wanted a Mac after she saw mine :slight_smile: ), she has increased dramatically in
what she is able to figure out on her own.

To kind of try to bring this back to being remotely close to on topic,
Mac OS X and Ruby share what Matz calls the "Principle of Least
Suprise", meaning that for the most part, things work the way you expect
them to. That doesn't mean there aren't some oddities, but that you
don't spend a lot of time scratching your head.

If you can afford a Mac, get one. TextMate is in the $50 range, which
isn't too bad, but still $$. If you find you don't like it, you can
still use NetBeans. And once you get used to the Mac, you very well
might be incredibly glad you switched, regardless of what tool you use
for development. And if you find that you don't like it, Macs do a
pretty good job of holding their resale value (from what I've read).
It's unlikely that you'd have too much trouble getting rid of it.

Oh, and last I heard, all members of the Rails core team used Macs. If
that means anything to you.

Peace,
Phillip

i just bought a dell, standard crappy pc
with the same specs as a macbook for a third of the money, and i
really cant see why i would have spent more on it.

Hi, would you mind to share the specs of your Dell machine and the 3x
more expensive Mac it compares too?
Thanks,

Rimantas

My advice to someone thinking about buying a Mac is to just sit down
with one for a while. You can either go to the Apple store, or borrow's
a friends laptop. Take some time getting used to the UI (if you're
coming in cold it could feel very weird for a while) and sit and try to
do some work on it. If you don't think the experience is that much
better than Windows or Linux, then don't buy a Mac. Most people love
their Macs because they consider them a superior computing experience.
If you're not getting that, then don't spend the extra dough.

Although, do remember that a Mac can actually run all three OSes, so you
can have your pick of OS X, Windows or Linux any time.

As for Netbeans vs. Textmate - I prefer Textmate, but I would classify
it as an all around text editor that has great support for a wide
variety of programming tasks (language bundles, subversion/git
integration, etc). It's more of a generalist's tool. Netbeans, which
I've used only briefly, appears to provide a more straightforward IDE
experience that you may be more accustomed to.

If you don’t own a mac, you can’t say it’s just a more expensive clone. I did Rails development on a PC using either win or linux (ubuntu) for over two years. My mac paid for itself in less than a day with the increased productivity. It’s more than just textmate, it’s how everything works together.

Side-by-side comparisons of hardware are only the beginning, and I will admit I fought the mac for a long time before I broke down and bought one. Price is a rough thing to get over.

I personally find a Mac to be a more productive work machine. I could do all of it cheaper with a Dell, but I have to spend all the time configuring my Rails environment on it. Windows works for Rails, but it’s slow, and there are missing things in Ruby that windows just can’t do. Linux requires that you set up Ruby, gems, and Rails either by using a package manager or by a hybrid of source / gems / libraries just to get it how you want it. And I can’t yet use Photoshop CS3 on my Linux machine. I kinda need that to work.

With the mac, I was working on my projects in less than an hour after unboxing. Assume I paid $2400 for my macbook with a 3 year AppleCare plan. Now assume I had to pay $800 for my laptop from Dell that was comparable. Now assume my hourly rate is $150 an hour as Obie’s “Do the Hustle” presentation suggested it should be, but I can’t start doing billable work until my machine is set up. So for every hour I spend configuring my Dell, I could be billable.

How long would it take to make up that cost difference? It comes down to efficiency and I don’t think that’s clear unless you own a mac. Just like with Rails - people happily doing .net or Java just don’t ‘get’ why we’d use Rails. We know why, but they won’t until they try it.

Just my thoughts. I could be wrong.

Ubuntu with rails.vim :slight_smile: Ubuntu's graphics are pretty cool. Quite
buggy when trying to watch Apple videos and stuff (.mov, .m4v) but
overall worth it. I'm very happy with Ubuntu Hardy Heron.

Hi, would you mind to share the specs of your Dell machine and the 3x
more expensive Mac it compares too?

Dell Vostro 1510 3gb RAM, Core2Duo 1.8GHz.

Very similar to a 8 month old MacBook 2Gb RAM with 1.8 GHz.

Dell: £ 250
Mac: £ 800

If you don't own a mac, you can't say it's just a more expensive clone.

I do own a mac. I am allowed to say it now?

Linux requires that you set up Ruby, gems, and Rails either by using
a package manager or by a hybrid of source / gems / libraries just to
get it how you want it

mac requires a 1.5 GB download (developers pack) just to even start
downloading ruby and rails (which ive heard will come by default soon)

ubuntu comes fully configured. all you have to do is:

sudo apt-get install ruby-full
sudo gem install rails

good to go...

Coming back to the TextMate topic, TextMate is a FAR SUPERIOR text
editor than Gedit or NetBeans (which i used very briefly) it has the
best code highlighting, file browser and snippet system. it is fast
small and powerful, and i would happily pay $ 50 for a copy for
ubuntu. Fortunately, Gedit does a pretty good job at it, just follow
any blog post that says gedit like TextMate and you will have just
saved $ 50.

I have still to hear of an example of exactly what is it that
increases productivity on a fully set up mac versus a linux box. I
turn on my computer, click 3 times and im coding away, im sure mac
users have the same advantage, but it is the SAME advantage, not
better.

Oh, and last I heard, all members of the Rails core team used Macs. If
that means anything to you.

I live with a member of ruby-core who uses windows (admittedly, he
just bought a mac), so no, not all of them do.

The best ive heard here is: Try it yourself, its the only way.

The developers tools are included on the install dvd and RoR already comes by default since the release of Leopard, which has been quite some time now.

On your comparison, in all honesty you cannot compare a discontinued MacBook model at the full price it was back in those days to that Dell laptop. If Apple were to sell it now, it would probably be far less than the £800 (which is in fact the price of a 2.4 Ghz model nowadays) you’re mentioning. I really don’t like it when people don’t get their facts straight. But I wish you all the best with your nice little airplane you bought :wink:

Best regards

Peter De Berdt

Hi, would you mind to share the specs of your Dell machine and the 3x
more expensive Mac it compares too?

Dell Vostro 1510 3gb RAM, Core2Duo 1.8GHz.

Very similar to a 8 month old MacBook 2Gb RAM with 1.8 GHz.

Dell: £ 250
Mac: £ 800

a new entry level macbook is £700 (2.1Ghz Core2Duo (the kind with 3Mb
L2 cache) (comes with only 1gig of ram, but that second gig can be
added cheaply)
I configured a M1330 (their only 13.3 inch one) similarly and came up
with £756 (you could a bit off if you decided you didn't want
bluetooth, 802.11n)
a similarly configured inspiron 1525, which appears to be their budget
model was £558 (didn't seem have a 2.1 ghz processor for this one).
Clearly your one was a bargain even for a dell.

If you don't own a mac, you can't say it's just a more expensive
clone.

I do own a mac. I am allowed to say it now?

Linux requires that you set up Ruby, gems, and Rails either by using
a package manager or by a hybrid of source / gems / libraries just to
get it how you want it

mac requires a 1.5 GB download (developers pack) just to even start
downloading ruby and rails (which ive heard will come by default soon)

Check your facts. the dev tools come on a disk with the machine, no
download needed rails and ruby are part of that (probably not the base
install). rails is version 1.2.6 though

Fred

ubuntu comes fully configured. all you have to do is:

sudo apt-get install ruby-full
sudo gem install rails

good to go...

Coming back to the TextMate topic, TextMate is a FAR SUPERIOR text
editor than Gedit or NetBeans (which i used very briefly) it has the
best code highlighting, file browser and snippet system. it is fast
small and powerful, and i would happily pay $ 50 for a copy for
ubuntu. Fortunately, Gedit does a pretty good job at it, just follow
any blog post that says gedit like TextMate and you will have just
saved $ 50.

I have still to hear of an example of exactly what is it that
increases productivity on a fully set up mac versus a linux box. I
turn on my computer, click 3 times and im coding away, im sure mac
users have the same advantage, but it is the SAME advantage, not
better.

Oh, and last I heard, all members of the Rails core team used Macs.
If
that means anything to you.

I live with a member of ruby-core who uses windows (admittedly, he
just bought a mac), so no, not all of them do.

rails-core, not ruby-core.

Fred

I really don't like it when people don't get their
facts straight. But I wish you all the best with your nice little
airplane you bought :wink:

You are right, and i am absolutely wrong. I am so sorry guys to waste
your time. Since i cant get my facts straight, i have to say i will
turn off my computer and dedicate the rest of my life to research into
laptop prices. thanks for the heads up peter!

just for a brief price comparison

my dell £ 300 2 months ago (on release with a 1gb RAM update offer)
3 Gb RAm
1.8 Intel Core2Duo
250 Gb disk

MacBook (Today) £ 849
2 Gb RAM
2.1 Intel Core3Duo
250 Gb disk

yes its 2 months difference (facts right, i am learning!), but £ 600,
means i can get a laptop AND a desktop for the price of a macBook.

my little aeroplane is doing just great. hope you, your mac and your
ego live happily everafter.

Uhh! one more thing before the next wave of complaints.

i didnt pay for windows vista (thats the whole point) ... so knock off
£ 100 - £ 150 of your retail price.

Hello,
I was doing most of my work on Windows and got sick of how slow Ruby
was specifically and Windows in general. I switched to Ubuntu and am
quite happy. One pet peeve, is that I'd been using PCs for so long,
when I go to close a window on my Mac, I habitually mouse to the right
side of the window, only to get annoyed and then mouse to the left.
If this habit is deeply ingrained in you and you think it may be
difficult to break, things like this make Gnome a bit more appealing.
This is not saying anything about absolute value to the respective
interfaces, Gnome just suits my existing habits better.

I think you can do fine development either way.

I'm starting to try to assemble an emacs/rails set up and I suspect
that would bring a high level of functionality that approaches
textmate's. There are several blog posts out there about it.

I think the biggest pro for a linux system is that you're often
deploying to a linux server. Apple's bsd base is close, but your
linux flavor is likely closer or the same.

The biggest downside to a linux system I've noticed is that most
tutorials are done on a Mac. If you can get over this, its not a big
deal.

Also if you do test driven development, growl is a nice utility that
is only Mac. I have not been able to get an equivalent working on
Ubuntu yet.

Vis a vis rails development, how much is having the same OS as the
tutorials and Growl worth? For some alot, others not so much. Are
there other features some may point out that are better or Mac only
specific to Rails?

I'd go with the Ubuntu laptop from Dell. I am running rails on
windows, mac, linux/ubuntu, and linux/suse and the ubuntu is my
favorite in terms of price and performance.

That said, if you're going to do other things you may want to go with
the Mac which is better for music and video.

I see no reason to use Windows if you don't have to.

Kyle Murphy wrote:

This discussion (whenever it comes up) truly annoys me.

This is such a simple concept and so many people just don't seem to get
it.

Some people buy BMW's or Mercedes-Benz and won't buy anything else. If
you ask them why, they have no technical argument that can truly explain
their reasoning. A higher line car performs exactly the same task as any
other automobile. It has essentially the same parts, very similar
features, there's nothing compelling about any particular features of
them.

So there are two possibilities that I see. (1) These people are just
completely insane and have lost all grip on reality, or (2) there is
something aesthetically appealing about a higher line vehicle (or
computer) that can't be shown in some feature vs price comparison chart.

At the end of the day. Use the tool that works for you. Don't let other
people's opinions cloud your judgement. They are not you! They have
their own opinions and feeling that are independent from yours.

As a Mac (and Mercedes-Benz) owner myself I highly recommend them. But,
Rails is not the "killer app" that should drive your opinion. Look at
the whole package, feel it, touch it, then form your own opinions and
run with them.

Agreed on everything (a BMW owner over here BTW :-).

Also take into account that you just can't run Mac OS X on anything
else than a Mac (except for hacks). The operating system itself is
something that may be relevant in the choice. Either at the SO level
if you are hardcore, or at a user experience level anyway.

Wow, lots of good input. I appreciate it.

Let's say I went the Mac route -- what's the difference between a
MacBook Pro and MacBook?

I can get a decent price with a MacBook. I'll only be using it for web
surfing, coding, Photoshop, and basic text editing -- no gaming.

Kyle Murphy wrote:

Wow, lots of good input. I appreciate it.

Let's say I went the Mac route -- what's the difference between a
MacBook Pro and MacBook?

I went with the MBP because of the 17" screen option. I like lots of
real estate.

Here are three links that you might like to read (for others, google
"macbook pro" macbook difference)

http://www.nudjit.com/2008/03/04/macbook-vs-macbook-pro/
http://alexking.org/blog/2006/05/18/macbook-vs-macbook-pro
http://www.macnewsworld.com/story/61938.html

Please note that I have not read any of these. They were the first ones
returned by Google that appeared to be related to the discussion.

Peace,
Phillip

Kyle Murphy pisze:

I'm buying a laptop, and I'm trying to decide between a Mac or some
other laptop with Linux. I've always been a windows user, and I really
want to try something different.

If it weren't for Textmate, I'd probably have already gone the pc route
(I've only used Netbeans on windows, and that's probably what I'd use on
Linux). How superior is Textmate to Netbeans, and is it worth buying a
Mac for?

Thanks!
  

Buy books not laptops....