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  1. #1
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    Question Programmers' Laptop (or PC)

    Hi all,

    I am currently shopping around for a laptop that can dual boot both windows and linux (fedora) that is suitable for a programmer. I am currently trying to familiarise my self with the linux OS, but not willing to ditch windows (yet).

    Reason I said Programmers' Laptop is because I always wanted to know what OS programmers use and on what machine. Do you go for powerful machines or stick to value, or you look for something in particular when you look for a laptop.

    Forgive me if I sound like I have no idea (I probably don't)

  2. #2
    The I's for intelligent silver trophy iTechno's Avatar
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    Hello Sami,

    I'd recommend you get a Macbook, they're the best laptops out their on the market imo. Their performance on Windows and indeed Linux is astounding, they look great and have the added bonus of been the only laptop which legally runs all operating systems out their... Although the stats (as in the actual parts of the PC) may not look that great, it's performance is really good.

  3. #3
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    Hi iTechno,

    I checked it out, it is a little out of my price range. I would love to get one one day, for now I am sticking to a budget of under £500 ($1000).

    By the way what do you use your macBook for? and what is on it? (if you don't mind)

  4. #4
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    If you want something with good linux compatibility, try http://dell.com/open. They come with Ubuntu installed and even though they're low-end machines (start at $750 in the US) you still get a 1-year warranty on it.

  5. #5
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Seriously a MacBook is overly priced I can get much better performance from a Dell notebook for the same price. One does need to drop feature like integrated bluetooth, dedicated sound card, DVD/CD burner, and webcam.

    But that allows me to add a 15inch screen with a HD screen size 1680x1050. a Dedicated graphics card, and a 9 cell 80Whr battery. It cost the same as a MacBook with the same CPU, RAM and HDD.

    If you need a DVD/CD burner you can add it for 20 bucks else the plain CD drive is pretty much free. Now when I customized this system I was looking for a computer for my mother and she doesn't need any of those extra: bluethoot, webcam, DVD/CD burner, etc.

    If you are on a budget stay away from Apple, they give you no control on what you get at least with Dell you can remove things you don't really need making it cheaper.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  6. #6
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    hmm...the thing is, I currently have a HP Pavillion Laptop. I tried to install a linux OS beside my current windows OS, but it is driving me mad trying to make it work.

    Recently I got a £250 grant from my university to purchase a computer, the only catch is, that the computer must be brand new (with at least a one year warranty). And since I have been trying to get linux into my life, getting a separate linux laptop does not seem like a bad idea, dell seems to be good (thanks for the tip vgarcia).

    But is it me or is the dell 6400 ubuntu laptop seem to be a little higher than the windows vista version?

  7. #7
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    Exclamation

    Spec for Windows version of Dell Inspiron 6400 priced at £449
    Components
    Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core Processor T2080 (1.73 GHz, 533 MHz FSB, 1 MB L2-cache)
    Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium - English
    1 Year Base Warranty - Collect & Return
    No Accidental Damage Support
    15.4" Wide Screen WXGA (1280 x 800) Display with TrueLife™
    2048MB 667MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [2x1024]
    120GB (5400rpm) SATA Hard Drive
    Intel® Media Accelerator 950 Graphics Up to 256MB shared graphics memory
    Fixed Internal 8X DVD+/-RW Drive including software
    9 cell Lithium-Ion Battery (85 Whr)
    No Floppy Drive
    Accessories
    Dell™ Wireless 1390 802.11b/g Mini-PCI Card (for Dual-Core Processors)
    No QuickSnap® LCD Back Cover
    No Carry Case
    Microsoft® Works 8.0 - English
    No Security/Anti-Virus Protection - English
    Also Includes
    Internal Keyboard - UK/Irish (QWERTY)
    N1264006
    Inspiron Order - UK
    English Documentation with UK Power Cord
    56.6k V.92 Capable Internal Modem & Adapter - UK
    1 Year Base Warranty - Collect & Return
    Dell Internet Order.
    HSB Order
    Resource DVD - (Diagnostics & Drivers)
    65W AC Adapter

    Spec for Ubuntu version of Dell Inspiron 6400 priced at £469
    Components
    Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core Processor T2080 (1.73GHz,533MHz,1MB L2 cache) - N-Series
    1 Year Base Warranty - Collect & Return
    Ubuntu Edition version 7.04
    No Ubuntu Support
    No Accidental Damage Support
    15.4" Wide Screen WXGA (1280 x 800) Display
    2048MB 667MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [2x1024]
    120GB (5400rpm) SATA Hard Drive
    N-Series - Intel® Media Accelerator 950 Graphics Up to 256MB shared graphics memory
    Fixed Internal 8X DVD+/-RW Drive for N-Series
    9 cell Lithium-Ion Battery (85 Whr)
    No Floppy Drive
    Accessories
    Intel® Pro Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g Mini-PCI Card (for Core Duo Processors)
    No Carry Case
    Also Includes
    Internal Keyboard - UK/Irish (QWERTY)
    N1264015
    Inspiron Order - UK
    N-Series - English Documentation with UK Power Cord
    Dell™ v92 Data/Fax Modem - UK
    1 Year Base Warranty - Collect & Return
    Dell Internet Order.
    HSB Order
    N-Series Resource CD - contains Diagnostics and Drivers
    No QuickSnap® LCD Back Cover
    No Software Application
    65W AC Adapter



    Similar specs but the ubuntu version is £20 more expensive.

  8. #8
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Its the "Intel® Pro Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g Mini-PCI Card (for Core Duo Processors)"

    It cost a little more then the "Dell™ Wireless 1390 802.11b/g Mini-PCI Card (for Dual-Core Processors)"
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  9. #9
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    hmmm...

    I am just wondering what do programmers here use

    Laptop or PC?

    And of what spec?

    if you don't mind sharing

  10. #10
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Laptop is a PC just smaller :P

    I have a Dell Inspiron E1705
    Intel Core 2 Duo (2Ghz, 4MB L2 [Lots of L2 is very important more so then speed])
    2GB RAM at 667MHz;
    Ati Mobility Radeon x1400 256MB;
    17" WUXGA Display at 1920x1200;
    160GB 5,400 RPM HDD
    Integrated Intel wireless A/B/G and bluetooth.

    Most important a 80+Whr 9-cell battery. [A MacBook (Pro) only comes with a 6-cell battery]

    Oh and a 2.1 internal sound system (not the best but first time I seen a subwoofer on a laptop)
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard rozner's Avatar
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    What type of system you program on is really a personal preference. It also depends what kind of programming you're doing. All the full time jobs I've had, it's been a variety of desktop/laptops running Windows. For personal projects I use a Macbook Pro. I do think it's the best system out there, pricey? yes. If you're on a budget then don't even consider it. As far as power required, you don't need a very powerful computer to program, but it can help. Some people program in notepad, others use IDEs. I work in Java and use Eclipse which is a big time memory hog, so I prefer to have a system with at least 2Gb RAM, although my last job only gave me a 1Gb system and it was slow... but that said it still got the job done.

  12. #12
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    Yeh, that is why I was asking. At the moment I am only playing around with PHP (currently symfony is getting unfriendly with windows system) and I will be starting on Java next year (after I get a new laptop), and your tips helped me decide to stick to at least 2Gb memory.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Programmer or Developer?

    When you say you want to program Linux, does that mean C++, C, Python?
    When you say Windows do you mean VS Studio VB, C# etc?

    Or are you C?

    I float. I do a little ruby development, a little PHP. Sometimes I've been known to use MS VS for VB and C#.

    Sometimes I've hacked my way around perl scripts. I am currently developing in RoR, but a PHP project is coming up.

    I'm also building a client specific .net c# application that queries an MSSQL backend.

    I use an Apple Macbook 2ghz core2duo2. For everything.

    OS X (the Mac OS) is unix, not linux, not some fork of a fork of a fork. It is unix.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by default View Post
    Programmer or Developer?
    ...OS X (the Mac OS) is unix, not linux, not some fork of a fork of a fork. It is unix.
    OSX is not pure unix OSX is Freebsd.
    As for a laptop go with the cheapest no need for a expensive laptop. Personal y Im going to wait for boxing day to pick up everything i want.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast Syam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwmcsween View Post
    OSX is not pure unix OSX is Freebsd.
    From wikipedia:
    The Single UNIX Specification (SUS) is the collective name of a family of standards for computer operating systems to qualify for the name "Unix".
    <snip />
    UNIX 03 - the mark for systems conforming to version 3 of the SUS (full compliance)
    <snip />
    No freely available BSD system has been registered as SUS compliant.
    <snip />
    Darwin is an open source operating system based on FreeBSD: it is essentially the open source subset of Mac OS X. Darwin is compliant with the SUS 03
    "Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard", released on October 26th, 2007, is an Open Brand UNIX 03 registered product when run on Intel processors"
    Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_UNIX_Specification

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syam View Post
    hmm maybe I should have clarified what I didn't agree with the fork of a fork of a fork elitism mac os x is based on Freebsd so technically it is a fork of a fork of a fork of a fork of a fork of a fork.
    http://www.levenez.com/unix/history.html#02

  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast Syam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwmcsween View Post
    hmm maybe I should have clarified what I didn't agree with the fork of a fork of a fork elitism mac os x is based on Freebsd so technically it is a fork of a fork of a fork of a fork of a fork of a fork.
    http://www.levenez.com/unix/history.html#02
    Ok.


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