Feasibility of programming on rMB?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by seong, May 3, 2015.

  1. seong macrumors 65816

    seong

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #1
    I'm a computer science major, and the new rMB looks tempting due to its thinness, USB-C, new keyboard and trackpad, etc.
    I currently have wireless printer with a single iPhone (which also does wireless syncing,) so having a lot of ports is not a need for me.
    For any developers/programmers out there using rMB, how is your experience on it? I'm looking to get an external display for home usage, and would love to ditch my current rMBP 15" for the weight/portability (and no MBA suggestions please, I can't stand non-retina displays.)
     
  2. fatefulwhisper macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #2
    There's already a thread about this: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1868402

    FYI, I have a BS in CS. Hated the math classes :)
     
  3. Manacit macrumors member

    Manacit

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #3
    I'm a professional SW Dev and I have no problem using my MBr for work. I keep a fullscreen Sublime Text 3 and another fullscreen iTerm and just swipe between them as needed. The screen is great, and there's barely any performance problems.

    If you're using Eclipse (or even Xcode) you might run into some limitations, but I if you're a vim/emacs/ST/Textmate person, you'll have no problems.
     
  4. seong thread starter macrumors 65816

    seong

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #4
    Oooops my bad! Didn't use the right keywords haha :p
    How did you do with physics? I guess it counts as math too ;) and yes, I do not like the math classes!
     
  5. fatefulwhisper macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #5
    I did fine w/ Physics; the only math classes I didn't like were the higher level Calculus and theoretical math classes. I can do fine w/ formulas and rules; but once you start having to deal with theories and you no longer see numbers (just a bunch of greek symbols), it wasn't fun anymore.
     
  6. seong thread starter macrumors 65816

    seong

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #6
    Oh hello there! Great to hear from a professional developer using it on the field.
    I use sublime text 3 and Xcode quite frequently, so I guess I should be going for an external display for iOS development! (And perhaps Mac mini for better performance.)

    ----------

    Oh I didn't see that coming.. I'm not at that point yet, but it's good to know what's ahead! Thanks for the info :)
     
  7. TSloper74 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    #7
    Unless you testing very processor intensive algorithms or writing games I can't see why you would have any issues. Application development is not processor intensive.
     
  8. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Location:
    I come from a land down-under...
    #8
    Depends on the kind of dev you do.

    If your development needs to use big IDEs (espeically Java ones like Eclipse, NetBean, IntelliJ, JDeveloper), and deploy to heavy-weight application servers such as WebSphere & WebLogic, also requiring a full-featured DB (SQL Server, Oracle), the story is different!

    You need to consider the memory footprint and CPU load of these environments. If you regularly use virtual machines, memory and fast storage are important.

    That said, I think the rMB would be fine for iOS / Mac OS development, web development using lightweight servers and as a terminal for server/cloud based development.
     
  9. theSeb, May 3, 2015
    Last edited: May 3, 2015

    theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #9
    What's funny is that I felt the same way. I loved Maths in school and by the time I got to second year Maths in University I hated it, because of the theoretical side. I also did Applied Maths, which was much more interesting.

    Back on topic... Computer Science was my major and I used a mighty and powerful Intel DX4 100 MHz to get through my first year and then my parents bought me a beat - the Celeron 300 MHz, which could easily be overclocked to 450 MHz, by a changing a dip switch on the mother board. It worked fine in the winter, but would overheat on hot summer days. We had lab machines, like Silicon Graphics workstations, for the "heavy lifting".

    Most important thing for effective development in my opinion is multiple screens. I think the MB will be a perfectly fine machine for studying.
     
  10. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Same experience here - I quite enjoyed Maths at school, but this changed in my first year of an Electrical Engineering degree. All of the lectures were given by the Maths department, who had no idea of the engineering applications for what they were teaching us, so you were left to make the leap between pure theory and practical application yourself. I'm sure the brighter students were good at this, but I struggled a lot, and dropped the Maths options as soon as I could.

    I have to say that in my entire professional career, which has been IT and software development, I have never needed to use any Calculus! Understanding basic things like binary logic, arrays / matrices, a bit of trigonometry (for graphics) & simple algebra has been useful though. Fourier & Laplace Transforms are a distant memory....

    As for your 100MHz DX4, <yorkshire accent> that were luxury. I used 8MHz Amstrad 8086 in't middle of t'road</yorkshire accent>
     
  11. seong thread starter macrumors 65816

    seong

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #11
    Thanks for all the replies! I will definitely head to a nearby Apple store to test things out. Its unfortunate that I'm limited to the stock software thats on the rMB, but would give me a good idea.
    Sounds like some of you guys with CS degree come from years back... I still remember how my first laptop was a 2007 Macbook Polycarbonate (still in GHz range, not MHz), and that should still be few years after your university graduation haha.

    And I have to agree on the Math part... Making apps doesn't require basic calculus to get through, unless your major is astrophysics or are intending to go for PhD.
     
  12. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Poole, England
    #12
    Don't let us old and grumpy ones spoil the experience for you. I didn't mind first year Maths and I found it useful for next few years of Comp Sci. Applied Maths was also good fun (as much "fun" as Maths can be, I suppose). But in second year my Maths course became a very theoretical subject. We studied the basics of Algebra, like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_(mathematics)

    There were many proofs, which I found quite boring. However, I learned how stuff like error detection and correction works thanks to the course:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reed–Solomon_error_correction

    Whether you will find this useful in later life really depends. Computer Science can become quite theoretical and you will need to use Maths a lot to finish the course. How much of this you will actually use once you start work is a different story and depends on where you end up. For example, I learnt more about pointers in the first week of my first job than I learnt in University. That does not mean that the theory of it all is not important.

    Before you can make shoes, it's good to know how to make them properly.
     
  13. Jspring86 Suspended

    Jspring86

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    Oct 7, 2011
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #13
    Why all the math hatred in this thread? :mad:

    Applied Math Post-Doc here, just putting in a word for math, especially proofs, being fun! ;)
     
  14. usernames.taken macrumors member

    usernames.taken

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    Yep, it's definitely feasible to program on the new MacBook. There's enough CPU and disk space to do some programming.
     
  15. saifrc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    #15
    Yeah, what's with all the math-hate? Math is FUN! *Especially* the proofs!

    (Disclosure: I was a math major in college. I work as an actuary and investment consultant today, so my math is mostly applied, but I still relish the opportunity to do proofs and derivations.)

    One of the first things I installed on my new rMB is R. I feel like this machine can handle statistical analysis, and the retina display makes data visualizations gorgeous! Then again, it's all done through the command line...none of your fancy IDEs here!
     
  16. seong thread starter macrumors 65816

    seong

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #16
    hm, interesting, I find the Reed Solomon error correction (the simplified one direction error correction) to be quite interesting. I think I might enjoy the theoretical aspect of computing more than maths! (the first link didn't look AS interesting as the second one, to be honest.)

    I've heard that from other people who are in the field already too! Even the people with CS degree go through basic trainings depending on the company/job title one has. And no worries, my experiences haven't been spoiled (yet)!
     
  17. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

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    I come from a land down-under...
    #17
    Well, "hatred" might be putting it a bit strongly ;)

    I think a lot of the problem is with how Mathematics is taught - pretty much at any level. The really good teachers who are able to effectively convey both purpose and method are, in my experience, rare.

    I appreciate that people who go on to become mathematicians probably have an inherent love of just using Maths as an intellectual pursuit, and see some inner beauty in its workings.

    However, I think most "users" of Maths, just want to understand how to apply it to real world problems, and to gain a grasp of Maths as a tool in which to model systems and do their work.

    My experience of being taught the subject by mathematicians (with almost no understanding of my usage) when I was studying engineering was less than satisfactory. I was left to make the conceptual leap from theory to practice on my own, and at the time, I needed some help which I didn't receive.

    As an example, the whole subject of algebra with real and imaginary numbers was never really explained in the context of electronic circuit design, but I knew how to apply the methods to get an answer. I just never really knew "why", and for my style of learning, I like to be able to conceptually grasp how something works, even if it an abstract model that is that is an analogue for the properties of the physical world.

    TL;DR Nothing to do the rMB, but does raise the question of whether it's good enough for mathematical modelling or education!
     
  18. seong thread starter macrumors 65816

    seong

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #18
    Wow Math Post-Doc... you must really love math to be able to study the field for more than a decade :eek: I'm assuming people in math field do a lot of programming too?

    ----------

    Thank you for your reply :) I've actually went to one of the local Apple Stores and tried out the online swift compiler (albeit slow, I was able to see how good it will be with XCode.)
     
  19. Jspring86 Suspended

    Jspring86

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    Oct 7, 2011
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #19
    I do a lot of programming, which most applied mathematicians do. My research is in numerical analysis of partial differential equations on surfaces, so a lot of my grants are funded for developing Python NumPy routines for solving such equations.

    Most pure mathematicians don't do much programming, they push symbols around on a page to prove theorems. I also prove theorems, but also do a lot of coding.
     
  20. seong thread starter macrumors 65816

    seong

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #20
    To be honest, I didn't realize there were so many B.S. majors here on Macrumors. I don't hate math, but I can see where people who are in programming field hate math (majority of my friends are just tech geeks, not really a math loving kind of people.)
    Glad to hear that for whatever you are doing, the rMB is sufficient! I've been so confused as to how people treat rMB to be an extremely underpowered device, even though people who are actually working in the field, such as yourself, have been praising how good it was at day to day tasks. I'm 99% sold on buying the rMB to ditch my current rMBP 15" if it wasn't for the 4~6 weeks shipping :\

    ----------

    Wow, much respect to you sir! I would hope to do something like that myself in the very near future :)
     
  21. elithrar macrumors 6502

    elithrar

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    #21
    A lot of users severely overestimate their workload (from a CPU perspective), and/or make a quick judgement off freshly imaged machines in-store (which are probably still Spotlight indexing).
     
  22. seong thread starter macrumors 65816

    seong

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #22
    oh I see, I was actually thinking those haters were the ones who've actually used it haha.
     
  23. legioxi macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    #23
    Some might be users. Just like some praisers might not be.

    Anyways. I use it for programming using Xcode/Sublime/Terminal. Works quite well. Most of the heavy lifting I offload to my home servers though. If you're at college, you should have that option with your classes (I know I did 15 years ago in CS). Develop on the laptop, build/run/test on university servers.
     

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