Has anyone had any problems programming on the Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kulimer, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. kulimer macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2011
    I'm going to be doing some programming for graduate classes. How is programming on the Air, small screen? compatibility problems?

    I like to take my laptop to the library everyday and work on it there, it's quiet. I use windows, I find the messy desktop also a bit troublesome. How is everyone else managing it?
  2. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    In my experience, the 11" is too small. The 13" is more than satisfactory, on OSX at least.

    If you're using Windows you're probably going to want to go for the 13".

    There's no hiding that big ugly start bar at the bottom on the 11" that's going to be taking up a fair chunk of the screen.

    With regards to the messy desktop, make some folders dude! Get a file-structure going on there. :D
  3. 3dflyboy1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2011
    California, USA
    set it on auto-hide? Or did microsoft disable that feature on vista and win7? :confused:

    Sorry for my ignorance if I'm wrong about this, but I've always used windows XP and still think it's the best version yet. :D
  4. Daveoc64, Aug 30, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011

    Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    Every version of Windows with a Taskbar (Windows 95+) allows you to auto-hide it.

    If you're using Windows 7, I'd recommend that you use the feature I've highlighted in the attached screenshot - you'll gain valuable screen real estate.

    Attached Files:

  5. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    To get vertical space, I do the same thing on Windows and OS X: Move the Dock/Taskbar to one of the sides.

    I do work on my 11", and it is a little cramped in this setup, but it works. Folks who are used to large, spacious displays, portrait displays or multiple displays will definitely find it cramped. Although for me it isn't enough to trade in the extra portability for the extra display space on the go when doing a bit of programming.
  6. kulimer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2011
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I will definitely try it out. The price goes up by $100, when I go from 11-inch to the next 13-inch. The processor upgraded from 1.6GHz to 1.7GHz processor, and you have an SD slot now, that's it! I feel like it's not worth the money. I am just paying for the screen space. Am I looking at this right?
  7. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    No, I don't think you are. Take another look.

    That's a LOT more laptop for a little more money. And both being so thin, they are very portable. You will be USING it a lot more than you will be carrying it, so which one would you rather spend more time sitting in front of and typing on?

    Attached Files:

  8. Lonectzn macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2011
    It's totally worth it. The screen size is what makes the difference between a device that you can't reasonably sit at for a few hours typing, and a device that you can.

    Ergonomically speaking, the 13 inch is far better than the 11. In no way is the 11 a serious work computer.
  9. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    On my 13" MBA, it's just fine. Comfortable keyboard, good display, plenty of everything you need.
  10. Yumunum macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2011
    13" rocks... The screen resolution is high, even higher than the 13" MBP. I could never use an 11" as my main computer, but I easily get by with 13"
  11. sloan47 macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2011
    I'm also a graduate student and I use my 13" ultimate to program for class and work. Phenomenal machine. Best programming device I've ever used.
  12. reputationZed macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2011
    34°55′42″N 80°44′41″W (34.
    There are good arguments for the 13" and good arguments for the 11". Personally I don't see saving $100 bucks as being a good argument one way or the other. The extra screen real-estate is pretty significant and well worth the $100. The smaller foot print of the 11" is also pretty compelling, far more so than saving $100. My point is that you may be setting yourself up for a disappointment if you base this decision on price rather than the relative strengths of each model.
  13. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    The screen size alone is worth more than $100 if programming on it is important. I would hate to program on anything smaller than a 13" screen, and regularly hook up my MBA to a 24" monitor or use my 27" iMac. When I am on the go, the 13" screen is fine.
  14. CyrusKafaiWu macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2011
    I have the 11 inch air and do php backend coding as a hobby. I don't like how Coda doesn't have full screen mode (lion styled) and their is no room to have the phpmyadmin window and the coda window side by side.

    I am satisfied with the product but if you want to code more productively, you better off just get a external monitor 21 inches and up.

    The 11 inch air is good enough to take on the road and do some coding a bit slower
  15. scarred macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2011
    13 inch is pretty much as small as I would go for programming. Sure, you can throw together simple "hello, world" type programs on an 11inch, but you can't do much beyond hobby level coding.

    Remember, programming anything real takes hours (and hours!). Doing that on a small laptop is going to cause some serious strain!! It will not be enjoyable.
  16. jrtaylor6 macrumors member


    Jan 20, 2011
    Tuscaloosa Al
  17. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    I cannot overstate how important it is to get the 13". I bought an 11" when they were first released. Not to use for coding but just for the times I fly. Even at that I found it's just too small of a display. It feels even smaller than it is. Highly impractical other than for those who like to impress others with it's diminuative size.
  18. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    I have a 2011 MBA 11" and a 2011 MBP 17".

    I find myself using the MBA more often now for Xcode. Regarding the money, I would have paid substantially MORE for the 11" than the less mobile, larger 13".

    If apple had a 10" MBA, I certainly would have paid more than just a couple of hundred dollars over a 13" price for it.
  19. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    I do iOS and Mac dev consulting. I have both an MBP 13 and an MBA 11. I now use the MBA 11 more than the 13 for programming.

    Sometimes for debugging and iPad development, an external 27" monitor helps.
  20. mixman macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2011
  21. kulimer, Aug 31, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011

    kulimer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2011
    thanks so much for the suggestion, I am definitely getting more info here than from the Genius.

    How is the 1.7GHz processor speed? Is 128GB big enough? Because we still have to subtract the hard drive memory from installed programs like MS Office, Firefox.

    Right now I have 3 firefox open, each has about 10-12 tabs, plus 4 other apps, can the Air handle all this?
  22. sloan47 macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2011
    You shouldn't have any issues. :)
  23. Swerrrvin macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    13inch for sure. I do Xcode development on an 13 MBA i7 everyday and it's awesome. Screen, battery life and performance are excellent. For a long time, I was debating the 13 MBP vs 13 old air. Even debated the 11 inch for about two seconds. Very happy I waited and got the new 13 i7.

    I also have installed boot camp for Windows coding and it is also very awesome experience.
  24. iExpensive, Aug 31, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011

    iExpensive macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2010
    Las Vegas
    Don't listen to all these 13" lovers. They are most likely MBP users who recently switched to the air due to sandy bridge. Now they are stunned at the high resolution on the 13". I've had the 13" and the 11" and I can say there is no major difference in screen real estate. Sure your missing an inch vertically but fullscreen apps should help. If you need anything more you can just use an external monitor. A 2-3 hours of coding session can be done on the 11"

    However, if this is going to be your primary coding machine for several hours then go with the 13"
  25. kulimer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2011
    Did you buy the 128GB or 256GB? How did you use an external hard drive to install windows? The Genius at the store told me it's hard to install, it took them an hour to figure out.

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