iBook/PowerBook for Software Development

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by nicholas_yue, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. nicholas_yue macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2005

    I am new to Apple laptop and OSX.

    My last experience with an Apple was an Apple ][e and Macintosh.

    I am hoping to purchase an iBook/PowerBook to port various Windows/Linux software to OSX, after that, I am planning to develop exclusivly on OSX (for cross-platform development).

    For those of you who have developed extensively on both the iBook and PowerBook, which hardware would you recommend.

    As money is scarce, I am thinking of getting an iBook and max out the RAM to 1.25Gig as compilation and debugging always benefit from more RAM and faster hard-disk.

    Given that the hard-disk is slower on the iBook, does it hinder compilation?

    My main development tools would be XCode 2.0, Eclipse and GCC 4.0/ GDB 6.?

    If I were to purchase a laptop without the DVD-writer, can I use off-the-shelf external USB 2.0 DVD-writer (i.e. are there any catches).

    Nicholas Yue
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    I develop OSX applications in my spare time from developing code at work! I would recommend the PowerBook if only for one reason : screen resolution. 1024x768 is a bit of a pain to use XCode in (I used to have an iBook, I know). Even on the 15" screen I am sometimes wanting more screen real estate (although not enough to get up from the sofa to plug into an external display yet).

    I would worry about RAM more than disk speed (although the 5400 RPM drive in my PB certainly helps).

    External drives have some issues with the iLife apps but should be fine if used with Toast.
  3. gallivant macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2004
    1024x768 is a very cramped space to develop in - I'd reccommend either getting a 15"+ PB, or a 12" PB now and a large external display once cash is more plentiful.

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