Need advice... thinking on buying a used 11 base MacBook Air to learn iOS dev...

gcrodz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 12, 2013
6
0
Hi, I really want to start developing simple apps for getting started on iOS/Objective C development. I want to spend as little as possible on the machine, as I plan on getting a more apt and specced machine sometime next year(probably a 15" rMBP, or if ever a 15" rMBA ever comes that would be perfect ;)

In any case, I was browsing Craigslist and found a 2012 Entry level Macbook Air:

Intel Core i5 1.7GHz 4GB DDR3 RAM 128GB SSD

I know its not the best specced machine, but as I mentioned, I am hoping it will serve me well to learn the basics of iOS development and hold me up until I get a higher end machine in next year.

Price on that Apple Laptop is 550. So I find it quite attractive.

Questions are the following: I looked up the serial in Apple.com's page and AppleSerialNumberInfo.com and everything looked in order.

Is there anything else I should check/ask before setting up the buy? First time buyer on Craigslist so want to make sure I don't skip anything important.

Thanks for your help.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
As with any development, a small screen will make your life painful. Do you have an external monitor to connect it to? It will make you a lot more productive. :)
 

gcrodz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 12, 2013
6
0
Thanks for the reply. I have a 24" monitor I can hook it up when I am in my apartment.

I understand the limits of the 11" screen... at the same time, the portability is tempting. At the same time, since I see this as a bridge device, until I get a beefier rMBP (or a dream 15 rMBA lol,when then I might resell it or give it to my future wife), I thought it would perform ok to learn to program on iOS.

I do not intend to make games...more productivity-related apps(think like an agenda, with a similar GUI to the Yahoo Weather app of sorts...if that makes any sense lol).

In any case, for the price (550), I think its an OK deal(is it?)?

Also, he sent me a PDF file from the Apple Store receipt. So would that be good enough for my peace of mind? Anything else I should be wary about since this is Craigslist?

Thank you!
 

gcrodz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 12, 2013
6
0
Thanks for your reply!

Regarding the Craigslist purchase... anyone with experience on it? Since he provided the Receipt form the PDF file, maybe if everything is ok we can have it checked out on AppleStore(for peace of mind when it comes to hardware and not being stole, etc)?
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,880
2,146
Do your exchange in a public place and be careful walking to your car afterwards. If he provided receipt and serial already, sounds like they just want to sell.

As for usability, I code on my 2012 MBA 11". Once you get used to Xcode, you can maximize window space for each portion of coding (coding, UI building, debugging). It gets small when moving through a storyboard of more than a few views, that's when an external monitor can come in handy though.

Spaces and the trackpad are your friend. I maximize Xcode in one screen, and the document browser in another so I can 4-finger swipe between them.
 

MacAndMic

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2009
355
1,391
I guess we all have our own definitions of fine.
Care to share yours?

Xcode runs about the same as a word document on 4gb. Where would he need more for the apps he wants to develop, especially since he wants a new machine in the near future.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
Care to share yours?

Xcode runs about the same as a word document on 4gb. Where would he need more for the apps he wants to develop, especially since he wants a new machine in the near future.
I find that 4GB is not enough for my uses when running Xcode. Individual experiences may vary.
 

bjet767

macrumors 6502a
Oct 2, 2010
967
313
I run xcode and develop for both iOS and OSX on both a late 2010 Macbook Air 11" and an i7 desktop.

Obviously the desktop is very fast when compared to the 11" Air, but I have no problems with either compile speeds or simulation on the old 11."

Actually the OSX development is a whole lot easier than the iOS even though Objective C is the same and most of the classes and objects are cross platform. What I find different is OSX programming uses a whole lot less coding because of the binding features available in xCode.

I would recommend three books if you are familiar with C, C++ and object oriented programming to help get you started.

Big Nerd Ranch, iOS programming; and Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X (4th Edition) Note the Cocoa Programming is a bit behind in xCode levels.

Professional iOS Database Application Programming by Patrick Alessi (great book to learn Core Data for iOS)
 

cerberusss

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2013
916
355
The Netherlands
For beginning Xcode development, that machine is totally fine. I ran it on an 2010 MBP 13" with four gigs, although when I started a graphics-heavy project in 2012, I extended it to eight gigs of memory.

For some small projects, it's totally fine.
 

old-wiz

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2008
8,315
225
West Suburban Boston Ma
I'd buy an external disk for backups and more space. Backups, whether via Time Machine or SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner are extremely important.

Simple xCode projects don't need a huge amount of resources.

On craigslist, I would also check prices being offered on eBay to see if the offer is in the right range.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.