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My Developer Rig

July 1, 2008

Or, Why I Use a Laptop.

I keep reading “My Developer Rig” or “The Ultimate Developer Station” articles on the web, geeky types gloating over the massive piece of hardware grinding away under/beside their desks as all towers are wont to do, multiple-monitor environments of love and joy.

I don’t do that. And while I am attracted to a multiple-monitor setup, I don’t think I can.

If you’ve known me for any length of time (More than 5 minutes) you’ll know two facts about me:

1) I’m big into Apple (this is not a good thing)
2) All my computers are laptops.

Though #2 is of variable truthfulness, as I am planning on getting a very powerful PC desktop for videogames. But I digress.

I’ve been increasingly developing an issue with the nerves on my left arm, seemingly related to sitting at a desk for most of my day and pressure as presented by the armrests on my chair, as well as bad posture. This is, at the end of any given day, rather painful and unpleasant. And not getting noticabely better.

Cue the laptop. Instead of being bolted to my desk any time I want to work, I can unplug and walk over to my couch/bed/coffee shop.

Or, if I’m feeling good and not in a lot of pain, I can wire back up and type on my nice 20″ panel. (Soon to be replaced by an even nicer 24″ panel. Or perhaps a 30″ monstrosity.)

So my developer rig(s) are thus:

Santa Rosa Macbook Pro
2GB memory
160GB internal disk
OSX 10.5.4

And my weapon of choice for code editing? TextMate, which I have been using for >3 years (I think) and I could not live without. I’ve had it since I had my G3 600 iBook as my primary dev system. It’s just that good.

I also have an older Macbook kicking around, running Ubuntu, but it’s not as important.


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One Comment
  1. Interesting perspective. I use a desktop for the same reason you prefer a laptop – ergonomics and comfort.

    Using a desktop forces me to use a proper chair and results in better posture. At a desktop I use my ergo keyboard (which is easier on the wrists), and the full size keyboard lets me use complex keystroke combinations that are often convoluted by laptop keyboards and their blasted function keys.

    My laptop is strictly for short term, uncomfortable work sessions.. 🙂

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