As I’m handing over my 2010 MacBook Air to eldest child, it occurs to me that computing today is very different from 2010.
The MacBook did an okay job in its life. It hosted many OS’s, mostly betas, and was a go-to for kids homework, but it really stank at the one job that differentiated it from my iPad, which is to run Xcode and navigate docs.
Xcode doesn’t want to be on a teeny tiny screen with a crappy keyboard. It wants full glorious mechanical travel and many large monitors.
No matter how many times I promised myself that this time, I’d figure out how to do some light development on the damned thing, I ended up using it as a poorly designed iPad — email, browsing, books, media.
Its greatest utility was booting up a half dozen operating systems to test backward compatibility as it sat 2 feet away from my primary dev machine.
I don’t know what it is about laptops and me. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to get along with decaffeinated OS X. I can iPad, I can desktop, but I just can’t seem to laptop.
Perhaps I’m just deluding myself that there people out there who can actually get real work done on these things. What I can’t figure out is how.
What is the critical equipment line over which you can actually do development? Does it involve bringing along a 24″ monitor and a loud clicky keyboard to the coffee shop, or on a plane?
I’m back to lurking at the online store, trying to figure out if it’s even worth picking up a replacement at this point. What I really want is a portable ultra-light iMac/iPad hybrid, complete with handle on top and kickstand, and that’s just not going to ever happen.
So what do you suggest I look into? Will Retina make all the difference for my bad eyes? Or should I hold out for the mythical hockey-puck Mac or the iPadMac? What’s your advice? And how do you get that work done on yours?