I’m going to be teaching intro iOS development classes this summer at Develop Detroit (no, Detroit isn’t particularly close to Grand Rapids… shut up), and between that and the Core Audio all-day tutorial I’ll be doing at CocoaConf Columbus in August, I decided that it would be a good time to update from the 2008 MacBook that takes 10-15 minutes to build the largest of my client projects.
Of course, yes, this is me, the iPad partisan who leaves the laptop at home whenever possible. But the simple fact is, I need to be in Xcode to teach these classes, and Xcode for iPad hasn’t happened yet (though I still consider it inevitable).
Given my delight at the iPad’s light weight and super-fast SSD, I of course opted for the 11″ MacBook Air, with the 4GB RAM and larger SSD.
Can’t tell if it’s fully practical for Xcode yet… I’m updating from a Snow Leopard machine with Xcode 4.2, so I need to run a bunch of system and software updates just to get Xcode runnable again. Tweeps assured me that Xcode can run on the Air, even with just 4 GB (as opposed to the 10 GB that finally satisfied my Mac Pro).
If you’ve ever seen my bio, you know it ends with a count of the Macs I’ve ever owned, and I now need to update that to indicate that I’ve owned 12½ of them. Offhand (and with device names, once I started assigning those in OS X):
- PowerBook 160
- Performa 6400/200
- iMac (Bondi blue)
- iBook (Bondi blue)
- PowerMac G4 Cube
- iBook (G3/900)
- PowerMac G5 – [
- PowerBook G4 – [
- Mac Mini (Core Solo) – [
- MacBook (early 2008) – [
- Mac Pro (early 2008) – [
- MacBook Air (early 2012) [
That’s 12. So what about the “half”? I’m surprised more people don’t ask me about that. Well, my first Mac was actually the Spectre GCR, a cartridge for the Atari ST that allowed it run as a full-on Mac emulator. It required a cartridge because you needed to get the 128K Mac ROMs as a service part and mount them on the cartridge — copying them into the software would be an obvious copyright violation. But once you were all set, the Atari 520 ST basically ran as a slightly-faster Mac Plus, supporting up to System 6.0.8 (I don’t think I ever put System 7 on here before getting my first PowerBook). Since all my friends in college had Macs, this was crucial for working on projects like the writing staff of Big Game Gaieties, for which the ability to read and write Mac discs was crucial (and a pretty impressive trick, considering Mac disk drives were variable speed, and Atari ST diskettes were constant speed).
Anyways, it wasn’t a real Mac, per se, but required some Mac hardware (the ROMs) and System 6, so I count it as half a Mac.