25 July, 2009

New Development Machine Ordered

After years of working primarily on laptops, I finally decided that it was time to move to a desktop. A brief history is in order so as to show the road travelled (for posterity). All machines were purchased new and the prices include necessary manufacturers extended warranties, etc.

April 2002 : Whilst getting prepared for an upwardly vertical move in my field after working at Alliance Remanufacturing as their Lead Software Developer for internal applications for the production, procurement, quality assurance and management divisions, I purchased an Apple 14" iBook G3 @ 700 MHz w/768 MB of memory for $2,500. This unfortunately was plagued with a flaky motherboard (logic board) issue causing video issues. The machine had 4 logic boards in 3 years under full warranty. I learned the value of AppleCare very quickly, as well as the quality and speed of Apple's customer service.

June 2005 : At this time I was working for Payment Processing Center, LLC writing cheque/bank draft processing backend software as well as managing a real time financial reporting web portal. The logic board in the iBook G3 gave up its ghost yet again and now being out of warranty, it wasn't worth fixing. The replacement came in the form of an Apple 12" iBook G4 @ 1.2 GHz w/1.25 GB of memory for approximately $1,550.

February 2006 : Due to a Federal Raid (later proven to be due to certain clientele and not my place of employ nor its directors), the iBook G4 was seized by the Federal Government for a period of many months with no promised return date. During the next few months I was forced to work on a Windows machine and it was like being a fish out of water. I'm a Unix person through and through and while I took solace in one of our FreeBSD boxes, it wasn't enough.

April 2006 : Still at Payment Processing Center though still without word regarding the seized iBook the decision to buy a professional level Intel based (Core Duo, 1st Generation) replacement. I ordered an Apple 15.3" Widescreen MacBook Pro @ 1.83 GHz w/1 GB of memory for approximately $2,700. The machine which would take me through several large projects for a multitude of clientele including but not limited to: a national retailer with 400 locations in the United States as well as an international magazine publishing group hosting several publications. It would ultimately be maxed out at the 2 GB of memory to which it was limited, being a first version Core Duo (NOT Core 2 Duo), and only 32 bit.

This brings us to today, with the MacBook Pro being out of Apple Care and currently being used as a desktop for over 1.5 years (hooked up to two external displays, two printers, one scanner, 3 external USB Hubs (4, 4 & 7), several external hard drives and an external Firewire Raid Array, it is time to move on to a more appropriate development machine capable of handling the newer software, operating system(s) and expansions needs as dictated by my work demands. Due for pickup later this week is an Apple Mac Pro workstations with dual quad-core xenon "Nehalem" hyperthreaded processors (effectively 16 cores) at 2.26 GHz each, with 6 GB of memory by default for approximately $3200. This provides the expansion abilities I need not to mention the fastest performing Unix workstation anywhere near that price range with the ability to handle 4 TB of storage internally as well as 64 GB of memory.

The end of this upcoming week can't come soon enough for me. It is amazing to think how far technology has come in just the past 7 years. From a fast Risc based G3 @ 700 MHz to what amounts to 16 64 bit cores at 2.26 GHz Intel Xenon "Nehalem" (Risc like design and performance customised for Apple by Intel).

More on the new workstation forthcoming.