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  1. #1

    PC for my Grandma Best computing setup for computer science / software college student?

    I'm heading off to school and looking for some advice from the Verge community. Do you have any ideas or recommendations for the ideal gadget setup? Obviously it would be best to have a powerful desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, everything under the sun, but I'm not made of money.

  2. #2
    Here are some things I've thought about:
    1. What is the main machine used for development? Obviously either a laptop or desktop. Would something like a Macbook Air be powerful enough? Or do you need a dedicated desktop for some heavy lifting.
    2. Is note taking vastly improved with laptops and tablets? I'm more of a pencil and paper guy, but times have changed.
    3. Mac versus PC? Is Chromebook even an option?
    Thanks for any input!

  3. #3
    1. My main machine that I use for development is a rMBP. It is pricey, but it is highly portable, and the screen is great for reading code. A MacBook Air would do fine for almost all work, I would get one if it had a slightly better screen. IMO a Retina Macbook would be a perfect on the go development machine, although the Haswell rMBP that is to be released soon will be pretty great. At home I have two 21.5" 1080p monitors that I hook it up to, which works fine when I am at my desk (not very often). I would recommend a 27" 1440p monitor if I had to do it again.
    2. A tablet with Wacom support would be good, but I still prefer pen and paper. I actually use a Wacom tablet that is wireless, and I use it very rarely though. YMMV.

  4. #4
    3. I prefer OS X because I get Unix, a good UI, and great apps in a lightweight package. I also like the ability to install Windows and Linux on one machine. Windows 8.1 is pretty good, but I wouldn’t get one to do comp science stuff, unless you are strictly on the Microsoft stack and going to be doing C#.
    I also think Linux is a good choice because you get to choose your hardware more inexpensively and you still get great Unix power, as well as awesome package managers. I use Ubuntu and Elementary often and they are pretty good. Can be difficult depending on the hardware, but hey, its free.
    I would suggest staying away from Chromebooks, as you will probably want fairly decent sized local storage, and Cloud9 is still not as good as ST3, and online options won’t have all the languages you may need.
    Good luck.

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