Well, I’m back on
OS X macOS and iOS, and pretty happy about it. While I’m very lucky in that I get to work from home and I have a pretty good boss and I like the people I work with, I still have an itch to go solo.
Before we moved back to Florida, I sold my underpowered MacBook Air, got a Surface 3, and toyed with the idea of getting an MCSD and building UWP apps, but honestly, nobody seems to be doing it. Look through job listings for UWP or WPF work and you’ll see what I mean. Crickets.
So, I decided to go back to the Mac, my first love. Admittedly, there aren’t that many macOS jobs either, but there are lots of iOS jobs, and while I don’t really want to work for someone else again, that tells me there’s at least a market there if I decide to build something.
I decided to run light (without overbyte? 😉), though. I wanted to get the
cheapest minimal system I could get away with the learn Swift and iOS development, and after looking hard at Mac minis and iMacs and MacBook Pros, I settled on late-model MacBooks, specifically the white polycarbonate so-called CrackBooks (because of all the cracks which developed in their cases). I found one in beautiful condition for $330 on eBay (2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo with 4 GB of RAM), immediately replaced the slow 5400 RPM hard drive with a 1 TB SSHD I happened to have available, and bumped the RAM to 16 GB ($130 at OWC). I also bought a snap-on case in orange (shades of the original clamshell iBook) for $10 and a small laptop bag for $10.
Before adding the RAM, Xcode was struggling with simple playgrounds, but now the RAM is maxed out, Xcode and the simulator are working fine. I was worried that with only two cores, the simulator would be crippled, but so far, it’s working fine. So, I’m cranking away at learning Swift and UIKit (more on that in the next post) for under $500, and I’m a happy man. It’s good to be back…