Hey .. so I got myself a MacBook Pro. Here’s why:
– I found that at pycon, having linux on my laptop just didn’t work so hot. Just too many driver issues to really make it be great for day to day use.
– I really would like to be able to do all my dev from one machine. With a Mac “supposedly” I can work in Windows, Linux, and OS/X from the same machine. Then, gee, I wouldn’t have to have my house cluttered up with so many computers.
I got the machine a few days ago. Since then I’ve been playing around with my different options for realizing the “one machine” vision. Here are some of my experiences so far:
– I was able to install XP Pro easily. Had a minor mouse related glitch when running Microsoft Office Live Meeting and sharing my desktop. Tried playing Vampyre Story (a new adventure game by Bill Tiller!), this didn’t work. Game crashed during the startup of the game. So I guess the DirectX promises are a bit shallow.
– I was able to install Ubuntu 8.10 and 8.04. However, in 8.10, the shared disk was useless. In 8.04, the VM hangs after a while for no particular reason. Most of these issues seem to be well covered in the Parallels forums. So it seems that Parallels is useless for Linux stuff .. at least for Ubuntu, which is the distro I want to switch to for dev, since it’s most likely to be used by a Linux gamer.
– I tried interacting with their support and found that they appear to be using babblefish to translate my questions to their foreign staff who then type in an incoherent answer which is then translated back to English. Somehow it didn’t seem worth the bother.
– If they fixed the Linux VM hang issue, it would be an excellent solution for all my VM needs.
– I tried to run Vampyre Story. It didn’t even get through the installer before locking up and anytime I put a disk into the computer it tried to interact (weird default setting, I was able to switch that off).
– Not really useful to me. I suppose it could be good if your game of choice is supported.
– I was able to install XP Pro easily. It auto-installed its Tools. Sound seemed to work better in this than in Parallels. Vampyre Story failed exactly the same way as in Parallels. I suspect they have some common code for doing the DX9 emulation. Too bad it doesn’t work for my game of choice. Hopefully the 3D is good enough for my game dev, which isn’t so bleeding edge.
– I was able to install Ubuntu 8.04 on it. The handing of Fullscreen vs. Windowed mode isn’t nearly as smooth as in Parallels. One real drawback is that if I have both Windows and Linux in Fullscreen mode, Fusion attempts to put them both on the same “Space”, so I can really only have one in Fullscreen mode at a time. That is non-awesome.
– If it weren’t for the Fullscreen issues, this was looking like an excellent solution. I guess I’ll have to wait and see if Parallels or VMWare fixes issues quicker. It does seem that VMWare has a better commitment to Linux support, which is hopeful.
– OS/X comes with “Boot Camp” which allows for Dual booting of your machine into OS/X or Windows. It works great if you don’t mess up. It took me three tries to get Windows XP Pro installed properly. (HInt: read the Apple troubleshooting guide BEFORE you try to run Boot Camp, not afterwards.)
– I was able to play Vampyre Story with no problem. The game looks great!
– I haven’t tested much else, but since it’s just booting into Windows, I’m guessing it will work fine. When running Vampyre Story the fan is on most of the time. I guess all those pretty graphics really tax something or other.
Both Parallels and Fusion support shared disk, which I’m hoping works. It won’t be until I really dive into some dev that I’ll be able to comment on that. Nice stuff, anyways.
I do hope this all works out, as I really want to trim down the amount of machinery I have in my office. I think my favorite experience so far was getting Parallels doing fullscreen for both Linux and Windows. With OS/X Spaces, I was able to switch between OS/X, Windows, and Linux with the press of a key.
I’m basically taking off a few weeks from game dev to mess around with this machine. Some of the things coming up are:
– Figuring out how to deal with python under OS/X. If anyone cares to give me tips in advance, I’d sure appreciate it. I’m aware there are at LEAST 3 major ways of doing this. 1. Use the included python 2. Use the python from python.org 3. Use darwin 4. Use macports .. Or something like that. I’m not sure which will be best for my situation.
– Trying out the iPhoto, iMusic, Garageband, and iMovie software. Linux has always lacked on the “use to use junk” front .. and Windows isn’t much any better. So hopefully these tools will be nice.
– Figuring out a decent backup scenario. I’m aware of timemachine, which I’m sure is great .. But I’m interested in having shared folders across several machines .. and doing backup to a 3rd machine. We’ll see what I can come up with for that. I’m quite comfortable with rsync, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that comes up. Any suggestions would also be appreciated here.