My Ideal Mac Setup: Feb 2012

This will hopefully become a period post of sorts as I rethink what I would want for my ideal Apple/Mac setup.

I’m extremely happy with what I have, but from time to time I like to think about what might work better for where I am right now. Of course, everything is subject to change.

One thing I have been thinking a lot about is the durability of portable computers. I’ll hopefully have a rant at some point in the future about the current state of portable computers from across the PC spectrum, but needless to say, the hinge is the weakest link of any laptop.

What’s one way to get around that weakness? I’m glad you asked the question! Why not just get rid of it? It is so simple, I shocked myself a little bit when it finally hit me.

So, here is how I would ditch the hinge issue of portable computers.

  1. Get a desktop.
  2. Use an iPad.

Crazy? Yes. Effective? Maybe.

Reminder: this is just what I’m thinking right now.

So, I ditch the portable computer … what computer would I then use?

As my main development computer I would be pressed to find a better machine than a Mac mini.

Now, I am crazy, but I would hope that the next revision of the mini would do two things:

  1. Quad-core for the whole lineup.
  2. Discreet graphics for the whole lineup.

Right now you are forced to choose between discreet graphics or a quad-core, which is not cool. Oh well, it isn’t going to happen anyway.

Couple a Mac mini with a Thunderbolt Display and I would be one happy person. I’ve really soured on multiple-monitor setups recently and I would much prefer the expansive 27″ display that Apple has to offer over two smaller 24″ monitors running at 1920×1080. That’s just me.

Now, if Apple releases a super-hi-resolution display soon … that would be even cooler. I’m thinking that the Intel integrated GPU in two of the current mini configurations would not be up to the challenge of driving anything that large.

Oh well, one can hope for that and SSDs across the board. Come on Apple, I have storage at home, I want the speed in my little desktop.

One of these setups for work and one for my home office. After that, I would need something besides my iPhone to take with me when I travel. Like I said, I’m ditching the hinge so that leaves me with only one choice: iPad.

Ideally, I’d get an iPad 3 with a Retina Display and whatever other bells-and-whistles Apple decides to try and stuff into there. It would be my mobile computer, allowing me to write, keep up with Twitter, email, and RSS, and handle emergencies when I am on the road.

That’s it though. Work would stay at work and in my office. That is what this setup would force me to do. No development when I am away, that would need to stay at work. There is the real benefit to ditching the portable … along with the durability.

If, however, I was going to get a new portable, it would have to be an 11″ MacBook Air. Those things are just too portable and too pretty to ignore.

So that’s it and here is the final tally for February 2012:

  • Mac mini w/Thunderbolt Display (work)
  • Mac mini w/Thunderbolt Display (home office)
  • iPad 3 (travel)

Crazy? Yes, but part of my really likes it.

3 replies on “My Ideal Mac Setup: Feb 2012”

Given your work and home environment at this time, it makes sense to me. It is downright cost effective too. Things like DropBox make file synch painless too for current working files. Right now the MacBook Air 13″ has replaced my older MacBook Pro 15″ and I love it. As you say, circumstance will change in the future and that setup will probably change.

That’s always what I expect, changing times.

The price effectiveness comes in when I get an upgraded Mac mini in the future and don’t need to purchase another monitor. When you purchase an iMac, you buy a new monitor every time. So, greater outlay to start, greater flexibility in the end. Which makes sense to me: you pay more for flexibility.

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