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So my 2012 macbook pro is getting near it’s end of life, so I was wondering which laptops do you recommend for programming.


For personal use and projects, I have a lenovo thinkpad T480s with a bunch of upgrades and linux. It’s really enjoyable. Reliable, lightweight but can handle a drop, nicest keyboard that a laptop can have, and afaik it;’s widely used by programmers. My work computer is a 2019 macbook pro, and it works well but IMO it’s not worth the price difference from the Lenovo. I also enjoyed my previous work computer more (Macbook Pro 2015), but I think that’s just because it had the escape key as an actual key.


Yeah I’m thinking of getting a thinkpad X


The new Macbook Pro 16" has an actual escape key again though 😉


I have an X extreme, and a work-issued T-series. The X is nice, but if I had to chose again, I would probably go for a T, if only because it feels sturdier.


Unless you need/want the GPU, of course


If price is no issue, the new MacBook pros is solid. Wsl2 on Windows is pretty legit, and Linux runs on lots of stuff, so you have a lot of options. The Lenovo t495 is legit. So many options.


i'm on a t495, it just works. oh and i have all the ports to make mac boys drool. 😄


Psh, who needs ports when you have a backpack full of dongles?


Is it really worth it to get a new macbook pro? I feel the only thing I would miss is the trackpad


I thought that too, but then I switched around from Linux to windows on a few different machines over the course of a year because I hated the Touch Bar and having no escape key, and while they all work, I just find myself screwing around less with my Mac to get it to where it is efficient for me.


It's all preference, no real reasons.


I can work on any of them, I just have to tinker less on my Mac to get it to do what I want.


I suspect you'll like the thinkpad too. My opinions aren't that strong. Either will work well, and one is WAY cheaper.


Even if you leave windows on the thinkpad, wsl2 is solid.


Oh another thing I would really miss: font rendering. On mac, fonts display beautifully, not so on linux sadly.


Yea, there are lots of little mostly pointless little things that add up to enough irritation that the Mac price bump is worth it to me. I know it's stupid, but it's worth it to me.

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I've been an Apple user since System 6 in the early '90s but I've been slowly switching over to Windows these last few years, and when my iMac dies, it'll get replaced with a Dell all-in-one I think. I want a full touch-screen. I've had a touch screen (Dell, Windows) laptop for seven years and I love it -- it's just too small/underpowered to do real work on -- and I just replaced my wife's iMac with a Dell all-in-one with a touch-screen and I love that.


I've been using WSL1 on the laptop for Clojure development as needed, along with the Powershell clj/`clojure` (installed via Scoop), but on the iMac I still use Terminal for all that -- but I run Windows 10 on it too via Parallels Desktop and I do everything except hardcore dev on the Windows side.


Yep, I don't think any OS will put you in a bad place for dev. It's a great time to be a developer.


My iPhone also mostly runs Microsoft apps (Cortana, Bing, Edge, ToDo, Outlook) because they're just more reliable and better-featured than Apple apps -- and I'm about to replace my iPhone with an Android (I've had iPhones almost since they came out but I'm done with them now).


I don’t really like windows for development. Last time I checked the terminal UX was really bad.


And I used to hate Microsoft! 🙂


The new Window terminal is really nice -- and open source.

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The new terminal with wsl2 works great.


I have Ubuntu as my shift-ctrl-1 shortcut in Windows terminal and Powershell as shift-ctrl-2 🙂


I'm sure wsl1 is good too. I just haven't used it much.


Oh yeah, Windows now comes with a bundled ubuntu system right?


Yea, you can't really go wrong. I think if the way you work jives with Windows, then use it. If it is Linux, sick. Mac, awesome. It all works.


I can't use WSL2 yet -- neither of my Windows setups support it. WSL1 is fine, it's just a bit slow.


Yea, wsl is the layer that makes it work. It's not just Ubuntu.


@pablore You can run several different user-mode Linux flavors via WSL


(and they're just regular, downloadable "apps" in the Windows Store)


You have to kind of be aware of how it works to avoid surpises, but once you are used to it, it's sweet.


Microsoft really is quite a changed beast these days. So much open source and out-in-the-open development.


FWIW I had an XPS13 9360 that worked great, bought a new XPS13 9380 and I'm going to return it soon -- the new series overheats like crazy and according to Dell everything is working as intended


buying a t495 instead


are you going to buy the Ryzen version or Intel version?


Awesome I would love to get some feedback especially about how Linux works on it. I was planning to buy a Lenovo as well


(overheats like crazy == 100c after 10s of 2 cores maxing out, and the cooling system can't do anything about it even after clock speeds get throttled down to <2ghz)


Yeah, I've heard a lot of complaints about Dell but I've had them for years with no problems. The same is true of most brands I think. I've had horrible experiences with Toshiba, HP, and... I think it was Fujitsu maybe? But other people swear by some of those...


the support used to be quite good but now it's horrific, it took me a full month to get them to accept the return, they kept blaming the problem on the software I was using, even though I made it clear that there was no specific software causing the problem


in the meantime they arranged for a motherboard replacement which did absolutely nothing and took 10 days to happen, as the engineer kept ghosting me after calling saying that he'd show up on the day


the engineer even forgot to reattach the microphone cable to the new motherboard so the visit not only didn't fix any of the issues, it introduced new ones


horrific experience all in all, I've been really happy with dell laptops for years before but I'm never going to be their customer again


but I can attest to win10 with wsl2 being really good, I've been an exclusively linux user since 2008, but since October I've been doing all my dev on wsl, it's really great


I cant stand windows or mac


Once I started developing straight on Linux


I just couldnt go back to either


So what I do is my laptop runs Linux. And my gaming PC runs windows because they have a monopoly on that mostly


As I'm fond of saying, the only windows I use are the ones you look out of.


However, I recognise that microsoft thesedays is certainly a different org that years ago, a sentiment echoed by Sean too. And I recognise the value they put back into the whole computing ecosystem more than they ever did


so, I'm not anti-microsoft, nor anti-windows, it's simply that I'm far far far more productive, comfortable and happier with Unix OS's, I primarily use Arch linux, with a mix of ubuntu and freebsd in my fleet of deployments (at home and at work) - and my laptop runs Arch


used linux from '00 to '08 on work machines, then had 3 years of mac (which ended up me running everything in a virtualbox with debian, since that was what my servers were running and there was no point to fight mac issues + not be able to debug linux issues). that was followed by not volunteered windows usage (microsoft took over the company i worked for, company vpn required windows for normal operations). i ended up doing a lot of stuff in a virtualbox .... which eventually lead to my departure from the company, back on linux only since 2015. don't really miss the "oh you have to virtualbox / some other vm tech to do your work well".


will keep on using linux for my work laptop until my servers run linux too.


all the operating systems are decent, but there is little point to fight native extension libraries on mac or windows if my servers don't use the specific versions.


less of an issue with java, big hurdles if you get to scripting languages that get picky with their native extensions and their versions / deps hell 🙂


I suspect that my leaning toward "nice" UIs with *nix under the hood (or at least alongside) dates back to working exclusively on a wide variety of *nix flavors starting back in 1979 and just being so happy to have something nicer to use than the clunky old window managers that I'd been forced to work with... 🙂


pretty sure that if i'd write c# stuff for windows servers - i would use a windows desktop


and if i'd have to write iphone apps i would use a mac


(and that was all C at the time, C++ starting in the early '90s, about when I bought my first Apple machine for home use!)


the golden days :’)


"When in Rome" 🙂


My first experience of Unix was Xenix - by microsoft, so I have something to thank them for there at least 🙂


my first *nix experience was sco unix


compared to minix and linux it was pretty horrid, but it supported the terminal classes that my high school was running


and yet, vim worked and cc worked too


that was enough to get me going


not vim, sorry, vi 🙂


@bronsa i'm sorry to hear about your experiences with dell -- i had a hardware failure just yesterday and was considering trying dell this time around. do you have any thoughts about alternatives?


My past few Linux laptops have been Lenovo X1 Carbon's now Extreme


can't fault them


i used to use thinkpads but with the various backdoor-like things, i'm wary of going lenovo. great keyboards and other input though -- at least on the high end.


i have seen a lenovo with a broken screen ... but the reasoning was easy, it was smashed in the airplane above head cargo door by a few times 😄


i wipe my lenovos with fresh linux installs ... no (visible at least) backdoors that i can tell after that 🙂


If you're worried about backdoors, then you would need to source, build the laptop yourself


Most components come from China....


i think there are options in-between


not sure about options


pretty sure 99% of ethernet and wifi cards are built in china


it's one thing to suspect, it's another thing to have repeated reports


at least looking at that google image link from estonia - first 12 or so images all had "made in china" written on them


when i'm concerned about network stuff, i use wired ethernet -- i also have some stuff from thinkpenguin. but anyway, the point for me atm, is that when a company repeatedly does something despite public feedback, it's not the sort of behavior you want to encourage.


i don't think you understand, this stuff is hard wired onto your motherboard, it has direct memory access over your machine


and most likely the ethernet chips have the same markings on them


i don't think you understand the main point -- it's not an all or nothing deal.


there are very few hardware parts which at current prices are profitable to be built outside of south-east asia regions


i was just pointing out that operating system backdoors may at least be visible to you 🙂, at hardware level i would consider all things possibly compromised. if you want to trust something - have an offline mfa device to secure things 🙂


i use an arch linux based distro -- that's not something i'm so concerned with 🙂


i don't believe in trust -- it's all gray


yes ... one person builds an android phone mfa auth, other person runs that in their pc in an emulator


to make things easier 😄


the first time i saw that happening i was facepalming pretty hard


by far the biggest backdoor is the Intel Management Engine, or AMT, which has known, public exploits. And that is an american company.


i usually work to make sure that's not enabled or on the machines i get


anyway, i'm not here to convince anyone -- we all have our own situations and views 🙂 just trying to consider some alternatives.