Friday, April 16, 2010

Visual Basic Hardware & Software Configuration Guidance - Introduction

I recently purchased a new development laptop and prior to buying did a great deal of  research on the best hardware and more importantly best software configuration.  First, i was looking for more detail then the fastest CPU, most RAM and biggest 7200 RPM hard drive.  Second, I am committed to Visual Studio 2008/2010, so my questions we more about deployment options such as partitioning between primary and secondary hard drives, to run the IDE in a virtual machine or not and best OS (Server 2008, Windows7) options.

While i found a lot of general suggestions there was little specific guidance.  While i moved on and purchased my replacement development workstation and followed some of the advices i gleamed from the web I was left with the feeling that I cannot be alone in these questions.

So this will be my introductory post in a small series on the hardware and software configuration guidance for visual basic development environments.

To begin I have listed my current hardware for review and will address the decisions behind there purchase as we progress.

Primary workstation
My new primary workstation is aDell Precision m6500 mobile workstation.  It has an i7 CPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD primary drive (factory samsung), a 500GB 7200 RPM secondary drive (data, program files and virtual machines) and have it loaded into a docking station with two 24in Samsung HD monitors.

I don't remove the workstation from the docking station very often.  Rather I connect via remote desktop from my portable laptop, mac or home workstation.

My previous workstation (for about 3 years) was an Alienware m9750.  This was the best workstation available at the time of purchase and I still take it on trips when i need a large screen and a backup development environment.

Portable Laptop
I carry a Dell Mini9 (2GB RAM, 64GB SSD and Verizon USB EVDO wireless card) which I use to connect to the workstation while traveling.  Having been in the IT field for so long I have always been provided hardware by my employers and this was the first laptop I purchased with my own funds.  It came with 1GB of RAM and a 16GB hard drive with WinXP loaded.  I update the memory and hard drive and put WIndows 7 Beta 1 on it and have been very pleased with the performance.

With the exception of my current home workstation (primarily for the family) I have custom built every personnel workstation I have ever owned.  About 2 years ago I was busy working and broke down and bought a Dell Inspiron 530S  slim tower, 2GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, Nvidia Geforce 8200GS (which just died on my yesterday).

I stated really using and carrying smart phones/PDA's when compaq released the IPAQ.  It was a great device for its time.  I have used about every device since then (mostly windows mobile devices) and switched to an iPhone about two years ago.  Sometimes I miss tweaking with the PocketPC/Windows Mobile platform, however, the iPhone just works.  There are a lot of things I would change but It does a good job at calls, email, SMS, web and other applications.  

I do miss being able to develop for the device.  Recently I was forced to purchase a MAC (MacBook) to address some Silverlight issues on workstations running MAC/Safari and in the process have downloaded and started to review the iPhone development platform.  So expect to see some posts on that endeavor in the near future.

While now that full discloser on my current hardware status is documented we can move on to my current software configuration.  Then on to discussing better informed decisions on these topics.

Until next time...

No comments: