I am living in my SUV in Redwood City while working and learning to code using freecodeacademy. I am doing this to save money to invest in my learning of software development. I have completed about 100 of the coding challenegs on MFCC using just my iPhone and am looking to get a MacBook for under $350 if possible. If anyone can help me out I would be soooo grateful! Feel free to pm me
For $350, you can get a great laptop and put Linux on it. You should do that instead of hoping for a miracle. Also, I’d be neglecting my duties here if I didn’t mention that it’s a very bad idea to post your email and phone number on the internet. Be safe and use private messaging to give out contact info!
Thanks for the advise. Why Linux? My reasoning to go MacBook is whenever I am around a bunch of other programmers it seems like most of them are using MacBooks. I’ve never used Mac but figured I should start getting use to it that way when I need help there is more of a chance of finding someone to help with the OS I’m using.
Mac and Linux share some distant lineage as well as many of the same advantages for programmers. Linux has the benefit of being completely free, but lacks some of the snazzier applications in the Apple ecosystem (I loves me some iTerm).
It would take a lot more than a single post to give you the lay of the land here, but trust me when I say that you’d be able to do everything just fine on Linux, and if you decide to go with Mac when you get some more money, the transition won’t be difficult at all.
If you plan to seriously get into programming, you should use some form of Linux, as it’s the platform of choice for so many things in software development. Everything will just be easier to set up, and you’ll find that most jobs will use it as well, which will make any transitions easier.
Not that the Mac platform is bad, it’s just not quite as ideal for programming in particular—and I’d venture to guess that a “programmer” using a Mac likely just has some sort of personal attachment to the Apple/Mac ecosystem, rather than a logical reason to use it for programming in particular.
The only real advantage the Mac platform still has going for it today is the amount of niche Mac-only software available for certain purposes like graphic design and digital sound & music. Otherwise, if you plan on never getting into those areas, you should price out a laptop PC with the hardware components to match a MacBook Pro—and if you take the time to do that, the difference in price may just shock you and drive you to buy a laptop PC and put Linux on it.
Like PortableStick mentioned, a great laptop PC for $350 or less isn’t hard to find. I don’t know if the same can be said for an equivalent MacBook, well unless you can put up with an old model that you wouldn’t want to use in 2017…
Thanks but it looks like it already passed
I am using Ubuntu for 2 years now and I really like it. But after so much time I have customised a lot of things and some of those things kept breaking some stuff without notifying me and the experience degraded over time.
Now, I can do a clean reinstall and then carefully tweak all the things I want to change. But this time, I am going to install Mac on my Lenovo Y50 and try that. Mac and linux are mostly similar and it doesn’t matters if you are programming on linux or mac, it’s almost the same thing…
I’ll try Mac this time, Mainly because it has better battery backup than Ubuntu, It looks great and A lot of applications on Mac have extensions that you can use, Like spotify can be controlled using AppleScript and VSCode for Mac has an extension that allows you to control Spotify from editor.
I’ll try it and then maybe create a post on how good or bad is it…
For coding a Mac or a Linux computer should give you equivalent usability.
I’d go for a Thinkpad (good linux compatibility). Try the reddit thinkpad subreddit and ask your question there to see what suggestions they have for you.
I second the Thinkpad recommendation.
I’m currently looking for a cheap laptop myself and I found out that a 4 year old Thinkpad with 3rd generation i5 give you the best bang for your buck.
Used X230/T430/T530 (12", 14" and 15" displays) will cost you ~$250 plus ~$80…100 for a new original battery.
Example from ebay.com for $170:
Lenovo Thinkpad T430 14" Core i5 2.60GHz 8GB 500GB
You can shop around and find one with SSD and/or i7 processor.
I will echo all the Linux recommendations as the others. For your budget, you can get a decent used windows laptop and put Linux on it and it will be far better then an older MacBook would be. Plus some older MacBooks you run the risk of them dying and they aren’t cheap to repair. My fiancee had her older MBP(2010 ed) die (logic board(motherboard)) and it was smarter to just buy a whole new one then to repair it.
I just run Windows and keep Linux on a VM myself. I keep Linux in case there is something I need to do that can only be done in Linux.
I almost never open that VM. When I do it is mostly for the fun of tinkering with it. It does run really well on a VM (Linux Mint on VirualBox on a Dell XPS 15 host running Windows 10.)
I’ve written apps in Node / Express as well as .Net. I think Windows works great as a programming environment. (Go ahead, flame away, but it’s my honest experience and I’ve been doing this for years along with network engineering.)
You can easily nab a Windows laptop for $350, and VirtualBox is free, along with VMWare Player.
Nothing against Macbooks, but they aren’t cheap.
Since I’ve had good luck with Linux on my Dell, here is the lowest price Dell laptop I could find online: http://www.pcmag.com/review/346462/dell-inspiron-15-3000-series-3558
EDIT: On a laptop with the specs of the one I recommended, you probably want to go dual-boot rather than VM.
If it’s not too late, I actually several [6,1 Macbooks] (http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook/specs/macbook-core-2-duo-2.26-white-13-polycarbonate-unibody-late-2009-specs.html)
Picture of computers I’m selling them with 5GB of RAM and a charger for $300 plus shipping. They run El Capitan really nice, should run Seirra. I’m currently using one as my primary computer with a solid state drive and it works great. If you run into any issues in the next year with hardware issues because they are used you can send it back and I’ll fix it for you (excluding spills or smashing the computer).
Just a note, if you plan on dual booting linux on a windows laptop, be aware that linux and nvidia have some problems getting setup together… shouldn’t be a problem if you buy a low-end laptop though, lol
Im going to look at a Linux running laptop tomorrow. If anyone has time will you look at the ad here https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/sys/5992410921.html
and tell me what you think? It looks pretty legit to me but I really don’t know much about hardware
It’s an old piece of crap. It has 1gb of ram on it and max is 2gb. You won’t be able to do anything meaningful on that garbage.
You don’t have to buy laptop with Linux pre-installed you can install it yourself.
Look for Thinkpad T430 or T420 if you’re looking for 14" laptop.
Hey Michael, not sure if you already found another laptop. I got an old 2007 white macbook no longer using. I’ll wipe it clean, install sublime text for ya, and ship to you free if you think you’d use it. Might be a bit slow and you’d probably need to make sure to restart it every few hours to keep it from slowing to a crawl, but probably helpful till you find a good deal. Love to help a fellow coder in need, especially if you’re dedicated enough to be learning with no computer…
Also as a tip, you should check out your local libraries, I’m there all the time and yours might have better comps you can use for free with an online IDE like Codepen.io, jsfiddle.net, or gomix.com
I second the Windows/ Linux combo. It may seem like a lot of programmers have MacBook Pros, but from what I understand, is that until the last couple of years, they had the best hardware package - power in a small size. Then a lot of those people dual - booted to Windows for their real programming work.
I have been a Windows programmer for over 20 years and I think that there are many more jobs on Windows and Linux than Mac. And like others have said, Linux is free and it doesn’t take as many resources as Windows so it runs better on older, cheaper hardware. And you can run a Linux distro w/ whichever desktop of the many choices it there that you are comfortable with. Checkout some of the videos inn You Tube.