Open Thread: What Type of Computer Do You Use?

For most freelancers, particularly FreelanceFolder readers, work involves sitting in front of a computer.

Writers, designers, developers, and even many photographers use these magical boxes for just about everything they do. I personally average at least 8 hours per day on mine.

Like most other major choices, though, it seems there is no real consensus among freelancers on the best type of setup. Laptops are portable, but desktops are more powerful. PCs are cheaper, but Macs are much prettier (gross generalization). The point is this — everyone has their own personal needs and preferences, and choosing between the variety of options can be very difficult.

In this open thread, let’s try to help out anyone who is new to freelancing or in the market for a new computer. With all of our collective knowledge we might be able to provide some consensus on the best types of computers for various situations. Or, in the least, we can compare notes and provide some food for thought.

So, try to answer the following questions in the comments (or feel free to ask some of your own):

  1. Desktop or Laptop?
  2. What Operating System? (XP, Vista, OS X, etc…)
  3. Why do you like or dislike your current setup?
  4. For what situations would you recommend this setup?
  5. Any other advice?


  1. says

    I was under XP for years but I’m now on Mac Os, and it’s a pain to come back to windows when I have too. I’m working with a laptop, with a bigger screen, separated keyboard and mouse. That’s really convenient when I need to move, all my projects follow me.

    I’m a web developer so Mamp + Eclipse are all that matters… but the only drawback is that I must comeback to XP for Internet Explorer.

    That’s for my point of view :)

  2. says

    1. Laptop
    2. XP and Windows 7
    3. dislike – Old and slow, like – mobile
    4. Great for web developer, especially working from home. Chill on the porch and program while my son is playing in the sandbox.
    5. Use an external keyboard and mouse when on a desk, to alleviate possible hand and wrist injuries.

  3. says

    1. Desktop – Custom Built, three years ago. The best graphics card at the time. I just need to upgrade the ram from 2GB to 8 GB
    2. Windows 7
    3. I love it because it is fast and makes everything easy.
    4. I would recommend it for anyone doing very memory and visual intensive designing.
    5. Find a friend who is really good at builting computers and have him build it for you, you will save money and will have that friend to come fix the computer if it brakes.

  4. says

    Macbook Pro. I upgrade about every two years because I find that tends to be about the sweet spot for the computer still being worth something but for hardware to have advanced enough it’s time to upgrade.

  5. says

    1- Laptop (Macbook Pro)

    2- Mac OS X

    3- I like it cause it’s portable and still very powerful for a laptop.

    4- For the freelance designer that wants to be able to work from anywhere.

    5- Make sure you install something like Parallels to be able to run Windows and test sites in IE (or just use BootCamp) and also MAMP for local development if you need that. Oh and grab yourself a mouse and keyboard (save your laptop’s keyboard and trackpad and avoid RSI) :)

  6. says

    1. Desktop: Dual 2.8Ghz Processor, 4Gb RAM, 1TB~ish HDD (3 HDD’s), Dual 17 flat screen monitors, Wireless mouse/keyboard, so on and so on…

    2. XP media center 2005! I know…

    3. Likes: it works for what I’m doing at the moment, lots of screen space. Dislikes: it’s Windows, so everything I have to deal with that I wouldn’t on a Mac. See #5.

    4. Great for when you’re saving up for your Mac Pro!

    5. Get a Mac – they just work. Just recently I got a new font manager program, and not knowing what I was doing I accidentally deleted all my installed, and therefore system, fonts.

    I WAS ABLE TO DELETE THE SYSTEM FONTS! What kind of OS lets you delete stuff that’s being used?!? I’m hoping not Mac.

  7. says

    1. Desktop and laptop. Thinking about having a dual monitor setup on the desktop so I can keep my to-do list/calendar visible while working on other things

    2. Vista

    3. I like that I can look up research on one computer while working on a project on the other. Makes the process go way faster. I am going to add that second monitor though for a more streamlined workspace

    4. works quite well as a freelance writer/editor

    5. don’t turn on any IM tools while working. Some people just don’t get that freelancing really is a job :)

  8. says

    1. Desktop or Laptop?
    I use a desktop that I built back in 2003, wish I could afford a laptop.
    2. What Operating System? (XP, Vista, OS X, etc…)
    Ubuntu Linux, writing markup, php or css takes to long on win or mac.
    3. Why do you like or dislike your current setup?
    like: It gets the job done cheap.
    dislike: no “prestige”
    4. For what situations would you recommend this setup?
    Web developers, programmers, system admins
    5. Any other advice?
    Switch to linux.

  9. says

    1. Laptop (but about to change to desktop)
    2. XP (but about to get Vista with free upgrade to Windows 7)
    3. This setup is great for being mobile, but I need more horsepower as the laptop is slow.
    4. The laptop is great for freelancers who want to be location independent, so I will be keeping it as a spare.
    5. Still wondering whether I should have gone for a Mac

  10. says

    1 — Desktop, though I have a laptop I carry around quite a bit.

    2 — XP on the desktop, Vista on the laptop

    3 — Could use a larger center monitor. I run three screens (all 17″), but would like a larger one in the center. Pic:

    4 — Most anyone, but primarily those that multi-task online (social media, e-mail, to-do lists, etc.)

    5 — There are very few people that need to stay with one screen — most everyone should be on two (or more).
    Any other advice?

  11. says

    1. Laptop Macbook Pro.
    2. Mac OS 10.5 , waiting for Snow.
    3. Dislike little RAM (2), want more!
    4. Anything but more than 10,000 photos on Lightroom.

    Keep it real.

  12. says

    I have desktop computer and a laptop computer, both purchased within the last year. I use XP on both, and I bought Dell computers so I had the XP option over Vista.

    Overall it works quite well. I use an 8 gigabyte flash drive to transfer files from one computer to another. If you do this, be sure you set up a good system for transferring all of your files.

  13. says

    While I think it’s important to have a laptop, I use a desktop as my main computer. Something people forget is that you can use a lot more monitors with desktops. I am basically worthless only one monitor, and even two (the max most laptops allow) leaves something to be desired.

    Oh, and Windows (XP & Vista).

  14. says

    1. I usually prefer the desktop, because I have a dual-screen setup. I find that I’m much more productive with multiple screens.

    2. I switch back and forth between Ubuntu Linux 9.04 and OS X Leopard, using Virtualbox to virtualize Windows when I need to test IE.

    3. I’ve been a Linux user for almost 8 years, and I’m exceedingly happy to be rid of Microsoft. Just within the past month, however, I decided to give OS X a try and I was pleasantly surprised. It included most of the things I loved about Linux, such as the Unix structure and the Bash shell, and it improved a lot on the simplicity and usability. The only thing that I would change is the ability to use “focus-follows-mouse” in OS X instead of dealing with “click-to-focus”. It gets annoying having to click windows once to activate, and then a second time to interact.

    4. For what situations would you recommend this setup? I highly recommend Linux for anyone who can’t afford a Mac and for anyone wanting headless servers. Linux is fantastically efficient, performs extremely well even on low-end hardware, and has ultimate flexibility. For those who want to trade some of that flexibility for more simplicity and stlye, Mac is definitely the way to go!

    5. Any other advice? Stay away from Microsoft. Use Windows only when absolutely necessary, to test cross-platform compatibility.

  15. Tony says

    1. Desktop or Laptop?
    Both, but primarily laptop.

    2. What Operating System? (XP, Vista, OS X, etc…)
    Primarily OS X. Only use XP (via Parallels) for testing in IE.

    3. Why do you like or dislike your current setup?
    Love my current setup. All my computers are synced (via various methods, mostly using Dropbox,) so I’m never without my “stuff.” Since switching from Windows to OS X a few years ago, I can honestly say I’m more productive on the computer. OS X suits my workflow better and (mostly) stays out of my way.

    4. For what situations would you recommend this setup?
    Pretty much any situation. Very flexible setup for a wide variety of uses…

    5. Any other advice?
    Don’t let the cries of the “simplicity” of Mac OS (which are mostly true, BTW) fool you: under the hood OS X is full-blown Unix. It’s extremely powerful and infinitely flexible for those who *want* to tweak it. For those who don’t, it’s just plain simple.

  16. Julian says

    1. Desktop

    2. XP

    3. Far too old – got it in the year 2001.

    4. Basic Data Entry (although I use for graphic design, web development, and gaming such as Unreal Tornament and AoE2)

    5. Spend money buying a fast computer, they’re really good for multi-tasking and intensive multimedia work.

    Also, your machine will break down at some point, invest in an online storage service or at least an external hard drive to keep all your work files safe. Online storage is the best in my opinion as there’s more chance of a virus infecting your PC and external hard drive than an online service. You don’t want to lose your client’s work (and their money) just because of a faulty machine.

  17. says

    1. A desktop ( imac intel)
    2. Mac os x
    3. I would like to stay on mac as much as I can. I dislike xp so much the only good think of xp is for testing website on ie ( and I hate ie so much)
    4. Anyone who is doing a graphical stuff mac is a much and also it is really stable. The screen are usually really good too.
    5. You don’t really have to buy a big bomb on a mac cuz the model are not changing so much from one to other. Just get the high end and wait for feburary or july august ( after apple conference) to not buy something which will be upgraded two weeks later

  18. says

    1. Laptop, and I’ve been using them for long enough that I could never go back to a desktop, even if it was a better computer. Love my MacBook Pro.
    2. OSX
    3. Aside from the fact my computer’s a couple of years old now and has some issues with the battery and other such things, I adore it. I could probably get a little more out of Photoshop if I had a desktop with more memory (and no horrible overheating issues) but then I couldn’t work anywhere…
    4. Designers, illustrators… basically any creatives… who don’t want to sit at a desk all day.
    5. OSX is just so much more ELEGANT than Windows. I love it.

  19. says

    What a fortunate coincidence! I’m new to freelancing (in the writing/business communications field) and am about to buy a laptop. I have a Dell running XP which is about 3-4 years old as my desktop, but I know my market and turning up at a client’s office without a laptop will look baaaad…

    So, big decision time – Mac or PC? I spent a long time in a store playing around with MacBooks today, and I’m definitely leaning towards Mac because of the OS’s elegance and intuitiveness. Windows seems clunky by comparison. However, I have a question for you: MacBook or MacBook Pro? What reason should I have to spend that extra $200? Appreciate help from veteran freelancers.

  20. says

    1 = Laptop, portable
    2 = Windows 7 RC
    3 = I like the portability, although I hope to get a new desktop which I will use for work and only use my laptop for social stuff.
    4 = Well people moving around a lot obviously but also students or people with limited office space.
    5 = Try to separate work and social, being on twitter / facebook / having feed updates is not good work ethic.

  21. says

    1. Laptop. 13 inch.
    2. OS X
    3. Portability is a big plus. I’ve upped the memory in this machine, and it’s made working with it so much better and easier. I’ve also recently gotten a bigger screen that I can attach it to, and this is really nice when working with big images. It’s also really useful to separate the business from the play.
    4. Portability. It’s amazing. Also, this laptop is actually the cheapest option when it comes to specs and size of screen. Tell me where I can find a 13 inch screen (which I think is just perfect) for this price and I’ll admit defeat. Also, working on a Mac is nice. The only problem I have so far is still needing a Window’s machine for checking whether websites work on IE.
    5. Really, portability is such a big plus, it means you’re not stuck behind a desk when you don’t want to be.

  22. Matt says

    1. Desktop
    2. Mac OS X 10.5
    3. Like: Just about everything. Everything just…works.
    Dislike: Screen is a bit glossy.
    4. Everyone who wants to use their machine to get stuff done.
    5. Had a laptop for years. When it finally wore out, I went back to a desktop. Laptops are convenient, but if it’s too easy to take your work with you, then you will. Plus, as far as laptops have come, the features/power per dollar of a desktop is still much better deal.

  23. Nick Parsons says

    This is a pretty neat idea! It’s cool to see what other freelancers are using.

    My primary machine is a desktop that runs on Vista (single 17″ monitor). I also use a borrowed Macbook, mostly for testing in Firefox, Safari and Opera. I would love to upgrade to full time Mac-use, but I’m more familiar with Windows and quite honestly, I just can’t afford a mac right now.

    I really prefer the desktop setup because 1) It’s more powerful and 2) Sitting at my desk helps put me in a ‘work’ frame of mind and helps me stay focused.

  24. says

    1. One of each. Older Dell D410 and a custom desktop with a 3.0Ghz Dual Athlon, 4GB RAM, dual 19″ widescreens, etc etc etc.
    2. XP and Ubuntu 9.04 on the lappy and Win7 64-bit on the desktop
    3. Dell is light, fast, runs pretty cool and has tons of power for writing and such. Desktop was built for less than $200 bucks using a case and PS from an old setup. From a value standpoint, you just can’t beat it.
    4. Anyone, really. I mean, there’s not much the desktop can’t do, it’s seriously overpowered for writing, coding, and doing a little graphics work.
    5. Don’t throw your copies of XP away yet… Win7 is great, slick, and fast, but still a bit buggy. I’m running RC Build 7100, have a few driver issues with graphics card, etc. Overall, pleased, but not giving up on XP yet.

  25. says

    1- Desktop on Imac 24″, & Laptop (majorly laptop) on a 15″ 2.8 macbook pro unibody
    2- Mac OSX 10.5.7 and very, very occasionaly XP (for browser tests only)
    3- Windows based pcs go hulky after a time, even if you put xeon processors and 16gb rams on them. Startup times go longer, programs open in longer time as soon as you install news ones etc.

    Mac OSX beats win os’s in numerous ways consistency in speed and performance, more elegant interface, more user friendly, NO crashes and NO viruses. Not to mention the amazing apps for Mac like Coda for coders, Littlesnapper for inspiration tracking =)

    So I don’t have anything at all that I dislike.

    4- Anyone. It’s #1 for designers, and perfect for the rest. Even code people are switching to Mac recently even more and more.

  26. says

    1. Laptop – Macbook

    2. OS 10.5.7

    3. I like that it’s cute and can do incredible stuff! Including running Windows :-) Plus the software for Mac seem to be cheaper than the ones for Windows. I like how easy it is to make videos without buying additional software (I make marketing videos for clients).

    I dislike that my kids have access to it and I have a hard time getting them off it when I need to work.

    4. The Macbook is perfect for writers and bloggers. However, if you need more power (perhaps designers & video makers), you’re better off with the Macbook Pro – which now costs just as much as my Macbook did a year ago.

  27. Unit B says

    1. Desktop G5 dual 1.8 PPC; Laptop 15″ Macbook Pro
    2. Desktop OS X 10.4.11; Laptop OS X 10.5.7
    3. All my graphics software operates pretty flawlessly, but I should have updated the G5 to Leopard by now
    4. When I need to focus in a quiet setting, the desktop is great, connected to a large monitor. When I need the buzz of people and activity, the laptop goes to the coffee shop. Either a thumb drive or my wireless network drive helps coordinate the two.
    5. Backup, backup, backup. Multiple times, when available. I had Adobe CS4 backed up on a big thumb drive that FAILED. Replaced by the manufacturer, but still… I also had it backed up elsewhere, so the hit was really just time consuming. Back everything up, and even store a copy in a safe deposit box when you can. Have I mentioned backup?!

  28. says

    8-Core Mac Pro (Intel)
    Mac OS X: 10.5.7 (Jaguar)
    Processor: 2 x 3 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Memory: 9 GB RAM
    Graphics Card: ATI Radeon X1900 XT
    Displays: Dual 20” Widescreens (Dell E207WFP)

    I’m a freelance Motion Designer, and although this beast cost me $5k, it’s been well worth it, drastically improving my workflow and my render times.

    Don’t buy a PC if you’re a designer or animator. It will work, however PC’s are less stable, and less efficient.

    Switched to a Mac 4 years ago, and won’t go back. Ever.

  29. says

    1. Desktop or Laptop? MacBook & iMac

    2. What Operating System? OSX Tiger & Leopard

    3. Why do you like or dislike your current setup? Love it. Only need to find a way to synchronize the two machines better

  30. says

    I primarily use a laptop PC running Windows XP. I choose a PC over a Mac because it’s what I’m used to, because I’m a web developer and I like to test sites in legacy browsers running natively on my system, and because I work with several Mac based developers who count on me to help them test as well. I prefer a laptop because I can take it outside to work on the porch on nice days. :-)

  31. says

    Macbook Pro (17″) with max RAM (when I can afford, I’ll upgrade to the unibody MBP, 17″ and upgrade to the 8GB RAM with Snow Leopard)

    Soon to have dual monitor setup when at home office.

    OS X and XP (Parallels or Bootcamp)

    External keyboard/mouse/wacom tablet. Plenty power for work, even good for 3D with maya.

    External Drives for backup/storage. Portable USB 250GB drive for full Freelance files.

  32. says

    1. Both desktop and laptop
    2. Vista on both
    3. I have desktop which is my main computer because of performance. I have dual monitor setup which boosts my productivity. I use laptop for going to client meeting, or working outside of home. I use briefcase in vista so my computers are sync at all time.
    4. Since I’m Flash developer (programmer), dual monitor is MUST for me, to have design on one monitor and code on the other. For me, laptop isn’t for heavy development.
    5. If you can afford it, have multiple monitor setup. Guaranteed boost in your work performance (if you only need Word, discard this :-))

  33. says

    1. MacBook Pro Unibody 15” (Nov 2008)
    2. Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.7
    3. I fell in love with my current setup because the Mac is super fast to use for both web design and motion graphics. I run After Effects, Cinema 4D, Photoshop with no issues at all with a lot of open programs, lot of multitasking and no slowdowns. Also being a laptop means that I can carry it for delivering keynote, showing the project to the client and working with my teamates.
    4. My configurations work for everyone that hasn’t a particular need for high power (Pros configuration like quad-core processors and so on) and needs mobility. The MacBook Pro is very light compared to other laptops and is also very durable. It fell from a considerable distance and it got just a small dent in one of the corners… a plastic PC should have broken.
    5. Use an external big HD at home for storage and bring other smaller with you for your everyday needs (WD has pretty good stuff). Also if you want use the laptop in combo with a 20” or 22” display.

  34. says

    1. Desktop – More power, less money.
    2. XP – Vista is terrible, personally don’t like the mac interface.
    3. No dislikes.
    4. Any.
    5. Mac and PC hardware are identical now-a-days and obviously the industry standard softwares are the same. Don’t bother arguing which platform is better for design, pick the one your most comfortable with.

  35. says

    I’m working as a developer, primariliy on the web.

    1. Desktop or Laptop?
    I use both. An iMac and a MacBook.

    2. What Operating System? (XP, Vista, OS X, etc…)
    Mac OS X on both and Windows 2000 and XP in virtual machines for testing.

    3. Why do you like or dislike your current setup?
    I like my setup because the MacBook offers me portability, so I can easily do a presentation or even work elsewhere while my iMac offers me the screen size I often need. Because I keep data in sync on both machines one could even fail and I’d still be able to make a living with the other one and earn the money for a new Mac..
    I switched to Mac begnning of ’08 and can’t imagine switching back. The system itself as well as the software stack seems to be focused so much more on the everyday needs of users, is well tested and affordable.

    4. For what situations would you recommend this setup?
    To everyone who has the freedom of choice.

    5. Any other advice?
    Don’t forget to have an external backup running.

  36. says

    1. Laptop (Macbook Unibody 2.4Ghz, 4MB) With LG 21″ Screen, separated apple mouse and keyboard. 2nd Laptop Acer with Windows XP)

    2. Both Mac Os X and Windows XP on the 2nd Laptop.

    3. I was a PC user for over 16 years and now I’ve moved to the Mac OS X. Should’ve done years ago, but since the price for these computers here in Brazil are so high, I had to save some serious cash in order to buy it. Very pleased with my change. Fast, stable and very very prety!

    4. I’m a webdesigner/designer/art director freelancer. It’s perfect for my freelance job. I can take my Macbook with me everywhere and at home it looks like a desktop station with 2 screens. The only problem is that I have to use a PC Laptop with Windows to review websites in Windows Explorer and convert some of the final graphic material that I do in Illustrator to Corel Draw, since that format is standard for the graphic industry here in Brazil.

    5. If you are a Mac user, buy a cheap laptop to review your websites, don’t install Windows on your Mac. Buy a powerfull Macbook and an external 24″ Monitor and backup harddrive. You are all set!

    Best luck to all,
    Bruno Lima

  37. says

    1. Desktop and Laptop .
    2. Desktop running on Xp while Laptop is on Vista.
    3. I am fully satisfied with both of them.
    4. Its on One’s Choice
    5. Advice Take Original Softwares. Safe your Work.

  38. says

    1. Laptop, a Sony Vaio SR Series. 13″, very powerful. With a 19″ screen, and separate wireless mouse and keyboard.

    2. I’m on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope and XP via VirtualBox.

    3. Would like to have photoshop running correctly on Ubuntu. The only non open-source software i need.
    I would have the docking station for my Vaio to avoid to plug and unplug all wireless recepter all the time.

    4. I do Web Design/Development on this setup.

    5. Just give a try to Ubuntu !

  39. says

    I do my Design and Illustration work on a 64bit custom built PC
    (3.2 ghz QuadCores, 16gb Ram, 2x500gb SATA/RAID, Dual Nvidia 9600, dual 22″ Monitors)
    Cost me about 1500 Euros less than the cheapest mac pro and even though I used a mac for years I can´t trade off the price/power difference anymore.

    Windows 7 RC 7100 64 bit with Adobe CS4 Master collection deals with anything I need to do and is blazingly fast. (my XP Pro system hasn´t been booted in months) Windows 7 is IMO better than OSX and offers me better compatibility with clients and for testing web dev projects. Added to the fact that Photoshop 64bit isn´t even available for OSX.

    Most important things for a “professional”: Backup, Backup and Backup plus a good Antivirus/Firewall software.

    I look at macs at least once a week but see the affordable macs more as Desktop Candy rather than as serious tools for designers.

    Windows 7 will make a huge impact on the OS market.

  40. says

    1. Desktop – Athlon 64 3000+, 2GB RAM, ATI x1300

    2. Windows 7

    3. I like the stability, which will increase even more once I install the final version of Windows 7. I dislike the fact that I’ll probably have to upgrade my motherboard, processor and graphics card soon. :)

    4. Well, I use this setup mostly for web design and development and it is performing very well. The only problem I have is that Photoshop CS4 won’t recognize the drivers for my ATI graphics card so I don’t have OpenGL support. I hope that will change soon (even if I have to get some new hardware).

    5. Pretty much what everyone else has said: backup regularly, cash out for a second monitor and create a creative environment for yourself. :D

  41. says

    1. Desktop and Netbook
    2. XP, Vista and OS X
    3. Desktop: stable (+), Netbook: disk size (-), speed (-)
    4. Desktop: working at home. Netbook: working out or while visiting clients.
    5. Make sure you have a good mouse and keyboard. You need the all the time!!

  42. says

    1. Desktop or Laptop?

    I have 2 laptops and 8 desktops. They aren’t as glamorous as they sound…trust me. The one I use the most and couldn’t live without is my newest laptop. I use it for everything. It truly is my “baby”.

    2. What Operating System? (XP, Vista, OS X, etc…)

    All of ‘em are running a Microsoft OS. My baby has Vista and although I thought I’d hate it, I actually love Vista the more I get to know it. It really does come down to personal preference. Don’t hold it against me! ;-)

    3. Why do you like or dislike your current setup?

    The only “dislike” I have about my setup is that I don’t have a Mac and I’d like to have one. If y’all know of anyone willing to donate a used one to the “Get Emily A Mac Program”, let me know!

    Otherwise I love the setup I have. I’m a designer (who just happens to be burning her brain up learning to code) and what I have is perfect for what I do.

    4. For what situations would you recommend this setup?

    Uh, for designing on the road. Um, checking on the WNBA scores. And email? It’s not that sophisticated. But I wouldn’t recommend it if you like desktops…because it’s a laptop. :)

    5. Any other advice?

    Listen to advice, read reviews, fiddle, pick your setup, and know that it doesn’t matter if no one else would be caught dead with what you’ve chosen. If it works for you, to hell with the rest of us!

    Also, in my humble opinion, the software is much more important than the hardware (as long as the hardware will hold AND run the software). You can have the fastest computer on the planet and 4500 monitors….but it’ll be damn hard to make a website look good if you have to draw it up using MS Paint!

    But that’s just me. :)

  43. says

    1. Desktop (iMac), Laptop (MacBook Pro), Netbook (Acer AO)

    2. OSX on all (including AAO), Vista via parallels on iMac & MBP

    3. I have dual monitors with iMac and MBP (when at desk). I love how versatile it is.

    4. Anyone who has a home office, but often works out and about (in cafes etc.)

    5. Get a Mac

  44. Kevin Tomasic says

    Desktop or Laptop?
    MacBook Pro 17″

    What Operating System? (XP, Vista, OS X, etc…)
    OSX with Parallels running XP

    Why do you like or dislike your current setup?
    I’m a Mac person from way back but I also need a PC for testing, so I bought a MacBook Pro and now I have the best of both worlds. I have a 3-year old Sony Vaio notebook that’s been collecting dust for the last year or so since I got my Mac, and I don’t think I’ll ever have a use for it again. The setup I have now is perfect for my needs.

    For what situations would you recommend this setup?
    For web designers/developers, this setup works very well. I have 2 computers in one. Actually, I have like 4 computers in one. With Parallels I can clone my Windows installs and configure them differently, so I have 3 Windows XP configurations with different browsing capabilities:

    1. IE6
    2. IE7 & Firefox
    3. IE8 & Chrome

    Plus I have the Mac OS with Safari, Firefox, etc. so I have a complete & portable website testing station.

    Any other advice?
    If you get this setup, I would recommend dual screens.

  45. says

    1. Desktop, but when I started out a few years ago I used a Dell laptop for everything. I built my current desktop and my laptop is four years old and still running strong.

    2. XP Pro.

    3. My desktop rocks, it’s game-machine fast (though I need to wipe the hard drive and clean it up a bit). When my laptop finally dies, I’ll replace it with a Mac just because I think it would be nice to have both PC and Mac for testing websites. I’m a PC person all the way, but very open to anything that helps me be a more efficient developer.

    I’ve had dual monitors since January – that is a hugely helpful setup for any web designer/developer and I am tempted to add another.

    4. For what situations would you recommend this setup? Good for any web pro – I use GoodSync to keep the web files and client folders on my desktop and laptop synced, so when I take my laptop to a meeting it’s just like bringing the desktop with me.

    5. Dual monitors were something I never thought I needed, but I was very wrong. It’s helped so much now that I can view a browser in one window and my code in another. Make sure to get a heavy duty monitor stand though; mine cost more than one monitor but it’s very steady.

  46. says

    iMac 24″ & MacBook Pro 15″ unibody
    4GB Ram ea.

    iMac with Wacom tablet (6×8) & keyboard on pull-out, mouse above on desk. I primarily use the pen because it’s more natural–especially for graphics–and alleviates wrist pain. I work on desktop when using InDesign, Illustrator & Photoshop–can’t beat the large screen and subdued lighting in my office.

    MacBook Pro (could cry bc 6 mos. after purchase they released 17″ unibody w/no-glare screen!). Oh well! Like the laptop for working in different environment (deck, sofa, away).
    Love laptop for email, writing, and coding. Also have a 4×3 Wacom (got it free years ago!) to take along–cannot do graphics w/trackpad. ;-)

    My only complaint is that I haven’t found a good solution to keep the two computers synced. iDisk is OK for mail & contacts, but not much else. I really messed up my files when I tried to alias them to automatically sync via iDisk. So now I use Dropbox to share files over both machines.

  47. says

    1. Laptop (Acer Aspire 5315)
    2. Linux (Ubuntu 8.10)
    3. Wish I had a Mac…
    4. Excelent for web development/online marketing. Good for design. (sometimes Photoshop CS 2 under Wine it`s not a very good choice).
    5. No

  48. says

    :) Thanks for the great discussion! It’s been fun to read other freelancers’ setups and hear more hullabaloo between Mac and PC users. Usually threads like this spin off into “Macs Rule, PC-users Drool” arguments.

    1. Desktop or Laptop?
    Two desktops (PC), two laptops (PC), aching to try a beefy Mac (but probably going to build my own “Hackintosh” and run OSX… Adding a Kindle soon.

    2. What Operating System? (XP, Vista, OS X, etc…)
    XP on the “Mother Ship” – the biggest machine with dual monitors and all my expensive software. Vista Ultimate on one laptop, Windows 7 on other PC and Laptop.

    3. Why do you like or dislike your current setup?
    My wireless broadband internet access (you know, the USB “dongle” that you can plug in to anything and have access anywhere) has to run through a special router for the home office machines to all access the Internet at all times. Nice thing: I can take it with me and have complete access anywhere, like hurtling down Interstate 80 through Wyoming or Nevada on vacation & still being able to handle clients’ needs (while husband drives, of course!). Right now, the router is asking us for a password that my dear husband has apparently forgotten, so none of the machines can link to my “Sprint WiPipe” & I can only be online on one machine at a time. Rrrr. But because husband has a wireless card (or broadband dongle, whatever you want to call it), people in the home office can have Internet access if I leave. It’s just a snag, but I’m not looking forward to sitting on the phone with tech support to fix it!

    4. For what situations would you recommend this setup?
    If you need to travel with your Internet access, you can’t beat it! Also, download/upload times are amazingly fast compared to Satellite Internet or DSL. We live in a beautiful, rural location (very near Silicon Valley, though) that has no cable access, and we’re not shelling out for a T-1, so the wireless broadband covers us. If you can get a signal and you need agility and portability, I can’t recommend this enough!

    5. Any other advice?
    I’ve run a virtual MAC on my PC for testing, and I’ve played with a virtual PC on a Mac — all for Browser Compatibility and to use different versions of software, but it’s also nice to be able to use “incompatible files”. VMware works great for me! If you need a PC and have a mac, can’t beat it… ***Also – a bit off topic for the at-home Freelance working mother – it’s nice to actually have an office with a door on it, which I don’t have, because a Mom is never really off duty & distractions abound.

  49. says

    1. Desktop or Laptop? – Laptop
    2. What Operating System? (XP, Vista, OS X, etc…) – XP
    3. Why do you like or dislike your current setup? – I feel I need a seperate computer for my personal stuff (music, movies, etc…)
    4. For what situations would you recommend this setup? – Someone who likes to travel.
    5. Any other advice? – If you like to travel and/or need to take your work with you wherever you may be for the day, a laptop is great.

  50. says

    I spend 90% of time from the time for which I am at home in front of my PC.

    I use Desktop PC with Windows XP.

    I use it because its carefully assembled by me. So I like it very much. Also I have multiple hard drives (internal) so I frequently change it.

    I would suggest desktop because, you can upgrade it in future on your own.

    Go with what you like and with what you are comfortable with……

  51. says

    I have an iMac as a desktop computer to do all of my heavy work. When I need a change of scenery or would just like to spend my day working on the sofa I have a Vista laptop chugging away in the background.

    I use both equally and sync both computers via dropbox.

  52. says

    On my primary set up I use:

    1. Macbook (Mac Laptop), white 2.2 gzh Intel Core 2 duo, 4 gb ram (self upgrade) 120gb hdd
    2. OS X 10.5
    3. I have a Acer AL2216 W monitor with dual inputs (vga and dvi) I really wish it was HDMI. I would spend an extra 100 or so and get something with HDMI and clearer color next time to also double as a TV. I have an Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse, which I hate, the scroll ball always sticks Microsoft or LogicTech mice are better. I have a griffin Elevator, which makes it really nice for coffee shops with the mouse and keyboard.
    Basically: 1 22″ widescreen display hooked up to the macbook via DVI, also using the built in display for email and itunes, LogicTech Speakers with sub (about $30 any office supply store). I would switch out the current Apple Keyboard and Mouse for a LogicTech basic keyboard with a really nice MS or LT mouse.
    4. This is great if you do a lot of web design wouldn’t be good if you need more then a 2 windows of code open, at that point 3-4 monitors would be required. So basic web designers and students/writers. If you’re a pro try to go Triple screen or get a 30″ LCD .
    White macbook is good for writers and people who don’t need a lot but I would prefer to have the silver pro series.
    Dualscreen is nice, however get the Silver Macbook Pro 13″ and use the Dual Link DVI and get 2 22″ screens rather then the 13″ and 22″ set up. Then push stuff like email and itunes to the macbook and photoshop/coding to the two primary screens.

    Windows set up:

    1. Bare bones Shuttle PC model (SN95V30), 2 gzh AMD Athlon Dual Core, 512 mb ram, 80 GB hd
    2. Windows XP
    3. Needs more ram needs bigger HD. That said the processor cannot handle Virtualization which is fine, the price was Good (FREE!), got it from my Dad. I use it to test windows Browsers over RDC, and to run stuff like visual studio
    4. Windows testing
    5. Can’t find drivers. Unless you can find this for free buy something else. a Cheap Dell even….

  53. says

    1. Desktop or Laptop?
    – Both. Desktop for providing remote support while at home. Laptop for onsite computer repair where I need my software troubleshooting tools

    2. What Operating System? (XP, Vista, OS X, etc…)
    – Windows XP at the moment. I will try out Windows 7 when it comes out. When I have the “extra” money I will purchase a Macbook so I can start providing computer support to the Mac market as well.

    3. Why do you like or dislike your current setup?
    – I don’t currently have enough room to work on computers that I bring home. The space I created is adequate, but when my daughter is doing her homework I can’t do my after hours computer work.

    4. For what situations would you recommend this setup?
    – If I had a spare room, then I would turn that into my computer repair office. But I do well with what I have available.

    5. Any other advice?
    – The biggest advice is one that I have gleaned from Freelance Folder. Be consistent, reliable, reputable, honest.

  54. says

    1. Laptop
    2. Ubuntu
    3. 15.6″ screen makes it portable enough to take it anywhere including school or the library, but still large enough to look at the screen comfortably. Operating system is fantastic and free, and the software and learning tools available specifically for linux make for an added bonus. In terms of dislikes, I’ve been mucking around with my wireless for a while now. Router was the problem before, but now after changing it, I’m not sure what is bottlenecking everything. The laptop just can’t hold a persistent connection very well, although I still suspect it’s because of my network settings.
    4. School, or basic work. Ubuntu is one of the user friendly distros available, and is perfect for such uses as word processing and all that common stuff. Some other linux distros are particularly nice as design and web development environments.

    1. Desktop
    2. Vista 64bit
    3. i7 920 @ 3.8ghz runs cool and can tackle anything I throw at it, and darn fast too. Don’t have to worry about rendering times with this thing, as those 8 threads can take on the world.
    4. It’s my multimedia desktop. I’ll be making something in photoshop, with 3d studio max rendering in the background, and while burning a cd as well. If you’re going into programming, 3d design, animation, game development (big one in my area), then definitely essential. Oh, and if you’re a gamer, it’ll of course dish out some great settings on just about anything you throw at it, and look darn nice with my 1080p display.

  55. says

    1. I have a desktop on which I do most of my work. But I also have a netbook for when I’m traveling, meeting clients, etc.

    2. Most of my work I do with Ubuntu Jaunty, but keep an XP partition for IE testing, Photoshop and the occasional Flash (shudder).
    My netbook has Ubuntu Netbook Remix and Windows 7.

    3. I dislike having to reboot often, but wine and virtualization just won’t cut it. I love how easy and transparent everything is under Linux, it’s great for what I do. I really would like a second monitor though.

    4. Anyone who builds websites for LAMPP servers.

    5. As someone said above: try Ubuntu some time when you have some downtime.

  56. says

    1. Desktop or Laptop? Desktop (i have a laptop for surfing and travel, but rarely use it for work.)

    2. What Operating System? OSX

    3. Why do you like or dislike your current setup? My current one is dying. My new one is on its way and should be here by Wednesday. Can’t wait! it’s much faster with more RAM. Only drawback is having to install everything again.

    4. For what situations would you recommend this setup? Graphic or web design. Mac is the way to go. I wish it were easier to access my files from outside my office, but then again, it’s nice to be able to get away and NOT have the ability to work.

    5. Any other advice? Buy the best computer you can. Mine lasted 6 years. They actually called it ‘vintage’ at the Apple store. It still runs fast even by today’s standards bc at the time, i bought the best one they had.

  57. says

    1. Desktop + netbook. Last one is primarely being used if I have to work at the client’s location or when travelling around. First one is used for the hard work ;)

    2. Linux. Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS on the main system (desktop) and an Eee PC-optimized distro (based on Ubuntu) on the Netbook.

    3. Its wwwwway easier working in the native environment 95% of your applications and sites are going to run. Also, there are niceties like native virtual desktops, sshfs, (curl)ftpfs, X-over-SSH tunneling, and much much more stuff that eases the daily life of a web developer that would take too much time listing it here.

    If I’ being forced to come back to clumsy environments like Windoze – well, the introductions already tells it: Using it feels somewhat unfinished, behaviour is clumsy and half-baked …

    Thanks to the current multi-CPU-generation, the point of stability is not so much the matter than the usability and easiness of a current operation system. I’ve been with windows (and DOS and also CP/M) for a long long time, so I would call myself a pro or at least a very advanced user of this platform, but I didnt have the same satisfaction while using it that I have now by using one of my Debian-based or derivated distributions.

    Only the virtual machine lets Windoze happen to me – that’s just for testing my web applications and sites in IE, Safari and Google Chrome / Iron. And of course, sometimes for using Photoshop, although GIMP 2.6 has gained muuuch more of my attention by now thanks to its finally UNcluttered interface. For web productions I’m mostly using Inkscape and some command-line tools like ImageMagick or optipng, Photoshop and Freehand / Illustrator are seldom called up for this – and these times get fewer and fewer, while I get more and more satisfied with the performance (and also my knowledge) of the first ones.

    4. I’d recommend this specific setup to anyone who is a webdeveloper or webdesigner by heart.

    5. Help yourself to a netbook – stay away from chunky notebookses! Stick to simplicity. Enhances your ability to create and work ;)

    cu, w0lf.

  58. says

    1. Desktop & Laptop. Desktop for big work at home & laptop for small work on the go.
    2. Vista
    3. I don’t like my office, way to cluttered.
    4. If you work with creating apps and programs.
    5. Try using two monitors on your desktop.

  59. says

    Desktop or Laptop? – Desktop
    What Operating System? (XP, Vista, OS X, etc…)– XP 64 bit much faster with large files and memory
    Why do you like or dislike your current setup?—-like its speed and its very stable.
    For what situations would you recommend this setup?If you’re working on 3D and video montage
    Any other advice?
    Buy Quads best choice I ever made for my comp.

  60. says

    1. None, I use a Netbook (Eee PC 900). My Desktop has been gathering dust for quite some time now.

    2. Kubuntu 9.04

    3. I like it because it’s ultra-portable, more than powerfull enough for my needs as a Developer/Designer and because it’s expendable: should it break or be stolen I can just buy another one, restore from my backups and I’m back to work!

    4. I’d recommend it for anyone who does Web work without relying in Adobe’s bloatware, a netbook just isn’t enough if you need Creative Suite.

    5. Go Unix, it doesn’t matter if it’s Linux, a BSD, Solaris or a Mac (If you can afford one). You’ll be a lot more productive once you don’t have to babysitt your OS.

  61. says

    1. Desktop. And a laptop when I am out.

    2. XP on Desktop, Windows 7 on Laptop

    3. I get to work wherever I am.

    4. For Anyone. Having a laptop as back up allows you to get out of the house more often without thinking of the work you might miss.

    5. Invest in your computer.

  62. says

    1. Desktop or Laptop? – I love my Laptop,

    2. What Operating System? – Vista, it’s okay with me.

    3. Why do you like or dislike your current setup? – Did I already mention that I love my Laptop ;-) I would never ever want something else since I love to work in different locations (sometimes home, coffee shops, libraries or a friends home to maybe work on a project together) and I also love to travel. If you need some travel advise ask my Laptop ;-).

    4. For what situations would you recommend this setup? – A Laptop is great for anyone who loves to be mobile and does not need lots of extra equipment while working. I think it really depends on your work habit.

    5. Love your computer, its your best workmate :-)

  63. says

    1. Desktop
    2. Vista
    3. I like it because it’s easy, and it works, but I wish it wasn’t so cluttered.
    4. Any freelancing profession can work with this setup.
    5. Desktops are nice if you want to stay in one room, but get a Laptop if you want to work outside

  64. says

    1. Laptop
    2. OS X
    3. I don’t think I’d ever go back to a desktop. There are just too many benefits to being portable.
    4. Don’t limit yourself to free software. There’s tons of good (and cheap) software out there.
    5. Investing in a good setup (software and hardware) is one of the best and easiest ways to boost your productivity.

  65. says

    After using windows and Ubuntu, I recently switched to a 17″ Macbook Pro. In my office I use it together with another 19″ screen, keyboard and mouse. This way I have the comfort of a desktop, but I’m still very mobile when needed.
    I still have to use Windows (in a virual machine) for some projects, but I’m always glad when I come back to my OSX, so far the best operating system I’ve used. It’s as easy as windows and solid as Linux.
    As a developer, I hate losing time fixing hardware and software setups, I need my thime to do the work I’m paid for. So I recommand OSX for every freelancer out there.

  66. says

    I have two setups, one for the office and a laptop for when I’m at home or on the road.

    My office setup is a dual quad core mac pro with 10GB of RAM, a 23″ cinema display and two 19″ samsung monitors on each side.

    My laptop is a 17″ mac book pro with vmware fusion so I can run windows xp and/or ubuntu alongside osx.

    I use mac os for day-to-day tasks, project management, and design and html/css. For web design I use CS4 master collection, textmate (sometimes espresso), cssedit (my favorite css tool), versions, and transmit.

    When I’m past the html/css stage, and am into the programming, I run apache, mysql, php on my ubuntu VM and use Zend and SVN for programming. Then I test in xp and osx through VMware.

  67. says

    I am a cross platform user–I have a Macbook Pro, a Gateway laptop running VIsta and an older desktop PC running XP. I’ve found having cross-platform capabilities is better in some cases, but it’s really more a convenience.

    On the Mac I run OfficeMac which pretty much takes care of everything I need, and I never bothered going dual-boot. I like the idea of the Mac as being completely separated from windows virus issues.

    When I do audio and video editing work (not often these days since I like to stick to the writing) I use the Mac exclusively.

  68. says

    I use a laptop for everything. I have ditched the desktop ever since I bought my first laptop, which was a Gateway MX7525.

    Currently, I am dual-booting Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows 7 RC. I use Vista for everyday work for my company and 7 for my own freelance business career. Personally, I prefer 7 over Vista for obvious reasons. I also own a Macbook to test my websites on browser compatibilities on Safari for Mac. I personally prefer using my laptop PC to do the designing and development though as it is a much more powerful machine.

    I love everything on my current setup on my laptop PC. It is powerful (Intel Core2Duo 2.4Ghz 3GB RAM, Dual HDD, Windows 7 64-bit.) and has all the tools and programs I need for my development environment.

    I would recommend my setup to anyone that has a tight budget. I admit I am a little biased for PC, but it is not hard to say that I wouldn’t been able to purchase a Mac with the same performance specs with the same amount of money.

  69. says

    Platform & OS: Unibody MacBook with OS X upgraded to 4gig memory and a 500 gig hard drive. Also run Parallels so I also have Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2003 installed for client support work and teaching. Also have external keyboard, mouse and 20″ monitor on my desk for when I am stationary.

    What I like? It works perfectly. And since I can run virtual machines, I have any operating system I need for any job available.

    What I dislike? My external keyboard could be better and well, that is about it. Now that I have put the extra memory and huge hard drive in the machine, I absolutely love it.

    I would recommend this for anyone who may need to support multiple platforms. Everything runs on Mac OS X which is solid, and then the VMs can take care of dirty work. And if they become corrupt, I just restore to the last snapshot.

  70. Translator says

    1. Laptop (HP Pavilion HDX9200 “Dragon”, 2.1 GHz, 4GB RAM, 20.1″ screen, 2×250 GB HD)
    2. Windows Vista (because I use software that only run on Windows – yes, really)
    3. Like: Big screen, enough power, integrated numeric keypad, No need for an external keyboard or screen…. Dislike: Weight
    4. Would recommend this setup if you are mostly stationary but would like the freedom to take your work with you anytime and everywhere :-)

  71. says

    My main system is a desktop running XP. I use it for everything from writing copy to playing computer games.

    I also have an XP laptop that I use when I’m on the road or just feel like getting out. It’s a budget laptop that I bought about 3 years ago, but still works fine for what I need.

    I like the fact that if one conks out (which neither of them have, knock on wood), then I always have a computer to get my work done on.

    What I dislike is that I have yet to come up with a way to easily share files between them.

  72. says

    1. Desktop or Laptop? – both (G5, Macbook Pro 17″)… I like to work on the desktop for particularly large file sizes… laptop for everything else
    2. What Operating System? (XP, Vista, OS X, etc…) os X on both.
    3. Why do you like or dislike your current setup? I wish my laptop had the space like the desktop – and the bigger screens… hmmm.
    4. For what situations would you recommend this setup? I think it is the best solution for most situations… plus the clients always like when I bring the laptop (especially the mac fanatics – it has even gotten me work– that little remote – genius.).
    5. Any other advice?
    Have a laptop. Put your desktop and laptop on the same network and have an easy way to share files….

  73. says

    I use DropBox ( ) for exactly that type of sharing between machines. Works on my Mac and PCs, so any current work-in-progress I always keep in the DropBox folder. Then whatever machine I am on, my work is synced there. Can also access via the web if I need to or share those files or folders directly with clients. Makes the whole “how do I share files between machines and people” a no brainder.

  74. says

    1. Laptop, Used as a desktop
    2. vista home 32bit (slow)
    3. It randomly crashes, I max out 4GB of ram
    4. Basic internet browsing. Not for what i try to make it do
    5. I am in desperate need for a upgrade!

  75. says

    I use the following:

    What it is….Desktop…. with nice 21″ monitor..I love that!!
    What it has….XP Media Center just came that way
    Dislike…..It’s not a MacBook!!
    What it’s good for…It’s been pretty stable…good home PC…knocking on wood.
    Advice…I use a rocking little device called an Alphasmart NEO for writing while I’m out and about. It’s a pure writing machine. Just turn it on, and start typing!!

  76. says

    I use a 13″ macbook 2.4GHz Intel.
    When in the office I connect it up to a 22″ monitor. It’s my desktop, laptop & netbook. Why would you need anything else ;-)

  77. says

    1. Desktop, custom PC, compiled in october 2008 (tuned for performance using quality products)
    2. Vista + virtual Ubuntu
    3. Everything just works as wanted too, but multitouch is missing
    4. About every situation can be handled with a pro system setup and big wide screen setup.
    5. Wireless peripherals + headphones + glasses, of course :P

  78. says

    I use a desktop Dual screen MacPro with 512m Video card and Wacom for all my illustration work running MacosX and use VMwarefusion with WinXp to run some pc software. I have an old macbook to work on the creative part of the work: sketching, drafting and looking for some inspiration out of the studio, and for the 3D illustration process that demands intensive processing tasks my main tool is the desktop MacPro.

    I’ve been working as freelance for 15 years using Macos and I feel pretty comfortable with the system, if I have any technical problem I can solve it my self easy with the predictable and friendly interface.

    If you work on web site design, writing or even photography, a laptop is a great choice, but if you work with large prints, 3D artwork and animation, motion graphics, video edition, I recommend a desktop based with lots of ram (I personally use 12GB) to run software smoothly.

    Macosx or Xp/Vista, whatever you feel more comfortable and what software you run. If choose portable mac, I recommend a MacbookPro at the highest settings for those who work with intensive graphics.

  79. says

    I use a Mac Pro with a 30″ Apple Cinema Display and a Wacom tablet running Mac OS X Leopard. It’s great for getting in on those little details when illustrating (this sort of thing: ) yet also useful when multitasking web work (different windows of code, FTP app, browsers for testing)

    While we have a Macbook, it’s only something that we use when we’re really out and about for a good while. I would generally recommend a desktop over a laptop unless you *need* the portability. Keeping many files on services such as Dropbox ( and/or Google Docs means that most bits and bobs that I need access to when on the road are available from my iPhone. The bang per buck on a desktop vs a laptop has always and likely always will be better value for money if you’re in one place a lot.

    I go Mac because I’m most comfortable with them and all my licenses are there.

  80. Platly says


    ich hoffe hier im Forum kann mir jemand helfen!
    Ich habe aus versehen ein paar filme von meinem MP3 Player verloren. Leider sind die Files nicht mehr im meinem Papierkorb.
    Die Daten sind sehr wichtig für mich! Ich würde die gerne retten.
    Wer kennt ne Seite auf der ich Infos dazu finde, wie ich die Daten retten kann??

    Vielen Dank schonmal für eure Antworten


  81. james braselton says

    hi there i have multi computers apple 24 inch imac a 4g macbook hp netbook with a 16 gb ssd not hdd a comadore 64 64 kb flash memory and going too get the apple tablet or netbook when apple going to release them i am also waiting for a touch screen ssd imac too soo i have both ox 10 and xp for netbook and the comadore 64 no os

  82. says

    I’m an Internet Coach, designer and writer. I mostly use a Desktop which I built myself but also have a Dell laptop. Both run Ubuntu Linux and I keep them synchronized over NFS with Unison. I also carry a Nokia N810 which is pocket-able and Linux based for my PIM functions. My calendar is synchronized with Google Calendar and my email ap is Gmail.

  83. says

    1. Desktop or Laptop?
    One of each, I prefer working on the desktop. I have a 30″ monitor, and there’s really no going back once you’ve gone big.

    2. What Operating System? (XP, Vista, OS X, etc…)
    Arch Linux on both, various window’s in VMs for IE testing, legacy apps, etc.

    3. Why do you like or dislike your current setup?
    Linux is fantastic for a developer of course. I love the mobility of the laptop (working in the car while someone else drives is great). I love the expanse of the big monitor.

    4. For what situations would you recommend this setup?
    Any web developer. I’m not really an art guy, so photoshop in a VM occasionally works great for me. The big monitor should be used by everyone, seriously.

    5. Any advice?
    Know your tools inside and out, learn everything there is to know about them. They’ll work better for you.

  84. says

    1) Desktop.
    2) Slackware64 Linux, but plan to migrate to Solaris x64.
    3) I like everything in my setup.
    4) This setup is good for any kind of developer’s work.
    5) I like Java applications ’cause they exists on any OS and always work.

  85. says

    1. Laptop. I’m planning to switch and get a Macbook ‘cos I think it’s perfect or writers like me.
    2. Vista
    3. Having a laptop is perfect because it allows me to work from anywhere. I don’t stay long in one place, so portability is very important for me. The only downside to this, I think, is that there are times when productivity is affected by not having an office setup.
    4. For writers who go from one place to another.
    5. Make sure you know how to manage your time efficiently because it will be your greatest challenge.

  86. says

    Guess I’m late to this thread, oh well.

    1,) Desktop & Laptop, the desktop takes the blunt of the work but I like to be able to take some stuff with me sometimes.

    2.) Windows 7, it’s an absolutely superb OS, and with all the customization and tweaking I’ve done, it is literally the perfect OS for my specific needs. I have no desire to turn to Apple products.

    3.) I love my current setup, the most important things are huge screens and powerful computers, I have both. Dual 28″ monitors, here’s a picture :

    4.) For anyone designing and/or programming/coding, I consider dual monitors a MUST, the bigger the better. When I’m running Photoshop and Dreamweaver in separate screens next to each other, and each program has plenty of room for their myriad of palettes and tools, it’s a much more productive environment.

    5.) Of course keep your work area clean, everyone knows that, but really, I can’t push the importance of multiple monitors enough, if you’re a designer and you don’t use them already, TRY IT OUT. Once you go dual, you don’t go back, it will change your life… Just make sure you get a dual monitor taskbar with UltraMon or DisplayFusion, it’s important!

  87. says

    Update from my original post further up the comment queue on “July 31st, 2009 at 6:21 pm”

    1. Laptop (Dell Studio 1558)

    2. Windows 7 (64 bit)

    3. I love my current setup. Speedy, plenty of storage, and excellent build quality (Dell)

    4. Great for multitasking (4 GB DDR3 Ram), web development, Design, even gaming even though it doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card (plays Call of Duty: Black Ops) just fine. The 1080p screen is another big plus for watching movies.

    5. Compared to my old machine, my productivity definitely went up. I now make less errors and feel comfortable to experiment with new software packages.

  88. says

    Desktop or Laptop?

    Both. Acer Dual Core 2.5 GHz, 4 GB RAM, Macbook Pro and Shuttle xPC 3.5 GHz 1.5 GB RAM

    What Operating System? (XP, Vista, OS X, etc…)

    Vista on the Acer laptop, Mac OS, Shuttle has Windows XP

    Why do you like or dislike your current setup?

    The Shuttle has lasted for years, is very stable with XP and runs fast even now. Just a bit old and the fan is a bit noisy, so I am hoping to upgrade; that is why I am reading this thread.

    Vista on the Acer seems to spend most of its time updating itself, fixing itself and installing more and more icons on the desktop every time something updates itself. It works, though.

    Mac is a high quality product, stable, nice looking design. Everything for the Mac costs more and is harder to find out here. Not only that, some sites we just absolutely have to use for work….do not work with Mac. So we have to have windows somewhere. I think Apple is greedy and too controlling the way they limit the app store, but I guess being in control is how you keep viruses out.

    For what situations would you recommend this setup?
    Any other advice?

  89. says

    Great items from you, man. I’ve take into accout your stuff previous to and you’re
    just extremely magnificent. I really like what you have obtained here, certainly
    like what you’re stating and the best way in which you say it. You’re making it entertaining
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  90. says

    Desktop or Laptop? Laptop
    What Operating System? Windows 7
    Why do you like or dislike your current setup? It is just what I need.
    For what situations would you recommend this setup? I use it for writing mostly.


  1. you trust and who will take the…

    time to explain why certain changes are necessary.add creativity and technical skills to your bag of tricks and you can be well on your way to becoming the good writer you want to be; or even a good chef. who wouldn’t…

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