jay's old blog

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[Ongoing series of blog posts to inform potential developers, users and (hopefully investors) about this new app ecosystem I am architecting, designing, developing and deploying. More details at this page]

No development can happen without the necessary hardware in place. Often, perhaps the most overlooked part of any software project would be not having the necessary hardware. This might probably look silly but I am writing this mostly as a guide to other folks who may end up joining hands with me.

While this will be silly, it’s amazing how many engineering students cannot tell the important of having a higher RAM when compared to a slower processor. So yes, from experience alone, I can tell that a section on hardware would be most useful in a world filled with the uninitiated. I am dividing the hardware stuff into multiple sections. That’s because there are so many different hardware units used on this, and they each deserve a separate section. Obviously, I am not using any physical servers, with all the online data storage and processing handled by cloud based services, from Microsoft Azure. More details can be found at this location.

Project Related Hardware

This is something that applies to the entire project. Whoever is in charge of managing the entire project’s hardware must be aware of the following stuff.

Individual Developer Hardware

This is something that is required by the developer to hang on to. A developer who is poorly equipped is a developer who is worthy enough to code is what I believe.

Personal Computing

I recommend at least three different computing machines. A main machine that will do the real heavy lifting. A second machine that is reasonably powerful, and good enough to act as emergency development machine. Lastly, a simple device for basic stuff like documentation and doing administrative tasks. We are looking at minimum of three machines, with each of them acting as a backup to each other. Three is not the final number, but it is a good number to start with.

Here are the essential hardware specs for developer.

Main Work Horse PC (not laptop)

Display of 27 inch + Display of 15 inch. If possible, an additional third monitor if the computer can support it.

RAM of 16 GB. 32 GB RAM, if the motherboard can support it.

Processor, any of the i3, i5 and i7 processors. Any generation is alright. Newer the better.

Onboard graphics card is good enough. Dedicated graphics card is simply a drag on the power supply, especially when you have to live with constant power cuts.

Power Backup. At least 4 hours of backup, for the entire setup (at least two monitors).

Wireless Keyboard and Mouse. No wires for us please.

The Second Machine (the actual laptop)

Standard 15 or 14-inch display. Not FULL HD, not a problem.

8 GB at least. i3 or i5 processor (don’t go for i7 because that will be a power hog) is alright. If you can get Core M, that is even better.

Dedicated graphics card won’t do. Onboard are powerful enough these days and an extra graphics card can consume more power.

Optional wireless keyboard and mouse, although most developers do just fine with the built in keyboard and trackpad. If you are a touch typist, you know you should go for the former.

The Third Machine (a hybrid laptop, touch screen)

Bare bones 2 in 1 laptop running windows with detachable keyboard. Yeah, this will be mighty useful for administration tasks, presentations and even some emergency web development stuff. The cheaper the better. Further, these devices can run for over 8 hours for sure.

Mobile Computing

Two android mobiles, hopefully with a FULL HD display and 3 GB of RAM. These can be extremely useful for testing and even some emergency presentations and general productivity.

[Last Updated February 10th 2017]

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