Ok, I know I dragged this out far too long - mostly due to travel concerns - but let's just pick a date and run with it. So the date for the next Denver Tech Meetup is now officially March 9th.
Venue will be - barring unforeseen circumstances - the same as last time, the Wazee Supper Club. It's easy to get to, close to some of the downtown offices, and most importantly, is my favorite.
If you don't know what the Tech Meetup is all about, I like to describe it as a User Group meeting without the User Group; there's no common affiliation other than we're all in tech (and even that rule can be bent , and no technical meetings - just the after-meeting beers/cocktails (and maybe food).
This meeting was a lot of fun last time. Matt Filios and I enjoyed talking to guys doing PHP, Rails and even some developers from the OpenSolaris project. I highly recommend attending.
I received my MacBook Pro this morning, and I've spent the day setting it up, doing some development and running some performance comparisons. The setup was easy: I just booted my PowerBook into Firewire mode and copied over all the files I needed. Everything works for the most part. I did have some issues with IDEA and Eclipse, but got both working after doing a few try and try-again shenanigans. Eclipse was crashing when I'd browse to set my workspace; typing it in manually fixed the problem. IDEA hung the first time I opened it; killing it and restarting fixed the problem.
As far as performance, this thing fricken' rocks! Safari launches in under a second and you're browsing before the dock icons hits the top of its first bounce. Firefox is a different story (likely b/c it hasn't been compiled for x86) - it takes 10 seconds to launch. The good news is once it's up, there doesn't seem to be any performance issues. Safari is amazing though - the speed does wonders for GMail and it actually feels like a desktop application.
When I mentioned yesterday that I was going to compare the MacBook to my desktop, Rob Williams said it wasn't a fair comparison. I agree - but I really wanted this machine to be the best machine I could possibly buy. With my (very unofficial) performance tests, it appears like it is. It's faster than my dual-core AMD 64 desktop machine that has 3 GB of RAM. Now, I have had the desktop for a couple months, so it's possible I'm suffering from OS Rot, but still - it's impressive it keeps up. Here are the numbers from my Performance Comparisons page:
For the tests below, I used Java version "1.5.0_06" and had the following variables set: JAVA_OPTS=Xms256M -Xmx384M, $ANT_OPTS=-Xmx256m. I used the CVS version of AppFuse (1.9.1-dev).
|HP Pavilion a1250n with Windows XP Media Center (dual-core 2 GHz AMD64 3800+, 3 GB RAM)||appfuse: clean package-web||00:15|
| ||appfuse: setup test-all||01:51|
|PowerBook G4 with OS X 10.4.5 (1.33 GHz, 1 GB RAM)||appfuse: clean package-web||00:30|
| ||appfuse: setup test-all||03:31|
|MacBook Pro with OS X 10.4.5 (2.16 GHz, 2 GB RAM)||appfuse: clean package-web||00:12|
| ||appfuse: setup test-all||01:28|
A couple of interesting things to note:
- When I first got my desktop, it's numbers were 00:14 for "ant clean package-web" and 01:29 for "ant setup test-all". The MacBook Pro? 00:12 and 01:28. The Windows box had 1 GB of RAM when I ran those tests, but no matter how I tweaked the memory settings once I put 3 GB of RAM in, I've never gotten better numbers.
- My PowerBook has been dog slow for several months now. When looking up the OS X version on it - I noticed it lists the memory as 512 MB. WTF?! I've had 1 GB in it every since I first bought it! What happened? Did half my RAM go bad or did someone steal half of it during a repair? Oh well, at least I now know the reason it was so damn slow.
Conclusion: The MacBook Pro is one of the best machines you can buy (laptop or desktop) for Java development. As for the battery life? I'm still doing the "calibration", so I'm not quite sure. Nor do I care - I plan on having this thing hooked up to my 20" cinema display that Virtuas was kind enough to get for me. The display combined with a mouse, keyboard and iCurve is a very nice setup.
Update: I pulled out the memory from my PowerBook and put it back in. Upon reboot, it resulted in the correct (1 GB) memory setting. The numbers above appear to be accurate regardless. I ran some tests again and times were actually slower (maybe because I'm on battery power).
James Duncan Davidson:
Daniel Steinberg has bravely started writing about his daughter, Elena, after she died of bacterial meningitis.
I've known Daniel for a couple of years now, through conferences and his writings at java.net. Reading his opening entry "Dear Elena" is a very emotional experience. As a parent, I can't imagine what I would do in the same situation.