When I saw Russell's Why I Might Switch Back... post a couple of weeks ago, I found myself wanting to write a response. My response was going to be I completely agree and I was going to bitch about how slow my PowerBook is (once again). Then, later that day, I was doing something with iPhoto and I thought - I really do like OS X. It's the Mac hardware that I don't like. And it's not the look of the hardware (I love that), it's the fricken speed!! Most PowerBook users I know don't switch b/w computers a whole lot - whereas I spend 50% of my time on a fast Windows desktop. When I go from something that's so fast to something so slow, it's quite painful.
Last week, I started working with a new client - developing an application with Spring, Hibernate, WebLogic and Eclipse. Installing WebLogic on OS X was pretty easy, thanks to this article. Even remote debugging with Eclipse was pretty easy to setup. However, when I started running WebLogic locally and trying to debug it with Eclipse, it was extremely frustrating. I've never seen the spinning beach ball so much in one day. When other developers would watch me work, it was embarrassing how slow my computer was. And it's not like I had a whole lot running: Mail, Safari, Eclipse, WebLogic and iTerm.
Over the past couple of months, I've started debating if my next laptop should be a PC. It's not like I hate the Mac or don't like my PowerBook - but Java development on a Mac is far slower than on a PC equivalent. The problem is that I really like the PowerBook's form-factor. I'm so comfortable using the keyboard, right-clicking with the Control key, and all that jazz - that I'd probably have a hard time adjusting. I realize that a lot of my PowerBook bitching might seem unfair - as I'm often comparing a Desktop to a Laptop.
What I'd really like is two laptops: a PowerBook for doing all non-Java stuff and a PC for doing Java stuff.
My dreams came last Friday when my client handed me a brand new Dell Latitude D610. It's got Windows 2000, a 1.6 GHz CPU and 1 GB of RAM. To be honest, I expected it'd have a lot bigger processor. However, the fact that it doesn't makes it easier for me to show you how fricken slow my PowerBook is.
I used AppFuse for this test and ran ant clean war 3 times on each. I had ANT_OPTS set to -Xmx256m, JAVA_OPTS set to -Xmx512m and I'm using the latest 1.4.2 JDK available for each respective platform. It's possible my PowerBook suffers from some OS Rot, but it's still amazing how much faster the Windows laptop is.
- PowerBook: 58.3 seconds
- Latitude: 17.3 seconds
Holy ass-kicking batman!
My PowerBook has a 1.33 GHz CPU and 1 GB of RAM. It'd be interesting to do the see the numbers for a PowerBook with a 1.67 GHz processor. Here's to hoping OS X with a 1.6 GHz Intel processor can keep up with Windows for Java development.