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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

travel laptop - balance between portability & usability

I am going to be traveling and want to fit everything in one bag.

I have a 15.6 inch laptop and that may be a bit too big.

I am thinking of buying a 13.3 inch laptop for my travels and hope to do a bit of software development on it.

In my times I have developed software on 24 inch monitors and 13.3 inch monitors (but the latter was many years ago!).

I am being unrealistic in thinking I can do some light software development on a 13.3 inch laptop monitor. I really want to travel light and one bag only will be helpful.
NewToASPX Send private email
Friday, August 07, 2015
If you don't mind scrolling, then any size screen will do.

Example: I've remotely fixed bugs in one of my apps using just my iPhone 6+ by using it to log into my home PC with TeamViewer.  No need to take my PC anywhere to have full access to it.  It's a little painful, but means I don't need to lug a laptop with me.

Most hotels and cafes will have internet access where you can log into your PC with TeamViewer via its web portal.  Definitely something to consider if you really want to travel light.
PSB136 Send private email
Friday, August 07, 2015
If you're serious about productivity you'll get as many monitors as you can and as large ones as you can afford.

Here's a good example of someone who does it right: http://s932.photobucket.com/user/mikyhut/media/IMG_0688.jpg.html

I'm currently at 5 monitors and my setup is something like this one: http://coolcomputersetups.com/images/14fced.jpg

Many developers severely underestimate the value of multiple monitors, I don't know why - maybe they haven't tried it yet or don't know how to properly use them, but I've found they really reduce the cognitive load on many common development activities, like comparing code side by side, not having to Alt-Tab between the output of your code and the code itself, having whole screens dedicated to various debugging windows (variables, call stack, etc), and many others.

Also you need a great chair, I've got an armchair with a mechanism for leg extension, and I made some additional modifications to it, so I can sit on it all day and have no back and no neck pain whatsoever, but if I try working on a standard office chair I feel stiff after only one hour.

For me a laptop is good for only reading an article or watching a video. I don't like even browsing or searching the net on a laptop.
Mangler Send private email
Saturday, August 08, 2015
I think a 13" screen is a good size for travelling. It will fit in most hotel travel safes. And my 49 year old eyes don't cope with anything smaller. But I hate developing on a laptop. I just do support when I am travelling.
Andy Brice Send private email
Saturday, August 08, 2015
I agree, 13" is a good size for travel. Newer laptops are pretty thin these days which is great.

Don't forget to pack a network cable in case you need it, sometimes you find only a wired network available and no Wi-Fi, not often but it happens.

Also I find a small Bluetooth mouse makes me *much* more productive on a laptop then having to use the touchpad while doing any dev related work.
maxr Send private email
Sunday, August 09, 2015
Thanks for your info Mangler
Maybe a little off topic, what the best size for monitor do you guys think?
GerryLu Send private email
Monday, August 10, 2015
I've got a 32" 1440p as my main monitor and I like it much more than the 24" 1200p I had before.

I think the optimum is somewhere between 40" and 50" at 2160p, but it also depends on what you need it for.
Mangler Send private email
Monday, August 10, 2015
Horses for courses, GerryLu. Whatever works for you.

I've got a Lenovo Yoga with a 13.3" screen which I work on while commuting which is adequate for my needs.
Marcus from London Send private email
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
I use a 27 inch LG display paired with Macbook Air.

I would recommend Macbook Pro instead because the memory cap is higher (16GB vs Air's 8GB).
Li-fan Chen Send private email
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
I just got a 13" macbook pro (not retina) and was worried before hand about it's suitability for light dev work and while it won't replace my desktop it does the job just fine.
Bob Frances Send private email
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

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