Development Workstations


Web site development is not easy, time consuming, and expensive. Optimizing the web development environment is critical.

The key hardware for web developers are workstations. They need to be fast, reliable, supportable, secure, support large screens, and work with web software development applications

The contemporary choice for web development workstations are Apple, Linux, and Microsoft. I have experience building web sites with purchased and bare metal Microsoft systems and bare metal Linux systems. I use apple products for exploring Internet technologies and creating web sites.

Traditionally these companies built workstation products with Intel processors. They are diversifying their product line with ARM-based processors


Apple

Apple is a computer manufacturing company delivering workstation products with Apple developed macOS certified UNIX operating systems.

Apple recently released the first Mac products built with the ARM-based, Apple silicon designed, processors, and the macOS Big Sur operating system engineered to use M1 chip capabilities.

The last Apple processor transition was the Motorola 68000 to the Intel x86. It took time for Apple vendors and users to update their hardware and software to run on the x86. Apple created the Rosetta translation application that ran Motorola 68000 binary code on x86 machines. The M1 translation layer Rosetta 2, is about 80% the speed of the of native Apple Silicon code. The single-core Rosetta 2 benchmark running on a low end M1 MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM, is faster than other x86 Mac machines in single core benchmark. The M1 MacBook Air running native is faster than any competitors top of the line x86 machine, except for a couple.

Apple products prices could be higher than their competitors. It is mitigated by the quality of hardware and software, robustness, security, and vendor support.

Any unnecessary web developer workstation downtime is expensive. The advantages of Apple products are robustness, reliability, security, speed, vendor hardware and software support, and relative ease to use. Apple has responsibility for maintaining hardware and software products from sale to retirement. Apple Stores are equipped to diagnose and repair Apple products.

Operating systems updates have been free for years, and Apple continues to have the highest customer satisfaction in the industry.


Linux

Linux is an examples of free and open-source software collaboration. The source code may be used, modified and distributed commercially or non-commercially by anyone under the terms of its respective licenses

Linux is the leading operating system on web servers. Its greatest success in the consumer market is mobile device. Android being one of the dominant smartphones Linux-based operating system

There are a some Linux vendor supported hardware platforms or Linux software distributions. The diversity of Linux distributions means that not all software or hardware runs all distributions or applications. Packaged software and software repositories may be specific to a particular distribution

Not all peripheral device vendors support Linux. The Linux open-source community supplies several missing device drivers.

The price of Linux-based systems is attractive. The operating system software is free. Ready-made hardware platforms are available, or can be bare metal built by choosing hardware and software components, and having the skills to assemble and maintain them.

The robustness, reliability, security, and speed of Linux systems varies from low to high, depending on the knowledge and skills of the vendors, builders and maintainers

Responsibility for maintaining Linux workstation hardware, operating systems, and device drivers is fragmented or doesn't exist, except from the vendors, builders and maintainers

There are computer repair shops that are equipped to diagnosed and repaired Linux systems, but not to the extent of Apple Stores


Microsoft

Microsoft is a software development company. Microsoft Windows is a proprietary graphical operating system developed and marketed by Microsoft. Windows is the most used operating system on servers, personal computers desktops, laptops, and game consoles.

Many companies sell hardware platforms with Microsoft Windows installed. Many peripheral device vendors support Windows drivers.

Consumer versions of Windows were originally designed for ease-of-use on a single-user PC without a network connection, and did not have security features built in from the outset. Windows updates are regularly improving security.

Windows is one of hackers prime data hunting grounds, even with frequent security updates. Windows systems are everywhere and stores or has access to vast amounts of data. There are Windows installations that do not keep Windows updated. One reason may be issues with updates. Microsoft Windows update problem 2021 are recent examples.

The reliability, robustness, security, and supportability of Microsoft systems varies from low to high, depending on the knowledge and skills of vendors, builders and maintainers. The combinations and permutations of vendor hardware platforms, software applications, and peripheral vendors and device support, may be contributing to Microsoft Windows update problems.

There are computer repair shops that are equipped to diagnosed and repaired Windows systems, but not to the extent of Apple Stores.