My Development Setup

I have built a system fit for a...

Posted by Malcolm Hollingsworth on

In order to work efficiently - we all look to find the perfect system.

  • Laptop or a desktop?
  • One display, two or more?
  • PC or Mac?

I decided to go up a few levels.

I went HUGE!

I prefer using desktop computers when working at my desk, I like more than one display and I need both a mixed PC & Mac rig.

With the recent death of one of my most trusted and beloved displays I needed to make some changes.

My new development rig contains; three computers, two platforms, three operating systems and nine monitors.

My Rig

  1. Mac One
    • Mac Mini
    • 16GB
    • OSX El Capitan
    • Landscape 27" Display
    • Landscape 27" Display
  2. Mac Two
    • Mac Mini
    • 16GB
    • OSX Yosemite
    • Portrait 27" Display
    • Portrait 27" Display
  3. PC
    • Core i5
    • 16GB
    • Windows 7, Win 10 upgrade shortly (once testing completed)
    • Top Row
      • Landscape 19" Display
      • Landscape 19" Display
      • Landscape 19" Display
    • Bottom Row
      • Landscape 27" Display
      • Landscape 27" Display

The Mac computers have two different versions of OS X so I can test the bleeding edge next to a stable setup. Install the latest anything and expect things to break, so I prepare for the worst.

Seriously?

Yes

I design, develop and configure; mobile apps, desktop applications and web solutions (front and back end). I create artwork, video media and marketing information. I need more than a single laptop.

For those that missed it - 9 screens.

Keyboard & Mouse

Just one. I use a great network KVM called Synergy, this allows me to use a single keyboard and mouse to have all three computers act as a single computer.

Move the mouse off a display edge from one computer and you are controlling the next computer seamlessly. When moving between computers the mouse and keyboard travel immediately.

Thanks Synergy, without you this monster would not work.

Layout

Yeah - this was a difficult. The size of the desk and the stands required to keep everything in-place need to be well thought out.

The three computers are positioned side by side, the PC is centre with a Mac either side.

27"
Landscape
19"
Landscape
19"
Landscape
19"
Landscape
27"
Portrait
27"
Portrait
27"
Landscape
27"
Landscape
27"
Landscape
Mac One PC Mac Two

The span from the left to the right is 3.2 metres, although the displays are positioned in a slight curve so this is reduced in operational use.