Tech Debt & The Cloud

March 8, 2014

I’m at war with myself. I’m not a fan of Mac OSX, I threw in the towel on Linux (primarily Ubuntu and Mint)(and yes I know that Chrome OS runs on Linux) and Windows is a nightmare because of the constant threats and hackery that I have to go through to get a dev box going. That’s where Chrome OS comes in. I was a proud owner of the CR48 from Google in the early stages of the OS. While fun to try it didn’t get the job done for me at the time. Fast forward a few years and there’s all types of online IDE’s to code in from ones that edit your local files to full on dev environments in the cloud. So I decided to give it a try and to give some of the IDE’s a try. I was not blown away but they’ve come a very long day since Chrome OS was launched. It’s workable. I’ll have to re train a few things that I’ve come accustomed to but I think it’s time for me to release my technical debt and give the cloud a shot. Why. I’m writing this blog post on a 5,000 dollar macbook pro (my backup machine for my X1 that was puked on) with all of the bells and whistles, but I’m in a rush because my battery is almost dead. This machine used to get 7 hours give or take and now I’m lucky to get 3. 3 hours on a charge sucks and this machine is not even a year old. To replace it I would have to spend a small fortune again. I’m not falling for that trap anymore. Not to mention the updates and maintenance involved takes the little bit of time that I have left. As my children grow I’ve noticed my free time is almost a thing of the past. We have soccer, dance, scouts and school functions that pretty much kill my after hours coding sessions (on top of a second job). A few weeks ago I wanted to get up and going with angular and didn’t even get to write a single line of code because I was too busy getting my dev environment up.

Maybe it’s my age but I don’t want to tinker around with my computer in order to code anymore. I used to love it. Windows re installs were a weekly thing for me back in the day but I’m not feeling it anymore.

Chromebooks go for around 300 bucks. My mac was 5 grand. My X1 was 2 grand. I could buy a crapload of chromebooks for the price of anyone of those other machines. While there are some pluses to owning a chromebook I’m faced with a few minus as well. Like the IDE. Everyone is getting hacked nowadays. Do I trust my code behind a username and password? I know that I do that currently with Bitbucket but I don’t store server credentials in there. In the cloud I might have to. Another thing that I’m researching is what happens if the Chrome app project dies? Or if someone spam/malicious company buys the IDE that I use and turns it into a malware hub? While I’ve researched some of the security behind Chrome OS and sandboxing I haven’t been able to sort out those two issues yet.

While I wait for Samsungs Chromebook 2 (the 13 inch model with the better resolution) for atleast another month, I’ll continue my research because I don’t want to be stuck with a 400 dollar paperweight or do what I did with the CR48 and put linux on it. Maybe for once I’ll be satisfied with OS. Or not who knows, but I’m kinda excited about Chrome OS.