- It’s slow,
- It won’t be supported soon,
- It takes longer to complete lessons than is ideal.
For these reasons, I’m constantly on the lookout for newer and more modern equipment. My current financial situation puts me in the uneviable position of not being able to replace/renew anything. This goes for single-purchases like equipment and ongoing-costs like software subscriptions, services, and online resources.
This page is my page of ‘Window Shopping’. Imagine me with my nose squashed against the storefront window, looking with sad, wanton eyes at the items listed below and you’ll have a pretty good idea where I’m at right now.
These are items without which I can’t do without if I intend to continue to LearnNewStuff.
|What is it:||Apple MacBook Air|
|Price range:||£899 – £2,049|
|Processor:||Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 7‑core GPU and 16‑core Neural Engine, or|
Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 8‑core GPU and 16‑core Neural Engine
|Memory:||8GB / 16GB unified memory|
|Hard Drive:||256GB – 2TB|
|Current Release:||November 2020|
|Due to be updated soon?||Late-2022 (rumoured)|
Apple MacBook Air
It’s no under-exaggeration to say that Apple’s Xcode is a behemoth. A 13GB download that, when running, can slow my current Mac mini down to the pace of a tortoise taking an off-day.
In addition, one of the limitations I’ve had with my Mac mini is that I can’t move it to another location to continue my learning away from my desk. I’ve made efforts to connect to it through VNC and have even had a stab at installing macOS / Xcode in VirtualBox, but neither solution is practical.
I understand that the current Apple Silicon M1 processor doesn’t require the same high specification of RAM as the older Intel models, so I’m hoping it won’t be necessary to look at a higher spec model.
The current Mac mini is available in similar specifications to the MacBook Air, but is available from £699.
The economical option is still way out of my financial situation right now, and it would sacrifice mobility, but I know the Mac mini is a hardy machine so the current version is probably a bit of a beast.
|What is it:||CodeWithChris|
|Price:||$29 per month (about £22 per month), or |
$240 per year (about £185 per year).
This is the training course I’m currently on.
Chris offers an ongoing series of modules, broken up by lessons, as he takes us through an increasingly in-depth skillset of app development.
I currently have a few months left on my initial payout for joining the CWC+ course. After this, I’ll need to find a way to continue with it in order to continue to LearnNewStuff.
|What is it:||Apple Developer Program|
|Price:||£99 per year|
Apple Developer Program
When I’m a little bit further down the road with my training, I’ll need to enroll in the Apple Developer Program if I want to proceed to the next stage.
Apple Developer Program is required to allow others to beta test my apps, to access Apple’s AppStore, and comes with a whole host of features and services that are not available while learning “for free”.
This is an ongoing annual subscription program.
|What is it:||Microsoft 365|
|Price:||£79 per year|
A long time ago, I used Dropbox for cloud storage/sync, and Softmaker Office for my office needs.
However, when Microsoft introduced Office 365 (as it was then), with the same cloud storage capacity but they also bundled in Microsoft Office software, and all for less than I was paying Dropbox, switching over became a “no brainer”.
I’d never thought I’d pay for office software on a subscription model, but the cloud storage for less than Dropbox? It didn’t make sense not to.
|What is it:||ProtonMail bundle|
|Price:||£160 every two years|
ProtonMail / ProtonVPN
Security is essential these days, so I use ProtonMail for encrypted email with a couple of my domain names.
Combining ProtonMail Professional with ProtonVPN Basic (the cheapest practical option) offers combined savings.
In addition, the ProtonMail people are working on their own secure cloud storage option which may one day prove a more economical alternative to one of my other cloud storage providers.
|What is it:||Sync Secure Cloud Storage|
|Price:||$49 per year (£39 per year)|
Sync claims to be more secure than many other cloud storage providers and so, until the day comes that ProtonMail finalise their offering, I use Sync.com for critical files that I don’t want on OneDrive or Dropbox.
Sync.com costs $8 per month / $96 per year for 2TB of cloud storage but I’m currently benefiting from a cheaper option that used to be available when I started. I may only get 512GB of space, but it’s only costing me £39 per year. Still not a small amount, but certainly more affordable than the current prices.
|What is it:||Adidas Ultraboost|
|Price range:||£80 – £180 (depends on offers)|
|Current Version:||Ultraboost 22|
|Previous Version(s):||Ultraboost 18 – present (any will do, |
but version 19 upwards are more durable).
As well as “training my brain”, I like to keep active by way of running. I’ve tried a number of different running shoes over the years, but the ones that work the best for me are Adidas Ultraboost.
I started using these with version 18 which turned out to be great, but the tread on the soles wore down fairly quickly. The estimated life of 500-800km seemed optimistic.
With version 19, they changed the sole and it became more durable. The current pair of Adidas Ultraboost 19 I wear have done over 2,500km. Whilst they are showing some tiredness and fatigue, and the sole is wearing thin, they are standing up surprisingly well to my 30 km runs.
For the sake of economy and my running, these are most definitely the shoes I need.
In the past, it was possible to buy previous versions of Adidas Ultraboost for anything from £60 upwards. Today, however, Adidas seem so focused on style and ignoring their runners that they have a rapid turnaround and I barely ever see previous versions at an affordable price. Had I done so, I don’t think I’d be running in 2,500km shoes right now.
Technology always gets old and is eventually not supported. Now that I’m in the Apple eco-system and I’ll be developing Apps for Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, there will come a point that my current versions of these devices are not up to the task.
When most people say “buy me a cup of coffee”, they’re talking about a £3 – £4 Costa coffee. One cup!
For me, that kind of money buys a whole jar. Lasts me for a couple of weeks.
Yet, still, I find coffee today has become unaffordable.
Feelwells Training Treats
Okay, these aren’t for me!
The Cheesy version of these are the favourite daily treats of my ever-faithful (well, sometimes faithful) doggie companion Summer.
She first got into these when she would pick up everything she could find as a puppy, and I needed a way to swap what she had (not edible, and potentially dangerous) with something doggie-safe.
She’s had them ever since, but at £2.29 a pack, or £15 for a box of 7 packs, plus postage, they’re becoming more difficult to obtain.
Otherwise known as “posh treats”. Yes, it’s another one for Summer, and she insists on the “Lamb” version. She can be as “posh” as the treats sometimes.
She has this less frequently than the above “training treats”, so they tend to last longer.
However, at £11.40 plus postage, they’re not always so easy to come by.