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The last time I used a Mac was when my wife had one, but now that we are proud owners of a couple of iPhone 3GSes, I would like to purchase a Mac and get my feet wet writing apps for it. For my Windows and Linux development, I'm used to having maxed out workstations with a multi-monitor setup.

Obviously, I can't commit a couple of thousands of dollars to do same on the Mac. Therefore, what is a "good enough" Mac to get that will allow me to develop on without it frustrating me somewhere down the road? Any recommendations from those who are already developing iPhone apps?

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I picked up a regular MacBook specifically for this purpose. I got the aluminum one because it was a little more durable. I think the walk-out price from the Apple store at Ala Moana was $1360. You could also use a mac mini. If I'm not mistaken, it is pretty much the same processor. I strongly considered that, but I wanted to be able to get out of the house with it.

I wasn't familiar with Mac development in the least, so I went out and got a copy of Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X and that turned out to be one of the best programming books that I own. It doesn't cover iPhone, but I learned more about what I needed to know from this book than from any of the books that I bought specifically for iPhone development.
I would suggest installing OS X on one of your big PC workstations, but due to the sketchyness of getting software updates from Apple with a hackintosh it might not be the best idea for iPhone development. I know iPhone developers have to jump through lots of hoops with Apple in order to become a developer, get the apps onto the phone, etc...

So with that being said, go for a mac mini. You can max one of those suckers out for under a grand and hook it up to your current keyboard/monitor setup that you're already familiar with and comfortable using. If you fall in love with developing on a mac you can take the plunge into something more powerful and keep that mini around for a HTPC or somethin.

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