I'm going away on a year long trip to Europe and Asia. I've also been learning Android programming and would like to work on a small project while away (it would be a sort of personal travel app). I'm just not sure what dev environment to use.

Right now I have two laptops:

  1. A $200 HP Stream that is pretty much a Chromebook that runs Windows. It's only 2.5lbs and ridiculously good value for what it is. If I was just going to use it for email/blogging I'd be 100% happy with it
  2. A 5-year old mid-range ASUS that weighs about 5 lbs. It's starting to get sluggish, and programming on Android Studio is SLOW so I'd want to replace the hard drive with an SSD.

Right now I'm considering these options:

  1. Bring the HP and use TeamViewer (or similar) to remote into my upgraded ASUS when needed.
  2. Bring the ASUS after upgrading the SSD. It does everything I need it to do, but I hate how heavy it is and I'd be more worried about getting it stolen.
  3. Bring the HP and set up some sort of cloud dev environment to remote into (like an Amazon EC2 instance? Or any other suggestions?) and stop the instance when I'm not using it. For the year this is probably costs the same or less as upgrading the hard drive on my ASUS.

Does anyone have any experiences with working like this? What would you recommend? I can't really afford to get a nice ultrabook or something similar, so I'd like to work with what I have right now.

TL;DR: Programming while travelling, what dev environment to use (too poor for a mac/ultrabook)

  • 1
    Beyond what has been said by @Willeke, this question incites opinion-based answers which is a closing reason on TSE. – mts Apr 10 '16 at 8:15
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    the most important thing you'll need is a boat! – hmakholm left over Monica Apr 10 '16 at 8:31
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's very subjective and opinion based – Rory Alsop Apr 10 '16 at 11:58

Your question is not really travel related; but I will answer the travel related parts:

  1. Do not rely on Internet being available, or being available at a particular speed to get your work done.

  2. Carry a laptop that is portable enough for you to be lugging it across airport terminals, buses, and even being sturdy enough to being banged around a bit in the overhead bin (or you may have to chuck it into the bus cargo hold).

  3. Invest in a good set of batteries (or replace the ones you have now).

In light of the above, from my personal experience - I would recommend a Dell XPS or the IBM Thinkpad range. The macbook pro is also a good option, but they might be out of your budget range and should you need to get parts/repair it; there may not be a service provider that is practical to reach (again, depends on where you are going).

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  • Also take into account that even with high speed Internet available (which is indeed far from being always the case), you may find situations where you have quite a bit of latency, at the very least because of the distance between you and home. This can be very, very annoying for interactive use (from ssh to remote control). Additionally, for mobile development, you'll need to be able to connect from your local device to the mobile device for testing. This usually means editing/building locally. – jcaron Apr 10 '16 at 16:46
  • Regarding reliable internet access while travelling - a small mobile hotspot is a good idea, in almost every country you can buy a SIM card for a local network who do deals on mobile data, and then at least in the cities it'll be easy to keep up to date – user56reinstatemonica8 Apr 10 '16 at 21:55

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