2 min read

The Best Computer For Data Scientists

Is whatever you like! I am generally quite predisposed to using Macs for programming activities. The native shell support, easy access to SSH, git, and a built-in hotkey combination for screenshots (cmd+ctrl+shift+4 for a movable window you can position and paste from) are all killer features. That on top of the fact that Mac laptops are the only ones with touchpads good enough that I don’t crave a mouse, means that I’ve fully gone over to the cult of Mac. Fifteen-year old me is pulling his hair out in a cave somewhere.

And before the Linux fanboys show up, I used Linux as my primary operating system for many years. But these days I’m a data scientist. It was once fun to spend hours wrangling my sound drivers into submission, but just having everything work is way more important to me these days.

HOWEVER, I’ve got a giant complaint about my computer. Thanks to my work, I’ve got a 15” MacBook Pro with touchpad. And if you, like me like using VIM mode in RStudio, trying to hit the escape key on the touchpad is a PAIN.

So, in conclusion – in the market for a new data science machine? MacBooks are awesome! But maybe save yourself a few dollars and skip the touchpad. Definitely not worth the hype, and kinda a pain to VIM on.