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Cost of a home setup

I want to put together a decent home dev machine. Till now I've always used the machine at work, and used terminal services when working from home. Put I have a side project to do and need a dev environment of my own.

So, I need a PC; XP as an OS; and VS.NET.

What's the cheapest way of approaching this? I'll get XP with the new computer. Is getting a MSDN subscription wise? What's the cheapest way of getting a copy of VS.Net (without going to EBay)?

Bill K Ramsey
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

ISV Empowerment program

Green Pajamas
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

If you can start a one at home. :P

Green Pajamas
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Can you get away with using the free #develop or WebMatrix IDEs instead of VS.NET?

http://www.icsharpcode.net/OpenSource/SD/
http://www.asp.net/webmatrix/default.aspx?tabIndex=4&tabId=46

Matthew Lock
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

MSDN is great. It has everything you'll need as far as MS software goes. Even if you pay full price for it, it will be cheaper than buying the stuff you need separately.

sid6581
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

usenet:  alt.binaries.warez

You Don't Want to Know
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

MSDN is not necessarily the cheapest.  The "Pro" level subscription is $1100.  You can get Visual Studio .NET 2003 Pro for $450 online.  All of the SDK's are available for free download.  Almost all of the MSDN articles and knowledge base items are now online, free.

You've said all you need is XP and VS.NET.  If that's really true then it's cheaper to just buy VS.NET.  XP comes with the PC.  However there are some advantages to spending the extra bucks for MSDN subscription.  a) you get copies of all MS operating systems, if you need to test your product on multiple OS's.  b) access to most beta software  c) you may find it more convenient to have MSDN info copied to your hard disk rather than access it online.

free(malloc(-1))
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

" b) access to most beta software"

Microsoft has pretty open beta programs these days, allowing anyone to download most of the major betas. I remember back in the day MSDN was pretty neat in that you really did get lots of exclusive betas (there were reams of beta CDs), but that no longer seems to be the case. In fact being in the Universal program, I can't say I've even gotten any beta DVDs.

Dennis Forbes
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I would recommend MSDN for the following reason:

MSDN gives you access to the following, which is great for business use (especially a small business):

* Map Point 2004 - hook this up with your Excel and a copy of Marketing for Dummies and you are ducky, you'll make bar graphs of your local markets geographically, always a good thing if you have limited marketing budgets. It's great for getting lost if you have a laptop. Plan all sorts of trips.

* MS Office - You do you need Excel don't you?

* MS Commerce Server, MS ISA Server - If you do e commerce site development to any degree of seriousness, you'll be using these guys for acceleration and ecommerce.

* MS Windows in many versions - chance for you to install it in VMWare and test all versions

* MS IE and Outlook in many versions from compact editions to latest ones bundled with Office 2003 - again, in VMWare - to help you test emails and webpages sent out to many different types of clients. You'll also need to get a Mac, AOL account, Opera, and do FireBird, but you get the point.

* MSDN docs - MSDN subscriptions gives you CD updates to much of the MSDN site -- allowing instant searchable docs easier to use than going to the MSDN website, at least that's how it's been for me. Response time during busy net hours at MSDN website isn't ideal either--so free is not so free if time is money.

* MSDN Webcasts - cds contains the WMV video caches to many many webcasts teaching you how do do all sorts of programs.

* There's Visio, MS ERP, MS DB Analytic craps, the list goes on and on.

Ofcourse, if you know anything about VMWare and MS Licensing you might realize that some of the above suggestions aren't really possible. So check the licenses. Another thing, there are different levels of MSDN subscriptions, I am certain you have to pay more to get all of the benefits listed above.

Li-fan Chen
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Isn't Virtual PC available through MSDN now?

JWA
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Yes, Virtual PC is available through MSDN.

sid6581
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Yes Visual PC (I didn't mean to omit it from the list), another one worth pointing out is Project.

Li-fan Chen
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Note that Office is NOT included in the MSDN Pro subscription (the one that includes Visual Studio and the operating systems). You have to take the super-expensive Universal subscription which definitely isn't worth it for a single developer IMO.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/buy/choose/default.aspx

Chris Nahr
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Right now have a look at the express tools.
http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/express/
These are still in beta, but providing you don't need to ship anything this year, there isn't too much risk.

Peter Ibbotson
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

You can buy MSDN Universal cheaper on eBay. Or become an MVP and get it for free. :)

sid6581
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Do you need the whole VS.NET? Which language are you going to be programming in? If it's only one of the bunch, then get that version.

For example, Visual C++ 7.1 (.NET 2003) is only about $100.

Catalin (www.rotaru.com)
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

MSDN?  He asked for cheapest, not most expensive.

secutus est
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The VC++ version for $100 is the standard edition, which doesn't do any optimization at all, and is thus pretty much worthless for any commercial programming.

sid6581
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Nobody has answered the hardware side of the question.  Where can the OP get a cheap computer that's usable for XP Pro and VS.Net?

Kevin
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Hardware is insanely cheap.  Software is actually a bigger concern.

Aaron F Stanton
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Go to www.dell.com/tv or www.dellradio.com and see what the current specials are. Generally speaking, all you're going to need to do is supplement with RAM from crucial.com.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

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