I’ve been using an Xcode plan from http://virtualmacosx.com/ for a little while but now I need to be able to install other software so that I can generate data for my app and the trouble with the Xcode plan is that you don’t have admin authority. They did say they could install anything I needed but there are a number of other limitations with the Xcode plan that mean that while it has been great for getting started with iOS development, it’s now time to upgrade to a more serious plan.
So I’ve gone for one of their Virtual Private Desktop plans. My wife did say I could go and get a Mac but I figure that since I am still not totally committed to this yet and still in ‘play’ mode pretty much, I could buy a LOT of months on a virtual machine for the price of a new iMac (plus I object to paying a premium for ‘style’). There are other advantages to the new plan too apart from more storage and more memory. I can use TeamViewer to connect to the desktop instead of vanilla VNC. TeamViewer is free for non commercial use (which this definitely is right now), it performs better than VNC and has encryption, something that I was never able to enable using VNC to the Xcode desktop. The new image also has ADMIN privileges so I can install stuff from iTunes! and since it is a personal desktop, not shared like with the Xcode plan, the iOS simulator is no longer shared. not that it was ever an issue for me but I don’t have to shut it down after every use now either.
The hardest part of the whole process was probably transferring my development certificates from the old Xcode machine to this new one. Apple seem to be as useless as everyone else in explaining this whole process in terms a numbskull like me can understand but I seem to have managed it now. I rebuilt my app on the new machine and managed to install it on my iPod and run it so I ‘think’ I am good to go.
Anyway I’ve ‘committed’ to the new environment by cancelling my Xcode plan from the next billing cycle which is in a few days. After that, if I messed up, I gotta fix it the hard way (or hope I backed it up!).