24 1 / 2013

Three months ago I had my first experience with OS X. Considering Mac from an Ubuntu refugee point of view all of what was broken is now fixed and all of what has worked is now done better. Mac simply stands out as wonderful genius in every sense of the way distribution of Linux.

I’ve been taking notes, gaining knowledge. Toady I’d like to share some of what I learned. Fact is, to be pragmatic I will focus on solutions to common use cases.

I use Safari w/ AdBlock and 1Password. Read it later and tab syncing between Mac and iOS devices is working amazingly well. Tip: Remove the adblock extension icon from Safari Toolbar, do it because you care about aesthetics and minimalism.

Music consumption weapon of choice is Rdio with albums played from good old iTunes. For web obtained content I stand with the bullet proof linux die hard VLC, coupled with Beamer for AirPlay goodness.

Mail is handled by no other then Mailbox the most time saver app even came walk this earth. Contacts and Calendar are handled by the native apps, synced from my Google Apps account.

Preview has proven to be an amazing tool for everything from quick expecting nearlly all relevant files types to editing pdf files for bank operation, an amazingly brilliant Apple style solution. ♥

To stay up to date on what’s cool I have Twitter native Mac client running 24/7, Reeder 2 is brutally useful for knowing anything and everything.

iBooks works great and I love it, Kindle complements on content.

Torrent is Transmission. I love you tiny multi peer cheerful little network shared bits.

Communication is a breeze, Facebook integration is built in. Colloquy is for IRC and Slack runs for our internal team talks. Being able to answer Phone calls and SMS messages on my Mac without touching the iPhone is close to being touched by an angel (Kind of boring, bureaucratic type of an angel. Yet an angel never the less).

Tools for creativity, a.k.a apps for the mind I find myself using the native Notes app a lot. Knowledge gathering I do with Pages and mind mapping is 1000% MindNode Pro one of the best overall apps out there. iA Writer is used for quick post sketches and preview of markdown playfulness. Sorry Phil but Evernote is dead for me.

Back of the envelope calculations are done with Soulver, heavier CEO kind of graph outs are done on Microsoft Excel. Having Excel running native is a true blessing, sadly Numbers just doesn’t cut is as a power horse.

For games, Mac App Store is showing signs of early dopeness with stuff like BioShock Infinite Civilization V and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Steam for Mac sucks, hope it will improve over time.

Backup is done with arq to Glacier, Time Machine to Airport Exterme over WiFi. Carbon Copy Cloner to external HD for additional layer of quick recovery.

The Unarchiver does zip extraction. UnRarX complements with rar handling.

For secure storage I discovered Disk Utility. Just create an encrypted, password protected, sparse storage hard disk and unmount it when your done. It goes totally AES 512 on your assssss.

Remote access via ssh or graphical is provided by Apple’s Sharing feature.

For productivity boost I have a magical relationship with Spotlight, the native search and launch god of MacOSX. A very helpful productivity enablers is Yoink which acts as a sponge for your copy paste meanouvers.

Then there are some geekish stuff too: Terminal is iTerm2. Brilliant application. You simply must install homebrew if you plan on having your nerd mojo go deep, then do this like a madafakr: brew install bash-completion git ffmpeg ios-sim node s3cmd wget. Bam! Instant glory. Steve did a smooth one including all there right there preinstalled with the OS: rsync, file, git, ssh, nc, vim, sed, awk, diff, patch, grep, du, df, ps, lsof, wc, top, zsh, dig. Thanks man! Also thanks for lsm, lam, asr which are Mac only AFAIK.

Dev text editor of choice is Sublime Text. Don’t forget to symlink subl from local/bin but Ruby and Python get their own love from me in the form of CodeRunner

For merge kaleidoscope is extremely amazing.

Xcode for iOS greatness. Be sure to install Xcode command line tools as well.

Sometimes VirtualBox is required, I wrap it with Vagrant. Be careful not to pollute your Mac with junk. Invest energy in keeping your setup minimalistic and fat free. Stuff like mysql and mongo, as well as developer libraries let alone bug reproduction environments should go into a VM of ubuntu or what not.

EC2 management is done with ElasticFox stand alone, and my super tuned ssh settings file. S3 is accessed with s3cmd (homebrew).

Graphical interface for remote file operations stuff is Cyberduck.

All this greatness of MacOSX yet some maintenance is sadly still unavoidable. For discovering what is taking up all your disk space look at Disk Inventory X System information is being obtained with Activity Monitor, to make it look cooler install MiStat from the App Store.

Overall I am very filled with joy, the system is much more stable, user experience is awesome. The best part is that the OS disappears, both software and hardware. It works so good you just forget it’s there, it’s the one tool that truly allows you to forget it’s there and focus on being productive. Smartest life improvement decision of 2012.


September 30 2014 Apple recent OS releases have changed some stuff. I’ve edited the post to reflect that.

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