24 1 / 2013

Three months ago I had my first experience with OS X. Looking at it from the Ubuntu refugee point of view all the broken things are fixed, all the working ideas done better. You can think of a Mac as wonderful genius in every sense of the way distribution of Linux.

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

iTunes comes in handy for consuming and organizing media, I like it. As for downloaded content I stand with VLC coupled with Beamer for AirPlay cases.

Use Kitabu and Kindle for ebook reading.

Torrent is Transmission.

For web I use Safari w/ AdBlock and LastPass. Remove the adblock extension icon from the Toolbar, do it for minimalism concerns.

Flash was installed with a bit of vomiting involved. If you don’t use ClickToFlash you are insane.

Communication is done with Facebook built in integration, Twitter has an app and Colloquy is for IRC.

Tools for creativity, a.k.a thinking tools I find myself using iA Writer and Evernote. Quick notes taken with Apple’s Notes and Skitch.

Anki for learning new concepts, because knowledge is power but prerequisite to vast knowledge is efficient long term memory.

For games, I’ve installed Steam. The Mac version sucks, but I hope it will improve over time.

Backup is done with arq to Glacier, Time Machine to external HD. Soon to be nailed down by third layer in the form of Carbon Copy Cloner to external HD as well.

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

Terminal is iTerm2. Brilliant application.

Eclipse and Oracle JDK 7 for java development. Remember that when you configure JDK path you should be pointing at /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines

Xcode for iOS stuff also install Xcode command line tools.

Back of the envelope calculations are done with Soulver, heavier stuff are done with Microsoft Excel. Having Excel run native is a true blessing.

Dev text editor of choice is Sublime Text. Don’t forget to symlink subl from local/bin

For merge kaleidoscope is excellent but pricey. Instead I use a combination of p4merge and meld. Take note that meld does require some work to install (homebrew, XQuartz and PYTHONPATH)

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.

rsync, file, git, ssh, nc, vim, sed, awk, diff, patch, grep, du, df, ps, lsof, wc, top, zsh, dig, ant and mvn are well installed, Thanks Apple. Interesting new ones are: lsm, lam, asr.

Had to tune Mail.app to use no archive IMAP with Gmail, otherwise It’s insane and causes too much waste. For discovering what is taking up all you disk space look at Disk Sweeper

For secure storage I discovered Disk Utility. Just create an encrypted, password protected, sparse storage hard disk and unmount it when your done.

System information is being obtained with Activity Monitor, and to make it look cooler install MiStat from the App Store.

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

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.

Overall I’m very pleased with my Mac, the system is much more stable, user experience is awesome. Best of all the laptop disappears, it allows you to forget it’s there and focus on being productive. Smartest life improvement decision of 2012.

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