Switching from PC to Mac

In 2012 I switch over to using a MacBook Pro as my primary machine for development and everything else. The best part of the experience was that I get to play with a bunch of new toys.

Every now and again people ask me about my configuration and what tips I may have to help them out.

Here is a blog post with it all. I will continue tweaking this as I go along. This is a draft.

Terminal setup

I will spend more time on this section in the future. Try to install everything with Cask and Brew.

  • Make ZSH your primary shell and setup oh-my-zsh
  • Also look at my dotfiles on github. It is a mess at the moment and being cleaned up.
  • Install Homebrew and Cask and install everything you need. Things to install is tmuxinator (gem), zsh, git, macvim, node, rvm, vagrant (cask), wget and whatever else you need.

My favourite OS X software:

This list only includes the software I actually use.

  • Browser: Chrome
  • Communication: Tweetbot, Airmail (even though I use gmail in the browser more), Skype (when hangouts don’t work), iMessage and FaceTime
  • Collaboration:
    • Slack (Note that I don’t see it as a communication tool),
    • Google Docs when we swarm on documents internally or with clients
  • Music: iTunes and Rdio (I cancelled my Rdio subscription when Apple Music launched)
  • Writing:
    • Notes.app for garbage
    • vim for real notes
    • IA writer for Blogs (trying it, usually use vim)
    • Office 2015 for documents (we are moving most things to Google Docs and markdown)
  • Development:
    • AppCode for Objective-C (planning to learn swift soon). Xcode still features for storyboard editing, some debugging and workspace config.
    • vim and tmux for most development where there is not compiler involved.
    • I use Sublime Text occasionally. It is a love hate relationship. I feel more productive in vim but Sublime is more powerful. I should probably just get my vim config right ;-)
    • Dash for help files
    • Xamarin Studio is where I do the little .NET development that I still do.
    • IntelliJ (and Android Studio) for Java.
    • Reveal.app to browse view hierarchy in iOS applications
  • Graphics:
    • Photoshop and illustrator for most day to day editing
    • ColorPicker to… well pick colors
    • xScope to measure pixels on screen, resize windows, etc
  • Productivity: I use Reminders.app just because it is simple and on my phone as well. Haven’t really tried to find anything else.
  • Utilities:
    • Karabiner and Seil to bind CAPS to ESC and CMD (Long hold)
    • Alfred with the Powerpack license is awesome (Bound to CMD+Space)
    • Disk Inventory X and CleanMyMac to run the occasional clean-ups
    • iTerm for terminal access (more about my terminal setup below)
    • VMWare to boot into my Bootcamp partition (more about Windows below)
    • VirtualPC for Vagrant
    • moom is a great window manager
  • Cloud storage: I use DropBox for most of my needs. My company tried Google Drive, but it’s syncing is nowhere near on par with DropBox.

Windows setup

With the release of Office 2016 on Mac, I rarely use windows these days with the exception of Visual Studio. Some tips for your setup to make jumping between the two OS’es a breeze.

  • Install KeyTweak to swap CTRL and CMD in Windows. That makes sure that CMD+C is copy, etc.
  • Install AutohotKey to bind CMD+Q to ALT+F4 and CMD+W to ALT+F4 to replicate app and window close behaviour of OS X.

General tips

  • Don’t try to share git or DropBox folders between Windows and OS X. They get very confused.
  • Don’t delete your Recovery Partition on OS X. Make sure you add it when setting up a new primary drive
  • Do make regular use of Time Machine backups
  • Don’t bother trying to backup Windows bootcamp. The only real way to do it, is with a VHD boot into boot camp. That is a massive pain to setup.
  • Do create an exFAT partition if you want to share R/W data between Windows and Mac
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