Setting up a new Mac

May 11th, 2020
I've had somewhat bad luck with computers lately. In late January my work computer stopped charging, and they replaced it with a used model because they were having supply issues. Its replacement had a broken webcam and, as expected for a butterfly mac, inconsistent keyboard. In April the WiFi stopped working, and while I had just run a cable to my desk we replaced it again. The supply issues have gotten worse, and my current laptop has some minor issues: inconsistent keyboard, splotchy screen, but otherwise good.

With setting up these two Macs, and a third one for music, all within a short time, I think I now have complete list of the changes I need to make before I'm happy using a Mac. Here's the big list, roughly in the order I'd go through them:

[EDIT 2022-06-03: I've updated this from setting up yet another Mac]

  • System Preferences:

    • Trackpad:

      • secondary click > bottom right corner
      • Look up & data detectors > off -- turns off longpress lookups
    • Keyboard:

      • Key Repeat: Fast

      • Delay Until Repeat: Shorter

      • Modifier Keys > Caps Lock Key: Control

    • Touch ID: add fingerprints, and enable fingerprint unlock

    • Displays > Arrangement > Mirror Displays (keeps me from bending my neck down at my laptop screen by making it redundant)

    • Notifications > Do Not Disturb > uncheck "When Mirroring to TVs and Projectors (makes my notifications still show up with a mirrored display)

    • Sound > Output > Internal Speakers (keeps it from trying to send audio to my speakerless monitor)

    • Desktop & Screen Saver > Screen Saver > Hot Corners > unset all

  • Web Browser:

    • Use Safari to install Chrome

    • Sign into Chrome with my personal account

    • If this is a work laptop, make a second profile for work account

  • Backup and Sync:

    • Install Google Drive for desktop and set it to stream. Right click the dotfiles directory and tell it to make it available offline.

    • When that finishes, set up symlinks for each dotfile (ex: ln -s ~/Google\ Drive/dotfiles/_emacs ~/.emacs)

  • Terminal:

    • Preferences > Profiles > Keyboard > Use Option as Meta key

    • defaults write FocusFollowsMouse -string YES

    • Colors: set terminal to black background, and set this as the default

    • chsh -s /bin/bash

  • Iterm2:

    • Install

    • Profiles > Keys > Left Option key > Left Option: Esc+

    • Profiles > Text > Monaco Regular 10pt non-antialiased

    • Profiles > Terminal > Terminal may enable paste bracketing: no

    • Pointer > Focus follows mouse: yes

    • Pointer > Command-click opens filename/url: no

    • General > Selection > Copy to pasteboard on selection: no

    • Make my preferred terminal layout and save the window arrangement

  • Remove everythig from the dock (I start programs with spotlight)

  • Install command line tools: run git, see it fail, click "yes" on the popup that asks if I'd like the OS to fix things so it will start working.

  • Tell git who I am: git config --global --edit

  • Install Homebrew, and then brew install emacs inkscape gimp icdiff imagemagick mplayer wget lame ffmpeg

  • Safari > Preferences > Advanced > Show develop in menu bar

  • Install Firefox

  • Install Chrome Canary

  • Run launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/ to disable iMusic auto-play on plugging in headphones.

  • Install Karabiner to control foot switches

  • System Preferences > Keyboard > Dictation > Shortcut: press [globe] twice

The symlinking dotfiles saves me quite a lot of configuration, including:

  • thorough history logging

  • export EDITOR=emacs

  • All my emacs configuration...

  • Reasonable PS1

  • ~/.inputrc: set blink-matching-paren on

  • My .ssh directory

Recent posts on blogs I like:

On The Prosperity Gospel

things I find fascinating: religion, scams

via Thing of Things February 19, 2024

Diseconomies of scale in fraud, spam, support, and moderation

If I ask myself a question like "I'd like to buy an SD card; who do I trust to sell me a real SD card and not some fake, Amazon or my local Best Buy?", of course the answer is that I trust my local Best Buy1 more than Amazon, which is notoriou…

via Posts on February 18, 2024

Raising children on the eve of AI

How do we prepare them for what we're not prepared for? The post Raising children on the eve of AI appeared first on Otherwise.

via Otherwise February 15, 2024

more     (via openring)