We’re rolling out new Macs at work in my team, and so I’m revisiting my must-have-done-before-I-start list. This is a list of things I’ve picked up from a lot of helpful and friendly mac users along the way:
- An up-to-date setup of Rails, Subversion and MySQL. Dan Benjamin has great guides on Hivelogic. He does local builds off the source which mean tidier upgrades. Gets a bit tricky with the original bundled mac bits though.
- Set up php. It’s already on a new mac, but you need to configure it. Here are instructions to set it up but I substitute Textmate (as below) as my weapon of choice for editing text files.
- I haven’t actually got this working but it’s a must-have for work macs if you have a massive NAS. Set up Time Machine on a NAS. That way if your laptop gets run over you know you have everything backed up.
- Get rid of the iDisk crap in the sidebar
- Open a finder window (set focus on Finder)
- Click “Finder” menu then “Preferences…”
- Then click on the toolbar icon for “Sidebar”
- Uncheck “iDisk” – fourth one down
- Close “Preferences pane”
- I also like to show the full path in the status bar - go to View, then “Show Path Bar”
- Firefox with a bunch of handy add-ons
- http://www.sequelpro.com/ – desktop mysql client
- Skitch – great tool for grabbing screenshots and annotating them. Also has online hosting and websharing capabilites
- xcode – Install off the OS/X disk
- Remote Desktop for Mac – Connect to your Windows machines using remote desktop.
- Microsoft Messenger for Mac – Chat with your Windows Live buddies. We run a corporate chat server using Jabber, which I use iChat for.
- Skype for long distance telephony
- Tweetdeck for twittering away. Although since twitter got lists I use this less
- Stuffit Expander – expander utility for rar files and more (OSS Alternative I don’t use but you might like: UnArchiver)
- Virtual Box – To run any virtuals you need. Alternative to vmware fusion or parallels
- Quicksilver 2 – quick-launcher, use the mouse less. Like Spotlight on steroids. Run it, press ctrl-space, and have access to launch any app or take a bunch of actions
- chmox – a chm reader for Apple. (Microsoft Help file format)
- DivX – divx video player for Mac
- Dropbox – storage in the cloud with mac, windows, web and iphone clients, and sharing with friends. use this referral link to get extra storage.
- http://cyberduck.ch/ – FTP client with nifty features like double-click to rerun past jobs.
- http://macromates.com/ – TextMate
- 1Password – Secure password storage. A gift form a friend, I couldn’t live without
- http://www.panic.com/coda/ – Coda is a great web page editor for editing rails, php or static files like css / html. Includes syntax highlighting and all the usual bells and whistles. Integrated support for subversion is nice too.
- Joe Bergantine’s .seestyle Coda theme styled to look like the editor that stars in Railscasts (easy on the eyes, light on dark)
- AppZapper – described as the uninstaller Apple forgot. Worth the $13.
- Microsoft Office for Mac – I bought and tried iWork, and I’ve been playing with Google Docs. I tried NeoOffice a while ago. Microsoft Office is worth it. I have Professional, which includes Entourage with support for Exchange.
Things I haven’t bought yet but want in future: