Setting up macOS Mojave
I recently upgraded my 2011 Macbook Air to a 2018 Macbook Pro running macOS Mojave and I must say it runs splendidly. Here are a few things I install on a upon a new installation to become comfortable. Graphical apps Firefox is the default browser for me on macOS, despite it always “using significant energy.” […]
23 November 2018

I recently upgraded my 2011 Macbook Air to a 2018 Macbook Pro running macOS Mojave and I must say it runs splendidly. Here are a few things I install on a upon a new installation to become comfortable.

Graphical apps

  • Firefox is the default browser for me on macOS, despite it always “using significant energy.”
  • Scriviner is used for authoring of posts offline, which I then copy and re-format into WordPress.
  • I use Xcode extensively to write some relatively simple C programs. I also use the Command Line Tools that come with the installation, although you don’t need to install them together.
  • Screen sharing is a handy VNC client that works better than X forwarding, at least with the default installation.
  • Notes is the preferred note taking app that syncs pretty seamlessly across my phone and computer. Usually I put quick unsorted notes here and later export them to OneNote in a finalised form for reference later.
  • Microsoft Office is the de facto application suite that I’ve been using for well over a decade. It’s required for building decks, long form writing, and handling mail that needs to be shared in a business setting. If I keep the output local to me, then I’ll stick with LaTeX.
  • VLC is the default for watching videos or listening to radio streams, such as the excellent Groove Salad on Soma.FM. I’ve tried using the Radio section on iTunes but it just seems to be too buggy compared to a bespoke .pls playlist file.

Terminal apps

I use a variety of console apps – some of which aren’t available on macOS by default. Xocite.com has a pretty good tutorial for how to get started on setting up local apps on Mac.

Screen

Screen is my favourite terminal multiplexer. Here is the config I use.

# Interaction
escape ``
screen -t default 1 bash
bindkey "^[[1;5D" prev # ctrl-left
bindkey "^[[1;5C" next # ctrl-right

# Behavior
term screen-256color
startup_message off
vbell off
altscreen on
defscrollback 30000

Vim

An improved version of the Vi editor, according to the documentation. For me, it’s my primary text editor on the console. The configuration below goes on every user account. As you can tell, I like my tabs two characters wide, with spaces. I don’t use any plugins.

filetype on
filetype plugin on
filetype plugin indent on

syntax enable
set ttyfast

set tabstop=2
set shiftwidth=2
set softtabstop=2
set smarttab
set expandtab
set autoindent
set smartindent
set cursorline
set nobackup
set nowritebackup
set nocompatible
set noswapfile
set backspace=indent,eol,start

set secure
set enc=utf-8
set fenc=utf-8
set termencoding=utf-8

LaTeX

I use the excellent LaTeX for authoring of my resume and diagramming on my blog posts. I primarily use MacTeX for now but would like to switch to something that doesn’t need root privileges – essentially just a package I can extract in any directory and start using.

Keyboard shortcuts

Yes, believe it or not, knowing your keyboard shortcuts goes a long way on macOS, especially when having the laptop docked. I primarily use the window management keyboard shortcuts built-in.

  • ⌃↑: Mission Control, also bound to top mouse button
  • ⌃↓: Application window, also bound to bottom side mouse button
  • ⌃←: Move left a space
  • ⌃→: Move right a space