Thursday, December 03, 2009

iMac - Guide for Linux Users

Got a MacBook Pro recently at work, for doing more iPhone stuff. I've long admired Macs as hardware, but haven't ever owned one due to an irrational distrust of Steve Jobs. Oh well, lots of friends recommend them and have told me it's the best computing experience going. I'm expecting a learning curve, but here goes:

  1. Go through basic setup for my user account. No friction so far apart from the keyboard. I know which keys to check when I'm installing a Linux, so I do the same. SHIFT+2 and SHIFT+' give me @". WTF? Need to remap certain stuff; that's not the British English layout I'm used to; none of my other computers are Macs and I have 10 years of muscle memory when it comes to typing. I'll come back to fixing that. First off, Apple | System Preferences | Keyboard | Modifier Keys and sort out Caps Lock and CTRL, for good emacs usage.

  2. Where's a bloody terminal? Spend 5 minutes learning the nuances of the trackpad (I'm used to a nipple) and then drag one out of Applications | Utilities onto the Dock.

  3. Good, ssh is available. Copy my SSH keys and config off the Dell laptop running Ubuntu 9.10. Test all ssh stuff and grin like a maniac.

  4. Right, best install any system updates before I start configuring the arse off it. For a Unix, Mac OS X seems to need a lot of restarts for simple stuff like iTunes updates.

  5. WTF!? Nothing like aptitude? That seems like a glaring omission. What are my options? Googling seems to point to Macports, Fink and Homebrew as the available options.

  6. IRC client - download Colloquy and start talking to real people about their experiences.

  7. After that very small skewed sample, decide to go with Macports for now with an intention to properly evaluate Homebrew Real Soon Now.

  8. Install git with git-svn support. $ sudo port install git-core +svn gitX

  9. Checkout my github stuff. Git is missing something - completion!

  10. $ sudo port install bash_completion
    $ curl -o git ""
    $ sudo mv git /opt/local/etc/bash_completion.d/

  11. Download the behemoth that is Xcode from the Apple Developer site and start checking out Objective-C

That'll do as a minimally usable system for now. Hardware-wise, it's a delight. Being able to watch all of InfoQ content without the teething problems that I always seem to have on Ubuntu is just a major relief - I've got a lot of stuff in delicious tagged from there that I've never managed to watch, so I can start getting through that backlog as well.

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