Building notes, projects, and occasional rants


All software mentioned here is in active use by me.

Install a new Mac

There are two types of install: nuke and pave, and restore from backup.

Although it takes more time, I’m partial to nuke and pave, mostly because it forces me to look at all the new features the new Mac introduces.

This is true for me because I rarely update laptops. Until March 2017, I was using a Macbook Late 2008. I upgraded to a brand new Macbok Pro 13” with the Touchy thingie.

A brief note about accounts

Don’t use an Administrator-level account as your main account. Ever!

When installing a new Mac, the first account you create is an Administrator account. Give it a simple name, like God, Adam, or Odin, or whatever.

Then using that account, create your main account, as a regular account.


I install the following software in this order.

  • Dropbox: this is the first mostly because it includes a lot of data I’ll need for the things that come next;
  • 1Password: I keep my keychain on Dropbox, and all my passwords and other config tidbits inside, so this is the second one;
  • Textmate 2: still my favourite editor. I rsync my preferences from Dropbox to have a good startup point;
  • Ghostery extensions: a better browser experience. Download from;
  • Divvy: our Window manager, download from You’ll need the setup files, they are in the my-setup-files Dropbox directory. On new Mac’s, you all so need to enable Accessibility like the instructions at indicate.

Configuration tweaks

  • Start Misson Control and add a second Desktop: I don’t like to many desktops, but also a single one is too little. I do use a lot of apps set to full screeen (Slack, Mattermost, Mail, OmniFocus) as they don’t benefit from multi-tasking that is easier with normal windows;
  • In “System Preferences” > “Keyboard” > “Shortcuts”:
    • disable most “Services”, we don’t use them anyway, free up the previous global keyboard shortcuts;
    • on “Misson Control” section, enable ^1 and ^2 to jump directly to Desktop 1 and 2;
    • on “Keyboard”, switch the shortcut for “Move focus to the next window” to Alt-Tab: this is probably the most used shortcut I use…;

Developer tools

  • XCode command line: just run xcode-select --install to install the basic CLI tools. If you need the full XCode you can add it later. But this is the essential stuff for what comes next;
  • HomeBrew: follow the instructions from Given that you were a good person, and your main account is not a Administrator-level account, you’ll need to su - <admin_account> to install brew. This also means that whenever you want to install someting new with brew, you need to su - to the Administrator account. Trust me, it is a small price to pay;
  • plenv: all the Perl are belong to us! Follow the instructions from It boils down to:
    • git clone ~/.plenv
    • echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.plenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile
    • echo 'eval "$(plenv init -)"' >> ~/.bash_profile
    • exec $SHELL -l
    • git clone ~/.plenv/plugins/perl-build/
    • plenv install -j 8 5.24.1 --as default. – or whatever is the latest Perl version. This will be your global default perl interpreter. You can add other versions later if need be. I recommend that you at least install the latest perl again. The differente between the “default” perl and the copy is that we will install libraries into the default perl for day to day use, while the others (lets call them project perl’s) will not have libraries installed, and all project needs will be managed with Carton. So run plenv install -j 8 5.24.1 a second time to install the 5.24.1 project perl edition;
    • plenv global default
    • Install some base modules we’ll need:
    • plenv install-cpanm
    • cpanm -n Carton
    • plenv rehash
    • You’ll need to install the base modules on all installed perl versions, so run plenv shell 5.24.1 and repeat the steps of the previous item;
  • Install Docker for Mac from I use the “Edge” version, but the GA is fine for most uses;
  • Install Viscosity: download from SparkLabs, you’ll need you license and the .opvn files, and optional passwords;

Brew software

Apple eco-system apps

  • Run iTunes once, login into the Apple Store. This will start the download of the iCloud Music Library, just the metadata. The songs will stream and start to be cached.
  • Run Photos once. I don’t use it to store my photo library, or at least not the master version of it, but it helps to sync the iOS photos to the Mac. Enable all the iCloud stuff, thats what it is useful for, but remember to export the photos you really care about to a system outside Apple control;
  • If this is a new Mac, and if you had rules on the previous one, move over the rules.

Other Apps



  • From the AppStore, install your copy of Reeder 3, and link it to your RSS sync service, FeedHQ in my case.

Office apps

At the work place, we use G Suite and other tools:

System utilities

This are replacements for applications or functionalities already present on a stock Mac OS X install.



Start with these, before all others.

Database viewers

  • SQLLite Browser: GUI for SQLite DB’s

  • Witch: Cmd-Tab replacement, that includes window switching, and spaces support. Commercial, trial available, $14;

  • Divvy: window manager, allows reorganization of your windows with just the keyboard, multi-screen aware. Commercial, trial available, $13.99;

  • Annotate (previously known as Glui): screen-shots and annotations, direct Dropbox upload. Commercial, App Store, $3.99;

  • UnDock: utility to eject all external drives before undocking your laptop. Commercial, App Store, $1.99;

  • Dropshelf: a drag-and-drop destination, a place to drop something temporarily while you switch app - create a screenshot in Glui, drop it into Dropshelf, open Mail, and drag into a new message. Commercial, Trial available, direct or App Store, $4.99;

  • Viscosity: a OpenVPN client. Commercial, trial available, $9. For a free alternative, see Tunnelblick;

  • Bartender: a menubar manager, allows you to have two levels of apps in the menubar. Commercial, trial available, $13.90;

  • ClipMenu: a clipboard manager. Freeware;

  • Quitter: quits or hides some applications if you don’t use them for awhile. Specially useful with email or twitter clients. Free;

  • AntiRSI: I suffer from repetitive strain injury for quite some years now, and I cannot live without my pair of IMAK RSI SmartGlove. But that is not enough. Even with the gloves, continuous work will cause me pain. This app will introduce rest pauses (also useful for hydration). Commercial, App Store, €5.99;

    • 4 minutes between 15 seconds micro pauses;
    • a 8 minute pause every 50 minutes;
    • and forse AntiRSI during breaks.

Social Networking


  • YoruFukurou / NightOwl: my favourite Twitter client, great keyboard-based operation. A bit of abandonware, some functions no longer work with current Twitter, but still my favourite.


Long live MOOsaico!

To explore

Apps to explore when I have the time.

Time tracking

Apps/services that track what you are doing at the computer.

Network monitoring