The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

A Clean Slate

A Clean Slate

I recently upgraded to a new MBP at work. Whenever I move to a new machine, I prefer to work off of a completely clean slate. It gives me the opportunity to evaluate what tools, preferences, and utilities I actually use and which are just taking up space.

But if you've gone through the process in the past, you know how slow it it can be. It certainly takes more time than using Migration Assistant and it can take several weeks for me to remember all the little tweaks I'd made that are important to my setup. So this time I recorded the process and documented all the little steps that make working on a Mac more pleasant.

Shiny computer image

The Generic

  • Run Software Update
  • Setup OpenDNS
  • Open the App Store and download purchased apps
  • Configure the perfect iTunes equalizer setting
  • Set various file types to Open With desired apps (Espresso for .txt, .html, Acorn for .png etc.)
  • Map ctrl keys in Spaces prefs
  • Add iCloud folder to Finder sidebar (~/Library/Mobile Documents/)

Required Apps & Various Prefs

  • Install Dropbox, let it sync, then point various apps to backup there (Yojimbo, TextExpander etc.)
  • Restore backups in TextExpander
  • LaunchBar + add Dropbox to the index
  • Set up OmniSync in OmniFocus
  • Import Transmit favorites
  • 1Password and its various arcane and confusing preferences/hacks

The Terminal

  • Increase the speed of the Dock show\hide animation
    defaults write autohide-time-modifier -float 0.5;killall Dock
  • Enable Quicklook text selection
    defaults write QLEnableTextSelection -bool TRUE
  • Add spacers to the Dock in OS X from Chris Coyier - hat tip to Andrew Austin
    defaults write persistent-apps -array-add '{"tile-type"="spacer-tile";}'
  • Disable inline image viewing in
    defaults write DisableInlineAttachmentViewing -bool yes
  • Disable the inclusion of a contact's full name when copying email addresses in Mail
    defaults write AddressesIncludeNameOnPasteboard -bool false

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