After a slow start where the Macbook Air took a week to arrive, then had to be returned due to a wobbly foot (probably a slightly twisted chassis) it has finally arrived today. I understand Mac owners traditionally, take photos of the unboxing process, a slightly disturbing virtual deflowering of their new acquisition. For people wo like this kinda stuff see attached images.
So, how did I set it up?
1. Get it out the box. Actually, seeing as how I got to do this yesterday with the previous Macbook Air, Bea got to take it out to appreciate the famous Apple experience.
2. Plug the power charger in and turn it on. Seems pretty obvious. Cue bizarre welcome video where I fly around a very purple galaxy while glossy text flies at me. I then get to fill in various details, connect to the wifi, take a picture of myself and I'm now at the desktop.
3. First things first, enable that missing right click. System Preferences > Trackpad > One Finger: Secondary Click. Also switched Tap to Click on.
4. Now to clear that dock, crowded with stuff I'll never use. 15 items, down to 4 - thats better.
5. Now to start filling it back up again:
- Firefox and Firebug. Whilst I do like Chrome, I can't possibly imagine doing web development without Firebug - the ability to edit CSS live in the browser is just phenomenal - I've learnt so much that way. It also has some pretty useful other tools, but thats the main reason i stick to Firefox. Other addons of note - XMarks (syncs bookmarks across computers), Lastpass (protects and syncs passwords across computers) and Flashblock (as I'd rather not have Flash slowing the browser down, but every once in a while I need it). Once that's installed I can remove Safari too.
- Dropbox - a must have program for any computer. It creates a folder on your computer that syncs across any number of other computers you have. You can also set folders to share with other poeple. Almost as good as all that is that it's free for a 2GB account - 2.25GB if you use this here referral code :)
- Tweetdeck (and by extension, Adobe Air) - by far my favourite Twitter Client. It holds account details across computers, so half teh setting are done for me. It allows me to update various Twitter accounts, my Facebook page, Moogaloo's Facebook page as well as other accounts I don't use (Foursquare, Buzz, LinkedIn)
- Spotify - perfect for handling music, especially when you dont have the space to fill your hard drive with mp3s.
- Chrome - for those occasions when Bea will want to use the Air, better to install Chrome than to have to listening to the frustration at having to use Firefox! And it is the nicest browser for just surfing the web anyway.
- Skype - invaluable for keeping in contact with friends and clients.
- Thunderbird - always liked Thunderbird for managing email. I can connect various Google apps accounts thru it, handling all email via IMAP - this means it's all stored centrally on Google's servers, so whichever computer I'm using it on, I'm seeing the same accounts, they're always in sync with each other. Thunderbird is also a pretty reasonable RSS reader if you're into that sort of thing.
- Evernote - excellent for catching interesting blog, news, tutorial and so on. You can tag each note to better find them later on too, and theres a helpful little addon for Firefox (and other browsers) to allow clipping direct from a browser.
- Open Office - it's pretty basic, but it's also free and does most of what I need to. When I need to handle something with someone else, there's Google Docs.
- MAMP Pro - the basics in local development. This essentially sets your laptop up as a webserver so you can run Apache, MySQL, PHP on there as if it was the wild internet... except being all on your computer, its a lot quicker and not dependant on an internet connection.
- Textmate - my current text editor of choice with reasonably good auto-complete and hinting. Not as good as Dreamweaver's text editor (blasphemous to say, I know) which has some excellent auto-complete features, but I have no plans to install something as gargantuan as Dreamweaver on here.
- Transmit - an excellent FTP client - easy to use, lots of features.
- Git Tower (and Git itself) - perfect for those of us who get a bit freaked out with command line stuff in Terminal - it integrates nicely with Beanstalk so when you want to push a series of commits to your Beanstalk remote it can also be set to upload files via FTP. What's even more clever is that as Git has already determined which files have been added, deleted or modified, since the last push, it only transfers the files it needs to via Beanstalks deployment environments, and not everything.
- Alfred - an easy way to find, launchg and switch between programs
- Hyperdock - for me, its about making OSX that little bit more user friendly... by bringing in some of Windows 7's best UI features. It allows you to see previews of each open applications windows as a series of thumbnails. It allows you to quickly and easily resize windows to quarter, half and full window size by dragging to the corners, sides or top respectively. It adds additional application sensitive options to the right click menus of launched dock items. Basically, it makes life a bit easier.
- Eon - a neat little time tracker that allows me to post time worked on various tasks to FreeAgent, the truely awesome accounting software service we use to manage projects, invoices, bank transactions and more (life long 10% discount included in the referral link)
6. And lastly, pick myself a nice background.
Now it's just a case of going through all these programs and getting the settings consistent. Not sure there's a shortcut for that. All the passwords are all held neatly in Lastpass, but the projects and settings I have in the likes of Transmit, Git Tower, Eon, MAMP Pro, I suspect will need to be set up new. Ah well - all the joy of anew computer.
So that's my Macbook Air's new setup - ready for evenings and weekends of productive tinkering and administrating.
For those of you in similar situations, which Applications do you find are the must haves? How have you set up your laptop for getting work done?