A New Machine

I recently got a new home computer - my first Mac. As with any new machine, it takes a while to set it up just as you like it. Here are some of the basics that I started off with.


All our music is stored on a remote disk and I want it to stay there so before importing into iTunes, I unchecked the ‘Copy files to iTunes when importing’ in Preferences/Advanced.

In my existing iTunes, I saved playlists as XML, mail them over and imported the playlists into the new machine.

DVD Sharing

Since my machine lacks an optical drive, I enabled DVD sharing on my wife’s iMac in System Preferences/Sharing.

App Store

It seemed to be random whether an app I wanted was in the App Store or came direct from a company’s website but here’s what I found.

  • XCode (Apple)
  • Evernote - I’m experimenting with using Evernote to maintain notes on how I configure all the machines I use. (I may use Zim instead)
  • Pocket - previously ReadItLater - save web pages for later reading. (I may use Instapaper instead)
  • Caffeine - temporarily disable the screensaver while watching movies, etc.
  • Twitter - I really feel I should use this more - but never do

Miscellaneous Apps

A lot of what I wanted came from websites

  • Dropbox - shared web-accessible disk
  • Google Drive - shared web-accessible disk with spreadsheets, text editors, etc.
  • Skype - free internet chatting
  • Adium - instant messaging clients that works with almost everything (but I don’t IM much)
  • Google Earth
  • Skim - PDF reader with annotation ability
  • MacPorts Install XCode (App Store), enable command line toolsInstall XQuartz https://xquartz.macosforge.orgInstall mac ports package from http://www.macports.org/install.php
  • Zim - Desktop wiki (better formatting options then Evernote, no sharing between machines - I may use Evernote instead)
    • This required a bit of setup sudo port install py27-gtk py27-xdg py27-simplejson
      cd Downloads/zim-0.57
      sudo ./setup.py install
    • This hasn’t been working very well for me because it uses Linux conventions (e.g., ctrl-C not cmd-C to copy)
Written on December 15, 2012. The opinions expressed are my own views and not my employer's.