Wednesday, February 16, 2011

First Month Without Windows

It's been a little over than a month since I left the Microsoft Universe behind. I had used OS X and Linux before - mostly in the evenings and weekends - but I made the jump finally and I only touch Windows when I browse the web on my wife's laptop. And I just couldn't be happier...

Life on the Mac

I have a pretty powerful Mac. It has an Intel Core i5 CPU and I upgraded the RAM from 4GB to 8GB as soon as I received it. I don't have an SSD just yet, but I am still pretty happy with its performance. Whenever I feel like checking the current state of the machine I just run "htop" in the terminal.

I started out using Firefox for my work email, but I write automated tests in it as well and I had to find another solution. "Before I ran out of browsers" I investigated my options. I could have purchased Mailplane but I did not feel I needed a full blown app for it. I found Fluid, a site specific browser. Now I can open my work email just like any other application and I am still using a browser inside. I found a nice PNG file that I set up with it and the app looks just like a native app when I tab between applications. Here is how it appears under the Applications folder:

To organize my thoughts and notes I started using Evernote. It's a great tool for note taking but I think it does an even better job at organizing them. I even installed the Evernote Chrome extension:

I don't use the mouse - or track pad - to launch an application. First I used Spotlight but switched to Alfred App recently. It's fast and I can use keyboard shortcuts. This image tells it all:

Living my life in the Terminal (iTerm)

After using the terminal for a couple of weeks I switched to iTerm2. I don't use all its neat features just yet but I do like the split view mode. I have cucumber features running on one side and rails logs on the other.

I am still learning (who doesn't) and tweaking all the different configuration options of my ~/.vimrc and ~/.zshrc files. I am particularly happy with this addition to my ~/.vimrc file that ignores my arrow keys when I am in command mode. No more arrows to move around!

" Ignore arrow keys in vim
:map <Left> <Nop>
:map <Right> <Nop>
:map <Up> <Nop>
:map <Down> <Nop>
:map <PageUp> <Nop>
:map <PageDown> <Nop>
:map <Home> <Nop>
:map <End> <Nop>

:map! <Left> <Nop>
:map! <Right> <Nop>
:map! <Up> <Nop>
:map! <Down> <Nop>
:map! <PageUp> <Nop>
:map! <PageDown> <Nop>
:map! <Home> <Nop>
:map! <End> <Nop>

I even started listening to Pandora in the terminal through Pianobar.

I have used Git before, but my skills are not where it should be. I started reading the book Pragmatic Version Control Using Git which I'd recommend to anybody who wants to go deep with Git. You should also check out the great Git Immersion class created by EdgeCase.

My Typing Sucks

Well, maybe it's not that bad, but my typing could and should improve. It's just not fast enough and I don't use all my fingers. I need to take my eyes off the monitor and look at the keyboard when I try to use special key commands that I have not used much before. And my typing is not accurate, I frequently have to go back and fix words that I mistyped.
Unacceptable. I wonder if companies should check in an interview how well a candidate can type.

I used the web site and an app called aTypeTrainer4Mac to practice. I am still not where I'd like to be, but I am working on it.

Thanks to Joe Fiorini for showing me endless tips mentioned in this blog post.