I had to set up my new work computer today and rather than just slog away at it, I thought I would live tweet the process. Honestly, there’s still a lot of config left to do, but the tweet thread does a good job organizing the apps and software I use daily. My install notes are another good summary.
Upgrade to Big Sur #
I’ve got a new work laptop! I’m going to try to track my setup process and the software and tools I install in this thread
Step #1, wait…
Oh wow, I really jumped the gun on this thread
in the mean time, I guess I’ll tidy the dock
Here’s something I do on every machine I use: turn Caps Lock into Escape. It’s only annoying when I write SQL but it saves so much finger and hand movement. Essential for vim mode.
Looking for other things I can tweak while I wait. Hot corners?
↗️ Mission Control
↙️ Application Windows
↖️ Put Display to Sleep (and add require password immediately)
Okay, Big Sur Install Time has arrived. After these messages, we’ll be right back.
🍎 1 minute remaining…
🍎 About 17 minutes remaining…
🍎 About 26 minutes remaining…
🍎 About 9 minutes remaining…
🍎 (no time estimate)
After a reboot, all is quiet. The screen is black. I move the mouse. A login screen! That was fast!
I login. I’ve entered a time loop. Tuesday starts again.
I guess we’re downloading Big Sur again. I feel like I did this before…
Download complete … now this looks legit. Wish me luck!
Critical First Steps #
And we’re back! I am… not sure how I feel about the new look of Big Sur
Now that I have iTerm2, I need Apple’s Command Line Tools. Open up iTerm2 and run
Hopefully this won’t take long…
That was pleasantly fast. Next up: homebrew.
Homebrew makes it easy to install software, even apps. I’m just going to copy the install code from https://brew.sh/ and run it
@alfredapp to switch between apps, files, etc. so I’ll use brew to install it:Homebrew’s ready, so let’s put it to use. I use
brew cask install Alfred
brew install <x> usually installs command line utility
with interfaces need “cask.”
— Hadley Wickham (@hadleywickham) February 27, 2018
@pjs_228 has a collection of helpful R workflowsAnd if you purchase Alfred’s powerpack features,
I’ve created an alfred workflow for R which might be helpful. https://t.co/GrsIbCqaBT
— Patrick Schratz (@pjs_228) November 19, 2020
After jumping through a few permission hoops to give Alfred access to everything, we’re in business.
I remap Alt + Space to Spotlight (Mac’s quick finder) and make Alfred Cmd + space.
I’ve been informed by homebrew that
brew cask install <app>
has been deprecated in favor of
brew install --cask <app>
After a short digression, I got Firefox to install with brew
brew tap homebrew/cask-version brew install --cask firefox-developer-edition
@firefox: login to Firefox Sync and all of my bookmarks, extensions, preferences, etc. all magically appear in my new browserMy favorite part of installing
Another short digression, I use these extensions every day:
- LastPass https://lastpass.com
- Refined Github https://github.com/sindresorhus/refined-github
- Dark Reader https://darkreader.org/
- Copy as Markdown https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/copy-as-markdown/
Install R and Friends #
I’m going to install both 3.6.3 and 4.0.3 (and maybe eventually
devel). Yes, you have multiple versions of R on your machine at once
(more on that in a
I picked the signed 3.6.3 binary but I still had to go through macOS security steps. When it doesn’t open, open System Preferences > Security and Privacy > General and then, while second-guessing yourself, click “Open Anyway”
Which R installs faster? It’s a race (to see if I can remember my new password)
My little laptop is growing up so fast
install.packages("pak", repos = "https://r-lib.github.io/p/pak/dev/") pak::pak_setup() pak::pkg_install("tidyverse")
16 seconds later 🎉
pak is fast. These packages installed in literal seconds.Wow
Mostly just basics I know I’ll want, other things to customize @rstudio
I ran this code for both R 3.6.3 and 4.0.3
pak install your packages.Like it’s actually kind of fun to watch
Utility Mac Apps #
That’s it for R, here come a bunch of utility apps for Macs. These all make life a little easier, more productive. Fitter, happier.
These all worked on Catalina so I guess I’ll find out soon if they work for Big Sur…
Kap records your screen, converts movies to gifs and has powered half of this thread so far.
brew install --cask kap
Rectangle is another absolutely essential mac app. Easily resize windows to fill parts of the screen with many keyboard shortcuts. Rectangle replaces Spectacle and adds snap zones.
brew install --cask rectangle
@PeeltothePithy for the tip!AltTab adds window previews to the window switcher. Thanks
brew install --cask alt-tab
KeyCastr show key presses on-screen, perfect for demonstrating cool RStudio keyboard shortcuts
brew install --cask keycastr
scripts, turn on amphetamine, turn off the monitor, walk away knowing
your script is still going.
If you’ve ever wanted to open certain links in *certain* browsers, Finicky can help.
brew install --cask finicky
And now that I just installed a dozen menu-bar apps, I don’t want to have to look at them all the time.
Hello dozer, a little app that hides the clutter!
brew install --cask dozer
That’s it for menu bar apps, let’s move on to big apps!
First up, essential work apps, slack and spotify.
Did you know you can install both with brew at the same time?
brew install --cask spotify slack
I don’t always use editors that aren’t RStudio to edit code…
but when I do I use Visual Studio Code.
brew install --cask visual-studio-code
I wasn’t sure where to put Docker in the lineup, but it’ll be a good segue into command line apps.
And I always have to click around a bunch to find the download: https://hub.docker.com/editions/community/docker-ce-desktop-mac/
What’s cooler than docker? Rocker! 👩🎤
The rocker project provides a ton of r-based docker images, ranging
from bare bones to ready for publication or geospatial analysis. Thank
your awesome work!
Command Line Utilities #
And now we’re moving into a new category: command line apps.
I know what you’re thinking, but these aren’t your mother’s command line apps. Command line apps have gotten really pleasant to use lately. They even have color! 🌈
@github’s command line tool. It makes it surprisingly easy to create issues, review PRs, and generally interact with my work on GitHub.My recent new favorite is
brew install gh
Speaking of git, bit is a fun CLI that smooths out some of git’s rougher edges.
brew install bit-git
Two more rhyming CLIs:
- bat makes it easy to see inside files
- nat makes it easy to see inside directories
brew install bat nat
Oops nat needs a little more to install:
brew tap willdoescode/homebrew-natls brew install natls
I love the idea of this one. Forget how
tar works? tldr
brew install tldr
I can’t believe how much of the stuff in this thread I’ve been able to install with brew. Did you know you can use it to install fonts?
brew tap homebrew/cask-fonts
Then install fonts with
brew install --cask font-incosolata
or find fonts
brew search font-
brew can even install node and then you can use npm to install even more things!
brew install node
npm install --global standard
Another fun node package and CLI that I like a lot is gitmoji
npm install --global gitmoji-cli
Semantic emoji for git commit messages! 🤪
Fish Shell #
You can install fish from brew, and then it’s a good idea to install fisher, too. It’s a plugin manager for your shell.
brew install fish
fisher install instructions: https://github.com/jorgebucaran/fisher
Then you can install plugins, like this sweet prompt theme called tide
fish # to start the fish shell fisher install IlanCosman/tide
I’ll just pick one to make it work
brew install --cask font-hasklug-nerd-font
and then configure iTerm to use “Hasklug Nerd”…
Boom, fancy prompt with icons!
One more fish thing… there’s a utility called “z”
fisher install jethrokuan/z
z uses a list of frequent and recent directories to make it easy to
move around your computer. After using it a bit you can type
and jump to
Okay, at this point, my machine should be ready to use! And if not, it’s time for dinner anyway.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if I missed your favorite app anywhere 😉
So long and thanks for all the fish!
omg I still have so many things to log into and configure