macOS Productivity Apps every dev needs!

Window Management/Misc Util

SpectacleFree, Open Source
BetterTouchTool, Donationware
Magnet , Mac App Store, about $2.

Winner: BetterTouchTool

Spectacle App is really, really good window management; shortcuts to dock windows to left/right half (or quadrants, or top/bottom) of screen. Some stuff, like hitting the ‘dock right’ shortcut (ctrl + cmd + right) twice makes a window use the right third then right half then right 3/4ths etc. It’s just magically good. Having said that you can replicate (95%) the functionality of Spectacle App with BTT and since BTT does Window Management and Keyboard/Mouse Remapping and so much more – it makes sense to use BTT alone. 

Magnet is Spectacle App with the added ability to dock windows on drag (i.e. drag to top of screen to make a window full screen). BTT does this out of the box too; but takes it further… BTT lets you define snap areas / layouts and activate them using the mouse alone!

BTT does not come batteries included, so you have to make your own shortcuts and assign window management operations to them. There’s a community forum for sharing presets but it’s still a chore. Also BTT can do Touchbar based Window Management (though I’ve not found that very useful; and I hate the touchbar anyways).

Application Launcher / Search Everywhere

Alfred, Freemium

Better spotlight, including deep integration with Google / Gmail / Drive and other custom searches (via plugins). Really good, no competition here. No discussion, just install it and thank me later.

Alfred Workflows

Note Taking

OneNote, Free, Proprietary 

The best note taking app out there. Period. I’d say Apple Notes is now the best note taking app out there, because it’s so fast and has great integration with iOS & macOS. The web version is not too shabby either. It’s not very cross platform though and if you have thousands of notes (as I do) sync breaks every now and then. It doesn’t have all the “nice” touches of OneNote – like napkin math or keyboard shortcuts to apply styles like Heading 1, Heading 2 etc.

Screen Sharing / Collaboration

ScreenHero (now owned/murdered by Slack)

AnyDesk

TeamViewer: The free version just randomly stops workign for me — it says commercial use detected and stops. So AnyDesk, though TeamViewer is very good.

Other:

CleanMyMacX, Freemium 

Itsycal, Freemium

Developer Tools 

  • PHPStorm
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Homebrew,

Homebrew packages/bottles: 

brew install php swaks htop telnet ffmpeg mysql pstree aria2 pv q jq autojump keychain nmap readline node redis beanstalkd ripgrep rsnapshot wget rsync bzip2 git xz yarn speedtest-cli parallel composer go sqlite curl grep sshfs coreutils

Other Stuff

Google Chrome, FireFox, Microsoft Edge (Chrome)

XCode

Office 365

Parallels Desktop

Coconut Battery

WhatsApp (Desktop)

Blackmagic Speed Test

Amphetamine

Reeder

Dropbox

Tinkerwell

VLC

Beyond Compare: Don’t leave home without this!

Paw

SuperDuper

(Git) Tower 2

Docker

Pocket

SecurePDF

XQuartz

Calibre

Intel Power Gadget

Mailplane

Backup and Sync from Google

MacDown

WireGuard

MySQL Workbench

Skype

OpenAudible

Resolutionator

Local By Flywheel

JetBrains Toolbox

Trello

GIPHY Capture

Yoink!

OpenInTerminal

MacsFanControl

Trader Workstation (IB)

 

One-Liners

Q: Can February March?
A: No. But April May!

Q: Did you hear about the painter who was hospitalized?
A: Reports say it was due to too many strokes!

Q: Have you heard the joke about the butter?
A: I better not tell you, it might spread!

Q: How do you know that carrots are good for your eyesight?
A: Have you ever seen a rabbit wearing glasses?

Q: Music Teacher: What’s your favourite musical instrument?
A: Kid: The lunch bell!

Q: What did the triangle say to the circle?
A: You’re pointless!

Q: What do you call a ghosts mom and dad?
A: Transparents!

Q: What do you call a group of men waiting for a haircut?
A: A Barbercue!

Q: What do you call a person that chops up cereal.
A: A cereal killer!

Q: What do you call a South American girl who is always in a hurry?
A: Urgent Tina!

Q: What do you call two fat people having a chat?
A: A heavy discussion!

Q: What kind of emotions do noses feel?
A: Nostalgia!

Q: What kind of shorts do clouds wear?
A: Thunderwear!

Q: Who cleans the bottom of the ocean?
A: A Mer-Maid!

Q: Why can’t a leopard hide?
A: Because he’s always spotted!

Q: Why can’t your nose be 12 inches long?
A: Because then it would be a foot!

Q: Why did the boy tiptoe past the medicine cabinet?
A: He didn’t want to wake the sleeping pills!

Q: Why did the tomato turn red?
A: It saw the salad dressing!

Q: Why did the tree go to the dentist?
A: To get a root canal!

Q: Why don’t you see giraffes in elementary school?
A: Because they’re all in High School!

Q: Why was the math book sad?
A: Because it had too many problems!

Postfix: Add a catch-all domain

Configure postfix to forward all email for a domain to another destination. (#Ubuntu #Trusty)

$>vim /etc/postfix/main.cf
virtual_alias_domains = domain.com example.org
virtual_alias_maps = static:<email@example.org>
#virtual_alias_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/virtual
$>service postfix reload

Any email sent to *@domain.com, *@example.org will be redirected to email@example.org, assuming of course that you setup the MX record for domain.com / example.org to be the postfix server.

One risk is that any spam will also get forwarded; this is normally ok, but gmail etc will lower the sending MTA / IP score such that future emails that are not spam will still be treated as spam.

Docker ❤️ Parallels ❤️ OS X (El-Capitan)

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Getting started with Docker + Parallels on OS X (using Homebrew)

Update: Sep 2016: This is no longer relevant; best to download Docker for Mac which uses xhyve to virtualize the Docker Engine environment and Linux kernel-specific features on OS X. This allows for much easier sharing of files between your local machine and docker containers.

Want to use Docker on OS X? At the moment, the OS X kernel does not directly support containers like Docker or OpenVZ. So you have to run a VM with docker installed. You then use the Docker CLI to interact with the Docker (daemon) running on the VM. The whole process is actually very easy to setup now that Docker Machine supports the Parallels driver.

Assumptions: You already have Parallels (11, Business or Pro Edition) and Homebrew installed.

$> brew update  # need to brew with a recent version
$> brew upgrade
$> brew install docker docker-machine docker-machine-parallels
… grab some coffee…
$> docker-machine create -d parallels dev1
$> eval `docker-machine env dev1`
$> docker run hello-world

All done!

You are now ready to use Docker, Docker Composer and even Docker Swarm.

Scoring my iPhone rumour round-up

John Gruber (Daring Fireball): iPhone 6s (or whatever it’s called) will have the biggest jump in camera tech ever (perhaps dual-lens based on technology acquired from Linx)

  • Check, camera is now 12MP, records 4K, better low-light performance. Not dual-lens though.

Mark Gurman (9to5Mac): Same exterior (perhaps 0.13mm deeper, which is too small to be noticeable). Updated interior with fewer chips. Rose Gold as an option. Difference is size could be due to inclusion of Force Touch (not sure at all, just reporting feedback and comments on the article itself). Will have faster LTE (updated Qualcomm chip).
-(http://9to5mac.com/2015/07/03/iphone-6s-photos-nfc-storage-chips/)

  • Check, iPhone 6s is a infinitesimal bit larger, has fewer chips, rose-gold option, faster LTE, substantially improved CPU

WSJ: Apple manufacturing a record number of iPhones (90mn). Same sizes.
-(http://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-preparing-record-number-of-new-iphones-1436367371)

  • Seems to be holding up, esp. when looking at Apple’s guidance for the holiday quarter.

iPhone (vNext) Rumours

John Gruber (Daring Fireball): iPhone 6s (or whatever it’s called) will have the biggest jump in camera tech ever (perhaps dual-lens based on technology acquired from Linx)
-(http://daringfireball.net/thetalkshow/2014/11/15/ep-100)

Mark Gurman (9to5Mac): Same exterior (perhaps 0.13mm deeper, which is too small to be noticeable). Updated interior with fewer chips. Rose Gold as an option. Difference is size could be due to inclusion of Force Touch (not sure at all, just reporting feedback and comments on the article itself). Will have faster LTE (updated Qualcomm chip).
-(http://9to5mac.com/2015/07/03/iphone-6s-photos-nfc-storage-chips/)

WSJ: Apple manufacturing a record number of iPhones (90mn). Same sizes.
-(http://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-preparing-record-number-of-new-iphones-1436367371)

Will have iOS9 (master of the obvious, yours truly).

Twitter’s potential

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$TWTR has not been doing so well off late, but has immense potential.

Twitter is primarily an interest graph. I tweet about things I am interested in (and do so very publicly). I follow and am followed by people with interests similar to mine.

People reading my twitter feed are able to figure out what topics interest me. For example every time I tweet about Apple’s terrible iCloud Photo Sync, someone tells me about Dropbox Carousel and so on. I crib about how expensive the iMac is (mainly because I really really want one) and Microsoft fanboi’s see this as something to be countered.

Why are algorithms not able to do this for me? Do you need the full firehose to be able to do this? I should be able to target ads to people who are interested in a particular topic. What is a topic? What is my view on that topic? This is where I think some AI / clever algos are important.

This makes me think Twitter’s has tremendous potential. Potential that may not be fully appreciated and therefore may not be fully valued.