I bought a new MacBook Pro and this is what I installed.


Google Chrome

Pretty sure they install Safari so you can download Chrome.


Easy, reliable, fast, beautiful FTP transfer for your servers and whatnot.

Fuse for OS X



For on-the-fly encryption of files and partitions.

GPG Tools

For encrypted conversations in email. Works right inside the Mail application.

Little Snitch

Network monitor and traffic manager. No more behind the scenes bandwidth or unauthorized apps phoning home.

One Password

Keep using secure passwords! Keep your passwords secure! This app will help across your desktop and your iPhone (if you wield one).


This makes manipulating window positions easy since Apple seems to suck at it and thinks that I want it ‘full screen’ when I click the window button that should just make it the full size of my monitor. Consider donating if you like it. This is a great little specialized application that deserves buying the developer a beer at the least.


I’ve relied on this for a long time to help me keep my Photos Libraries from getting too large. This lets you have different libraries stored on different drives on your home network or just external drives that you plug into when dumping certain cameras or videos that may be for events, jobs, or specific vacations. This is a great tool that I’ve used since it was iPhoto specific.


This is for talking with colleagues. It’s a chat client. Very handy.


This is for building things. ‘Cause we need to build things. ūüôā


This is for finding places where we’ve built things. You can load a world with this and view it as a topographical map. Way fun.


This is for sharing my screen with clients and others when I’m on conference calls. They don’t have to install anything, and it’s right through the browser. Very great freemium tool.


I use Evernote on my phone and synch those documents and notes back to my desktop with this application.


This is for all kinds of uses like system architecture layouts, workflows and other documentation illustrations.


Also an OmniGroup application, I use this for rapid, very organized, note-taking.

Open Office

Because I’m not yet convinced that I need to by Microsoft Office, but I do need to access a .doc or .docx file occasionally.


Jing is free and great for screen recording quick snippets for sharing with others. This isn’t for longer screencasts, but does the trick for QA collaboration or just showing someone what you’re seeing on your interactive screen.


This is a web design tool that I’m testing out in place of, or along side Adobe Illustrator.

Now for some Electronics hobby specific stuff:


This is for laying out PCBs for electronics manufacturing and prototyping.

Arduino IDE

The development tool for compiling and installing Arduino programs for prototyping and play.

CodeBender Drivers

This is for doing the above from within Chrome!! Saweet.

Then there are the work-type Development items:

Sublime Text 3







I installed the entire¬†XCode installation from Apple’s App Store, but I think there is an option for a truncated XCode compiler install¬†(that I didn’t use) that will save you disk space and just give you the key compilers you’ll likely need.

Also do the XCode command line tools with this command:

$ xcode-select --install


This the version control of choice at present and I like to have the GUI handy, but also install the command line tools for the times when that’s easier in the workflow.


This is super handy for simple WordPress site development. This application runs a handy little LAMP stack dev environment for those projects.


This little helper easily installs all sorts of missing goodies when needed.

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

Python2/3 and Virtualenv for Development

I have a clean system here and want it well structured for problem free development bliss. Right? ūüôā¬†I’ve shat upon systems in the past by doing basic, seemingly obvious installation sequences out of order or by using the wrong tools because my awareness was dated since my last setup.

Well… here is the¬†best python development environment setup guide I found.

It’ll get you all the way through this Virtualenv installation and others without falling for the sudo installation commands that many forums or StackExchange answers may lead you toward.


VirtualBox and Vagrant



And here are some configuration items that aren’t obvious:

Better Screen Captures

Here’s a lot of¬†info about the terminal. This intro could be very helpful. Do tread lightly, as the Terminal is powerful and foolish commands can do irreversible damage. So follow instructions closely and when in doubt, don’t press Enter.

Running this command in the terminal solves the shadowy edges of window screen captures:

$ defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool TRUE

This set of commands will create a put a Screenshots folder on your desktop and put the screen captures into that folder:

$ mkdir ~/Desktop/Screenshots
$ defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Desktop/Screenshots

See ALL Files on my System

This command will make sure even hidden files (most start with a “.” on the Mac) are displayed. Light users may not want this, but I like to see everything.

$ defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool TRUE

Useful QuickLook with text selection allowed

This command allows a more interactive QuickLook functionality on the map, allowing you to select revealed text. Handy.

$ defaults write com.apple.finder QLEnableTextSelection -bool TRUE

Remember ALL of my Terminal Commands

The .bash_profile file may not exist for you. If not, when this ‘touch’ command is run it creates the .bash_profile file in my user directory that allows me to extend my $PATH variable and effect a few other settings.

$ touch ~/.bash_profile

Here are a few other things you can hand-pick if you want to Better Configure OS X. Anyway, now I can edit the `.bash_profile` file to contain this string on a single line that effectively says to remember all of the command line commands that I run. It starts with a setting of 500 or so, but I bump it up to relatively infinite with the following:


(Source and more detail)





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