Remapping Enter to Control?

I don’t know if I buy this as useful, but cool that it’s an option:

That’s actually even better than what I had originally suggested, as here it’s also suggested to use CapsLock with a dual purpose as well – Control when held down and Escape otherwise. I have no idea how this never came to my mind, but it’s truly epic! A crazy productivity boost just got even crazier!

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PSA: Importing the OS X Path into Emacs

exec-path-from-shell to address Emacs on macOS path issues

PSA: Importing the OS X Path into Emacs:

The exec-path-from-shell package is a must-have for the OS X Emacs user. Before I found it, I could never get the search path for Emacs configured correctly. Once I installed it, all those problems disappeared and I haven’t thought about them since. Really; if you’re using Emacs on a Mac, you need this.

(Via Emacs – Irreal)

Here’s the recipe from my config:

(when (memq window-system '(mac ns))
(use-package exec-path-from-shell
:ensure t
) )

Since I use the same config on multiple OSes the opening line makes sure it only installs on a OS X/macOS host.

Legacy This!

I own a mid-2011 Mac Mini Server. Earlier this year I brought it to Japan with me. Being relatively compact, it was easy to transport. But it was in rough shape: hard drives loudly hummed, the fan whistled, and the whole operation ran hot.

Over on Reddit I outlined my situation as basically Is upgrading my Mac Mini’s Disks Worth It? The answer was yes! I got a Dell 27″ IPS display, an AmazonBasics monitor mounting arm, and cleaned up my desk to celebrate. Note to self: I still need a good chair.

Then I tackled the big issue – work at home.

There is not much need for me to bring my company issued MacBook Air home with me most days. My current generation iPad with a Magic Keyboard handles 90% of what I need in the off hours. But what about what about the 10%, and when I work from home?

Using VMWare Fusion on my Mac Mini, I set up a virtual machine for work. It only took 4 tries to get it set up properly for work. The issues were with the setup mechanism with the corporate environment, but VMWare did me few favors – it doesn’t support non-English keyboards in guest VMs without editing each VM’s VMX file, no Unity for macOS guests, no T.R.I.M. support, and other headaches. Regardless, the apps I need for work installed and work in the VM … mostly.

Next I need my backup plan for the Mini, buy that chair I mentioned, and come up with an elegant way to disguise my desk when not needed. I’m thinking small curtains.

I might consider an incremental upgrade to a 2012 Server but not to the 2014 Mac Mini models due to their lack of user replaceable components. If Apple were to release a new Mac Mini in the 2011/2012 mold with updated everything I would jump on it.

As things are, even though my Mini is now end of support with Apple, it works well with upgrades. When the Mini dies, if Apple keeps on its current course, I’d get a topped out MacBook Pro 15″ (2015 model if I can find one) and just permanently dock it with a smart outlet to keep the battery in as good a shape as possible. I’d hope I’d never have to use it as an real laptop (unless the 2015 keyboard is an option) but use Negative Visualization to prepare me for the experience.

It would be sad, though.

Killing the Dock

There are lots of design decisions made by Apple in OS X (now macOS) one can appreciate. I like the universal menu bar at the top of the screen. Overall it saves on space (assuming you need a menu bar).

One I do not like is the Dock. By default it takes up a lot of space, windows cannot cover it, and it wants your attention often. Application windows behave oddly compared with other Desktop Environments using a similar metaphor.

Kill The Dock (for MacOS) – Michael Rurka — ルデ – Medium

Shrink the Dock with zoom

In the Dock settings, move the Size slider all the way to Small. Select Magnification and set the slider to Max.

Hide the Dock

Select “Automatically hide and show the Dock”.

Increase Hover Time

In the terminal set the delay for the Dock to 5 seconds. Set the number higher if you want.

defaults write autohide-delay -float 5 && killall Dock

Kill the Bouncing Icons

Someday someone will tell me why Apple decided a bouncing icon in the Dock demanding the user’s focus and attention for even the most mundane information is a good idea. I cannot even imagine.

I followed MacWorld’s Rob Griffiths‘ advice from here:

defaults write no-bouncing -bool TRUE && killall Dock

Use Witch, Alfred, & Keyboard Maestro to Improve Things

I use Alfred similar to Michael’s approach. I also use Keyboard Maestro for launching shortcuts to either launch or raise specific apps – for example, Control-Command-S for Slack. Alfred – Productivity App for Mac OS X &

Most important, I use witch to provide Windows-like task switching via Command-tab. Witch · Many Tricks