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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What to install on a new machine?

What do you install when you get a new machine? As a developer you have to install a lot more things than a normal user.

For a Window box I need the following:

  • Java SDK
  • 7 Zip
  • Eclipse
  • Android SDK
  • Sublime Text
  • Chrome, FireFox, Opera to test websites (IE is preloaded)
  • SmartGit, Tortoise, TFS (what ever version control you currently use)
  • Console2 (allows you to do transparent / tabbed command lines)
  • Greenshot to get easy screen shots, annotate and crop them
  • System Internals (lots of tools, need most of them)
  • Paint.NET (so far my favorite free paint program)
  • Hoekey (run things off Win+key combinations)
  • Pencil (quick wireframes)
  • MediaMonkey (music and other files)
  • Python (for quick scripts and easy file parsing)
  • Picasa (for fast photo viewing)
  • Various USB / ADB drivers for Android phones (Motorola, Samsung, HTC)
For a Mac I need the following:
  • Java SDK
  • Eclipse
  • Android SDK
  • Xcode
  • Sublime Text
  • GIMP (for painting chores)
  • AppCode (if company will pay for it, I like it better than Xcode)
  • Source Tree (if using GIT)
  • Chrome, FireFox, Opera (Safari already there)
Both 
  • Chrome extensions, FireFox extensions or both
  • Current set of bookmarks (auto imported by Chrome)
  • Existing code snippets I have collected over the years
  • Music
  • Wireless headphones (not really an install, just plug them in)
It can take a bit of time to get it all set up but it really is not that big of a list. Most things are already on the box ready to roll. If it is a totally fresh machine you have to install the latest updates from Apple or Microsoft before you move along too far. I try to carry most of my list on a USB key so I can hit the ground running instead of eating up bandwidth trying to get the required bits on my first day.

My new job will provide a MacBook Pro. I need to get used to GIMP again. I have been using Paint.NET mainly for the past year. I have had positions where I have both a PC and a Mac and I have cheated and used the PC for a lot of my graphics work just because I am familiar with it. I have Photoshop Elements at home and I use that too. I will also have to spin my head into Linux command line usage. Not that I need the command line very often on a Mac but when you need it you need it bad and don't want to have to look up every command.

In general it is not too hard to switch between a Mac and a PC. I will have the same keyboard - a Microsoft Natural 4000, at home and work. They layout just works better for me. Some of the keystrokes on the Mac will mess me up for a bit. I used to switch between the two every few minutes as I was doing Android work on one and iOS on the other or I was testing our main Java app on both so I would be testing layout differences.

Always interesting to start on a new machine then to start realizing what you are missing. Some program that you only use so often. Of course in the old days you had to dig out a CD or a floppy disk and install it. Now as long as you remember the name you can download and install it off the internet. Physical media is not used much. 

My wife got a new laptop and I was able to set it up pretty quickly. It is a Lenovo laptop I got refurbished from Microcenter as I did not want a machine with Windows 8 and I wanted something with a lot of RAM and a good processor. Save but sturdy. Why not Win8? Am I not a tech? Yes I am a nerd but she would be the only one in family with Win8 and I just did not want to mess with it. I have not heard good things at this point. Generally skipping every other release of Windows has been a safe bet.

I was able to install things quickly. I had to dig out or Quicken CD but everything else came off the web including an install of Office 2013. She was up and running easily and does not use the machine for development so my list about was cut pretty short. She does a great job keeping her documents and what not on our home server so everything was there. Calendar, Contacts and emails are done through Google as they sync with her phone so all of that was ready too. The cloud sure has made things much easier. The home server, which is backed up Mon, Wed, Fri, also helped a lot. It serves as a printer server too.

Ready to get my new Mac going. I will add to the list if I find other things I needed to install.