Taming a Mac, Lubuntu style

I’ve supported and administered Mac servers and desktops before, but never leapt on the tech worker bandwagon of actually using one for my own work. At the new office, I was handed a Macbook Pro, so I figured it was time to learn.

Learning when to use the various meta keys is a job for my fingers to keep practising – I’m getting better, and hopefully it won’t break my brain when I head home to my Lubuntu desktops.

Some web searching led me to fiddle with Automator to help fill some gaps, but the resulting keyboard shortcuts didn’t always respond, so I’ve settled on some programs to help:

  • Slate for launching, switching, resizing and placing programs in the desktop
  • Mission Control gives me multiple desktops and shortcuts to switch between them
  • HyperSwitch gives me a more comfortable alt-tab (programs within the current desktop) than the full-blown command-tab (all programs)
  • Quicksilver promises more features than Spotlight, and so far delivers except for System Preferences contents

The three programs I’ve installed have more features than I’m using, and I may explore them later.

I’m content with how it’s all working, and I am hesitant to throw it all away and install Lubuntu. That’s partly because of the time spent doing so, and partly because I’m not certain about how well it would work. Hardware compatibility, external screen resolution, power management… things seem to work just fine in *buntu, but I’m quite sure Apple have written things to work excellently in OS X. I want to spend time using the computer, not twiddling with it. I was initially dubious, but my OS X is now Good Enough(TM) for me to get on with some work.

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