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Last active May 23, 2023 15:44
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System setup stuff for a new OLD mac (a/o 2020)

New computer setup

a/o 2020-05-29


Format the drive

  1. Restart with Cmd-R or Cmd-D
  2. Erase drive / 3x if second-hand
  3. Reinstall MacOS


First boot

  1. Change system password.
  2. Edit System Prefs
  Security & Privacy
      disable Location services
      allow apps
      enable Filevault (or later, after 1Password) // Or not, if a hybrid drive!
      disable screen saver
      background: 17% grey
      turn off command keys
      disable almost everything
      set DNS to [OpenDNS](
      or [Cloudflare](


Get online

  • Safari: download Dropbox
  • Dropbox: selective sync: just /Writing + /1Password (using iCloud for 1P and Resilio Sync for /writing)
  • Safari: download 1Password
  • Safari: download Quicksilver
  • Quicksilver: download Quicksilver plugins, especially Extra Scripts
  • Safari: download Chrome
  • Download iTerm 2


Install OS X CLI Tools

and/or install Xcode if you want, from the App Store

xcode-select --install Or download from Apple dev center


cf. Gist

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Install Homebrew

brew doctor && brew update && brew install ssh-copy-id wget legit node z coreutils cask php && touch /usr/local/etc/my.cnf.d/.gitkeep && brew prune

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Run system stuff in gist below:

Setup writer folder and nvAlt

  • Dropbox selective sync: Resilio sync: Writer folder (That's where I keep my Notes)
  • Download nvAlt
  • set nvAlt to use Writer folder

Download apps from App Store

Download apps from the Web (or brew cask install)

Firefox, Safari, Chrome


setup Google and Fastmail accounts in BusyCal


setup Fastmail account in Mail (or don't)


brew cask install python3 &&
brew cask install quicksilver &&
pip install powerline-status

Configure .ssh

Local Server Options


On vintage machines, download specific legacy software from Dropbox

  • Automator Dispense - Install%20Automator%20Action.pkg
  • BBEdit - BBEdit_10.1.2.dmg
  • CSS Edit - CSSEdit2.6.1.dmg
  • iTunes 11.4

Download ievms 2019-03-18

curl -s | bash

Downgrade iTunes 2019-03-18

Downgrade to lowest iTunes that works (11.4) using Pacifist to install.

AppZap built in apps (if you can)

Chess, GarageBand, Maps, iBooks, Game Center, iTunes

Install NPM

npm install -g npm@latest &&
npm install -g gulp &&
npm install -g csscomb &&
npm install -g a11y &&
chflags nohidden ~/Library && 
defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2 && 
defaults write -g NSScrollViewRubberbanding -int 0 && 
defaults write ABShowDebugMenu -bool YES && 
defaults write ShowDebugMenu -bool true && 
defaults write DUDebugMenuEnabled 1 && 
defaults write expose-animation-duration -int 0 && 
defaults write hide-mirror -bool true && 
defaults write pinning -string start && 
defaults write showhidden -bool YES && 
defaults write DevMode -bool true && 
defaults write EmailApp Postbox && 
defaults write disable-elastic-scroll -bool YES && 
defaults write PowerButtonSleepsSystem -bool no && 
defaults write AddressesIncludeNameOnPasteboard -bool false && 
defaults write MGCinematicWindowDebugForceNoRoundedCorners 1 && 
defaults write ShowFullURLInSmartSearchField -bool true && 
defaults write DisablePrintPreview -boolean true && 
defaults write ShowRuler 0 && 
defaults write AppleEnableSwipeNavigateWithScrolls -bool FALSE && 
defaults write com.sublimetext ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false &&
defaults write NSGlobalDomain KeyRepeat -int 0 && 
defaults write FXEnExtensionChangeWarning -bool false &&
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO &&
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSWindowResizeTime .1 &&
defaults write -g CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled -bool NO &&
defaults write NSGlobalDomain ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false &&
killall Dock;
killall SystemUIServer;
vagrant plugin install vagrant-bindfs &&
vagrant plugin install vagrant-hostmanager &&
vagrant plugin install vagrant-hos &&tsupdater
vagrant plugin install vagrant-scp &&
vagrant plugin install vagrant-share &&
vagrant plugin install vagrant-vbguest &&
vagrant plugin install vagrant-remove-old-box-versions &&
vagrant plugin update
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Getting a new laptop this week and will update everything.

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I sure do need to update this for silicon in 2023

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