Tip #6: A better OSX terminal means better productivity.

First off, let me say that I live and breathe the terminal. Almost 2 decades playing in unix and linux gives me a strong love for it. I know I am more productive than a pointy clicky loser. BASH ftmfw! (and when I am stuck admin’ing windows systems, powershell, which I am not ashamed to say I have a newfound fondness for.)

When I went laptop hunting 2 years ago on a job switch, I could not find one that would run linux or Solaris to my liking.  I don’t care about all the flowery shit like shaking screens or windows that go up in flames, even though that’s cool.

Server Shark… Not very productive…

I just wanted the damn thing to work, have a kick ass bash shell, run a browser, be able to compile on, and be fast.  Ohh, and WIFI had to be rock solid.  Easy enough, right? wrong.  very wrong.

What is it about laptops that nice screens and light ones suck so hard core when the manufacturers intend Windows to go on them?  Why are they scrimping on the screen so heavily, ad not putting in IPS or better displays?

I’m a life long Apple (the company), and iPhone/iPod hater.  Yes, I can develop apps for them, but as a company i HATE them.  I HATED Steve Jobs.  I hated all their historical BS of closed methodology and closed APIs.  Luckily, while the hardware is closed, OSX is POSIX-y enough and with MacPorts, I can compile EVERYTHING I previously used in linux and Solaris right in OSX.  I can use AppCelerator and other apps to make crap for Android/IOS.  It’s the best of both world’s and the screen is AMAZING.  I’m an OSX fanboy who still HATES STEVE JOBS!

You may be asking, where’s the tip?  wheres the brilliant word of wisdom?  I’m getting to it.. shut up, will you..

Ok… let me say, lack of proper key mapping SUCKED!  It was a total pain in the ass.  If I want to home/end word jump, etc, I couldn’t easily.  This brings me to the first set of tips… keymapping!

Edit your ~/.inputrc and add this to it to make things work a little bit more like linux/solaris does for jumping around on the line.

Also, within terminal, you will want to add these keymappings.  Preferences > Keyboard: (make these key modifiers, and the action will be send string to shell)

That overrides what the key sequence sends to send what linuxiness expects instead and what your inputrc is set to interpret.

Well, Teminal.app is nice, but it is NOT good enough for a power user!  Enter iTerm2!

Some of the iTerm2 features:

  •  Split Panel
  • Hotkey Window
  • Search
  • Autocomplete
  • Mouseless Copy
  • Paste History
  • Instant Replay
  • Configurability
  • Full Screen
  • 256 Colors
  • Unixyness
  • Readability
  • Mouse Reporting
  • Growl Support
  • Exposé Tabs
  • Tagged Profiles

This is an impressive damn list of usability!  The search in screen option itself is worth it!

I have only been using it a short while, but it is really nice!  It’s freem but throw the dude $1 because he will save you alot of time in the longrun. It’s worth it to pay it forward and encourage it’s development. http://www.iterm2.com/#/section/home

Within iTerm2, Fn left and right is the home and end function.  This drives me nuts.  Don’t dick with my Fn key!  I remapped this to control, like I had in Terminal (and linux).

Goto Preferences > edit Profile > Keys.
Click Load Presets, select Terminal.app compatibility

Ok see how all the crap above changed?
You want to look for the entries which look like an upper caret ^ and arrows.   ^–>   and the ^<–
Change the ^–>  to be [5D instead of [5C
Change the ^<– to be [5C instead of [5D
Seriously I do not know why they reversed them but eh. No biggie!

TiVO for Terminal!

Next, the single most critical app I have purchased for OSX… PathFinder!  The Finder in OSX is one of the worst design pieces of crap I have EVER seen!  PathFinder solves all my gripes about it!  Seriously!

Just a few of its features:

  • DropStacking
  • Batch renaming
  • Being able to click to anywhere on the HD
  • Source control
  • Image/Object Preview
  • Dual Pane Browsing
  • Integrated hex/text editor
  • File Transfer Queue
  • Etc,etc,etc,etc.  I wish Windows explorer was even 1/2 this good!

PathFinder kicks ass!

I hope these 2 apps help you out, I know they make me much more productive!  You should look heavily into MacPorts as well!  I won’t go to into MacPorts in this post, but I will later.  But, until then, here is a list of my most commonly used install sets you can pull into yours.  Just click that link to see how you can automatically take my list an bring it into yours (Open repository based only, I build off my own repo as well)



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