Dimitar Chakarov

Preparing the Way... for M1

December 15, 2020 | 2 Minute Read

Every year when the new macOS is out I do the same thing. I format my second SSD, install the new OS there, boot from it, and start installing the apps I need one by one. I have the luxury of having two SSD drives which makes the whole exercise very easy. Whenever I feel like I am missing something - be that a config file for an app, or some key mappings I can’t quite reproduce - I reboot into the previous OS and get what I need.

After a few weeks or months I disconnect the now old SSD and use the iMac for another couple of months. If all goes well, I know I can safely wipe the SSD and get it ready for next year.

Having done that just a month ago (the first stage), I am now in the perfect spot to create a nice list of the apps I actually use, so when my shiny new M1 MacBook Air arrives, I can be prepared1. Here we go.

Telegram - my favourite messaging app. Gotta love those stickers!

Spark - my email client of choice.

Xcode + Darcula + Source Code Pro - I have some code to write.

WhatsApp - some people are not on Telegram. Sigh.

iTerm2 + Fish + Oh My Fish + Homebrew - gotta pimp my terminal.

SourceTree - yes, I know git. But I like clicking on things.

Slack - I have to. It’s 2020.

Tor - for the privacy.

ForkLift - good for babysitting my servers.

Ulysses - best app for writing fiction.

Downie - gotta save those tubes.

Gemini - great for getting rid of low quality photos you’re too lazy to search for manually.

Skype - some people are not even on WhatsApp. Double sigh.

Visual Studio Code - best app for writing non-fiction.

OneNote - better notes than Notes.

IINA - best video player in town.

Dropbox - my files are there.

Instapaper - for saving articles I never read.

In preparing the list I was tempted to sort it by priority, or importance. That’s not an easy task. How do you define priority? Is it more important to have a good app to code, or a good app to watch a movie? Moreover, I am now going to use this list on two macs with somewhat different usage patterns. In short, consider the list above not sorted. Thank you.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

  1. Sorry, John