Apple Mac

In 2017 I started using a MacBook Pro, having not used a Mac since 1995 when I was last doing development work on the platform. Needless to say it took some adjusting and getting used to, so this is what I learnt and some helpful, hopefully, notes.

I started with a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), which I have to say was a very nice and well made machine. Then in December 2017 I switch to a MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016) which is all USB-C and has the Touch Bar.

Hints & Tips

Finder Sorting: if you want Finder to always sort with folders first then open a Finder window, open Preferences and select Advanced, the option is there
Show Hidden Files: in an Open/Save Dialog or in Finder press Cmd+Shift+Period to display hidden files and directories
Print Screen: press Cmd+Shift+3 to get your screen saved as a PNG on the Desktop
Print Part Screen: press Cmd+Shift+4, you then get a cross-hair to select the part you want, or press space when the cross-hair shows to get a camera so you can select a Window. See How to take a screenshot on your Mac - Apple Support for more details and options
Delete: a Mac has the Backspace key but not Delete like Windows, press Fn+Backspace to get a Delete
Page Up: this is fn+up
Page Down: this is fn+down
Do Not Disturb: in System Preferences -> Notifications you can turn on Do Not Disturb "When mirroring to TV's and projectors", a handy option but possibly on by default
Flush the DNS Cache: on OS X 10.9 or higher you need to execute the following two commands:
sudo dscacheutil -flushcache
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

Hostname - you can set this via System Preferences -> Sharing, see macOS Sierra: Change your computer’s local hostname


See Apple security updates - Apple Support for details about security updates


If you go to "Apple Menu" -> "About This Mac" -> "System Report" -> "Hardware" -> "Power" -> "Health Information" you will see a "Cycle Count" and "Condition", all being well the condition will be "Normal".

File System

In September 2017 Apple release macOS High Sierra, which was the first shipping of APFS, read more details on this at A ZFS developer’s analysis of the good and bad in Apple’s new APFS file system | Ars Technica.

Useful Tools

iTerm2 - macOS Terminal Replacement - a lot of people use this, although I have never done so

Setting Up...

Being a Software Developer means you probably want various tools and utilities on you Mac to make like easier therefore I would suggest installing Homebrew from which gives you the brew command and then Homebrew-Cask which makes a number of application type installs easier, including PowerShell. Installing Homebrew requires one command from their site and Homebrew-Cask is another one line install from their site, which uses Homebrew, so very simple.

Wiping your Mac

Sometimes you need to wipe your Mac and know that it is wiped and clean for someone else to use. In this case, have a read of What to do before you sell or give away your Mac - Apple Support.

Handy Articles

Some useful articles to help you learn about your Mac:
How to use the Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro - Apple Support
How to use the Force Touch trackpad - Apple Support