Apple

A text-based workflow for taking note

Over the years, I have been using various approaches to note taking on my Mac, especially to annotate articles or books I read, or just quickly write some reminders or archive snippets of code. None has definitely been satisfactory–the last iteration was a combination of a standard BibTeX file and hundreds of ebooks managed by Papers app, and I definitely need a more robust workflow. So, I decided to start again from scratch.

The setup (2018 edition)

It is time to give a brief overview of my setup although things have not really changed. Well, I realize that I am now running High Sierra on a Macbook 12” Retina (8 Go RAM, sigh) and that Apple kindely continued to suppress things here and there. Last one was telnet (but also ftp). I must admit that I did not experience much incompatibility issues or major crash when I switch over High Sierra two weeks ago, though.

OS X El Capitan

I am always reluctant to download pre-release version when OS X get updated. So I waited for the final version of El Capitan in App Store. Apple Mail finally became a useable application in fullscreen mode: You can now start writing a message and go back to your inbox without having to close the editor window. It is now possible to have two fullscreen applications side by side (‘split view’ mode), and Spaces has been improved in many ways.

Why I am still using Emacs

Some months ago I noticed the release of a new text editor which was supposed to bring the best of both world, Emacs and Vim, but see Spacemacs - First Impressions From an Emacs Driven Developer for a recent review. Spacemacs I tried Spacemacs yesterday and I must say this should be great for people used to Vim modal approach to interacting with buffer and text. However, I feel like it is too much for Emacs users (even with the Holy mode), and I stand on my custom settings.

Tmux and OS X

I am sometimes using tmux as my default terminal multiplexer. Here are some notes on my current configuration. My configuration is rather simple, and it is mostly inspired from others’ config files I found with little Googling. The default status bar is not quite bad, but I don’t really like the green background and I prefer non-intrusive ‘markers’ to display information about my running processes. I ended up with the following customization for the status bar: (See also here and here.

OS X Yosemite

I installed Yosemite last week on my fresh MacBook Pro, and I must say this is just whooo… As part of my series of posts on OS X updates, here are my very first impressions on OS X 10.10. Note that I never tried any beta versions despite the big buzz surrounding its release, and I just installed the official release from the App Store. Here is how looks desktop as I am writing this post:

Some useful Mac apps for data scientists

Here are some Mac Apps that I found using more and more often. Although I’m still keeping a text-based workflow, where I spend most of the days using Emacs and a terminal, I recently installed or reinstalled some nice Apps when I got my new Macbook Pro in July. These are mostly small packages that do one thing well and allows text-based approaches for many of them, as in Unix philosophy.

Collecting email usage statistics from mu

Since I am using mu to manage my email locally, I decided to check some basic information about my email activity during the recent years. Personal analytics is gaining increased attention, and even Apple now provides iPhone users with the iOS Health App. However, I am more concerned with what information is available directly under my hands, namely my computer. I very much like Seth Brown’s Vim Croquet or Stephen Wolfram’s blog post in this respect.

From Beamer to Deckset

Now that I upgraded to Mavericks (OS X 10.9), I decided to give a try to Deckset which I mentioned in a previous post on Markdown and slideshow. What is Deckset The idea of Deckset is that you write simple Markdown (like when using Pandoc) and slides are formatted using gorgeous themes. Slides are rendered as you type your Markdown slides, which is pretty handy, and figures can be displayed in different manner (fit to screen, left- or right-aligned, filtered, or at a specific % of the original size).

Fixing some critical keyboard shortcuts in OS X terminal

Here are some minor tweaks to default keyboard shortcuts in Apple Terminal.app and iTerm. I like being able to switch from one tab to another using left and right arrows, and I prefer to keep consistent shortcuts so I updated the default ones in Terminal.app with those used in iTerm (e.g., ⌘ ➝ for next pane). Since Terminal.app uses system localization, labels are in French, and I have a hard time finding how to spell it correctly (because of the single quote).