Setting up a new Mac laptop

I install brew, and then install cask (using brew).

Then I install mactex and emacs using cask.

I install Dropbox, so my research directories get to sync.

These days Opera is my browser of choice.

I use f.lux and caffeine to get my monitor to behave.

I can't live without some keyboard customizations. I open keyboard preferences, and get function keybindings to work without requiring the pressing of fn key. While there I map the CAPSLOCK to Control key. I use alt-left/right to traverse between desktops.

My Emacs customization takes some time. I use the modularized emacs24-starter kit at It is great, it has good defaults, but it would be much better if it has better documentation and instructions.

Since I install emacs using cask rather than from binary, I get to enjoy good package-manager support using ELPA. To see the available packages type M-x package-show-package-list. I install auctex, exec-path-from-shell, ipython, magit, python-mode, tomatinho, visual-fill-column.

I use a wheat background, and Chalkboard font. (Update August'17: I switched to using Monaco font at 14 points.) I use highlight line mode as well with lightsteelblue1 color.
 '(default ((t (:inherit nil :background "wheat" :height 160 :width normal :foundry "nil" :family "Chalkboard"))))
For highlighting certain patterns at files, I use global-hi-lock mode as well.

Finally since I use org-mode a lot, I have several special keybindings for org-mode. Some of them are:
(global-set-key (kbd "<f5>") 'org-schedule)
(global-set-key (kbd "<f8>") 'org-deadline)
(global-set-key (kbd "<f10>") 'org-store-link)
(global-set-key (kbd "<f11>") 'org-insert-link)
(global-set-key (kbd "<f12>") 'org-agenda)

Let me know if you have some other important apps tricks, that you can't live without.


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