I've joined the dark side

Sunday, 23 March 2014

So, after debating about it for quite some time, I finally got myself a Mac! Now, I got myself a Mac book pro 15 inch and it pretty much cost me a fortune. So far, I've been playing around with it, and I gotta say, that I would prefer a Mac over windows for Python development, any day. But before I tell you why its so great, let me share a couple of tools that I've found immensely useful. So, here's a list that any Python dev would find useful on a new Mac:

Some developer apps


Oh my ZSH!

This is a must install for me on any *nix system. It gives me some awesome auto-completion, and some very beautiful themes. Frankly, I don't even think I want need to justify why one should install this awesome tool, just give it a tool, if you don't like it, then you can always change back. Check it out on oh-my-zsh.


This is such a wonderful package manager for Mac. I was initially split between Macports and Homebrew, but most of the people I talked to, overwhelmingly favored Homebrew. What really got me to pick Homebrew was that Pyenv supported a direct installation via Homebrew (Pyenv is next on the list). With homebrew installed with a quick:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

And bam! All installed. I just copied and pasted the text from the homebrew website, so I did not even notice that I was using ruby. You gotta love *nix systems for having python and ruby installed by default. With brew, I made my first install:

brew install pyenv


This allows you to manage different versions of Python with ease. Really useful if you want to work with different versions of python on the command line. Check it out here.

Sublime Text 3

Sublime Text 3

Wonderful text editor, I use this for small projects or a quick edit. For more intensive projects, I use pycharm. Although their website says that ST3 is still in beta, its been pretty stable for me, and the package manager for ST3 works very well. I suggest using ST3 because its starts up instantly, compared to ST2. If you're going to be using this, then I suggest you install the package manager as soon as you've installed ST3, instructions here.


Well, I was bound to install this at some point. In my honest opinion, this is the Python IDE to beat. Just make sure you create the charm Terminal variable, through "Create Command Line Launcher" option:

Creating PyCharm command line launcher



This is for unpacking archives. Really simple to use tool. Its available on the Mac Store as well.


App Cleaner

Simple app that completely uninstalls your installed apps. Works like a charm. Get it on their site. I recommend this as a must install since a lot of the times, your apps leave behind settings, that come back to bite you if you reinstall.

And thats a wrap. You can find loads of other tools available, and git comes installed by default. If you want to install mercurial, then its a simple brew install hg.

The Switch

For me, it was very painful at first. The keyboard was just plain wrong, it had the control key in the wrong place. I say wrong because the standard keyboard for windows and Linux is very different. I just wish Apple had followed the general keyboard layout, it would make migration so much simpler. However, this was probably the only problem I had with my new Mac Book pro, and everything else is pretty neat. The best thing about Mac is that the platform had many apps for windows virtualisation. My pick would be Vmware Fusion, it allows you to run Windows apps as if they were mac applications.

The only qualm I have right now is that I haven't been able to find a download manager that comes close to Internet Download Manager (IDM). I'm using the free version of Folx. It sucks. It looks nice, but it sucks.

Other than that, I feel that a Mac was exactly what I needed since although Ubuntu is nice, it lacks some good commercial software for screen recording, which is something that I really need.

If you make the switch to Mac, and you're an open source developer, I assure you that you won't regret it. Funnily enough, three days after I got my mac, my PC just died. I took it to the repair guy, and he told me that the motherboard was broke. I had just spend 50 bucks on repairs a week ago. The motherboard would cost me another $250.

I won't my fixing my PC any time soon.