I recently changed jobs, and I thought it would be a time-saver in the future if i’d write down some quick instructions to setup my mac.

first step: install a decent browser

I use firefox. At the same time i installed some of my favorite plugins: Vimperator, JSONView, HTTPS Everywhere, Privacy Badger, Ghostery, Disconnect, Adblock Plus

install a decent terminal

I use iTerm2 all the time, it’s epic. Don’t forget to set the fullscreen mode to classic.

With a decent terminal in place, let’s get some of the things we need:

Install Homebrew
Run these commands to install some basic tools:
brew update
brew install ack chicken cowsay ctags ffmpeg git gpg guile newsbeuter node pandoc pass screen sl stow the_silver_searcher tig trash tree vim wget z

install dot files

Clone dot files from dotfiles repo on bitbucket and install them using stow.

install virtualbox & vagrant

Install virtualbox & vagrant

configure some stuff

  • mails
  • git
  • dropbox?

That’s about it, set up in 1 hour!


HTML5 YouTube

August 4, 2013

As you could already read in the past, I’ve been experimenting with Flash Player and YouTube for some time now. The conclusion is: I really don’t like Adobe Flash Player, but i do like to watch my YouTube videos. It turns out YouTube offers HTML5 video’s through their opt-in html5 test program, but not even half of the videos i want to watch are available through that channel. This results in the “Install Flash Player” message almost every time i want to watch a YouTube video.

But then i made a strange discovery: when watching embedded videos, most of them did seem to play in the html5 player! If i then tried to watch them on YouTube.com, they tried to get me to install Flash Player again. Seems like YouTube has a deal with Adobe 🙂 Anyway, i made a GreaseMonkey script to replace the YouTube.com videos with the embed, so that you can always watch them in the html5 player. As a bonus, you get non-autostart for your movies, and no more advertisement movies before you can watch the movie you picked!

Download the GreaseMonkey script here

Good luck!

Ubuntu Quick Work Setup

January 4, 2013

Today i installed a dual boot Ubuntu setup on my computer at work. I used the Wubi installer with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Here’s what i did to get started pretty quick:

1. Update and upgrade:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

2. Install some software

  • sudo apt-get install git tig chromium-browser apache2 php5 php5-mysql php5-sqlite php5-gd php5-curl php5-xdebug php5-memcached php5-imagick php5-intl phpunit mysql-server vim ffmpeg curl inkscape vlc tree
  • I manually installed Sublime Text 2, a launcher, and some add-ons for it

3. Configure some software

  • Firefox and chrome: tabs, startpage, sync
  • Thunderbird + Exchange setup: my previous post
  • git: global settings (user, email, colors)
  • apache:
    • sudo a2enmod rewrite to enable mod_rewrite
    • sudo a2enmod vhost_alias to enable VirtualHosts
    • Added VirtualDocumentRoot phrase to /etc/apache2/sites-available/default
  • I also set up dropbox to brainlessly sync between my work’s windows and ubuntu setups

That’s about it. Took me less time than i thought it would.


As you could read in my previous posts about this topic, you know that i have to code on a windows computer. I just recently changed my setup for the better.

– I installed the latest firefox and chrome browsers.

– In firefox, i installed the following plugins: Firebug, Ghostery, FireFTP, FireSSH, PDF Viewer (pdf.js), and HttpFox. These let me do a lot of work easily from my browser instead of from an extra piece of software i would have to install.

– I installed the Thunderbird mail client with DavMail, to support the Exchange mail and contacts server, and i added Lightning addon for calendar support.

– Really important, for developers, is their text editor or their IDE. I chose Sublime Text 2, the multi-platform, genious text editor. This means Productivity times 10 for me.

– Furthermore, i installed the official Git package for windows, which includes Git Bash and Git Gui. Git Bash then includes a MingW console, which is really cool and owns the cmd.exe console big time (you can do unix-style commands like cd, ls -al, vim, and others).

– Last but not least, the Gimp image editor is also there.

As you can see, i’m naturally still trying to use as much free software as possible, but it’s not always easy. For instance, finding a (gui) text-editor like sublime text 2 is quasi impossible.

That’s it 🙂


Firefox Safe Mode

November 22, 2011

Yesterday, Firefox was giving me headaches.
I was just working away, with 20 or more tabs open. Suddenly the browser just quit and shouted out a warning message to tell me it crashed. When i tried to relaunch it, the ‘restore tabs’ window showed, and the browser crashed again two seconds after that. This behaviour was repeated everytime i restarted Firefox, even after a reboot of OSX.

I grew tired of trying and googled if Firefox had a safe mode, and YES! it has one.
On Mac OSX, start Firefox while holding the alt or option button.
On GNU/Linux, open a terminal and type firefox -safe-mode
You’ll get a window giving you some options. i chose ‘disable add-ons’.
(this also works on the free browser ‘Abrowser’ on Trisquel GNU/Linux)

After some goofing around, it seemed there was an error in the ‘HTTPS Everywhere’ add-on, i uninstalled it, and everything was back to normal. Installed the add-on again, and it still works.

Great! another problem solved…
Thanks Mozilla, for building a Safe Mode into your applications 🙂

Just wanted to add some things to my previous post.
As you could already read, i’m trying to survive using Windows OS while developing. I’m doing this by installing as much Free Software (Free as in Speech AND as in Beer) as i need to do my job.

This week i had to install some extra software packages to survive Windows Hell.

First off with two Firefox Add-Ons.
Firebug, the ultimate DOM/CSS inspector and javascript tool for web developers using firefox. It comes in handy for example when you’re trying to write CSS stylesheets for complicated websites.

Next up, also comes in handy when writing CSS: a color picker for the browser. ColorZilla is what i used. it’s not a very sleek looking tool but it does a good job picking colors 😉

Also, for all my image editing needs, i installed the GIMP, my favourite image editing tool. As you can tell from this list: i was doing a lot of graphical things this week, which i don’t really enjoy, but it’s part of the job.

Last but not least: i needed a packet inspector, so i downloaded WireShark, the most detailed graphical packet inspector out there.

That’s how i survived this week (along with all items from my last post)
(all of these also work on gnu/linux and mac osx systems)


I recently started working as php developer for a small/medium-sized media company. Everything is really fine there, except for one thing. They give their developers computers with Windows installed on them. I’ll try and document here what programs i installed to survive this hell. You’ll notice i like to keep things simple (and i really really like to use Free Software).

– First thing I did was to completely update the Operating System. That way i don’t have to worry about outdated browsers, uncompatible dll’s etcetera. It’s Windows Vista, so i just did Windows Update and that was it.

– Next step: a decent browser. I installed Firefox 4 because i really enjoy using it on Mac OSX and GNU/Linux. I usually use a lot of browser add-ons. More about that later. When Firefox was installed, i naturally made it my standard browser, and i removed all desktop shortcuts and such for Explorer.

– You can’t Code without an Editor. Notepad is not an option. So i went for Gedit, from the GNOME project. It’s a really neat and simple editor, it has code-highlighting, and a few other handy options for programming. Also i activated the gedit-plugin ‘File Browser Pane’, to have a filebrowser inside of the editor, like many IDE’s have. On Linux i’d also activate the Terminal pane, but that’s not possible on the Windows version of Gedit. I also installed my own Gedit theme, which is a tweaked version of the default Oblivion theme.

– next up is an FTP program. At the company they use SFTP so i was looking for a decent FTP program. Where many people would’ve chosen FileZilla, i choose FireFTP. It’s a Firefox browser add-on, and works great. It has all features i need. And it runs in my browser, so the integration with it is fantastic (upload->view on the web == WIN!)

– So far, so good. Communication in the office happens by e-mail, for which they have a Microsoft Exchange server. I downloaded Thunderbird, and set it up to work with it. Great.

– I needed an SSH client, so i installed FireSSH, another great Firefox browser add-on which provides everything i need from SSH.

– For Quick Scripting: the GreaseMonkey browser add-on for Firefox.

– And lastly (too bad) i needed a PDF reader and Flash Player and Quicktime, and that’s why i installed Adobe Reader X, Adobe Flash Player and Quicktime.

– time to get rid of the ugly Windows Vista desktop background.

I’ll survive like this, but i’d so much rather have a Mac or a GNU/Linux box to work on 🙂