What I Install After A Fresh OS Installation

September 12, 2012
Read time 4 minutes

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I received a great gift from work last week. It came in the form of a rectangle, and fit in the palm of my hand. It has made my life easier and more enjoyable. In fact it has single handedly changed the way I approach most things throughout my day.

What is it?

A brand new SSD hard drive.

I've never witnessed the power of a SSD drive first hand. I've used friend's computers that had a SSD drive, but never before has my own computer been running an SSD drive.

Let me tell you: it's glorious.

I decided that during the installation of the SSD I would also install a fresh copy of OS X (as opposed to a Time Machine restore).

I figured it'd be fun to log the steps I took after installing Mountain Lion. They're fraught with monotony but one that every user must go through when setting up their machine after a fresh install.

So what follows is my Post Mountain Lion install log. I did exactly what I expected: install my favorite applications and set up my system presences. Only surprises were the settings I forgot I had ever changed in the first place.

Without further ado! The list!

Day 1

  • Finished installing Mountain Lion

  • Opened App Store

  • Installed iA Writer to write these notes

  • Updated ML to 10.8.1 (Rebooted)

  • Went through App Store previous purchases and installed old apps:

    • Twitter
    • Sparrow
    • The Unarchiver
    • Xcode
  • Went to System Preferences > Trackpad

    • Turned on 'Tap to click'
  • Opened Safari, Downloaded:

    • Google Chrome
    • Skype
    • Dropbox for Mountain Lion
  • Installed Chrome and logged in to download my cloud synched bookmarks

  • Install and setup Skype

  • Went through System Preferences, customized to my liking

    • Turned off Gatekeeper
    • Added twitter account
  • Xcode finished installing

    • opened to install remaining SDKs and Sims
  • Downloaded and installed Sublime Text 2

  • Copied old Music onto hard drive / restored iTunes

  • Set up Dropbox and download old files

  • Customize Terminal

  • Duplicated Pro theme

    • Made font size 13px
  • Customize Sparrow

    • Add back signature to accounts
    • Turn off message preview
  • Customize Finder

  • New finder window shows: user root
  • Customize what folders show on left side
  • Change search preferences to keep last settings

  • Install Cloudapp

  • Install MAMP

  • Install VirtualHostX

  • Set up virtual hosts

  • Install Git

    • Set up git
    • Set username, email
    • Copy over old .gitconfig to new install
  • Install oh my zsh

    • Use my theme
    • Install plugins
  • Install command line Sublime Text 2

  • Set up SSH Key for Github

  • Set up RVM

    • Install Compass
  • Install node.js

    • CoffeeScript
    • RequireJS
  • Update Python to latest

    • setuptools
    • pip
    • fabric
  • Install nvALT

  • Install Aperture

  • Set up Sublime Text 2

    • Copied over old packages

Day 2

  • Installed Printer

  • Sys Pref -> Accessibility -> Use scroll modifier keys to zoom

  • Install Phonegap 2.0

Day 3

  • VLC

  • Transmit

    • Reinstalled Favorites
  • Sketch

  • Pixelmator

  • Restore MAMP DBs

  • Install Last.fm


There isn't much left say. After the first three days of ferocious software installation and customization I was pretty much done and comfortable with my current computer setup.

There were a few things I did forget to copy from my old hard drive that proved to be a bit of a nuisance. I forgot to backup my Transmit favorites and had to prowl through my old hard drive to find where those files were saved. I also forgot to backup my Apple Developer keychains which I ended up just re-creating. Next time I'll just back them up safe and sound.

The speed of the SSD drive made installing all my old programs so fast that the once laborious process of setting up my computer from scratch went by in a blink. Tasks that used to require patience as my HDD read and wrote bytes were done before I was even ready for the next task.

There's no turning back for me now. I have seen the glory of SSD. My future has been written.

A laugh a day keeps the doctor away.
This is not professional medical advice.