A pen and handwriting

Make OSX and Linux command line behave more like Windows

Lately, I have been doing more and more work in my native OSX image. And I am really loving it.

However, being an old Windows user, I find a lot of habits hard to break and I constantly find myself wanting the standard Bash command line to behave just a little more like good old DOS. To avoid the same typing error over and over again, I found these modifications to be useful. I am sharing them here in hope they may help other people who are transitioning from Windows.
Now, if I could only find a proper text editor. Edit: I have since encountered TextWrangler, which is pretty good. See below

Add ./ to the path

This is an immensely useful thing to do. As a Windows user, I expect that my current directory is searched for binaries. I know some old school Unix people consider this a security hole. Well, Windows has lived with this for years without running into issues.

Make cd.. work

In bash, typing cd.. without the space is an error. Obviously, this convenient short hand from DOS is the superior option. Here is how to make that work:

Make dir work

I find myself typing dir instead of ls a lot. Well, there is no reason that dir should not work. Here is how to make it work:

Make copy and ren work

Another Windows classic. Unix likes short command lines with odd names, Windows uses longer names. Vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

Adding it all to your .bash_profile

OSX uses a file called .bash_profile located in your home directory ~/ to store aliases and bash settings.

By default, this file does not exist, so you have to create it. Once you do, just copy the aliases you want in there, and say:

A Text Editor that won’t drive you mad

As Windows users, we are spoiled with Visual Studio as a text editor.

If you feel masochistic enough, you may be able to learn the high speed interface of VIM. If you do, I recommend installing the improved version that comes from here https://code.google.com/p/macvim/ – it is much better than the one that ships with OSX.

If getting carpal tunnel syndrome is your idea of a good time, there is always Emacs. I used to run this, until I installed Visual Studio one fine day and never looked back.

For a great cross platform experience, I found UltraEdit to be reasonable. It comes at a cheap price tag and looks similar on both Mac, Linux and Windows. It is also very lightweight.

But my favourite text editor so far on Mac is TextWrangler. It’s free, it has sensible shortcut keys and it uses the Perl regular expression syntax for some seriously elegant search/replace functionality. It can also be loaded up with different language modules.

File Management

Let’s face it, Finder is a joke. Apple actually managed to create a file manager that is WORSE than Explorer. That is quite a feat. On both Windows and Mac, there is a better way. MuCommander, a clone of the old Norton Commander, gives you a great cross platform experience and allows you to handle files easily (Except for Keynote files which are a travesty).

An alternative to MSPaint

OSX doesn’t really ship with a reasonable bitmap image editor. Maybe people buy Photoshop when they buy a Mac?

There is a free and nice way to get the basic functionality of mspaint and then some: Install Seashore. It is a little unstable, but much more lightweight than GIMP (as a bonus, it doesn’t require you to run X11).