Kjell’s Mac page
 
 
Mac experiences
Well, in the spring of 2004 I made the switch.  After having been an avid UNIX-user since 1984 and having gone through such classic UNIX flavors as AT&T, BSD, Solaris, and NeXTSTEP, I then installed Linux on a laptop in 1993 and have used Linux pretty much ever since.  But Windows was sometimes an evil requirement, because of some commercial programs and the need to communicate with gadgets such as MP3-players, etc.  
So after having tried VMWARE, wine and other emulation software, and in the end having to boot back and forth between Linux and Windows, I finally decided to make the switch to Macintosh.  (I was  talked into it by my friend Lennart, who at one point worked at NeXT and told me how NeXT-like the Mac now was.) Since my first computer was an Apple II, and because my NeXT-machine is now retired in the basement, I feel like Rambo, having gone full circle.
After only two weeks with the Mac, using Windows feel like visiting the old Soviet Union.  The Mac, however, feels just like the old NeXT-machine I enjoyed so much as a grad student.
There are however a few things about Linux that I liked, so on this page I’ll describe what I discovered while setting up my 12” Powerbook G4.  Let me warn you though: I’m not a big fan of GUI software, wearing out the mouse mat and sticking to what is provided.
I use Emacs for word processing.  I typeset my documents in LaTeX.  I write UNIX commands where other people look around for a menu command or an app to download. If you think I’m old fashioned, this page might not be for you.
Still here?  OK, great - let’s start.
 
Fink
If you haven’t done so already, install Fink.  From Fink Commander you can then install teTeX, MetaPost, etc.  I installed X11 but haven’t really found a need for it.  Fink and Fink Commander also works on Intel-based Macs.
 
TeX
In addition to what Fink gives you, I can highly recommend TeXShop. Now, TeXShop comes with its own editor which is probably fine, but I like to use Emacs, which is fine with TeXShop.  The desirable feature we are looking for here is the previewer.  You see, both Preview.app and Acrobat Reader have failed to incorporate an automatic refresh function.  In fact, they are so anal retentive that they don’t even have a reload button.  This is enough to drive you crazy if you are working on a TeX document.
So, under TeXShop>Preferences, do this only once:
  1. Check “Configure for External Editor” under “Document” tab.
  2. Check “Automatic Preview Update” under “Preview” tab.
Open a TeX-file in by for instance dragging it onto the TeXShop icon (better yet, type open -a TeXShop yourfile.tex).  TeXShop will run pdflatex and open up a preview window.  It might crash, due to not seeing your TEXINPUTS, but ignore that.  Instead, hide the TeXShop main window, leaving only the preview window on the screen.
Now start Emacs and edit your TeX-document.  When you later run pdflatex on it, TeXShop will automatically update its preview window.  Very useful.
 
Transferring files from Linux to the Mac
The file names on the Mac are stored in UTF-8 format.  This might be a problem for you if, for example, some of the files you are taking with you have Swedish characters in the file name.
To get around this, use a recent addition of tar that understands the --format=pax option (Version 1.15.1 certainly works.)
To make a tar-file on your Linux machine:
  tar cf archive.tar --format=pax directory
To unpack the tar-file on your Mac
  tar xf archive.tar --format=pax
You can also use a program called pax if you have it installed.
 
Swedish characters
There are a couple of issues here.
1. You must use the ls -w flag, otherwise you won’t see your characters at all in the shell.
2. To be able to input Swedish characters, put the following .inputrc in your home directory:
 
    set meta-flag on
    set convert-meta off
    set outputo-meta on
 
3. If you are using Emacs from within the Terminal, you must instruct it to use UTF-8.  Put the following in your .emacs:
 
    (set-terminal-coding-system 'utf-8)
  (set-keyboard-coding-system 'utf-8)
  (setq default-file-name-coding-system 'utf-8)
 
4. Finally, you must change a setting in Terminal’s preferences:
    Uncheck “Escape non-ASCII characters” in Terminal>Window Settings>Emulation.
 
Changing the keyboard layout
Most UNIX hackers prefer to swap caps lock and control.  In Tiger, you can now swap those keys from within System Preferences.
If you, like me, have a Swedish keyboard you are probably not too happy using the Swedish layout for programming.  OK, maybe LISP, but if your programming language uses [ ] or {  }, you need to do something about it.
I used a hard-to-find program called Ukulele.  With Ukulele, you change your keyboard layout in an easy fashion simply by double clicking on a key and entering what it should generate. You need to start from a clean slate though, and in my case I used the USExtended.keylayout from /System/Library/Keyboard Layouts/Unicode.bundle/Contents/Resources/.  After you have made your changes, save your new keyboard layout in ~/Library/Keyboard\ Layouts, call it, e.g., hacker.keylayout and make sure to change the name on the third line to “Hacker”.  You then need to logout and login again.  Then select “Open International” in your keyboard drop-down menu and check the Hacker keyboard layout.
I essentially use the USExtended layout, but I put Escape and ~ on the key left of the 1.  Also, I can still get Swedish characters by pressing Alt-Gr and hitting the appropriately labelled key.
Still, I’m not satisfied because Safari and other applications keeps changing back to the Swedish layout.  I wish I could disable it, but I haven’t been able to and some people think it is to protect yourself against an accidental lock-out.  I have not been very successful in messing around with the keyboard layouts that reside in the /System/Library either.
I recently acquired the Happy Hacking Keyboard Pro and I have to say that it is a great keyboard.  I still have to have two keyboards in my International menu: one US Keyboard and then my Hacking keyboard which is essentially the same, but it allows me to write å ä ö by using the Alt-key.