Cherish Thine .dotfiles

Setting up a new Mac is so much easier these days

Earlier this year, I started to feel it was time to buy a new Mac, but wanted to make a sensible and adult decision. I’d wait till the Fall, see what Apple had announced for the year, and then decide.

The Fall Apple events came and went, and none of the new announcements spoke to me. While the Mac mini looked interesting, I’d need to plug in an eGPU for the video editing I do. I didn’t want to maintain another expensive piece of hardware.

One day while I was hanging out in the #applenerds channel in the Changelog Slack, someone brought up buying refurbished. One of my previous Mac’s was purchased refurbished from Apple, and I’d had no issues with it. To my surprise, there was a refurbished 2018 MacBook Pro with a bigger hard drive, faster processor, and more RAM than my previous Mac. After talking to my wife, the buy button was clicked.

Getting a new machine always makes me ner-cited (nervous and excited). You get used to the way you’ve setup a machine—which depending how long you’ve had it—there’s no telling how many settings you’ve customized just right to your tastes.

All this makes me a lot less anxious these days though. Ever since I started version controlling my .dotfiles on GitHub, and putting all my files in Dropbox, moving to a new machine is a lot simpler. Sure, it’ll still take you a few hours. This last time took about 3-4 hours, but it was mostly headache free. And more importantly, I don’t have that feeling of, “did I forget anything on my old machine?”

If you’re curious about how I do it, I’ve written extensively on my process for setting up new machines. It could probably be automated even furthur, but it’s a pretty sweet setup.

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