Macs: Productivity made Easy

Day #3 of the Macbook…

I began working today with the intention of integrating a test Heroku site with Paypal’s Instant Notification System. Didn’t get there quite yet, but I’m getting there. Here’s a few things I worked on this evening:

Modifying the Terminal Prompt

Every line had been displaying “matthew-mazurs-macbook: Matt $” or something long and annoying like that, so I looked into how to change it. Some helpful individual on #rubyonrails told me to look up PS1 and surely enough, changing it is pretty easy. This site teaches you how to change it, though this method only works for the current terminal. When you reload the terminal the name reverts to its previous state. To change it permantely, you have to close down termal and edit /etc/bashrc in some text editor. Change the PS1 name to whatever you want and it’ll be changed permantently for future terminal windows. There’s probably an easier way to do this but hey, it worked.

Using VI

As nerdy readers have probably realized by now, I suck at the command prompt. I regret not taking more opportunities during my college compsci classes to gain more experience with it. Anyway, this tutorial is a pretty good introduction to what you need to know in order to navigate vi.

Ruby Gems

Up until this point in my app’s development I haven’t had to use any gems so I was pretty lost when I read I should install a Paypal gem to interact with Paypal’s Instant Payment Notification system. For the unenlightened, IPN is an alert that Paypal sends to your site when someone has made a purchase. You can use this notification to enable a user’s account, for example. Thankfully, offers an excellent tutorial which quickly brought me up to speed. I worked my way through their progressbar example, which as stupid as it is, was a nice thing to get working.

Fortunately, while developing ALL IN Expert (more to come on that — I promise), I spent a lot of time learning how to do IPN with PHP. Things are slightly different now, but the prior experience is helpful.

2 thoughts on “Macs: Productivity made Easy

  1. I too have become a very recent owner of a MacBook (previous generation MacBook Pro) and its totally awesome.

    I decided to finally get one after a hobby project of getting OS X running on my Thinkpad. The process of converting the Thinkpad into the ThinkBook is interesting in itself and a story for another day, but in the end I found that the ThinkBook made me more productive, and that I really liked OS X.

    The big thing I enjoy about the real MacBook is that things actually work, and without pain. Major vendor support is also very handy — often times I have to deal with .docx files or make important presentations that can’t look ugly. The excellent power management, sleep mode, and ease of multiple monitor support are also features that I’m glad to have after my Linux laptop experiences.

    The hardware itself of course also looks good, which is just a bonus.

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