I worked as a developer in a Windows environment. At my prior company I worked from home by myself and on a Windows PC. Several years ago I changed jobs and the new company didn’t allow working from home. I swapped out my PC for a 27" iMac at home. Now my wife is also working from home and my son is home from college doing online classes from home.
Now working from my iMac with others at home, I have made some hardware and software changes. I was thinking some of the software that I found helpful, might be helpful to others.
I hooked up a smaller second monitor (that I thought I would never need with the 27" screen) that is dedicated to running Outlook and Slack for work email and messaging. That way it is always available at a glance. Due to my office layout, the monitor sits to the left of my iMac, so I moved my Dock from the left side to back to the bottom to accommodate this layout.
I replaced my mechanical keyboard with the magic keyboard that came with my iMac as my wife found the keyboard too loud, working in the same office space as me at times.
As most of the light in my office comes from behind me, I found my face too dark on video conferences. I added a TaoTronics LED desk lamp that was recommended in the forums here to my desk.
Since I had a lot of time at home, I finally bit the bullet and upgraded to Catalina on both my laptop and desktop. The 64 bit version of my Cisco VPN client doesn’t seem to resolve internal DNS addresses so I dusted off Gas Mask to easily edit my host file from the menu bar. I used to use it a long time ago when I was doing some web projects and was glad to see it still works.
I found myself having to temporarily lower the resolution on the iMac when I’m sharing my screen over web meeting. Using Display Menu to quickly do that from the menu bar.
My best two new finds that came from the forums here are Automounter and SoundSource. Automounter mounts all of the shares I need on Windows servers when I connect my VPN and unmounts when I disconnect from the VPN automatically. That one app has eliminated so much friction. I purchased it to support the developer even though the free version did all I needed. I also struggled at times with both my sound and microphone connections when doing web meetings and using my multi connection Sennheiser bluetooth headphones. SoundSource has been a life saver in managing that. I would recommend everyone try these apps out. The free version of Automounter is pretty full featured and SoundSouce has a free trial.
Most of the time when I’m working with files I use Forklift. It displays all of my shares and makes it easy to open a terminal window. But sometimes I find myself in Finder and I haven’t been able to get the New Terminal at Folder to display in my services menu even though it is setup in my preferences. If I assign it a shortcut it works but I find using the cd to Finder Toolbar app easier.
I switched a few years ago from Caffine to Amphetamine. A feature I find myself using now is the While App is running… and selecting the Microsoft RDP client. So the iMac doesn’t sleep while I have an RDP connection open.