Once I had decided to switch from macOS to Windows 10 I knew that I would need to unlearn old tricks and learn some new ones. The oddest one that can only happen through brute force is to teach my pinky to do what my thumb used to.
On macOS the CMD button modifier is used for everything. CMD+C = copy, CMD+V = paste, CMD+Tab = switch applications, etc. On Windows 10 CNTRL is the modifier of choice for most but not all things. For instance, CNTRL+C = copy, CNTRL+V = paste… however, ALT+Tab = switch applications. Believe it or not, this is one of the biggest hurdles left for switchers (at least those that rely on keyboard shortcuts like I do). The only way to get used to this switch, to force your muscles to unlearn the old ways, is to immerse yourself in the new environment and rely on the keyboard as heavily as possible until your brain makes the switch.
To that end I borrowed a Surface Pro for a few weeks prior to my new computer showing up and switched to it for most of my daily tasks. This way I had a head start on refactoring my muscle memory. It also afforded me time to experiment with how I would set up my work computer just the way I’d like.
While I relearned how to type, I created a checklist of sorts each time I made a change to the system or installed an app. I did this in hopes that it would dramatically reduce my set up time when the new computer arrived. Turns out, it did.
- Install One Drive
- Set up work and personal accounts
- Create Desktop shortcut to OASIS folder
- Pair Bluetooth devices
- Turn on WSL (docs)
- Turn off auto app updates in Store
- Customize taskbar
- Change to Cortana button
- Add Downloads Folder
- Logitech MX Master 2S setup
- Install Logitech Options software
- Map buttons
- Thumb button to Windows Task Viewer
- Middle button to Snipping Tool – C:\Windows\System32\SnippingTool.exe
- Install apps
- Quicklook (replicates macOS Quicklook feature)
- Microsoft Teams
- Visual Studio Code
- Visual Studio
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Customize Apps
- Miscellaneous tasks
- Delete all pinned Start Menu items
- Turn on Windows Back up
- Turn on Windows 10 Timeline view
- Adjust Notifications for all apps in Settings
- Add appropriate folders to Photos app
- in Ubuntu, put files in /mnt/c/* so they can be accessed by Windows apps
I still have a few things to do, such as moving development database schemas. And I’m sure there will be a bunch of little things as I continue working (I’ll update this post). But having this checklist made setting up the new computer fairly painless and I was done in a few hours. I remember it taking a few days to get a work computer set up right. I think having so much of our “stuff” in the cloud these days has made this process a bit easier.
If you have any suggestions for Windows 10 I’ll gladly accept them in the comments.