As a longtime Windows user who has owned, built and used hardware with pretty much every version of Windows OS (starting from 2.1 I think), one of the most impressive features of the Mac for me is the Migration Assistant. The first night I had it, I started up the new Mac Pro, connected my MacBook over Firewire and when the assistant was done; I sat down at the Mac Pro with every application, preference and desktop tweak from my MacBook fully installed and was ready to get to work. (OK, I did have to reauthorize two applications, but all my settings were migrated for those as well).
I have never moved from one PC to another without at least a week of pure hassleâ€”hunting for key codes, reinstalling applications (even if restored from backup), reinstalling preferences, figuring out how to get Outlook to find and use old mail files, ad infinitum. In fact, my Windows laptop at work suffered a hard drive crash right around the same time I was installing my new Mac â€“ some dark cloud of technology karma was hanging over my head there for a few weeks â€“ and it took 3 days to recover even with a current backup. Iâ€™m still missing a few apps for which I need to hunt down the old versions before upgrading again. Not just a time sink, but a time sink with a genuine soul drain at its center.
I know it’s a bit of a geeky pleasure, but I was frothing about Migration Assistant so much that friends began complaining I need therapyâ€”or to just get a life. Apparently I’ve become a bit of a fanboy. Fine fine fineâ€¦but, Mac users, you donâ€™t know how lucky you are.
The Mac Pro is just ridiculously fun. On this Mac I have installed Parallels and am working now on Boot Camp. There have been a few glitches with the current Parallels, for which a fix is pendingâ€”and I do feel already that running Windows on a Mac is like putting training wheels on a Harley, or maybe ugly wallpaper over the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. But the mission now is to make a single Mac do the work of a Windows PC and a high end Mac without letting Windows bring down the neighborhood.
Here’s one other tip from my recent upgrade experience. The National Association of Photoshop Professionals (at http://www.photoshopuser.com) has an Apple discount program as a member benefitâ€”you log in to a special NAPP mini-site on the Apple Store, and save pretty big. One major purchase at the Apple store pays for the annual membership fee and still brings home a Mac at a noteworthy discount. Plus you get all the other benefits, including content on the site and a subscription to the superb Photoshop User magazine. Worth checking out.