Last weekend we went to Raleigh for a long weekend of just getting out of our day to day lives for a bit. While there we ate food and shopped for things we can’t get at home. One of the biggest (in terms of excitement and cash) was a new MacBook for me. I had the green light to get this last year but I opted not to do it at the time. I had recently shifted from using the iBook as my day job machine as a contractor to being an employee with a provided laptop so I didn’t need the upgrade urgently. It turns out that I picked a good year to wait out, because the machine I have now is way better than I’d have gotten for the same price last year.
We bought it on a Saturday but I was strong and did not even open the box until we got home on Monday night. I didn’t opt for extras at the Apple store other than the Firewire cable to do the migration. The first boot up I did, I fired up the Migration Assistant and moved over the whole magilla to the new machine. It took a few hours. I forgot some advice that I had heard on the Mac Geek Gab and neglected to repair permissions on the old iBook first. It gone down to the last few files and just never finished. I let it sit at “one second remaining” for 45 minutes before I gave up and pulled the cable.
Overall, it seemed to work great. I liked just being able to fire up my MacBook with my old account and have more or less everything right there as I left it. I kind of wonder if I wouldn’t do better to create a new user account and then migrate over to it bit by bit at my leisure. Some things are definitely sub-optimal as they are now. One is that when I upgraded from 10.3 to 10.4 it did something that makes every application show up as Whatever.App . It’s kind of annoying to look at and it remains that way in the migrated account. I created a new account just to fiddle with and it doesn’t have that issue. I might log into the new account and move files over as I need them and at some point if it doesn’t feel like I need whatever hasn’t moved, just delete the old account. Having the packrat mentality that I do, though, my default is always to keep all of everything on the off chance I might need it one day. Just deleting a bunch of cruft would be hard for me, but maybe I should do it because of that.
The only issue I’ve had at the executable level was with NeoOffice. Their builds aren’t universal binary and for some reason Rosetta had issues with it so I had to delete the migrated one and download an Intel specific build and it works great. I installed a trial of VMWare Fusion which also works great. I installed Windows XP into that partition and after it did the endless and painful cycle of upgrades I took a snapshot of the VM to return to if I need to. I also installed the Bodog Poker client and tried it out in Unity mode. It worked well, and now I can play poker from the Mac laptop on sites that only have Windows clients. It’s madness, but it is my kind of madness! I may create another VM and install Ubuntu just for fun.
This is the first computer we’ve bought in 4 years, and that’s the shortest upgrade cycle ever for us. Typically we use them for 6-10 years. The Windows box that syncs my Zen and Zune is one I got for a job in 2000 and have had ever since. I’m never tempted by new hardware to run out and buy it. I go from the other direction and use the old stuff until it gets to the point of preventing me from achieving what I want to do, either by being slow or lacking capabilities. In the case of the iBook, it got to the point where I wanted to do things that needed a much bigger hard drive and an Intel processor so I finally relented. I’m glad I got it and also that I waited this long, because this a great machine and a great value.