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Migrating to a new Mac - say hello to a Mac Switcher

Migration AssistantWell, what better way to introduce myself but to sing the praises of the almighty Mac! I'm Jason Clarke, and I'm brand new to TUAW, although I've been writing over on sister-site Download Squad for a couple of years now. I was also briefly the lead blogger for The Unofficial Microsoft Weblog, until it was rolled into Download Squad. Despite my checkered past, this post is going to be me preaching to the choir, so consider yourself warned.

Today was a very happy day for me, because my MacBook Pro that I've been eagerly anticipating arrived. I've been a very happy Mac user since I received my first MacBook, about 4 months ago. Now, receiving a new primary computer for me has always been somewhat bittersweet; the excitement of the new machine is always offset by the pain of migrating from the old one.

When migrating from and old to a new Windows machine, I would always plan for two days of hell, followed by two weeks of minor (and sometimes major) aggravation when some utility that I needed in that moment had yet to be installed or configured. I had heard that Macs have a migration assistant, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Find out what happened (as if you don't already know) after the jump.

Well, tonight I connected the two machines via a FireWire cable, and let the Migration Assistant do its thing. At first I was a bit put off by the four hour estimate to copy 60 GB, however, that quickly dropped to under two hours. To be honest, it was a loooong two hours, since neither machine was available to me during the process. You know, it can get a bit like watching a pot waiting for it to boil.

But the moment of truth came when it had completed. I dutifully turned off the "old" Mac as I was told to do, but I could barely contain myself from scoffing at the very idea that I might not need it further tonight. Then I let the MacBook Pro boot up. Hey, it knew my name and contact info already. Hey, it had my profile picture already set. Hey, that's my desktop wallpaper. Holy #$^*, all of my startup utilities are dutifully starting up, and my dock is identical to what it was on my MacBook!

That was all well and good, but are any of these programs actually going to work? I launched BonEcho (the Intel-Mac optimized version of Firefox), and was blown away to see all of the tabs that I had left open using the TabMixPlus extension opening up here on the new machine!

Other than needing to install keyboard and mouse drivers for my (gasp) Microsoft keyboard and mouse, I have yet to find anything that doesn't just work. I'd like to accuse all you long-time Mac types of keeping this secret from Windows users, but the truth is that you have been telling us, and we haven't wanted to hear it. My biggest fear when getting my first Mac was that I didn't want to become an elitist Mac snob - they drove me crazy. But now I realize it's not their fault; when your computing platform is so noticeably better than Windows, it's hard not to get a bit full of yourself. Just ask my family, friends and co-workers. Really.

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