I’m Shocked! My Wife Actually Made The Move To Mac!

Okay. I have to admit that I am shocked. I never thought she would make the move to Mac. I even put that in writing. But yesterday afternoon, we went to the Apple Store in Yorkdale Mall in the suburbs of Toronto and after taking a look at the new Microsoft Store and Tesla Motors dealership, she walked out of the mall with a new Mac Mini. I guess her experience with the iPhone 5 has been so positive that she decided to make the switch. Somewhere above us, Steve Jobs cracking a smile and someplace near Redmond WA, Steve Ballmer is about to throw a chair.

Here’s the configuration she got:

  • 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • 8GB memory
  • 500GB hard drive
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • OS X Mountain Lion

Basically, she took the base model and upgraded the RAM to 8GB as 4GB isn’t enough RAM as far as I am concerned for a Mac or a PC. She also got a Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter so that she could hook up her widescreen monitor, along with Apple Care as I always recommend Apple Care for any Apple product. Since she was moving from a PC with PS/2 ports, she also needed a mouse and keyboard. I am lending her my full size Apple USB keyboard and Logitech V270 Bluetooth mouse until she decides if she wants a Magic Mouse or Trackpad. Finally, she wanted to have the ability to use CDs and DVDs. Since this Mac Mini doesn’t come with a built in drive, she went with an external SuperDrive.

Now it was my job to move her stuff from her antiquated PC and set it up. To do that I leveraged the fact that I had a Apple Airport Extreme network and I plugged the Mac Mini into my HDTV via the HDMI port in the back. That way I didn’t have to pull a spare monitor out of storage. Then I turned it on. It booted but sat at the spinning wheel screen for a very long time. As in 30 minutes. While I didn’t like doing this, I decided to power it down and try again. This time, a progress bar appeared at the bottom of the screen and after five minutes, the Mac turned itself off. I powered it back on and then it did what I expected it to do which was go through the set-up wizard.

Weird.

After creating an account, I tried to update the software. Two problems emerged. First, iPhoto would not update because the Mac Mini had OS X 10.8.1 on it and it required OS X 10.8.2. That’s when the second problem emerged. I could not install OS X 10.8.2. After doing some Google searches, I discovered that I was not alone. This thread on the Apple Discussion Forums shows others with the same issue. This problem also affects the new MacBook Pro 13″ with the Retina Display. There is currently no fix. The net result of this is that besides not being to update to the latest version of iPhoto, I could not add my wife’s iCloud e-mail account to Apple mail and syncing of notes via iCloud to her iPhone won’t work. Hopefully Apple fixes this issue quickly as it seems pretty dumb to me that the latest bug and security fixes are not available to owners of the latest and greatest from Apple.

Now onto the stuff that did work. I installed all the applications that she used like Microsoft Office 2011, Skype, and eWallet and made sure those were up to date. I also tossed in FireFox for web browsing and VLC for media content playback. From there, I had to migrate her data.

First, I was able to move her contacts, calendar items, and to-do items. via iCloud. I simply had to enable syncing via iCloud on her iPhone for all her items. They then simply appeared in the Contacts, Calendar, and Reminders. Next was her existing e-mail. That took a bit of work seeing as she was using Outlook 2003. Here’s what I had to do:

  1. Install Thunderbird. On first launch, I told it to import from Outlook (not Outlook Express).
  2. Copy the Thunderbird profile (XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<your userid>\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\<your profile>.default, Vista/7: C:\Users\<your userid>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<your profile>.default) to the Mac.
  3. Start the Mail application and go to File > Import.
  4. Select Thunderbird and I pointed it to the profile folder that I copied to the Mac. The imported mail was under “On My Mac”.
  5. To be safe, I went to “Mailbox > Rebuild” inside Mail to make sure there was no corruption resulting from the import.

This worked and it cost me nothing which was good. Then I went about copying all her files across. Over 802.11N, it took 3 hours to copy 35GB of data across. I didn’t feel like relocating things to plug it into Gigabit Ethernet, so that was fine with me. Plus I could go do other things while it copied.

When it was done, I could then move her files to where they should be. For example her Word and Power Point files went to the Documents folder. Movies went to the Movies folder. Photos got imported into iPhoto. When it came to her music, I had to import it into iTunes and somehow preserve her playlists. Here’s how I did it:

  1. I located her music in Documents and Settings\yourusername\My Documents\My Music\iTunes and used the network to move it to the Mac Mini
  2. I then made sure I had an up to date copy iTunes installed on the Mac Mini (strangely I didn’t even though iTunes 10.7 came out in September and this computer has only been out for a few weeks) and I opened it. I then went to the Music folder on the Mac and confirmed that there was an iTunes folder in it.
  3. After closing iTunes, I copied the iTunes folder from the PC into the Music folder and opened iTunes again. All her music and playlists appeared.

I then did a sync of the iPhone and made sure that that worked. Along the way I had to authorize the Mac Mini to use the content that she had purchased from the iTunes and App Stores. But it all worked fine.

With that out of the way, I could set up eWallet on her computer and made sure that synced with her iPhone. I also moved her Firefox Bookmarks across and most importantly, I set up SuperDuper to back up her computer automatically. With all of that done. I unplugged her PC and put the Mac Mini in its place.

Now all that’s left is to teach her how to use it. That should be fun.

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