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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Mar 19, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    MBP 17" 2.2 GHz
    Migration experience for new MacBook Pro owner/new Mac Forums member
    Sorry in advance for the long winded post, but I am really excited here about my new toy. I also wanted to help other people that may be on the verge of moving to Mac and show them how easy it is to make the switch.

    After several iPods, iPhones and an iPad, I finally took the plunge financially and decided to get a MBP (17 inch, 2.2 GHz) after a couple of years talking myself into it, then talking myself out of it and repeating this cycle several times. Man, am I glad I did! That being said, I would like to share my migration experience with everyone.
    Let me start by explaining what it is I use a computer for…
    1. Web surfing (way too much, according to my wife)
    2. Email, calendar, contacts (Google Apps)
    3. Pictures (lots of pictures! I have three kids and have owned a digital camera for many, many years.) Have used Google Picasa for cataloging and some of the Adobe Photoshop products for manipulation.
    4. Home movies (again, the three kids thing). Mainly used the Window Live movie making tools, which weren’t very robust.
    5. Media extending to all areas of the house via XBOX 360s
    6. Music (lots and lots of music)
    7. Syncing all my different media to all the household apple devices.

    I picked up my MBP about two weeks ago, slapped a Momentus XT hybrid drive in, (did a new MacOS install here, just to see what the experience was like, since I had never done it before) upgraded to 8 GB RAM (100 bucks from Crucial) and immediately went to work tackling the migration of data from my PC to my new shiny MBP. The migration couldn’t have been any easier…simply put the MBP on the network, navigated to my NAS in Finder and pulled down around 360 GB of docs, pictures, movies, music, etc… to their proper locations within hours. Now is was time to organize and this is where it got real fun and where the Mac and its suite of applications really began to shine:
    30 GB worth of pictures imported and organized in iPhoto within a couple hours and around 150 GB of home movies imported from an external HD and events created in iMovie over the course of a weekend! I also found Handbrake, which made it ridiculously easy to make my movies available via iTunes for syncing with all our Apple devices. I used the Handbrake method rather than iMovie because I only had the events in iMovie for all my home movies and had not yet tackled building full- fledged projects yet. Next was my music collection, which is around 140 GB. This part got a little messy for me as I had to do quite a bit of work to the library because I had not adhered to many of the default paths in the PC world, but it was still fun, because I was doing all the reorganization and dealing with the missing artwork on my beautiful new MacBook Pro! Documents were easy, not really anything to do there, except copy them over.

    All in all, it was just a super positive experience. Nothing got lost, nothing got mangled and it was just plain easy using the tools Apple has built to deal with home media/content.

    Next came the applications I was accustomed to or needed in the PC world. I was a little worried here about whether or not any of the software would be available in Mac versions. No problems, whatsoever…everything I needed was available. These consisted of little things like Jawbone Bluetooth software, Lastpass, Xmarks bookmark synchronization, Google Chrome browser, Crashplan online backup and so on.

    Now that I was pretty much done migrating, I decided to pick up Parallels desktop to run Windows virtually for a while, just in case I needed something that wouldn’t work or that I needed time to figure out on the MacBook. I had some special requirements here that I needed to deal with, but they were easy. I really wanted to run Windows 7 on an external drive via an E-SATA connection so I wouldn’t chew up HD space on the MacBook and knew I didn’t need great performance from the virtual machine as I didn’t think I would really need to use it much after the first couple weeks. I hopped on OWC, purchased an E-SATA/Express card adapter for about 30 bucks and migrated the entire Windows installation from my PC to the external drive in a few hours. It worked flawlessly. Not the greatest performance in the world, but as I stated previously, I don’t anticipate really needing it much.

    Now that all my content is safely in place and backed up (Time Machine is the best BU application I have EVER used), it was time to start really learning how to use the new toy and customize it to my personal tastes with things like dock configuration, themes, screensavers, system preferences, security, etc… The thing that struck me with this is the fact that MacOS is so clean and well organized. It was just intuitive from the get go, no real learning curve and it all just made sense.

    At this point, I was starting to marvel at some of the nuances and beauty of this machine.
    The laptop itself is just drop dead gorgeous in my opinion and looks like a precision instrument rather than a pile of plastic.
    The screen is just brilliant.
    The backlit keyboard is wonderful (had this on my last PC and loved it there, too).
    The MacOS is very snappy and well laid out. Other than when something is mounted, my desktop has 0, that’s right zero icons on it. No clutter and everything I need is quickly available via the dock or a quick click on the Applications folder.
    The battery life is RIDICULOUSLY long.
    Setting up and manipulating networking is much easier and intuitive than PC.
    There are plenty of connections with 3 USB, a Firewire port and a Thunderbolt/Lightpeak port (which I can’t wait until the enclosures and cables start hitting the market for the interface speed and daisy chaining).
    Its weight is phenomenally light for a 17 inch laptop.
    I love the fact that it sits flat and is much thinner than the PC laptops. I never really noticed it before, but nearly every PC out there has a protruding battery rather than completely enclosed attributing greatly to the thinness of the MBP.
    The trackpad is one of the most amazing aspects to me on this piece of hardware. Never experienced anything like it before and the gesturing and configurability are just outstanding tools when it comes to computing on a laptop.
    Time Machine is by far the best tool I have ever used and I have used many both in the Windows and Linux environments. Easy to set up, completely automated and very flexible when it comes to dealing with things like a complete hardware failure or simply needing to get a file back you may have accidentally deleted.
    The machine stays very quiet when not working hard. I will say though that the fans can get very loud when the machine is being taxed for something like a movie re-encode, but it doesn’t happen very often and these big fans keeps things very cool when needed, which is extremely important on a laptop in order to achieve longevity.
    And last, but not least…Security! No viruses or malware to deal with in the Mac world.

    I really like the community so far, too. The Apple community in general seems to be more helpful and less confrontational than the PC realm and so far, with the reading I have done, seems to be even more easy going than the Linux community I frequent often. It seems as though people are sincerely proud to help others achieve happiness with their Mac or its software.

    Anyway, this is my little story about how I got completely hooked on the Mac hardware, MacOS and its accompanying software. I am extremely glad I made the switch and wish others the same good fortune and fun when they may finally decide to do the same.

  2. #2

    chas_m's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB

    Just kidding.

    Congrats on the purchase, and the detailed report. I'm glad you found the transition so easy. I predict you'll find that you wasted a little time on that Windows install, however ... most folks who switch think they'll need it, but end up calling me asking how to delete the partition six months later.


  3. #3

    jeffk's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 21, 2007
    NE Ohio
    27" iMac, 17" MacBook Pro, 13" MacBook, iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, AppleTV2 (x2), iPad1
    I would love nothing more than for all my favorite programs to work under Parallels or Fusion but they don't all play nice. For instance, I fly RC helicopters and use Phoenix as a simulator program. There is none better IMO. Unfortunately, it isn't very happy running in a VM. Boot Camp was the fix for me.

    In any case welcome the world of Mac. There will never be any going back for me.

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