Migrating my Mum (OS X)

Or a return to Mac after 10 years of MS Windows

After a long reflection, my mum has decided to get a iMac. The decision was brought about by the aging PC she used, by recommendations from her friends and by the fact that the all in one iMac would seriously diminish the cable salad that sits behind her desk. Now that’s said and done, here’s the facts: I’ll have to be able to do her tech support and find equivalent software for her tasks, including migrating all existing documents, addresses and mails to the new computer. Last time she had a mac, it was still something like system 7.

My mum is a dance teacher, here are the points to resolve I’ve identified:

  • Burning CDs from her enormous collection of circle dancing music, which add up to a couple of thousand of CDs in a year. This has a tendency to wear out CD writers. How easy is it to swap out the CD drive in a iMac or should we get an external writer straightaway?
  • Her CDs were currently setup in Nero Burning Rom, either as nrg disc images (which should be easy to handle, since it’s a complete image) and in nra files which directly link to individual songs on the hard drive. The problem with the nra file is if a song is moved, it cannot be found anymore. I fear I’ll have to recreated the 30 or so different CD lists manually.
  • Hundreds of word documents, either for workshop programs or for dance descriptions. My guess is bite the bullet and get Office for Mac. Although, I am curious about Pages from Apple and how easily my mum could transition to it.
  • The labels she prints onto the CDs are made in Corel Draw X3 (cdr files), and seeing the price of a new licence of Corel for Mac, it would make sense to try find a cheaper or free alternative that could import these. For the moment the converter (UniConverter from sk1 project) doesn’t correctly covert the files to SVG, so I’m not able to use InkScape for that. Again, if I have to redo them manually, it’s another 30+ CD centers to redo.
  • Migrate her mail and address books from Windows Live Mail to a mail client on Mac OS X.
  • Locate replacements for Audiograbber (CD ripping) and Audacity (Sound editor)
  • Choose a website editor, I was previously using an antique Dreamweaver (like v4)

The iMac has now arrived, and I will be unpacking it and setting it up on the first week-end in January (8-9), I expect to have an update on my experience with setting up an OS X iMac then.