Migrating my mum to OS X – Experiences

So I spent the whole week-end migrating my mum from the old Windows XP to the new iMac.

First of all, the iMac is gorgeous. Take it out of the box, put it on the desktop, plug in the power cable and you are done. Amazing! If there was no legacy to migrate, it would of been a matter of minutes to be done, but… Now comes the hard part, migrating: The 50’000+ Emails, 1’500+ contacts sorted into groups, 60+ GB of Music, 30+ GB of data files.

The software we installed is:

  • Pages and Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac – For the office stuff, Pages was an addition to see if it could be used for more design oriented work (instead of Quark or InDesign). Both Purchased.
  • Roxio Toast 11 – The old burning program that support .nrg (Nero) file images. I tried to convert the images to ISO, but since they are binary images of Audio cds, none of the conversion tools (nrg2iso, nrg4iso, etc..) worked. Purchased
  • Inkscape – For the existing cd centers, previously in Corel draw (.cdr), the files were converted on the PC both to SVG and to PDF so that they could be stored and later edited on the mac. Free.
  • Audacity – For audio processing of aquired music. Free.
  • VLC – Video player supporting every format under the sun. Free.
  • Transmission – Torrent software. Free.
  • Gimp and Paintbrush – Both image editing software. Free.
  • Blue Griffon – WYSIWYG HTML editing. Free (with no addons).
  • FileZilla – FTP client for updating the websites. Free.
  • Avery DesignPro® for Mac® – For making new CD labels, it’s an amazing piece of software. Just works. Free.

For the browser, we simply used Safari.

For the mail, currently we are using the Apple Mail app, but it was not very successful so far. Maybe it will change. I hope to post more about the mail in a further blog. Both the import of the emails and the import of the address book posed substantial challenges.

For the music, we are using iTunes to manage the collection, although we disabled the “Auto sort the music collection” option of iTunes so that the music was not moved around into new folders. The music collection being extensive and mostly untagged makes iTune’s management a nightmare.

Installing the printers (and accessing the multifunction scanners on top of these) was easy  as pie. By just plugging in the printers, they were detected, an apple update was downloaded and they were ready to be used. Both the HP and the Brother worked. We used Image Capture to do scanning.