Everything is done, for the Apple Digital Lifestyle project for our soon-to-retire management person. Getting to this point was a challenge only in terms of getting the data off of the old computer. The old machine was a Dell Dimension desktop loaded with Windows XP. I got the machine running and everything was fine, as far as Windows XP can be fine and I inserted my Knoppix DVD into the disk drive and rebooted. Then began the hurdles, the system was configured to boot first to the HD, not to the DVD, so I changed that and rebooted, the disk wouldn’t read and the system booted to the HD anyways, up comes Windows XP. Turns out, this computer is so old that it doesn’t have DVD, just a plain CD-ROM drive that I errantly mistook for a DVD drive. So I swapped out the Knoppix DVD and traded it for a Knoppix CD, rebooted and finally was up and running in Knoppix. I mounted the volume where the user files lived and used the tar utility to copy them over the network to my iMac on my desk. Once that was done I switched Knoppix out for DBAN, a popular hard drive erasing utility and booted into that, set it to chew away using DoD short wipe and proceeded to unpack the tar file I had copied over. I had unpacked the users data, trimmed out the meaningless Windows junk and ended up with about 800MB of user data in the end, mostly music and pictures and a few documents peppered in. I made a new ‘tar’ file and then copied that over to the new iMac using my handy-dandy USB file transmission cable. I had utterly blanked on the fact that both my iMac and the new iMac had fancy FireWire 800 capability, and only now that I reflect upon it do I feel rather silly in forgetting FireWire.
Once the data was over, I moved all the documents where they needed to be and then I thought about how I would manage the music and pictures. First was the pictures, I opened iPhoto ’09 (which came with the iMac!) and clicked on File, Import, pointed it to the directory that held the mishmash of user data and in about 45 seconds (I couldn’t help but time it) all the user pictures were now in iPhoto. I did the same thing with iTunes for the music and that took a whole 30 seconds. I then threw all the rescued remains in the trash (because they were now in iPhoto and iTunes) and then rescued bookmarks, that took a whole 10 seconds and into Safari it went. Cleaned everything up, installed the ‘Free’ HP All-in-one, and that took 2 minutes to unpack and 30 seconds to set up, I had a test print a minute later. Packed it all up, walked it to the manager’s office and he’s all set to enjoy.
What will he enjoy? His big thing is email and using iChat Video Chat. That’s the biggest selling point I think for this entire adventure. He can see his daughter and her budding family, full audio/video Mac goodness for as long as he likes to do so. I suggested that he could even set up a link in the morning and have a virtual “magic mirror” run all day long so they could spend time close to their loved ones without the expense or trouble of traveling.
After this entire adventure it struck me that I effectively ran an entire micro-sized Apple Store from inside my head. I had a Genius Bar (my office), I was the Genius (don’t have a fancy apple shirt, tho) and I got the user interested, sold, migrated, and trained – just like in an Apple Store. If Apple ever were to establish a store in Kalamazoo I would definitely moonlight there, without a doubt. The last time I did enter an Apple Store was with my Father in Syracuse a few months ago, the salespeople approached and I was busy pointing out a 21″ iMac to my Dad and as the sales guy approached he heard me actually running through his script. He chuckled and smiled and stood behind me. That’s why Apple succeeds, because they impress people like me and we become evangelists. Walking around, free Apple advertising and when someone comes up and asks, we show them all the wonderful fun they could have and then they go and buy into the dream as well, the cycle continues.