I’ve been meaning to write this entry for a while, but have been way to busy over the last month. With the announcement today that you can boot XP on your Intel-based Macintosh, things just got a little more interesting in the hardware space. At the beginning of March, I got a MacBook Pro to replace my PowerBook. (OK, so I ordered it the minute the Apple Store came online after the MacWorld SteveNote. I’m a geek, sorry). It’s a fine machine and blazingly fast.
However, when I first booted the MacBook I broke out in tears. As Andy Pennell so brilliantly pointed out, moving between Windows machines is a major pain. Andy spent six weeks trying to copy his Dad’s settings to a new machine. Some of that was because of time zones and such, but he figures it would have taken eight days total. Since we’re all Windows developers reading this, we’re all shaking our head in that slow, sad, knowing way because we’ve all been there.
Why did my MacBook make me cry? When I booted it into OS X, it asked if I wanted to transfer my settings from another machine. I answered yes and it told me exactly what I needed to do to transfer my settings. As I had a bunch of music and photos, it took three to four hours. After the reboot, my new MacBook was exactly at the point where I turned off the PowerBook. My total time involvement: five minutes.
I’ve got an XP laptop that’s suffering from a touch of bit rot and I need to do a full pave and reinstall. I got a complete handle on all my data, but don’t have the two-three full days to reinstall all the software a modern developer needs and try to get all the settings back to normal. While we’ve got the Import Export Settings now in Visual Studio .NET 2005, and the Office Settings Wizard (which I’m finding out no one has every heard of and it’s an excellent tool), it’s all the other crud that doesn’t get copied over. Yes, I have the base TrueImage for the machine, but that doesn’t have all the updated applications, updated drivers, hot fixes, and current settings so it will still take me days.
Will Vista be any better? I sure hope so, but I’m not holding my breath.