As mentioned in the previous post, the boot drive in my Windows computer has started making the click of death. The chassis, processor, and memory are about 8 years old, but I’ve cycled various hard drives in and out as the original deathstar drive didn’t last very long. I’ve used it as my primary development computer, as a network file server, and again as my primary Windows computer. Now, the CD-drive has failed and the primary hard drive is failing.
So, I’ve opted to cut my ties and move solely to my MacBook and Lu’s iMac. The process was mostly easy. Here’s what I did.
- Make the Windows data available to my Macs (cost: $30). I had a bit of a hiccup on this one. My Windows PC had two hard drives, and each night the data from the boot drive was copied to the second drive. My initial plan was to pull this second drive and make it a network drive via my Time Capsule. I purchased an external hard drive enclosure (3.5″ IDE with USB 2 interface), mounted the hard drive, and connected it to the Time Capsule. Unfortunately, the Time Capsule required a Macintosh formatted disk. So, I reverted to PLan B, shared My Documents on my Windows PC, formatted the second disk, and copied files to the new network drive. Now my data was available to all of my Macs.
- Moved my contacts from Outlook to Address Book (cost: free). I exported all of my contacts from Outlook into a comma-separated file, then imported those contacts into my Mac’s Address Book. The import process allowed me to pick the fields to import and map them to the appropriate Address Book fields. All of my contacts came in just fine, but none of the distribution lists imported. These were easy to recreate.
- Move checkbook data from my Win application to a new Mac application (cost: $6.99). I know that a lot of you either use an Excel spreadsheet or simply rely on the bank to keep track of your money, but I’ve been using a shareware checkbook app since 2005. I wanted to move the unreconciled data to my Mac. (This will also make it easier for Lu to manage should the need arise.) I exported the data into a tab-separated file, made a few edits, and imported it into the Mac application called simply Checkbook. Conveniently, it was on sale this weekend.
- Installed Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac (cost: $105 for a three person / three computer license). I’ve been using Pages on the Mac, but haven’t been happy with it. Using bullets and numbered lists was always awkward. Since I’ve been happily using Word and PowerPoint on my Windows PC, and needed to continue to make PowerPoint slides on my Mac, so this seemed like a good move.
And that was that. I think I can do everything I could do before, and for less cost than repairing or upgrading the slow Windows machine.
With Lu’s help, we removed the Windows PC, monitor, KVM switch, and various cables. What a nest of cables. Removing the PC and monitor cleared some space on my desk. So, for at least a few days my desk will look less cluttered.
Since the Windows PC still boots and runs, it’s temporarily assembled in another room. Once I’m convinced that I don’t need it anymore, it can go into storage.
I can still run Windows 7 on my MacBook — in fact, I must run Windows 7 for some work tasks. So, unfortunately, I haven’t totally cut ties with Windows (yet).