Geek Stuff

Migrating to Air

AirTwo weeks before Christmas it finally happened. I wanted to edit some video and could no longer stand the thought of doing it on my PC. I drove over hill and dale to the Albany Apple Store just in front of the lunch holiday shopper rush and brought home a new MacBook Air.

The great migration began more than 6 years ago as I got sick of doing anti-virus updates and Windows reinstalls. As most geeks can relate, I am the family CIO, and getting married doubled my workload. As we started to spend a lot more on computers and other Apple devices, my maintenance time and expense fell far enough to put me ahead in spite of the increased workload and everyone else started having less trouble with their use.

My Dad noticed that a lot of email attachments from his buddy Koz no longer opened. Primary family virus source identified.

I considered buying a Mac in 2010 but the company I was with ran on ThinkPads and I had over 15 years of software and tools on the PC side. The deathblow for the last PC standing came when the next company I worked for gave me a Macbook Pro and the Palm Smartphone platform breathed its final gasp.

So! Who cares about the details? Nobody. Who cares about specs and workflow? We do!

Of course the SSD is blazingly fast, I already knew this having been an SSD fan since 2006, however my photo and iTunes libraries were too big and I wasn’t about to drop a grand on a 1TB SSD so it was all about Western Digital Black Caviar drives.

I decided to migrate the iTunes library to an external drive to make up for going from 1TB down to 500GB, and it seems to work quite well given the USB 3.0 ports. I have my second monitor on the Thunderbolt port, nice that Mac recognizes the exact model number, no drives required.

On the audio front I picked up an Apogee One that allows me to plug in my “real” microphones instead of using a USB mic. It seems great so far, and better looking and easier to use than my Mobile Pre USB.

Trade Show technology master GadgetBoy clued me into this Ethernet Port and 3 USB 3.0 hub. I actually had to download a driver to get the Ethernet to work, the horror! My Logitech HD cam was Plug and Play as were my Microsoft Natural Keyboard and Explorer Trackball, which is now a highly valued antique – if you didn’t click that, it shows what was an $80 trackball now going for $500 if you have one new in box (or NIB for you eBay hooligans).

An Anker USB 3.0 Drive enclosure and a WD 1TB drive made migration simple enough and leave me set with Time Machine Backup. I need some kind of case, I’m looking at a Dodo Case kind of sleeve.

For software I’m running VMWare Fusion so I could move my Quicken data there and run Goldwave for audio but I’m going to start trying GarageBand and Audacity for my Podcast workflow. We had a copy of Office for Mac 2008 lying around and I’ve decided to take the Adobe Cloud suite for a test run which has impressed me so far. iPhoto has blown me away. I upgraded to Mavericks so I could download Keynote, Pages and Numbers, I’ll give them a try.

Another interesting point. I was always complaining about the quality of our internet connections, drops during Skype calls or Webinars. Guess what? New machine, suddenly I’m not having drops…

So now I’m in that headache phase of enjoying the step up, but at the same time running into the occasional snag of “Oh, how do I do this now?” Overall I’m incredibly happy, starting at the moment I picked up my travel bag and it was 10 pounds lighter.

Anything else I need to know? Advice on hardware or workflow appreciated!