I finally gave in, and purchased a new computer yesterday. Namely, the one I’ve had my eye on for the last few weeks. I splurged, and bought it yesterday, from CompUSA. Smartly, over the border, to save on tax. Specs: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 quad-core processor, dual 320 GB hard drives, 3 GB RAM (PC5300), 16x LightScribe DVD drive, Vista Ultimate (with Media Center), built in wireless networking, wireless keyboard and mouse. I also upgraded the video card, to support dual DVI. I, easily, let the sales rep talk me into the top of the line video card. (GeForce 8880) As we know, I can’t live without dual monitors these days.
My old PC will now live in the living room (P4 single core, 3GB PC3200, 1.6TB storage) as a music share. Though I learned a valuable lesson, when you read online that “displaying a PC on a TV (even an HDTV)” that it’ll look horrible, they’re not kidding. At 800×600, the screen’s barely readable, via DVI. Luckily once iTunes is started, the TV will be shut off, and iTunes will do its thing.
In migrating from my old XP box, to the new Vista box, there’s a few things that are obviously different. I had the intention of installing XP over Vista when I got the machine home. However, I think if I never give Vista a chance, I’ll never get used to it. Sure, it’s got some quirks that you have to adjust to, but so did XP when it came out. Here’s how I migrated, which may help you:
My migration had two major necessities, 1) to get all the extra junk off my old machine (programs/files), 2) get that extra junk onto the new machine (programs/files)
What I did was the following: as I uninstalled a program from the old PC, I installed it on the new PC, one by one. The good part of this was that the new machine was much faster than the old, so the processes finished about the same time. Perfect. Some important things to remember, before uninstalling an application, that may slip your mind:
- If your application requires user settings, see if there’s an option to back up those settings. (ie e-mail applications, FTP clients, browser favorites)
- If your application needs to be downloaded from the internet, install it before you uninstall the old one, in case you need a serial number
The biggest, and most helpful thing I found in my migration, was an application called MozBackup. What MozBackup does is simple, it takes all your settings from both Firefox and Thunderbird, and dumps them to a file. You then e-mail that file (or copy it over) to the new computer, and install it. It captures everything! Though it warns you that some extensions might not work, I didn’t have any issues. Firefox captured: bookmarks, links, extensions, cookies, cache, and display settings. Thunderbird captured: all my e-mail settings (43 e-mail accounts settings), all my saved/archived messages, and e-mail signatures. Amazing. If you have to move from one PC to another, and use Firefox/Thunderbird, definitely download MozBackup. It’s free, and worth every penny.
I’ve still got more work tonight to do, installing video processing applications, mostly. One note to make: TivoToGo does not work with Vista. There’s supposedly some hacks you can do, to make it work. Luckily there’s a VIIV option available, that works with Media Center, that I downloaded, and it worked. However, if you don’t have Media Center on your Vista PC, you can easily still get to your Tivo:
Open up trusty Firefox (or IE, if you’re dumb), and type in: https://<your tivos ip address>/nowplaying/index.html (if you don’t know your Tivo’s IP address, you can get it from the settings on your Tivo itself)
Password: your media access key (gotten/set at Tivo.com in your account)
This will allow you to download files directly to your PC from your Tivo(s). I’ve found, honestly, that the download speeds going direct from Tivo-PC are faster than if you use Tivo’s software. I haven’t found a way to get files to the Tivo just yet. (Sidenote: if you have video files on your PC that you want to watch on your Tivo, you can easily convert them using Videora Tivo Converter to something Tivo can understand. Though you’ll need to upgrade your TivoToGo software to the Plus version. I think I paid $30 or so, and is was worth it. Hopefully Tivo fixes the Vista issues, so things work as expected.
The most important thing to remember when you’re moving from one PC to another- be sure to copy all the data you want to save, before deleting it. If that means copying it to more than one location, to ensure you’ve got it, do it. I’d rather have two copies, than zero copies.
Next project after software installations are finished: ripping every CD we own to the “old” computer, and hooking it up the audio system. That’s a project in itself.