Thursday, January 25, 2007

User friendly technology and the dumb user

You know that
  1. i'm addicted to Mac
  2. i'm a complete failure when it comes to tech issues
  3. that's why i feel blessed to be addicted to Mac
When Santa delivered my new Pro, I plugged the good old G4 to the new beast and the two of them performed the transfer of each single file, application, preference, etc.
They moved 40 giga of music files, the usual bunch of application, a load of pictures for a total of 54 giga in 30 minutes: ready, set, go.

And then, this morning, I stumbled in this New York Times Tech Q&A about Vista:

Windows Vista, scheduled for its debut to the general public next week, includes a free tool called Windows Easy Transfer. Like the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard that came with Windows XP, it is designed to move most of your personal stuff by means of a cable connection between old and new machines. Moving files over a network or with recordable discs and drives are other methods for transferring your files to the Vista PC as well.

According to Microsoft’s own description of Windows Easy Transfer (found at, the tool can move your user accounts and settings, personal files and folders, e-mail settings, messages and contacts, Internet settings and bookmarks and all your digital music, picture and video files.

It won’t move system files like fonts and drivers, however, so you will need to reinstall any custom fonts and Vista-compatible drivers on the new machine yourself.

While Windows Easy Transfer will move program settings and preferences if you have the same programs installed on the new computer, it won’t move the programs themselves. (Some types of software, like security programs designed for older versions of Windows, will probably not work on Vista anyway.)

Unfortunately for those with older computers, Windows Easy Transfer is designed to transfer files and settings from older machines running Windows 2000 or later. For Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me and Windows NT users who don’t want to move data and reconfigure all their program settings manually, separate software can be a much easier solution.

Several data-migration programs can be found around the Web or in computer stores. For example, Laplink PCmover ( works with most older versions of Windows, costs less than $60 and is designed to move your files and settings between machines. Laplink PCmover even promises to move your programs as well.

Now, if I understand what is written above, the data transfer is not a plug and play affair: if I'm lucky enough, I'll have only to setup several system files. If I'm an old school guy, better call a tech support.
Am I so dumb? It's me?


Lewis Green said...


When it comes to technology, I am a bog dummy. However, I recently purchased a new PC and moving all my XP files, including programs, from by backup hard drive was easy. Simply a matter of using the Wizard. Once transferred, I was up and running without a glitch.

Anonymous said...

I haven't purchased a new Vista PC, but when I got my new Dell laptop (running XP) last year, I bought a copy of the PCmover software you mentioned above. It obviously wasn't free, like the system offered with Vista machines, but then again, the free tool doesn't move installed software - just files.

I'll go the PCmover route again if/when I pick up my next PC - it worked well for me.

gianandrea said...

Thanks for your comments. I'm afraid that the issue is with Vista. Btw I'm considering to run it on my Mac: that's why I'm so concerned about.