It’s been… emotional

Contemplating dumping your old PC for a shiny new Mac? Read on, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

On Sunday, two weeks ago, I Tweeted that I was about to embark on a PC to Mac migration. I’d made the decision to mothball my five year old Dell PC and seven year old HP laptop in favour of a pair of sleek, shiny and undeniably sexy (for technology, for technology) beasts – an iMac desktop and a MacBook Air laptop. Yes, I’d finally bought the ‘once-you-go-Mac-you-won’t-go-back’ hype.

Here’s that Tweet in all its glorious prescience:

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 19.41.33

This weekend I finally reached the point where I was prepared to put my old PC in a cupboard.  The process of moving from PC to Mac, including fixing everything that broke, recovering almost everything that disappeared, re-entering the things which disappeared but didn’t reappear, setting up new accounts, new synchronisations and a new email host, identifying and working around a plethora of ‘undocumented features’, listening to a succession of helpdesk representatives of variable skill levels and variable capacity for effective communication (including one  from Audible who actually fought on-screen in a shared session with me to do something I’d requested he stop doing), and peeling myself off the ceiling more than a few times… has taken the better part of 13 days.

I lost sleep. More than one night I found myself awake at 3am, scrawling notes on the thoughts I’d had in the dark on how I might backtrack, recover lost ground or retrieve lost files. I lost credibility with clients whose work became delayed and who I had to ask to re-send things they’d already sent me. It cost me, financially (not nearly as much as it could have, truth to say, thanks to a kind, understanding, generous and capable IT Consultant, who I wish to goodness I’d made the acquaintance of before I clicked the buttons which dispatched 14 years of work, documents, emails and photographs to hell in a handcart).

But this whole shambles has cost me most of all in peace of mind. My calm, orderly and professionally competent world has been in upheaval for two weeks. All the fundamental technical things I’ve taken for granted for years were thrown up in the air. And they’ve only just begun to come down again.

So in lieu of a proper post for the last two weeks, I present to you my seven sincerely serious caveat emptors of PC to Mac migration – just in case you’re contemplating taking this unholy step yourself.

  1. It would be prudent, before you begin, to find out if you’re up to this challenge. A full psychological assessment by a recognised professional would not be an indulgence too far. For any mental feebleness or emotional fragility will be exposed and then rubbed raw by the passage from Microsoftland to Appleville. Even most resolute and well-balanced mind can expect be shredded by the experience.
  2. When they tell you it’s easy to migrate from a PC to a Mac, do not believe them. Whoever they are, however significant they are in your life, however honest and trustworthy they have always proved themselves to be… they’re lying to you now.
  3. When they say, don’t worry, you can easily do it all yourself, they’re deceiving you. You will need professional help. Really. Unless you’re an actual Apple Technical Consultant… You. Will. Need. Help.
  4. If you make the mistake of engaging in debate at this point, they will tell you there’s a nifty little tool in the Apple toolbox, called Migration Assistant, that will do it all for you. Do not be fooled. Hidden beneath the apparent guilelessness of the Migration Assistant’s evil smiley faces is a whole crock full of trouble.
  5. However much it looks like Microsoft and Apple are playing nicely these days, this is but a façade. Office 365 on Mac has holes and delivers a few nasty little surprises. It’s nearly there, but not quite. If you have POP3 email accounts, Outlook will not be your friend. If you have archives of emails, old calendars or task lists with dozens of important items scheduled, anticipate some degree of carnage.
  6. Back up everything before you start. That’s just good housekeeping, but with this kind of adventure, it’s insanity to bypass this step.
  7. The best piece of advice though? Don’t do anything at all. Step away from that sexy white box. Just make the call. Get an Apple Technical Consultant on-board… before you break the seal.

I think I’ll be glad I did this – eventually. But for now, my overriding emotion is one of relief, that I got there in the end.  Normal service will be resumed.

34 thoughts on “It’s been… emotional

    1. Overpriced, but desirable. I thought, do I want to postpone this opportunity for another 5 years by buying another PC? If I’d realised how disruptive the whole experience would be, I might have made a different decision. But then I look at at those shiny, sleek devices and their simple, coherent interfaces and easy-to-use apps and I know I’ll be glad I did it – once the pain goes away.

  1. I hate to say this but when I switched I had no issues. That said, I don’t use Outlook or any of the Microsoft office products on a Mac (it’s like buying a car and getting your old horse to pull it along for you) and I didn’t have 14 years worth of work files to switch.
    Hopefully, now the pain is over, you’ll get to love your new machines. If not, you could always go through the whole thing again as you convert back to Windows … 😱

    1. I put my old PC in a cupboard for that very reason, but already I can see I wouldn’t be doing that. Ever. But I need to maintain the Microsoft interfaces because of that 14 year history of client work, projects, presentations, documents and emails. I guess it will become less relevant as time goes by, but for now – and I suspect this would be the same for many people – I need that old horse!

  2. I’m a great believer in that old adage, ‘if it aint broke, don’t fix it’. Plus, I have enough trouble just updating the PC I have. Had to have a new one last year because the current one died on me and I still haven’t quite got over that!
    I thought technology was supposed to be getting easier…

    1. My Old PC wasn’t quite broke, but very nearly. I’d made the mistake before, of waiting until an old computer fell over before replacing it. This time all the warning signs were there, but it was still chundering along and I decided to pre-empt that moment of crisis. I readily admit, I should have handled it differently. If I’d got help before I opened the box, things would have gone much, much more smoothly! A lesson. A vital lesson learned.

  3. When the print on the letter E shows sign of wear I know it’s time to change. Always have had a PC and probably always will. Can’t see the point in changing. The modern versions work for me. The kids have thier Macs and I have an iPad tablet when I run around but from what I’ve seen of Mr Jobs and his neat little box I can’t say I feel I’m missing out.

    1. My PC keyboard had lost its E, A, S ,D, C, N , L and half an O – so the time was nigh. It’s a good job I’m a touch typist, that’s all I can say!

        1. I try to be a careful steward of my technology hardware. This week though, I would happily have thrown the whole lot out of the window – several times.

  4. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had to deal with this. For someone who relies on her computer in so many aspects of life, this must’ve been very stressful. I noticed you’ve been sparse in the online world, and now I know why. I hope things settle down for you. Sounds like a glass of wine is in order. Or two.

    1. I’m actually quite touched that I’ve been missed! Yes, it was indeed stressful. Things did not go to plan, but all is well again now – and that’s what counts. I’m normally not much of a drinker. A glass of wine or a G&T once in a month is about my lot. It’s fair to say my consumption escalated somewhat last week. 😉

  5. I have yet to find a convincing argument for switch, except for “Oh, I just love my APPLE– it’s so much better, and the feeling that Microsoft is deliberately sabotaging my startup time because I won’t buy their protective junk and I use Chrome. I suspect Mac does the same thing. Let me know. Being a cheap old bas@#$% I can’t understand the price of Iphones and Apple computers.

    I suppect I need two laptops. One for the internet and one for writing.

    1. The argument is about 20% technological and 80% ‘I just LOVE those sexy Apple devices with their streamlined brushed aluminium lines and their uber-cool white boxes’! I don’t often bow to hype, but Apple got me long ago with their iPod Classic and I’ve been looking for an excuse to go all-out on the desktop ever since. Logic didn’t feature much, I confess – it was all about the aesthetics.

      My PC had got very slow. My laptop, running on Windows XP and with a battery that no longer charged was on its knees. So I went with both – a desktop and a laptop, to cover all the bases, client work and writing on-the-move. But I needed to maintain the connection with Microsoft because that’s where so much work still takes place, so I have Office365 on my Mac. Last week I discovered there’s a service and support firewall between the two, which involved me in two sets of support calls. Then there was Audible, another crucial component as I have at the last count 109 audiobooks, and another set of support calls. Yes, it was a party at my house last week!

      I suspect I will be pleased with my new setup in due course, but the pain has to subside first.

  6. I can’t speak to this for anyone still earning a living on a PC, as you were. I switched soon after I retired and no longer had to connect with a law firm that ran on PCs. But I’m not at all technologically savvy. So I went to an Apple store with my old Gateway (this was ten years ago) and had them transfer all my personal stuff to my new iMac desktop. Easy-peasy. (They even put everything back in my car for me afterwards.) I never regretted it. There’s one cloud for iMac, iPad, iPhone. There’s virtually no spam. Everything is mega user-friendly. Worth every penny and I wouldn’t ever go back. Sorry you had so much trouble, though. I too was wondering where you’d gone off to. I was thinking, maybe Turkey? 🙂

    1. Life would have been simpler without the need to maintain a connection with Microsoft, but I didn’t want to live another 5 years with a PC and all its shortcomings, so I bit the bullet. Unfortunately for me, it was a bullet made of kryptonite and it delivered a payload of technical toothache. Sounds like you had an easy ride of it compared to me. But I’m already finding plenty of good points in the Apple set up, so the pain is subsiding.

      I’m touched that you noticed I wasn’t around. I was online on one device or another for much of the time; it was my mind that was elsewhere. I simply couldn’t cope with any but the most pressing concerns. I wish I had gone to Turkey. 🙂

  7. Oh, yes, this post brings back painful memories – lol! Luckily, I just hired a tech to transfer from my PC to my new Mac, but the email addresses were never recovered and had to be built up again, but after two and a half years, I can say that I do love my Mac! Welcome to our world! 🙂

    1. Eliza, your comment ended up in my spam folder, so I’ve only just seen it! I love my Mac too now – but it was a challenge putting Humpty Dumpty back together again 😉

      1. Boy, the list goes on. You are #6 to tell me my comments went to spam! Why is WP failing me? I have no idea how to remedy this error! 😦 Hopefully, upon your approving it, it won’t happen again. Thanks, Julie!

  8. And of course if you decide next week to change back you will find Microsoft have introduced a bright new (= different) operating system called Windows 10, whose main selling point is apparently that it puts right most of the things that were done wrong in Windows 8…

  9. Nope those are poisioned evil apples. They have been ever since college when forced to use one for a class. Augh you poor thing to be seduced by their poisious good looks. Best of luck.

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