Do that on Windows...

My procedure for getting my new MacBook Pro up and running:

  1. Unbox the MacBook Pro. Ooooh, ahhh!
  2. Boot it in Target Disk Mode (hold down T while booting) to make the computer an external FireWire 400/800 hard drive.
  3. Plug MacBook Pro into another Mac's Firewire port
  4. Using Mac OS X's built-in Disk Utility application, make a backup of the MacBook Pro's hard disk to a read-only disk image. (now I have the exact shipping state of my machine, should I ever care)
  5. Unmount the MacBook Pro, and boot it up normally.
  6. Go through the regular first-boot procedure to create my account.
  7. Resize the boot partition on the internal hard drive to reduce its size to 40GB, and create another 40GB partition for Leopard and another partition taking up the rest of the disk for my home folder. This is done using "sudo diskutil resizeVolume". See this MacWorld story for more details. Note: the partition resizing is non-destructive and done LIVE, while the full OS is running from the partition being resized.
  8. Reboot.
  9. Ponder the fun that having Tiger and Leopard installed is going to bring!
  10. Re-install Mac OS X 10.4.10 and the bundled software from the provided DVDs. Kam suggested I do a fresh install, he doesn't trust the factory-installed OS. I kinda doubt this was really necessary but it's easy to do and I really don't want to give Kam an "I told you so" moment so I did it anyway. :-) Anyway, it's nice to know the new Mac has minty-fresh breath.
  11. Create an "Administrator" account during setup, not my personal account, that will come later.
  12. Call AppleCare and book service for the old PowerBook G4 on the last day of the warranty to deal with issues hat couldn't be looked at until I had a different machine to use. Great timing on the shipment, one day late and I would have been screwed!
  13. Boot the PowerBook G4 in Target Disk Mode and connect it to the MacBook Pro using a FireWire 800 cable.
  14. Using Disk Utility on the MacBook Pro, restore the PowerBook G4's MacOSX and Data partitions onto the two blank partitions on the MacBook Pro. The 25GB MacOSX partition took 20 minutes, the 40GB Data partition took 35 minutes! Disk Utility does a block copy of the devices. Nice.
  15. Disconnect the PowerBook G4, reboot it using a Tiger DVD and install a fresh Mac OS X Tiger on it while continuing on the MacBook Pro.
  16. Create my personal account with the same username and UID/GID as on my old machine. Set the path to my home folder on the Data partition using NetInfo Manager.
  17. Turn on Fast User Switching and log into my personal account.
  18. Marvel at how everything just works. My custom desktop background appears, Mail, iCal, AddressBook, Firefox, etc etc, everything is there just as it was on PowerPC-based Mac.
  19. Take the PowerBook G4 into my local Apple Authorized Service Provider and basically reaffirm to myself that I made the right choice by being a Mac user.

If I sound smug, it's because I'm feeling smug. Very satisfied customer, here.

I only have to reinstall applications that were installed on the boot drive (and only if they were installed from packages). Xcode, SSHKeychain and Privoxy are the only apps I've had to manually reinstall so far. I don't know why SSHKeychain uses a package to install... I still need to install Adobe CS3, iWork '08, and Subversion.

If I was using Windows, there's no way I would have been able to get my entire working environment back up and running simply by copying my home folder across and logging into it. I (probably) wouldn't have been able to do the seamless and dead-easy images or backups/restores of my new and old hard drives either. I definitely would have had to re-install dozens of applications and re-do all of my personal settings in the OS and most of the applications.

This is 2007, and after this great experience setting up a new Mac, and staying connected to work IMAP, work Jabber, Google Talk (including Twitter!) and the web on my new Nokia 770 Internet Tablet while my computers were getting set up, it's really starting to feel like 2007. Where the hell is my flying car?

But seriously, why do people use Windows, anyway? Games? Windows Vista still uses the registry... what were they thinking???

Last night a hockey teammate asked me if I was going to install Parallels to get Windows running on it since I finally had an Intel Mac. I thought about it, but I couldn't think of a single reason to install it. I might install Ubuntu on it, though, that'd be nice, I guess.

The Mac really takes all the adventure out of setting up a new computer...

Written on August 25, 2007