New Year, New Computer

On New Years Day, I paid a visit to the Fashion Valley Apple Store here in San Diego. I was on a mission to buy a new computer.

For the past 5.5 years, I have been using a Mac G5 (Pre Intel) with a dual 2.3 GHz processor. This system was fully loaded with RAM, and I honestly had no complaints about the speed while working in Photoshop. My large format scans are 2GB, and the file size only gets larger when I use layers. It’s not uncommon to have a file size larger than 10GB.

On my old system, these files took a long time to open. That was my only speed bump. After opening the file Photoshop was fast.

As time has passed, software incompatibility has become a serious issue. Video editing software in particular was the breaking point.

My new video setup is a Panasonic TM700. This is the camera that I will use for all of video journals. Like most video cameras these days, the TM700 shoots in the AVCHD format.

Apple’s iMovie ’08 was the first version to support AVCHD. Even though I was running Leopard, and I had iMovie ’08 installed on my G5, I was not able to connect to the camera because the software required an Intel chip.

This leads me to my visit to the Apple Store on New Years Day.

The modern incarnation of my G5 is now known as the Mac Pro. It comes in three flavors: good (quad core), amazing (8 core), and ridiculous (12 core). I chose the “amazing” 8 core option, which comes standard with 6GB of RAM. I was helped by two very knowledgeable people, and it was a great experience.

I’d like to think that I single-handedly helped Steve Jobs pay his mortgage this month.

In the past, the excitement of a new computer was short-lived. The moment of bliss was rudely interrupted by re-installing software, transferring POP3 email settings, and making sure I grabbed all my obscure files off the hard drive. Ultimately, the migration from old to new was a nightmare.

This was my first time going from an old Mac to a new Mac.

Upon turning on the new system, I was prompted to connect both computers with a Firewire 800 cable. I did so, and waited for the magic to happen. After nearly 30 minutes, the process was complete.

All of my software (Photoshop, Quickbooks, Transmit FTP, etc) all transferred flawlessly. There was no need to install a single program. When I reconnected my external hard drives, I found that the backup software was also in perfect condition. My email settings, bookmarks, and everything else were untouched.

I scoured my computer to find *something* that was not transferred. I couldn’t find anything.

Really — it WAS that easy.

Critics will say that I could have bought a Windows 7 machine with identical stats for much less — I will not argue that fact. The “Apple Tax” is alive and well.

However, this effortless migration from one system to another makes it worthwhile.

After scrubbing the hard drive on my G5, and giving it a clean install of Leopard, it’ll end up on Ebay. Thanks G5! You’ve served me well!

10 Responses to “New Year, New Computer”

  1. Mike Says:

    Congrats on the new hardware! As a fellow “Apple Tax” payer, I have found that the time and trouble of Windows systems far outweighs the difference in price. I’ve got 14 Macs and 1 Windows machine in my business. Guess which one is a constant problem… Be sure to talk to the business rep at the Apple Store about Pro Care and other options (and sometimes* discounts) for higher end or professional users.

    • Ben Horne Says:

      Thanks Mike! When I switched from PC to Mac, it like night and day. My G5 served me well, and I never had any problems with it. I don’t know how long the “No Virus” parade will last, but I’m certainly enjoying it while it lasts. While at the Apple store, they did sign me up with the Business program as well. That might come in handy later down the line.

  2. David Patterson Says:

    Congrats on the new puter… am sure it will serve you well.

  3. jay Says:

    After you moved to the new mac, and all the info is on the old mac, are both still usable? All the programs and everything? If so, is there a time limit? Cause otherwise you’d have 2 copies of programs you’ve presumably paid for one copy of?

    Just wondering!

    • Ben Horne Says:

      I have only logged onto the G5 briefly since transferring all my programs and data. Everything was still functional, but it was within an hour of the transer. Since Photoshop only allows two activations per license (one desktop and one laptop) there must be a time limit, or something along those lines. I can’t imagine Adobe would allow for such a big loophole from Apple.

      This weekend, I plan on wiping the HD on my G5, and doing a clean install of OSX Leopard. Before I do that, I’ll be sure to check and see if Photoshop is still usable. I’ll post an update with what I find. Now I’m very curious too!

      • Arka Chatterjee Says:

        Hey Ben,

        You’ve probably sold your G5 by now so this is a moot point, but the transfer “loophole” does in fact exist. The software on the transferring computer continues to work, as does the software on the transferee.

        I remember having to sell my old G5 2.5MP for the same reasons that you had to sell yours… no software manufacturer wanted to support the venerable old system anymore. Of course I love my “amazing” 8-core Nehalem MacPro, but that old G5 was quite a system. I could tax it, but never could I break it.

        Arka C.

      • Ben Horne Says:

        Arka,

        Hey man, I hope all is well with you. I have since sold my G5. Before I wiped the HD clean, I checked the software and it was indeed working. I would have never guessed that they would allow that. Thanks for confirming that point.

        It is very interesting indeed. Just like your G5, mine also served me well. Even when working with multi-layer files of big scans, it was fast. If it wasn’t for the software limitations, I would still be using it today.

  4. bob francella Says:

    I have a Intel “R” Xeon (r) CPU mac pro Duel-core 2 32 bit, I love mine. I had a g4 but aplle would not give anymore up grades, so I had to buy the latest mode.

    • Ben Horne Says:

      They’re always finding a way to make computers obsolete — even though they aren’t changing all that much anymore.

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