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Migrating a PowerPC G5 Mac to an Intel Core i7 MacBook Pro

I am moving from my 5 year old PowerPC G5 Mac to my new Intel Core i7 MacBook Pro.

Since I did not find a definitive guide on how to move your data, applications and preferences for my specific case, I am documenting here what I did for so that it might benefit someone else.

Start

I got the point of starting up the laptop and going through Apple’s basic setup process. Simple.
However, in that process the computer asks you if you are moving from another computer. It wants to use the migration assistant. I strongly urge you NOT to use the migration assistant. It will bring over what you need BUT it will also bring over alot of junk that you dont need from apps that were installed and removed from your old computer.

My Custom Applications

Besides its better to start with a a clean install of every application. The best explanation I’ve heard on this comes from my friend Chris Foley (Hat tip to @foleypod).

He prescribes that a clean install is best. Moving applications over from your older system setup, in most cases, will require you to upgrade the software after you move it over.

You will be upgrading code that most likely was installed on a previous version of OS X (10.4, 10.3) and subsequently upgraded by you over time. DON’T DO IT. Clean install ensures that you’re getting code that is optimized to run on an Intel chip with oS X 10.6

And that is just what I did.

The strategy was pretty simple. Open you Applications folder on your old computer, review each application and decide what you want on the new machine. Google the ones you want on the new machine and you will get the latest installers that are correct for you machine (as many websites these days read in browser/platform information and can pass along the correct installer).

So I did that for all my Applications large and small.

What about application registrations?

BUT you may be asking yourself, what about registration data? Will I have to type in all that information again?

I did. I basically have all the applications on my laptop right now and as I need them I launch them and get the right data in place. It takes a few minutes more, but its less headaches.

What about preferences?

On some applications, SOME I will bring over preferences. On Adobe’s fat install, no. I will make new prefs, too much baggage there. On smaller apps, yes. Apps like Typinator, or CSSEdit. Those I will bring over because they are not bloated apps.

Moving Email

I followed this simple guide from eHow. How to Move Apple Mail Settings and Email on a Mac.

It has you move the Mail folder located here: ~/Library/Mail.

It also has you move ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist

I also use MailTags and MailActOn. So I had to deal with their particular preference files.

iTunes.

Fortunately for me I can use the iTunes Home Sharing function to use most of what I need. I will copy over any specific artists as I need them.  I also have a large library of music on my iPhone too.

Then move files.

The last bit for me it to move over my working files (current projects) and my web development files (all my custom programming). That is taking place right now while I am writing this post.

Looking forward to working on this new machine.

Now I have to realize I can getup and take it with me.

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What are you waiting for? Publish!

I’ve been meaning to publish a post like this for a while. The irony of that combined with the topic is not lost on me and I find quite priceless. Have a look+listen and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Do you publish? or Do you wait?

http://www.vimeo.com/8873874
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iPhone 3G, Will it Blend?

iPhone 3G

There is no denying that the announcement this week at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, or WWDC, about the new iPhone 3G lived up to most everyones expectations. It has a great set of new features, including my want of built-in GPS, and now has the architecture open for developers to start creating some great new and interesting applications for the iPhone. The phone is slimmer and also has larger memory capacity. All of this advancement and the most impressive part of the announcement to me was the price point, $199. That is really incredible.

Last year when the first generation iPhone came out I held back because I figured that the second generation would deliver better features and performance at less cost. This has come to pass so my credentials as a swami have just gone up.

The only question left for me is Will It Blend? Yes, will the new iPhone 3G blend? Like its predecessor the iPhone-you can see what happened below-the new iPhone 3G may blend even better. Hopefully Blendtec will give it a go.

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Slow Re-Start

Tortise

Well this past week was an exercise in getting back to the flow. Back to the flow of the family life—making coffee for my wife in the morning, taking kids to school, changing diapers, making bottles, getting kids to bed, watching movies with my wife. And getting back to the flow of work—turning off vacation messages on phones and email, email, email, and more email. Projects, clients, voicemails and the myriad of things that go along with running your own company all await your upon your return.

I am very glad to be back from my vacation. The vacation was great and I would like to take another break as soon  as I can. However, it is tough coming back from a vacation. Getting back on board takes time. Not the family part, I would not trade that for the world. It’s the coming back to work part. Don’t get me wrong I love what I do and it is great. However, getting coal back in the cold engine and firing up the furnace to get the train moving again is a slow process. It does take me at least one work week to get things up to speed—back on top of email, and projects too.

I took one working day to focus on one aspect. Monday was email, Tuesday was projects and their status, Wednesday was calls and appointments, Thursday was project work, and Friday was a professional development seminar.

So even though I started out the week feeling like the tortise, I ended it feeling like the hare.

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Taking Breaks Big And Small

Mexico

Something I am not good at is taking a break from work. Any type of break–5 minutes or 5 days. On a daily basis I find myself sitting at the machine for 3 hours at a stretch without getting out of the chair. Obviously this is not good. I did get a pedometer over the holidays to see just how much movement I am getting during a typical work day. Right now I am averaging over 10,000 steps a day which is not bad for a mostly sedentary desk job. On a day-to-day basis I do need to take more breaks and get up and move around. I don’t think we as humans were designed to be seated for long periods of time. To help with that I recently setup a small mac-based application called FlexTime. It is a great app that will let me program periods of time and breaks, and it will put notices up in front of me to let me know to take a break or switch gears. Not only the physical change, but the mental change of focus and attention will help as well.

Other than the day-to-day breaks are the BIG breaks–vacations. We all need vacations to help rest and recharge. Problem is in this country (US) we tend toward the workaholic side of the spectrum and take very few breaks on a daily basis and take very little vacation time when compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Then again our GNP is the highest in the world so there is a positive side to it. However, I tend to work so hard for so long that I get burned out. I have been to burnout and back several times in my career and its no fun. To help keep this at bay I recently made a decision to take a vacation that sort of landed in my lap. A friend who is going to Mexico for 10 days asked me to come along–out of the blue.

Initially my reaction was. “Well, I do have so many projects going on right now I’m not sure I can spare the time.” I told this to someone I met at a party over the weekend and he looked at me and said, “You should go on the trip. Work will always be there, a chance to go to Mexico will not.” I thought to myself, he is absolutely right. It is the advice I would give to someone else if they were telling me the story. I would say figure out how to make it happen and I am making it happen. My new passport is on the way and I leave 2 weeks from this Friday. I have never been to Mexico and I have lived a couple hundred miles north of the border for almost 15 years. Its about time I take a visit. The work will be here when I get back.

When was the last time you took a vacation or a day off?

Yeah. Exactly–too long. Make it happen. Take the opportunity when it comes, or make the opportunity now.

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15 Minutes A Day

Clock

I was thinking about the whole idea of having a blog and writing in general. Just like any exercise humans engage in one needs to “use it, or lose it.” In other words, you need to work the muscle whether that muscle is writing, designing, selling, making, or doing. Without use the ‘muscle’ will atrophy and your ability to use it efficiently and effectively will diminish.

So, in hopes of helping build my blogging and writing ‘muscles’ I plan to take only 15 minutes a day to write something relevant to the things that I am working on and things I am passionate about. To do this all I need is an Internet connection, WordPress for blogging, a copy of Mineteur to keep me on time, the free stock image website , the ideas in my head, and my fingers to type. With those elements I plan on posting once a day during the business week and perhaps on the weekends should time permit.

Here is my first resolution of the new year.

Ack! New years resolutions—perhaps that will be Mondays post.

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Overwhelmed? Me too.

Fire Alarm

Meetings, email, projects, laundry, dinner, kids, cell phone ringing! Don’t pull the alarm yet. They all demand your time and attention many at the same time as each other. No wonder our sleep-deprived lives are fueled by a steady diet of caffeine all the while stumbling around dazed and confused.

I recently read an article in the most recent Oprah magazine titled, “Wait! Stop! It’s All Too Much” by Martha Beck. I don’t typically read Oprah but my wife has a subscription and recently read this article and had to pass it along to me. Why? Because the stuff I complain about on a frequent basis was talked about in this article. The feeling of overwhelm is usually characterized by something called attentional blindness. It’s the feeling you get when presented with too many stimuli. As the article says, ” you sink into a muddled netherworld, like Dorothy in the poppy fields of Oz. Your intentions grow fuzzy. Is it dementia? Is it Alzheimer’s? Sheer cursed laziness? None of the above.” I have had this feeling on more than one occasion and it’s disabling.

A great example.
For a great example of attentional blindness go here and watch this video (It takes a moment to load).

You need to focus on the white team and how many times they pass the ball. Go do this now and then come back and continue reading. Don’t continue to read until you have done this.

Done? Great. Now how many times did they pass the ball? I counted 15. Should be about right. Want to know what is really the trick in that video? About halfway through a person in a gorilla suit walked through, thumped their chest and walked out? Did you see that while you were counting? If not, you just experienced attentional blindness.

You should go and read her full article. She does give a 6-step process for helping train your clogged mind to focus and help strip out the overwhelm. I highly recommend it.

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Flowing Not Fighting

Flowing with the Surf

I often wonder how the hell am I ever going to reach the promised land? I read many blogs on productivity and life-hacks and wonder when it will happen. When will I ever get all my crap together and sit cross-legged floating 3 inches off the ground while scanning to-do lists, doing, deferring, and delegating all the while with a blissful calm about me?

Our workloads can, at times, get quite heavy. The workload I am referring to is the professional sort. Not that I am making personal or family workloads less relevant—trust me they are very relevant and very heavy in their own right—it just that the professional workload can dominate our lives. I believe this is due to the fact that for those of us doing the 9-5 a majority of our waking time is spent in the professional workload mode.

Recently the professional workload has gotten quite heavy for me. This is not something new as workloads wax and wane as do the phases of the moon. However, when I am in the heavy workload phase I notice a slight shift in productivity—a clarity of focus and purpose if you will. Initially when the heavy workload begins its climb I tend to fight it. I will try and procrastinate, put off, and mentally deny that I have a lot to do. All during this fight phase I am typically not very productive. I can usually be found rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Then one day it ‘clicks’ and I start to get my productivity-fu going, or flowing. I cease the fight and give in to the flow. Face it, eventually if you keep fighting you will lose. You need to give in and go with the flow.

When the flow hits my lists of tasks become very targeted. My communications are more succinct and less chatty. I really start lining things up and knocking them down as I always dream of doing. The paradox of this is I seem to need to proceed through the procrastination and fight before I hit the flow–before I hit the fu.

I wonder how others perceive their fight and flow in relation to their workloads? Are you a fighter? Do you ever get into the flow? Or are you in the flow all the time?

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Plate Spinner

Plate Spinners

This is a place I have found myself on more than one occasion.

Being a husband, father (of 3, ages 7 and under), and owner of a small business I have on more than one occasion found myself unable to keep up on all fronts à la the ‘plate spinner.’ You know you’ve seen what I am referring to, the performer who has a stack of 20 or so plates with a pile of long, thin sticks as pictured above. One by one the performer takes a plate puts it atop the stick and begins to spin the stick and balances the plates on top.

The key is to keep the plate spinning, or crash!–no more plate. This is what life can feel like for me much of the time, a plate spinner trying to keep everything going and avoiding the crash. Everyone has their limits and sometimes you need to experiment to see just how many plates you can keep spinning. Over time your ability to spin more plates increases and you get more confident. But, alas, all good things come to an end.

When you are spinning many plates for a long period of time you find you need a break. You cannot keep this up forever and sometimes you need to let a few things crash and come back later to clean up the aftermath. I recently read a great blog post about this exact process at WebWorkerDaily. What should you do after you have let all the plates crash to the ground?

I found it to be a sensible approach towards getting all your plates up and spinning again.

Have to go… a plate needs a spin!

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Over-thinking it

What a revelation I had this morning while IM’ing with my friend and collaborator Jonathan Brown. I was asking him a programming question in relation to a project I am working on. After I asked a very detailed question, he shoots back “you’re over-thinking it.” In that moment came a flood of clarity. I am over-thinking the problem. I’m over-thinking to the point of anxiety and exhaustion a great deal lately. The issues mostly surround business and work, but also personal issues as well.

What is the answer to over-thinking it? I think I may have a way to confront this.

The gears of the mindOver-thinking for me typically involves diving deep into the problem and getting narrow with my perspective. I sometimes get buried in the minutiae of what ever is at hand. The gears in my mind grind away to reveal smaller and smaller components of what I am thinking about. Eventually I get stuck either because I cannot break something down into a smaller piece, or I have two possibilities/directions that I can go and can’t figure out which is best.

Something happened a few months back that came to mind when Jon said those words to me this morning. I was attending a GTD (Getting Things Done) seminar. (If you are not familiar with GTD and its many ways of employing its methods, please investigate–it is a beautiful thing. Also, see my previous post). During the seminar we were taking projects and breaking them down into definable next actions. What next action will move a project forward? To figure this out you need to break things down. For example the next action on a project might be “Call Jon about starting new project.” In my mind I might take that action and break it down further.

  1. Lookup Jon’s phone number
  2. Dial Jon’s phone number
  3. Talk to Jon about project
  4. Confirm agreed next steps
  5. Hang up

You see how ridiculous this can get–I’m over-thinking it. I would start out with these project lists and then start falling off into the land of micro-next-actions. I was getting stuck and frustrated. So I asked our presenter, Maurice, about what I could do to stem the tide. His answer was genius.

“Look a the level of complexity with any project or task. At what level does the complexity not serve you?”

Simple, elegant, and perfect for this issue. Stop over-thinking, pull your head out of the sand and look at the bigger picture.

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