Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

User State Migration the Vista way

For those of you who have ever used a User State Migration Tool, or Easy Files and Settings Transfer tool, to migrate your data from an old computer to your new computer — or purchased a special program, or cable — you know that getting your new machine exactly as you had your old machine required some time and effort.

The other day, the proud owner of a new laptop wanted me to replicate his XP set up onto the new Vista machine, and the usual method has been to to use one of the techniques mentioned in the paragraph above. But I didn’t. I used an adjunct to Window’s built-in Easy Files and Settings Transfer tool, which will be today’s free link.
I downloaded this program to both his XP machine and the new Vista machine. Then I connected his XP machine via wireless. Surprise! The XP machine was instantly seen and recognized.

Then I launched the Windows Easy Transfer Companion on the Vista PC and followed the wizard. The two machines established a “transfer” connection and the XP machine transferred its installed programs, and all the files, and all of the owners tweaks and settings (like bookmarks, and custom toolbars). All I did was watch.
This was, by far, the fastest and easiest user state migration I’ve ever experienced, and truly was painless. This is bad for a PC Tech’s bottom line, but great for Vista owners.

Today’s free link: When you buy a new PC, you will almost certainly want to transfer all kinds of things from the machine you’ve been using to the new one. Microsoft has “a companion” for the Easy Files and Settings Transfer tool called the Windows Easy Transfer Companion. It is actually a ‘stand-alone’. This tool not only transfers your documents and personalized Settings tweaks, but the programs you have installed. This is a huge time saver.
I did my transfer over the local network, but you can use the other methods of data storage to make the transfer as well– including USB thumb drives. [Note: while Microsoft still considers this program to be in beta, I have experienced absolutely no hiccups or difficulties at all.]

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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June 6, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, file system, hardware, how to, PC, software, tech, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mailbag: reader questions answered, Apple Edition

Today I am going to answer a few questions submitted by readers, in the Q’s and their A’s format.

Q: Will the programs I have on my old Mac run on a new “Leopard” system?
A: There are enough differences in the new OS X 10.5 that some programs may need to be replaced with the latest versions that are “Leopard-compatible” (Norton AV often needs this, for example) to run at their best. The keyword is “may”: most programs will work just fine once you visit Apple Update.
Please note— if you intend to migrate your programs and data from an old machine to the new Leopard machine, make sure you have updated all the software (programs) on the old machine before initiating the migration. Leopard will/can refuse to accept programs that aren’t current.

Q: I am thinking about buying a new iMac and I was told Apple runs on Intel circuits now. Does this mean I would be vulnerable to viruses, worms and spyware like Windows? What security programs would I need?
A: While it is true that Apple runs on the same type of “circuits” as Windows PC’s now, it is not your hardware that is vulnerable to malware and hackers, but the lines of software “code” (programming) that make up your applications/programs.
Now to the second part of your question… The lines of code that make up the Mac operating system (the most recent being OSX 10.5 “Leopard”) are not currently being targeted by the bad guys.. simply because there’s too few machines running it (and the ones that are do not contain credit card number databases). However, some of the programs you would have on your Mac are being targeted for exploits– QuickTime (a media format/player) and the Safari browser, notably. (Neither of which you need, btw.)
And now the last part: as things stand, today, if you are running a fully updated Leopard machine, and the firewall is on, you really don’t need a “protection program”. That statement may not be true this afternoon, or next week, or next month (for future readers, this was written 05/19/08 ) and so you may, for peace of mind, want to install the Norton Internet Security 2008 package*.

Today’s free link: I’m keeping with a Macintosh theme today, and so today’s app is for Apple users. I don’t want it said that I never think of you guys! Watch TV on your iMac with Miro, a C/Net Editor’s Choice. Description: “Democracy Player is a free and open source internet TV/video podcast application, with a beautiful, easy to use interface. You can subscribe to any Internet TV channel, including video podcasts, video RSS feeds, bittorrent feeds, and video blogs. A built-in Channel Guide lists hundreds of channels of all types, all free to subscribe to. Browse videos, download, and watch fullscreen– all in the same application.

* Folks, please don’t write to tell me “Norton is evil”. Read the reviews for NIS 2008. It may open your eyes.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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May 19, 2008 Posted by | advice, antivirus, Apple, computers, hardware, how to, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments