The easy part of getting a new computer up and running is over. The major apps are loaded. The hardware is all working, save the 3 TB disks that await a RAID controller. Now is the time for all the fiddly bits: configuring email clients, loading the little apps, configuring web sites in Dreamweaver, loading Photoshop plugins, adding sites to the ftp client, and all that messy, time-consuming stuff.
I’ve been tempted to find shortcuts. There are programs that purport to move all your apps and settings automagically. I’ve tried them in the past. They have three problems: they don’t work for all the apps, they make mistakes, and they move crusty old pieces that you’d like to leave behind.
Rather than trying to avoid the pain of setting up a new computer, I’ve found that the best thing to do is embrace it. Think of the new machine as an opportunity to do things that you should have been doing all along, but you never got around to:
- Decide whether or not to replace that zip utility or CD burner that you’ve been tolerating with a different one.
- Upgrade the apps you’re keeping to the latest versions.
- Reorganize your desktop
- Clean up the registry and speed up login by pruning the autostart list
- Eliminate apps that you had on the old machine, but don’t really need. (I remember the first question when you’re doing value engineering on a part that performs some function: “Can we eliminate this function?” It’s surprising how often the answer is in the affirmative.)
This approach won’t make things go faster. In fact, it will make the process take longer. However, if you’re like me, it will be much more rewarding.