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I Made The Switch

So I’ve made the switch from Windows to Mac. But hold on I hear you cry, you have been a Mac user for years. Well that is true but only in the ‘home user’ market. Recently I’ve made the move in the work office environment. Oscar Products is a small business and like many small business’ in the UK we use Sage for all our accounts, purchasing and sales orders. If there was an open source or even less expensive alternative I would happily look into it as Sage is a Windows only program and not one of the best examples of sound programing. Yet when I joined the company I found an old G3 Bondi iMac that I managed to get going again and it soon became our 'design’ machine, carrier bag artwork was created on this and made moving files between our plate makers a whole lot easier. But life was limited with the old girl and soon the hard drive failed, the network collapsed and 256mb ram was no longer cutting it. We needed a new option. Move to recent events and we have a new director starting with the company that required a new computer. Suddenly I saw an opportunity to make a switch; new director get’s my PC, I get new Mac. The idea was put forward but I thought nothing of it. DSC00430.jpg

A week later I have a shiny new 20inch iMac sitting on my desk. Now came the interesting job of making that switch, Apple would lead you to believe that this is just a simple process and anyone can move over to a Mac. I just don’t think they planned the switch for me. All I needed to do was move my PIM data from Outlook to the Apple standard; Mail, iCal and Address Book. Moving files over was quite simple, just move over to a network server and then drag/drop back home again. That done, now for my emails. Fire up Apple Mail and select Import, hold on the Import option was for Outlook Express, and this was only a Mac version. So I’ll have to try another way. After some searching Googling I found an article that detailed a way to get my Outlook mail folders into the .mbox format that Mail understands. Install Thunderbird on the pc and import all messages during the startup. Excellent I now have a folder full of 6 files, all the messages spanning about 700mb. So I drop these onto the Mac desktop and try importing these, the trusty dialog box appears and it looks to be taking a while so off I go for a cup of tea. Mail ImportBut after 4 hours the bar had not moved and lost hope, this was not working and needed a new plan of attack. This pains me to say it but I needed Mircosoft! Microsoft Entourage to be exact. So back to the interweb to download the trial for Microsoft Office, only to remember it was on the install DVD that came with the iMac. Anyway, install Entourage, import the .mbox folders and check everything works. Now fire up Mail and try importing again, but this time selecting Entourage data. Dialog window again but this time it was moving, in just 3 minutes it had installed a full 1200 mails and preserved folder’s. Lucky I had a iPaq and a copy of Mark Space Missing Sync to handle both calendars and contacts. Finally something that just works. The whole process took hours and was no where near as simple as the documents on the Apple site.