In New York my work laptop starting shutting itself off without warning. With the help of savvy Mac users at Yahoo I determined that it was a known bug with aging G4 Powerbooks wherein the trackpad falsely reports a severe temperature spike (“overtemp” according the log) and the system initiates a shutdown to protect itself (but not your data or your peace of mind).
As I was on the road, I was unable to get this addressed. Back in the office Tuesday I took my laptop to IT to initiate the process of having the thing condemned and replaced perhaps with my long-promised MacBook Pro.
Instead I was issued a slightly newer G4 and the local IT guy in my building started working on migrating my setup over, but the overtemp shutdown problem made this impossible. Finally, he gave me the two computers and let me have a try.
I linked them by firewire and copied things over by hand. First everything in the xian section of the machine and then the shared stuff, like – oh, I don’t know – applications, and a bunch of library settings and preferences.
As a backup I also restored my meticulously updated backup files to another folder, just in case I needed them. I learned, however, that they included all my personal user stuff (the xian tree) but none of the machine-wide stuff, like – oh, I don’t know – my applications.
This afternoon after several reboots I successfully started up the new machine and found just about every detail correct, including my desktop backgrounds (as shown above), the items in my dock, my passwords, and so on. Somewhat exhilarating for a geek like me.
Needless to say my productivity was severely hampered most of this week. I felt like half my brain was unavailable to me, like I was cooking without thumbs. I worked mostly on a PC, which is – you know – *similar* to a Mac, but in a thousand ways it was slightly less convenient and it lacked all my custom little touches, recent notes, ergonomic habit supporters and so on.
But I’m back, baby!