The G5 Powermac was introduced a couple of months before I bought my first ever Apple computer, a G4 Powerbook. I knew at the time that the G5 offered much greater performance, but the need for portability indicated that the Powerbook was a much better choice for me. In addition, I have a strong aversion to buying the first version of any new product; besides the higher incidence of bugs in a brand new product, they are usually priced for less budget-minded early adopters.
Fast forward 14 months. The G5 Powermac is now on its second generation, prices have dropped, but still I hesitated. After all, weren’t the much higher performing (3Ghz) models already 6 months late? Why buy the older (2Ghz) model when the 3s would be here any day now?
Why is because any new system announced now won’t be shipping for at least 2-4 months. There is no buzz about new chips being ready; instead it seems that while there are no problems producing the 2Ghz chips, the 2.5Ghz models are still somewhat hard to come by, and the 3Ghz version is simply not ready yet.
Now, add in a little secret: Apple sells refurbished computers at their online store. With discounts over 20%, (when available), and excellent service available, the decision to upgrade now became much easier.
And so I’m the happy owner of a refurb 2.0Ghz dual processor Apple G5 Powermac. I love it. It’s much faster than my Powerbook, and, to the point of this posting, I migrated from my Powerbook in about 1/2 hour.
Given that these are unix machines, I simply mounted my Powerbook as an external firewire drive on the new system, and copied over my home directory and my applications directory. When I was done, it was like I never left home! My screen background, all my apps, menu items, firefox history, you name it, they were all preserved.
I’ve migrated from many windows machines over the years, and it’s always been a complete re-install of all apps, and careful copying to ensure all personal files were saved. What a mind-blowing difference this was! I figured with how busy I am at work that it would be days before I could spend the time to migrate; I finished it late one evening before going to bed.
Oh, and that excellent service I was speaking of? Well, my first Powermac was DOA. It booted, occasionally, but never stayed up for long. An Apple tech confirmed that it was dead, and arranged for the shipment of a replacement model. The next day I printed an Apple provided Fedex label and shipped the bad computer back. Apple shipped the new one, via Fedex overnight, that same day. The bad computer arrived late one Monday afternoon; the new computer was up and running on Wednesday. I stress tested it a couple of days, and by Friday it was my primary machine.
Zoom, zoom, zoom.