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PowerBook Setup App -- I Want This Utility!

by Derrick Story
Jul. 23, 2004

As part of my preparation for a new book I'm working on, I did some research on the process Apple is currently using to get new owners up and running as fast as possible. Last night I looked over a friend's shoulder during the unveiling of a sleek 15" PowerBook, and I noticed something I don't remember from before.

The Set Up Assistant presented a screen that asked, "Do you already have a Mac?" If you click on the "yes" radio button, it walks you through the process off connecting the existing Mac to the new one via FireWire Target Mode. The assistant then lets you choose the information you want to transfer to the new computer. This utility dramatically reduced set up time. The only gotcha was that Apple doesn't provide you with the FireWire cable, so hopefully existing Mac owners have one dangling around the house.

After this pleasant experience that allowed me to move on to my next project hours earlier than I anticipated, I started thinking that this would be a wonderful stand alone app. I'm constantly reconfiguring my laptops to meet specific needs, and this little piece of software could really lighten my load. So, here's what I'm wondering:

Please post your comments in the TalkBacks section. I'm very interested in what you have to say...

Derrick Story is the author of The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers, The Digital Photography Companion, and Digital Photography Hacks, and coauthor of iPhoto: The Missing Manual, with David Pogue. You can follow him on Twitter or visit www.thedigitalstory.com.

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