In the 35 years that I’ve been messing with personal computers, I’ve put more than a hundred machines into service. With servers, it gets easier and easier. With workstations, not so much. The problem with workstations is installing and configuring all the apps. The data isn’t much of a problem, except that disk capacities have grown faster than network transfer speeds over the years, and it takes more than 24 hours for me to transfer data to a new main workstation.
Porting apps to a new computer took a huge step backwards when Microsoft expanded the use of the Windows Registry in 1995. They had their reasons; the profusion of .ini files was messy, and didn’t work well in multi-user environments, but putting the .ini information in the registry meant that you could no longer edit it with a simple text editor, with limited opportunity for disaster to strike. Improper use of regedit, the registry editor, could render your computer unbootable. With the .ini files, there was a middle ground between using your apps the way the designers wanted you to use them and making changes with a very dangerous tool. It was similar to Apple’s situation with the hidden resource fork and resedit. Moderately skilled users quite properly stayed away from both tools.
The death of .ini files meant that you could no longer transport programs and settings to a new computer by copying files over. A crop of third-party tools for app migration sprang up, but they never worked on all apps, and sometimes made a big mess of the new machine. So now, setting up a new workstation means installing and configuring all your apps.
There is an upside to the forced reinstallation of all the apps: you get to pick which ones are really useful, and you don’t have to clutter the new computer with apps that seemed like a good idea at the time, but just didn’t work out. You can be especially ruthless if the old workstation is going to become a backup, since you can go back to it for infrequently-used apps.
Bertha, the T7600, already had Vice-Versa, Office 365, Matlab r2013a, and Lightroom 4.4 installed on it. The first thing I did was bring the data over from the T7500 with Vice-Versa. Almost 4TB of data, mostly images, took almost two days to transfer. Peak rates for large files hit 600 Mb/s if neither workstation was doing anything else, but activity and small files dropped that rate dramatically.
Since I was using a SSD as the boot drive on both computers, I needed to relocate the Documents directory to a spinning disk. I made the change. More on this later.
Since Adobe lets you install Creative Cloud apps on a backup machine, I logged onto the CC website, downloaded the CC manager/downloader/installer and installed it on Bertha. Then I told it to download Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, InDesign, Audition, Bridge, and Acrobat. That took about twelve hours over a dual T1 line. Twice the download of one of the programs appeared to hang and refused to restart, but in each case a reboot showed that the program had been downloaded and installed; the reporting tool had hung, not the download itself.
I tried to install ShadowProtect Desktop, but the installation program complained that it was incompatible with Acronis TrueImage. I uninstalled TrueImage. I made a backup image with ShadowProtect Desktop. I downloaded and installed the SmartFTP client.