One of my life goals is to fully move my entire extended family to Apple-powered products. The chief motivation? That’s easy: For my own benefit.
I am the IT support technician for my family of 7 and since I do all the work of keeping their systems up and running, updated, and bug-free, it is in my best interest that I’m able to have a homogeneous environment instead of a heterogeneous.
This past week I had the time to make the most significant switch that would signal the beginning of the end for a Windows-dominated era – my dad.
My father had been in corporate america for nearly 4 decades using Windows-based software for all of it. The challenge that I faced was on multiple fronts, migrating GBs of data as well as the largest Outlook PST/OST file in the history of mankind – without losing a single byte of data.
Beyond the simple user experience challenges I had to recreate the environment on my father’s dated Windows machine on a 3rd generation Macbook Air that I picked up earlier this week. I also had complicated scripts that I had created specifically for him that would systematically backup his data to various media including cloud-based solutions.
I hoped that I could somewhat recreate my own killer home backup solution so as to make as much of the process “just work.”
After a week of grueling installation, demos, and daily sit-downs with my father about the very basics, I was able to get him to a point where he could start using the new Macbook Air as a primary computing station with comfort.
Here are a few points that I had to consider:
- Backup solutions local and cloud-based. I used Dropbox and setup some custom Automator scripts.
- Microsoft Office for Mac with a mega manual port from his Windows box.
- Bootcamp with Windows 7 for legacy Windows apps that have no native compatibility.
- Lots of coaching on the very basics of Apple usage. I could probably write a book about this first week and watching his use and the struggles he has doing very elementary things. My father is brilliant but it’s amazing how I take for granted my experience with the Mac.
- Other little things like UI/UX and workflow patterns. Lots of sticky notes!
The one thing that constantly amazes my father though is the multi-touch technology of the glass-based trackpad – he can’t get over how cool that is and every time he does it he says: “Wow… that’s neat.”
Whew. Now to convince my mother…
Have you ever had to migrate and educate a family member on a significant transition like this? Love to hear your story!