My daughter’s new MacBook Pro arrived yesterday so I have been setting it up for her. Compared to the first Mac that I set up, my own Mini two years’ ago, it was considerably more organised as I had made a list of things to do and software to install.
The list has not yet been completed – I need her to supply some passwords for things like Skype – but the process has been pretty smooth and made considerably easier by a couple of pieces of software that I think are worth mentioning: Weave, Dropbox and Bonjour.
Weave, now being rebranded as Weave Sync, syncs various Firefox attributes such as passwords, bookmarks and preferences between computers. It works on both Windows and Mac so moving my daughter’s settings was a simple matter of creating a Weave account then signing in from both machines. I should say that Weave does have an annoying habit of duplicating bookmarks and jumbling up their order so use with caution. To get Weave, go here.
I have mentioned Dropbox before but it is one of the most useful pieces of software/services that I know so deserves repeating. My daughter already has a Dropbox account so after installing the software I linked her new laptop to it and, within a short while, all the files in her “My Dropbox” folder had appeared. If you want to use Dropbox (and everyone should) please use this link to create your account then, after you have installed the software, we will both get some extra free space.
Sadly, not all her files were in the Dropbox folder so those I transferred “manually” over our home WiFi network. I thought it was going to be very easy: as soon as I opened Finder I could see both my Mac Mini and the Windows PC where her files are. This is due to Bonjour, Apple’s networking protocol, which is running on both machines. I was able to easily copy a couple of files from my Mini but even after signing in to her account on the PC from the MacBook I could not see any of her folders. Eventually, after making all of her folders shareable, I was able to copy the files across without further difficulty. Whether this problem is solely due to Windows is unknowable, however the thing that really impressed me – which is definitely due to Bonjour – is the ease with which other computers on the network can be seen; this is just not the case when connecting one Windows PC to another.