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Migrating a few things to the Macintosh

I’ve had my Mac for a couple of days now, and I’m having fun with it. Since it’s a laptop, it is often more at hand then my main PC. That, coupled with a somewhat intriguing calendaring and address book application, has convinced me to migrate my email.

I pondered simply using my existing POP email account with my MacBook, but decided that the experience I was having with the .Mac service 60 day trial was something I wanted to continue. .Mac is basically the Apple equivalent to Windows Live services: online mail, website hosting, net-based disk, and calendar sharing.

The approach I decided to follow to email migration was intriguing. I have an archive of several hundred megabytes of email that I wanted to retain, so getting it on my Mac was an important milestone. I first subscribed to .Mac so I would have the 10 GB of online storage you get with that package. .Mac supports IMAP email, where the mail messages are stored/persisted on the server rather than on your personal computer. I connected to .Mac with my Windows Vista PC and Windows Mail. Windows Mail is able to create folders and copy emails to an IMAP service and, since everything is stored on Apple’s servers, when I connected my Mac those same folders were available. Voila- email migrated.

The address book migration was also fairly simple. I don’t have very many entries in my address book- 50 or so. The address book in Vista is completely different from Windows XP and previous versions of Windows- instead of a single .WAB file, each contact exists in its own file in the Contacts directory. The Macintosh doesn’t recognize these files, but it can recognise vCard formatted contacts. If you create an email in Windows Mail and drag the contents of your Contacts folder to it, Windows will automagically convert your contacts into individual vCard files and attach them to the email. Just put those attachments in a directory on your Mac and use the Address book File=> Import Vcards option. Voila- addresses migrated.

I’ve forwarded my old email address to my new .Mac email address. I even received my first half-dozen emails today, so things appear to be working as planned. It’s a miracle!

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