The Great Migration: XP to OS X

After 15 years of solid MS/PC use (with occasional Linux flirtation), I decided I wanted my computer to be an appliance, not a science project. This is my log of the difficulties I encounter. I like my MacBook, I do. But there will be no gushing here.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

So I Just Grab That Square with the Three Diagonal Lines?

For the record, I will never ever stop wanting to be able to resize windows from all four corners and all four sides. Any ideas?

Copy! Merge! Replace! Panic!

Unlike countless other individuals (and another) easily found with a cursory googling, I did not fall prey to the type of copy/merge/replace confusion/disaster so tragically recounted in the forgoing links. But I have had a hell of a time keeping files on my old desktop synchronized with those on my new MacBook. What am I talking about? I'll start over.

In Win XP when you copy/cut & paste or drag & drop a folder from say the C: drive to your backup on the D: drive, the default behavior is to replace all files of the same name, but retain all unique files in the destination.

Meanwhile the default behavior on OS X (with Finder) is to delete the entire destination folder and replace it with the source.

(And here is a more eloquent description of the difference I'm talking about.)

Now, let's not argue about which is better, or whether I should expect OS X to behave like XP. I don't care, and I don't. Let's proceed from the assumption that I want the functionality of the XP behavior.

Well, it turns out there is no native method for what we'll call the XP Merge in Finder, nor anywhere else in the OS X GUI.

There is meanwhile a very very unbelieveably large cottage industry of file synchronization and merge utilities all with price tags that seem outrageous for a function I used to get built in, not to mention hassle free.

But so a not so cursory googling led me eventually to SyncR (third app from the bottom), a magical app with all the functionality of the XP Merge plus extra options like synchronizing both ways. Plus SyncR is incredibly intuitive. The source directory is called... Source. The destination is called... Destination. Which weirdly, is not the case with other free apps (this one looks pretty good until you find out the configuration window is too large and therefore uncloseable in 13" MacBook).

So but problem solved: use SyncR, but also tell Apple to get off their asses and work this functionality into Finder.