Setting up a new Mac is Easy with Time Machine

September 12, 2013

Five years ago I bought my first Mac, a MacBook laptop. Since then Paul switched from Windows to a Mac desktop computer – an iMac, and we both have had iPods, iPads, and I have an iPhone. You could say we are now pretty close to Mac diehards with the exception of Paul’s Android phone.

My laptop has been a real workhorse, and has been no trouble over the years. I upgraded its RAM from 2 to 4GB one time and another time bought a new battery. But lately it has been having battery issues again, both the regular battery and the core battery. I began to be uneasy that one day I’d just turn it on and have nothing. I thought about getting new batteries (the main one is $200) but ultimately decided that it was time for a new computer. Deciding what to get was hard for me. When I travel I take the iPad and don’t even take the laptop anymore, so I ended up deciding on a desktop, an iMac. After so many years squinting at a 13″ screen, having a 21″ one is really a treat. I’m keeping the old computer for now and may refurbish it in the future.

At the top of this post you’ll see a picture of my desk. It’s actually a stainless steel counter we used to use in the kitchen that I put feet extenders on so as to have a stand up desk. It is much healthier to stand (or some people have a treadmill) instead of sitting all the time. It takes a couple of weeks to get used to it, but I love it… especially now that I got a rubber chef’s mat to stand on! My desk is in front of two wooden shutters between the office and living room. I like that I can look from my desk out to the courtyard and the fountain!


I had been using a Mac program called Time Machine to back up my system on a backup drive, so I started looking into how to go about transferring everything to my new computer. The picture above is what it looks like – endless backups going back in time…. you can select the date you’re interested in and restore a file easily. (I remember trying to set restore points in Windows and it absolutely NEVER worked!) After making sure I had a recent backup, all I had to do was connect the backup drive and the new computer imported everything. And I mean everything. Files, Applications, Cookies, Bookmarks, Mail, every configuration you could imagine. When it was done my computer’s desktop and everything in it was identical to my old computer. The only new computer nuisance I had was deactivating Photoshop on my old computer so I could activate it on this one.


Time Machine took about two hours to move everything over. I remember in the past having to find old disks to reinstall software and other hassles. Not this time.

I also love my new iMac’s wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse. I bought my iMac from Apple Mexico and it was delivered in a week. The price was $200 more than it would have been if we’d bought it in the US, as is the case with most electronics.

Share and Enjoy !

More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Great Setup, Nancy! I love the contrast of the sterile, modern stainless steel desk with the frilly curtains below, LOL…

      Wow, it sounds like Apple has made changing computers a snap. I’m envious. Getting a new Windows machine is like moving houses. You have to pack up everything, then unpack it in the new location, and then figure out where everything goes. Time Machine is a feature that Microsoft would do well to ape. Might even boost sluggish PC sales.

      I switched from Mac to Windows in 2003, and due to needing certain specialized applications, now can’t really go back. But I definitely envy certain Mac features.


      Kim G
      Boston, Ma
      Where (aside from setup hassles) we are pretty happy with Windows 7. Eight is another question, though.

      1. Kim, Thanks so much, the contrast is similar to my own personality – jock, knitter – foodie – geek. Love Time Machine, good luck with that, Microsoft!

        Babs, I think getting a fast and responsive setup that works for you is a joy, no matter the cost or the brand name!

        John, Of course you can use the photo. But the main thing that is such a miracle of Mac life is Time Machine. It was absolutely incredible how easy it was.

    1. Nice workspace Nancy. Looks very professional and well set up. When I bought a new Mexican clone computer for $300USD with everything loaded on it about a year ago, I felt like I moved from the Stone Age to the Age of Life! It’s been wonderful = no complaints. I’ve never owned a name brand computer in my life! And, when I did get the new computer that had everything loaded on it in English, my computer guru person transferred everything at the cost of 400 pesos. Life is good.

    1. Nancy – I couldn’t help but notice how similar our workstations are. NOT! Wow really nice setup. I am impressed. May I use your photo on my Blog with reference to here? I think a back to back comparison will be quite telling 😉

      Like KIm I was a die-hard Apple person up until about Kim’s timing (2003). I was forced into the change in order to facilitate relationships with many ‘customers’ on the IBM Windows. Our son was home schooled his entire education on a Mac and still is with it – although he just recently bought an Asus tower to work with the huge Windows market.

      I think there is a lot less reason to be on the Mac side than there used to be. The gap between the platforms has closed substantially. That said you sure have a lovely set-up there.

    1. I love my Apple computer. It’s the same looks as yours, but I purchased mine about 2 years ago here in Honduras. Backups were very easy, as I recall. Enjoy! I think it’s great that you have a standing workspace. I wish I were that brave.

    1. Congratulations on your new iMac. This is the very same one we travel with in the RV. Colin’s has the larger screen ( he needs it for his photoshop ) and we leave that one at home. I use Time Machine also, it is always hooked up.

    1. Nancy!
      I just wanted to stop by and apologize for not “visiting” (your blog that is) recently. I was one of many that got lot in the google reader jumble, and I tried to stay off the net too much this summer (to better parent and all that jazz!). Browsing the net for something (gardening perhaps?) today, I all of a sudden thought… “mazatlan! Nancy! Blog! Oops.”

      Good to see everything is going well for you all in Mazatlan, and that you recieved some rain as well. The rain just wont stop here. (Suprise, suprise!)

      I’ll try not to be such a stranger.

    1. I became a Mac person about two weeks ago–and hoo boy, it is some learning curve! Right now I am such a newbie that I don’t yet know whether I’m going to love it–first I have to learn to use it! My best guess, though, is that yes, I WILL love it. My brand new iMac is just like yours–only it’s the 27″ version. The monitor size is what initially sucked me in.

      Love your stand-up desk, Nancy. You’re a brave woman.


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