Will Claney, Tech Talk

Evaluate your needs before ­migrating to new computer

Will Claney, Tech Talk(May 3, 2024) — “My computer will last forever,” said no one, ever (except in jest).

There comes a time in everyone’s life when the lovefest with an old computer is over. The thought of learning the new version of the Windows operating system, transferring data and apps from your old pal to a new one and making decisions on what to buy can make one apprehensive. Relax, nothing a few thousand bucks won’t solve.

Of course, my dig isn’t so funny. So I’ll offer a few tips on how to make a sensible migration to a new computer.

First and foremost, define and understand what you do with your computer – its scope or purpose. For example, is it an accounting machine, a general-purpose surf the web tool, a graphics, photo or engineering system, or perhaps a game box?

Your definition, goal and purpose of the computer is primary in your thinking, so keep it in mind as you consider hardware options. Spending money on extras you will never use won’t be helpful, so don’t be afraid to stress the importance of your scope to your computer vendor.

Computer aging

Secondly, consider the age of your software. As technology moves ever forward, many applications become obsolete, discontinued or need an upgrade. There are many reasons for software changes, and most of them are over lack of user support, i.e., no one buys it, and security concerns. Perhaps when the software was introduced, there weren’t as many worries over security as in today’s environment.

In general, software that is more than 5 years old will likely need replacement. The choice will be to buy it again, subscribe to it through a managed service provider (MSP) or go DYI (do it yourself) and you become the manager. SAS, or software as a service (subscription), is becoming very popular because software updates and maintenance issues are done for you.

Once you have defined your hardware and software needs, consider how much you intend to expand the duties of the new computer. In other words, will you need more power, storage or performance soon (a year or less)?

If you have a LAN (local area network), two or more computers that communicate or share files, there will be a few days of downtime while the new system is configured. Plan to employ your existing legacy “quick boot” devices (also known as a pen and paper) to record changes while you are waiting for the new systems to be operational. Go old school.

Now you are ready to migrate. Consult with local computer professionals for help, advice and purchase options. I don’t recommend migrating on your own or jumping on Amazon and choosing hardware or software without assistance. The migration process has become very technical, and you can always use some help.
Now, go do the right thing, and migrate.

Email questions or comments to willclaney@gmail.com.

Will Claney
Will Claney

William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to willclaney@gmail.com.