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Aloha Bob PC Relocator
Affordable software system migration.


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Putting off the move to a new PC?
A job that many dread, and not without cause

If your present system has seen a lot of use, there's plenty of reason to put off getting a new one. It's more attractive to upgrade than replace, just to avoid the monumental task of reinstalling everything.

If it were only as simple as running a few cd's, it'd be okay. But what about those upgrades and patches? What about those handy little applets downloaded from the Internet? What about the countless tweaks required to get it all working together?

You're going to have to dig through all those disks, sort and reinstall them in the proper order, remembering to reapply all patches where required, also in the proper order. Reboot a hundred times or more. Search for serial numbers. Find and disable those "register now or later" reminders.

Transferring data? Sure. You did make notes of all the default directories, and how you modified each application, didn't you? Yeah. Right.

It's going to take hours, maybe days to get it all changed over and ready to use again. Who has time for all of that, who needs the aggravation?

Time to bite the bullet...

Eventually, though, you have to replace almost any computer that remains in use. When the time came for an old P133 running Win95 original, a PC that had been in constant, daily use since 1995, we turned to a product with the unlikely name of Aloha Bob's PC Relocator.

The new system was a C766 econobox with WinME, of all things, and the idea was to move from old to new with minimum disruption for the user. This required the same set of applications, the same data directory structures, the same user preference settings replicated on the new machine.

We wanted all the benefits of the newer machine, of course, but all the familiarity of the old one. Pretty much a tear-your-hair-out job.

Aloha Bob was, according to its packaging, designed to accomplish exactly that, without the hair pulling part. The entire application environment, it claimed, would be transmitted to the new machine through a simple cable connection, and afterward would function as it ought to, while preserving all the features of the new machine.

Aloha Bob could, it was claimed, do this automatically.

Frankly, despite some favorable reviews, we were skeptical. With nothing really at risk though, we decided to give it a try. After all, we had backups and restore disks in case it screwed things up. Our attitude was basically, "wouldn't it be cool if this thing actually works?"

Automated wizardry...


Despite the cutesy packaging and name, Aloha Bob's PC Relocator turns out to be a serious tool for serious computer users. Easy enough for anyone to use, and powerful enough to do the job, Aloha Bob makes an aggravating job much easier.

We opted to install a couple of old 10 mbps network cards, connected with thin coaxial, and were done in less than an hour. Install, transfer, disconnect. Done.

A 100 mbps connection would be preferable of course, particularly for larger hard drives. This was only a 1.3 GB. If you're not familiar with TCP/IP, and not really eager to learn, the enclosed parallel network cable is probably the better choice. You'll just need to allow a lot more time- like overnight or longer.

When the new system rebooted, sure enough, there was the old familiar desktop, and our files were just where we'd left them, shortcuts and all. There were some new icons, representing software preinstalled on the new machine. We quickly rounded them up and put them in a separate folder. Likewise with the Start menu.

The new machine slipped into the existing peer to peer network with minimal bother. All we had to do was reset share permissions, re-establish a couple of file associations. We cleaned out a few junk folders. Very minor problems, considering all we didn't even have to think about.

We were, in fact, both pleased and amazed. Aloha Bob performed as advertised. The person who used the system was able to return to work with barely a missed beat.


A little preparation...

Despite the ease of use, this is some very powerful software. Like any powerful tool, it can create a lot of mischief if misused.

Setup and preparation are the keys to success. Aloha Bob warns to scan for viruses and run ScanDisk, but we suggest you don't stop there. Read through all the documentation before beginning.

If there's anything on the old machine that may be incompatible, get rid of it. In particular, check the versions of utilities like those from Norton, PowerQuest, or OnTrack. Unless they are specifically compatible with the new OS, uninstall them.

Likewise any applications you no longer use, fonts you've never even looked at, and so on. The cleaner and better maintained your old machine, the better.

If your old machine has multiple physical or logical disk drives, you'll want to partition your new system's drive to match the assignment of drive letters and file references.  For this, you'll want the latest version of PowerQuest's Partition Magic.

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Tradeoffs

In exchange for saving a lot of time, you're surrendering almost all control. Aloha Bob does exactly what it claims. If there's a lot of garbage on your old system, or it sometimes crashes inexplicably, do not use this program.

If you're having problems with your system, Aloha Bob can't help you. You need a fresh, clean install, one program at a time, until you find the troublemaker.

Recommended

If, on the other hand, you're in the position of wanting to combine the features of a fully functional, well operating software environment with those of a new computer and OS, Aloha Bob may be just the tool you need to leverage your system. We found it worth much more than its modest price tag.

Supported System Transfers

You can use AlohaBob's PC-Relocator
to move from:

  • Windows 95 to Windows 95

  • Windows 95 to Windows 98

  • Windows 95 to Windows ME

  • Windows 98 to Windows 98

  • Windows 98 to Windows ME

  • Windows ME to Windows ME


       


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