linux as main box – part 4: migration

I put my Ubuntu move on hold for a few weeks, but I’m back to it now. Having set up many Windows systems in the past, I know how important it can be to document the process, especially for something new like Ubuntu (hence some of my previous posts on this subject). I’ve taken to keeping a log of the apps installed, changes, and commands I run.
In migrating to the new system, I’m really happy when programs include easy-to-use exports and imports to transfer information from one system, or even OS, to another. Firefox allows me to export my bookmarks (which have swelled terribly!) and then import them into Ubuntu’s firefox. Wahoo! Sadly, Thunderbird does not allow this with mail and mail settings. I can do this from one Windows box to another (just copy the profile folder), but have not yet figured out how to do this over on a Linux box. Ah well, it would only take a few hours to set everything up as I had it before anyway. This just shows how valuable remote services like Gmail and Yahoo are for less technical users. Lose your system or get a new one? Just log into webmail and you’re back where you were before!
So, the migration is moving forward. The last task to (nearly) fully get away from booting Windows is to utilize wine and vmware. I searched for some information and stories on installing vmware workstation and found this amazing checklist for an Ubuntu install. Much like so much coding, why reinvent the wheel and make my own when I can just borrow chunks of this guy’s checklist? He even has most of the steps I’ve already gone through, and it looks current! Definitely an inspiration and a great help in making sure I have what I want.
Hopefully by the end of the week I will have a vm set up for Windows which I can pop open when I need to quickly use some Windows program without booting over to my Windows install. In addition, I’d like to get one or two things to work in Wine as well, but the VM is an easier and quicker step for me right now.
As far as getting more things to work, I’ve become very happy with mplayer as opposed to Totem (the default Ubuntu media player). Totem did not like Divx files (been downloading HOPE presentations) but mplayer rolled right with the punches and played them back just fine.