When I originally switched to my Mac I just took over some one else’s account, installed Boot Camp etc. When I installed Windows I did so with another copy that was already installed, so I was never able to activate it. One month later and I decided to not only re-install Windows, but to install OS10 from scratch as well. In this past month I have merged my contacts into Address Book and created calendars in iCal.
That is where .Mac came into play. I created a trial account, downloaded Backup 3 and started getting into it. I read a number of articles that ripped Backup 3 to shreds, but also learned that most of the issues being ripped have been resolved so I went for it, backing up my documents and personal settings like Address Book, iCal and my Cyber Duck bookmarks.
After the very long but easy install of OS10, I set up my .Mac account in the os and downloaded my calendars and contacts. Low and behold it works! Very easy.
I am currently restoring my backups from DVD and its all going very smoothly.