What do you recommend someone do to prepare for changing hardware?

There are two primary things one should do to ensure the ability to move from your current hardware to new hardware without problems. The first is to make sure you back-up your personal files and data on a external disk or tape back-up product. This activity should be scheduled periodically to ensure your most recent updates have been saved. The second item is to make sure you have software CD's to ensure your ability to re-load all applications that you use.