A few weeks ago I broke the screen on my laptop. I immediately pinged some friends at Apple to see what the current friends and family discounts looked like. I also started looking at the Craigslist ads.
Within a day or two I found someone selling a current generation MacBook Pro 15" for about $500 below list and about $650 below the out the door cost. Hmm. Not so cheap that I think it's hot, but a real good deal. And, cheaper than the smaller laptop I was thinking about getting from Apple.
I then spent a week and a half trying to connect with the fellow and today, finally, I was successful.
Now that I have the thing, I needed to copy all my data and settings from my old Mac to the new one.
Apple makes something called the Migration Assistant. Very cool. All your documents, Applications (aside from the 'built-in' apps, which aren't touched.), settings, passwords, etc. are just copied over from one Mac to the other.
Here's how the evening went.
1) Wipe drive on new Mac, install current OS. (10.6)
2) While the install is happening, go for a run. (No prompts in the middle of the install were waiting for me when I got back. They ask you everything up front…)
3) Start Migration Assistant. You're prompted to do this after a fresh OS install. I used one of my backup drives which was a clone of the Mac hard drive.
4) While that migration is happening, I go to dinner, pick Molly up at the train station, run to Fry's to get a FireWire 800 − 400 cable and come back.
5) Install software updates to get Mac to version 10.6.2
All done. My total time at the computer managing all this was 20 minutes. Total time to get it all done was about three hours.
So far all the primary programs I use are humming along without a problem. There are a few minor glitches - the Mac isn't seeing the AppleTV. And I forgot to deauthorize the old Mac with iTunes. But basically, I'm up and running.
Now, a few months ago I swore I wouldn't do this again. The downside to this migration is you're bringing over a lot of cruft from years past. But I don't have a week to mess around with this stuff, so I took the easy way out.