Thanks for the ideas. I would have voted the response up if I had enough points, even though it wasn't quite right for my needs: I ran into the thing KeithB pointed out - I didn't want to transfer things wholesale. Here's what I did - bunch of steps, but pretty painless, and faster than I thought it would be.
I got my new Macbook last night, linked it to my old one with ethernet, and just used file sharing over that mini-network to copy my data and libraries. My goal was to install fresh versions everything possible. It's all pretty obvious, but I was impressed with how easy it was to get all my data over with almost no "legacy" items that might someday be a corrupting influence on my young MBP.
- First, I had time machine run a
backup on the old machine, just in case
- I turned off airport on both machines
and connected the ethernet cable to
both. (This is obvious to most, but
don't use wifi unless you have very
little data; it's MUCH slower.
- I enabled file sharing in the target
machine, (System Prefs, Sharing) and
set permissions to "Read and Write"
for "Everyone". (It's important to
turn this off after you're done and
will be going back to "real"
networks, but it's harmless on the
two-mac ethernet ecosystem)
- This allowed me to see the new
computer in the left nav panel of the
old one, and to drag files into it.
- On the new computer, I set address
book and mail to sync with my google
account (in their respective prefs
- On the new computer, I set mobileme to sync my calendar,
keychain, and browser bookmarks (In
system prefs, then mobileme)
- On the old computer, I ran a repair of my aperture photo
library just in case, (open aperture while holding option and command,) and then
copied the file and pasted it into the pictures folder
on the new mac.
- I installed a clean copy of aperture
using my existing license on the new
machine, and pointed it to the
library I'd just copied.
- I copied my entire itunes folder,
found in the music folder of the old
mac, to my new machine's desktop, and
then dragged it into iphoto on the
new machine, so it could "organize"
the files fresh. NOTE - this won't retain playlists or ratings. If you use either much, you may want a more traditional migration for your itunes library.
- If you have any imovie projects, you
can just drag the whole folder into
the "Movies" folder on the new
- I installed MS Office from the original disks on the new machine
- I copied the contents of my documents folder to the docs folder on the new machine.
- Just to be safe, I copied my entire
user folder (the one that looks like
a house) to my backup disk and to my
idisk in case I need them later. If
you're storage space constrained,
consider removing the photo library,
imovie projects folder, and itunes
folder, since you already copied them
before you did this.
- I didn't have any apps that I still
wanted that I couldn't download new,
but if you did, you could obviously
jsut drag them to the new
Applications folder. (I just
downloaded new copies of handbrake,
logmein, and things, and things
synced with my iphone to get my data.)
Not sure this is the best way, but it was easy, took under two hours, and on the off-chance I find something I overlooked and need, I can always get it off time machine or the copies of my user folder on the backup drive or idisk.
All in, it took me about an hour of "doing" and about an hour to transfer the data (I moved about 125GB, mostly pictures and music.)
Hopefully this is of some use to anyone else looking for a highly selective transfer.