Do The Intel Shuffle Comments

Well, since Karen left the office on Friday, I’ve been given her old Intel MacBook Pro to convert into my new box. I’m coming from a PowerBook G4 and I didn’t figure it would be much hassle. It really wasn’t, but there are some caveats I’d like to point out to any other souls taking the plunge into the warm Intel waters.

A number of folks at the office have suggested booting the old laptop in Firewire target disk mode to enable drag and drop of all necessary files, but I’ve found that permissions bog you down in this setup. A number of important directories will be disabled to you unless you have the same user name and whatever other credentials it needs. In my case, I was moving over from a different login. So I found another way…

[EDIT: Certain things are missing… Follow the link for more info]

Rather than boot to target disk mode, I simply enabled Firewire networking (System Preferences->Network->Built-in Firewire, set both machines to use DHCP and click the Renew DHCP Lease button) and turned on Personal File Sharing on the old machine. (System Preferences->Sharing and check Personal File Sharing) The old computer then showed up under Network in Finder and I was able to connect to it as any resource, logging in like I do on the X Serve at work, only using my old login info for the old machine. By authenticating this way, I was given full access to the folders that would otherwise be unavailable to me through target disk mode.

Moving apps over from Applications to Applications was a breeze. There may be a few license numbers I’ll have to reenter somewhere down the road, but so far I think I’ve managed to slip past that issue altogether. The key to this (as well as retaining all of your personal data like Firefox (or Safari) bookmarks, Transmit Favorites, et al, is copying over the following two directories as well:

  • /Users/yourname/Library/Application Support
  • /Users/yourname/Library/Preferences

Copy both of these directories in full and I believe you’ll have transferred all your personal data too. (not including any Documents type data, which I don’t really use much anyway) Obviously transfer over your Documents, Desktop, and whatever other personal folders you use.

I’ve only used it briefly, but having seen Parallels flying on other workers’ MacBooks and envying them for months, I’m happy to have made the change. Eclipse boots in no time at all. It’s like butter.

Will definitely follow up on this in the days/weeks to come.

As a side note, my Ubuntu machine at home required a reinstall tonight as I’d stupidly neglected to document my password and hadn’t used it in weeks.

[EDIT: The following added Tues, April 10, 2007]

  • Transmit passwords are lost. If you want to retain Transmit passwords, be sure to export your Favorites from Favorites->Export (go figure) and then reimport from the similarly-named Import option.
  • StumbleUpon “Send to” addresses missing as well
  • Yahoo Widgets settings were lost, but at least I have the widgets themselves. My Cricket is now sitting proud on top of other windows again!


  1. Karen
    Posted April 10, 2007 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    You are so going to love parallels. Sorry the move was such a pain, but all that work will pay off, for sure.

  2. David
    Posted April 11, 2007 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Stumble Upon “Send to” address??? My, you’re picky! Haha. Too bad you didn’t post this before I made my machine shuffle, although I already kinda did my own thing anyway, making it harder than your advice would have it.

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