AMITIAE - Tuesday 12 November 2013

Latest MacBook Pro Models Arrive in Thailand (2): Shifting to the New Machine

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers

MacBook Pro

I placed my order almost as soon as the latest MacBook Pro models were announced last month. Although I wanted the better running that the Haswell processor would bring, I had to make some compromises with screen size and storage capacity.

The device arrived at my office on Monday afternoon and after a quick look there, I rushed home to play with my new computer.

Once I had completed my original checks of the new machine and made sure the 15" MacBook Pro was updated, I had a closer look at the new device. A number of software updates were available when I checked. Some of these had appeared on the 15" Mac in the last few days, presumably after the new Mac was packed in its box. Some updates were specific to the particular model.

MBP 13

I tried AirDrop - so easy sending files from computer to computer on the same network. My iMac had been too old for this to work, but for now I have two machines that allow this and it is a real time-saver.

On the menubar was the AppleTV icon. I clicked on that icon, which turned on the Apple TV and changed the Mac's display to wide-screen: tiny characters on the Mac, but still clear enough to read. Less so on my older Toshiba LCD TV: this is for movies not text work.

Once some of the updates were downloaded, I looked in the Mac App Store for some other likely candidates and clicked on the new Keynote. For some odd reason, this brought down Pages and Numbers. I had to click on Keynote again later. I tried Aperture: down it came. As the downloads appeared, although I had seen the display several times already, I found myself more and more irked by the dancing stars that surround each new app arrival. I can hardly believe this juvenile display lives on in a truly-Ivean Apple.

With 1.48 GB queued up, I left both computers running and went to bed.

The next evening, I was about ready to transfer data from the Time Machine backup of the 15" Mac, to the new 13" Mac, but two problems bothered me:

  • Should I create the User account I always work in before the data transfer process, after, or trust to Time Machine. I decided to create that 2nd account. I was wrong, but no harm was done.

  • The old Mac has Firewire, the new Mac has Thunderbolt and I have no bridging connector (shopping list item). Fortunately, the newer Mac also has USB, but I am not sure how fast the data transfer will be.

    And anyone who thinks that Micro-USB is some form of viable replacement for Lightning, with its flimsy, folded aluminium connector, really needs a job outside of meddling with IT.

MBP 13

After setting up the new user account, I restarted into the Rescue Partition (Command + R), selecting the top item: Restore from Time Machine backup. There were a couple of stern warnings:

  • Restoring from a backup erases the contents of the selected destination disk. . . . yeah, understood.

  • Only use a backup to restore the computer that was the source of the backup. . . We have been this way before, but if all fails, delete and start again (a certain sense of cold feet began to appear)

  • To transfer information from a backup to a new computer, use Migration Assistant. That is pretty specific.

Maybe I should look at that last one first.

I restarted into the Admin account, tracking down Migration Assistant to where it hides in Utilities. I started the application and entered the Admin password. I was given the same choices as with the original installation, choosing, "From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk.

The correct disk was recognised right away, but Migration Assistant was still searching for other sources. The "Continue" button was greyed out. I wondered if USB speeds were playing a part here, but when I highlighted the Time Machine disk icon, I was good to go.

The last backup was shown as being at 8:15 pm. I highlighted that and again pressed "Continue" but there were conflicts with the two major accounts I wanted to transfer. Others used for testing could be dumped now and recreated when needed.

I elected to create the User account and to not keep a copy of any data - I need not have created this. I did the same with the Admin account: replace the account and trash the basic data and settings. These had been used for less than an hour or so and data was insignificant.

MBP 13

The conflicts were quickly solved and the transfer began. In a couple of minutes, a progress bar appeared and showed 1 hour and 18 minutes. It was exactly 9pm.

At 10 pm the progress bar still showed another 40 minutes. . . .

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



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