A New Beginning


Finally, my work laptop is back in action.

After the little incident with its disk drive, I got a new spanking new SSD (a Samsung 840 Pro, praised be Corporate Purchasing), which is sure to eliminate hours of drudgery and increase my own lifespan accordingly.

For future reference, here are a few notes on how I migrated my stuff across over the past three evenings:

Day 1

  • Did a clean install of the OS on the new drive
  • Set up a single admin account (as usual)
  • Upgraded the OS to the latest version
  • Set up full disk encryption with FileVault
  • Downloaded all my purchases from the App Store1, including iWork and Xcode (but didn’t setup iCloud on the admin account)
  • Installed the Xcode command-line tools, Homebrew and a few essential command line tools
  • Installed Java (yes, yes, I know, I know, but I need it2)
  • Ran Migration Assistant to copy across only my personal account from another machine (no apps, no computer settings, no legacy junk)
  • Enabled my own account to unlock FileVault

At this point, all my settings, accounts, personal scripts and non-Store apps (which I mostly keep in ~/Applications) are readily available, and there is zero crud from previous installations3.

Most “normal” users would have been done by now, but there was plenty more to do the next night. Sort of.

Day 2

  • Set up Dropbox (old and busted) and MEO Cloud (new hotness), which don’t require actually downloading anything (they only have to re-checksum the files that Migration Assistant copied across).

It bears noting that MEO Cloud soundly trounced Dropbox and was done re-syncing in seconds, while Dropbox kept churning (and wasting CPU) for hours, so I eventually gave up and left it overnight.

And yes, I have equivalent amounts of stuff (in both number and volume of files) in each, which I’ve been patiently migrating across in an organised fashion – given that MEO Cloud is available for all the platforms I use and now sports selective folder syncing (a must for my personal requirements), I’ll likely ditch Dropbox in a few months except for those few apps/services that only work with it.

Day 3

Finally, last evening I:


  1. This is the wonderful bit as far as I’m concerned – the App Store saves me so much time when restoring a machine that I see little to no point in buying apps directly. ↩︎

  2. I tend to pick the NetBeans bundle, because if I have to use a “normal” Java IDE, I’d much rather not use Eclipse. ↩︎

  3. This “new computer smell” is why I don’t use SuperDuper or TimeMachine to re-image the entire machine. ↩︎

  4. Since I install them under ~/Library/Python/*version*/site-packages, Migration Assistant has already copied them across, but this is a good time to do minor upgrades. ↩︎


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