I have been using an iMac for most of my work for a long time, and since the new 5K Retina iMac came out I've been tempted. I picked a milestone in my development work for a reward, reached it last week, so I went ahead. It just got here today. Exciting. But!
It's normally very easy to migrate, but this time they threw a curveball at me. In order to use the Migration Assistant, I have to upgrade the previous machine (the one I'm typing this on) to the latest Mac OS. That's exactly what I don't want to do. This is my safety net against incompatibilities in the new version of the OS. The old one is running 10.8.2. Now I have to figure out a Plan B.
I do have a Time Machine backup, but I've never tried migrating using that method. I think that's my best Plan B. I have it hooked up now, and it found the disk, and it's copying. 1 hour and 27 minutes remaining. A lot of that is crap of course.
The disadvantage to this migration method is that the apps don't come along for the ride. And the toolbar at the bottom of the screen doesn't have your apps in it. Not sure what else is missing. This is going to be a major pain in the butt, as I have to re-install all the apps I depend on. Some like the Heroku Toolchain, were not easy to install and took a lot of trial and error. Ugh.
I created a file-sharing connection between the two computers, and am copying applications across. Not sure if this works. The first one I'm trying is Google Canary. (It works. Even remembered my open tabs.)
Now let's try a hard one? Dropbox. I'll let you know. (It worked too. I wonder if it has to download all its files since those were backed up by Time Machine.)
I'm now copying all the apps I use fairly regularly, or might want to have a copy of. That's a couple of gigs, so it'll take some time.
It seems to me -- the one thing that should remain constant over OS versions is the protocol used by Migration Assistant. Wouldn't that make sense? I have apps that might not work on the new OS, which is why I cannot upgrade the old machine. Not until I'm sure I'll be able to use the new one for my development work. This is my main work machine, and you know what I do right? I'm not spending all my time kibitzing on the web.
I've now switched the two computers. The old one is in the other room, the new one is in front of me. I can tell you one thing, the text in the browser is much sharper. Feels good!
I have a second monitor that worked with the old Mac but there isn't a place to plug it in on the back of this one. I don't need a lot of resolution on that display, I use it to run my various monitoring apps, to show me what's going on on my websites and servers. I might just put the old Mac in its place, let it run the monitoring apps. Hmmm.
Never mind. I thought the adapter didn't fit, but it does. My second monitor works just fine with the new iMac.