“It just works!”

I upgraded from a TiBook 667 to an AlBook 1.25ghz (15″). Quite the upgrade. It was also an entertaining experience.

My home directory is about 10GB and it is encrypted using FileVault. My first thought was that I shoudl be able to configure the new powerbook appropriately, copy over the sparse disk image containing my home account, log in and everything should “just work”.

My TiBook doesn’t have firewire any longer. The magic smoke in the FW controller chip escaped in a rather cataclysmic event some time ago. Once you let the magic smoke out, electronics just never work quite the same, if at all, afterwords.

So, I was faced with copying a 10GB disk image through ethernet. As I didn’t have enough cabling to have all of my machines connected at the same time, I decided to try something radical.

I simply dropped an ethernet cable between the two powerbooks. I knew that would work because the powerbook ethernet ports are smart enough to figure out when a crossover connection is needed vs. a normal connection.

Not only did it work, but it turned out that I didn’t need to turn on internet sharing or give either machine IP addresses. Rendezvous just worked and I was able to share files and, even, ssh between the two machines by using their sharing name.

As well, because I was using direct cabling both machines automatically used the highest speed setting available on the port; 1 gigabit. Nice and speedy!

Once copied, I simply created a user account with the same username and with filevault enabled on the new machine. I then logged out of the new account (you have to log in ot the account to turn on FileVault) and simply replaced the new sparse disk image with the old sparse disk image.

Upon logging back in, my entire account was now on the new machine and everything “just works”.

Nice!

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