If you've been following along, you'll remember that my old Powermac G5's power supply died on me. So I took it into the Apple store to get fixed and decided that it was a sign that it was time to move on. I bought a mini, which I will upgrade to a Core 2 duo as soon as it arrives. It's not the first intel mac in the house - there's also a mini plugged into the TV in the living room.
One thing I did before I took the Powermac to the Apple store was take the hard drive out. The geniuses are probably not going to go snooping through it, but it's easy to imagine the drive getting formatted by accident. Besides, if the power supply died, there's every chance it took more components with it. Better to find out now the state of the drive.
So I pulled it out and attached it to a power supply and SATA->USB adapter I keep around for dealing with bare drives. The drive was fine, thank goodness.
But the mini was on its way. How do I coonveniently get all that stuff onto it? The minis have 2.5" drives, so I can't just shoehorn the drive in there. Besides, the new mini has an Intel CPU, which requires different partitioning. I decided I would put the old drive in an external housing and try to use the Migration Assistant to copy the data in. Then I could blank the drive and use it as external storage.
But how do you use just a bare drive with the Migration assistant? Simple! The migration assistant works by getting you to connect the two macs together, then boot the old one in Firewire target mode. So long as your external housing has a Firewire port, it will look just like a mac booted into target mode.
So I was easily able to migrate all my stuff. The migration assistant takes waaaay too long to run, but the results are worth it. It's as if your new machine was your old one again. The only other thing to do was to migrate my virtual PC machine to Parallels using the Parallels Transporter, which was simple enough.