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Mitchell Lifton is the latest in a longish line of readers who are trading up to a Power Mac G5 and would like to know the most efficient way to move their data from old Mac to new. Mithchell writes:

I have about 100 GB on my hard drives in a G4 733, both apps and work. I'm thinking seriously about a dual G5 but one of the things that puts me off is the thought of the hours it will take moving everything to the hard drives on the new machine. Any suggestions as to how the migration can be rendered less painful?

Apple has anticipated this issue and now includes a feature in the OS X Setup Assistant for moving files from an old FireWire-equipped Mac to a Power Mac G5. It works this way:

You start up your new G5 and the Setup Assistant asks if you'd like to move data from your old Mac to your new G5. Indicate that you would like to do exactly that and you'll be asked to string a FireWire cable between the G5 and the older Mac and boot that older Mac with the T key held down (this boots the older Mac into FireWire Target Disk Mode). You can then choose what you'd like to copy over. Data will be moved from the old Mac to the new one with permissions intact.

Note: It's not a bad idea to fix permissions on the old Mac before copying any data from it to the Power Mac G5.

Other options? Sure.

You could perform this same kind of trick -- stringing the two Macs together via FireWire -- and then use Mike Bombich's $5 Carbon Copy Cloner to clone data from your old Mac to your new one. Again, repair permissions on both computers before doing so.

And finally, you could fling your old hard drive into a FireWire enclosure and use it as an external drive with your new G5.

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