by onemoremile - 9/14/12 7:31 PM
Migration Assistant will do it all for you simply and seamlessly. If the new computer and the old one will be on the same network, you will be all set. If not, you will need an ethernet cable to connect the two.
If you do not want to migrate everything, you can do what I just did with a new Mac and install only the programs that will run on the new machine. You should be able to download just about any current program from each software company's web site. You will need to find your serial number for each software package. Try looking at the original packaging or on the download receipt. You may also find the number by clicking on Registration, which may be under the [Program Name] menu. If both machines are on one network, you should be able to log into the old Mac from the new one. Simply locate the files or folders that you want to move and drag them to the appropriate spot on the new machine. I would suggest opening two Finder windows, one focused on the old Mac and one on the new.
You will probably want to keep the old Mac around until you are sure that you have everything you need on the new machine.