Although a tad bit off topic, it’s Mac related none-the-less. I am in the midst of backing up my MacBook Pro to a remote drive as I’ll be buying one of the new machines recently announced by Apple.
As part of the process, I am creating an image of my current system on a USB drive, using the Disk Utility application. The idea is to create a bootable image on the USB drive, verify that I can boot from the drive and use that image for the new machine. If all goes well, the process of configuring my new system such be nothing more than restoring the image on USB to the new system, in theory.
To verify all is well, that is, the USB is bootable, one can request Mac OS X to bypass the primary drive with the following key sequence, during bootup:
Press and Hold: Option-Command-Shift-Delete
I found this tip, along with many others keyboard shortcuts on the Apple support website.