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View Full Version : MB Air Docs, excerpted via AI




sanford
Jan 31, 2008, 09:48 AM
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/01/30/apples_macbook_air_support_docs_reveal_one_of_a_kind_solutions.html

I've taken a lot of heat on these forums for an interest in the MB Air, yet still asking questions over concerns about it. Having read the above bit, and Apple's documentation behind it, oh please, my kids are easier to raise than this thing is to manage. For $600 more, a third inch and two pounds off the MacBook. Yes, I've read the MacWorld review, and I can see coming from a 17" MB Pro, both in dimensions and almost four pounds, but if the MacWorld reviewer is comparing to a standard MacBook, or he has *nothing* else in his ultra-light, super-thin nylon backpack, the perception of lighter weight by two pounds slung over his shoulder is all in his addled head.

As I've mentioned before, moving bulk data files, backing-up large files, etc., over WiFi, even draft n, is going to be dog slow -- as Apple confirms by telling you to buy an ethernet adapter to migrate. Good thing people might not be likely to keep large movie files on that 80GB drive, because backing them up will kill you.

Obviously, from the documentation, the external optical is pretty much required, too, obliterating any hope of ultra-portability. If you need to dual-boot Windows, certainly. If you need to install software or rip CDs. I know, some of you claim you never use your optical drive. Maybe some of you really do buy all your music from iTunes. I can grant a lot of people don't watch DVDs on a computer, but, really, you don't rip CDs? You can't play CDs or watch DVDs from a shared drive on another computer, presumably you can however rip them to your MB Air. Over WiFi. Ripping a DVD over WiFi, that should be a joy. CDs, not so bad. If you turn off WEP. Drive sharing won't work with WEP. I know, WEP is bad security, everyone should use WPA. That's great, nobody does. Home commercial broadband installers, all WEP. Home DIY WiFi installers, WEP. Public, free hotspots with any security, WEP. Only commercial services like T-Mobile use WPA, not because they give a flip about your data, but because they don't want anyone stealing access via WEP's weaknesses. Many, many, many, many offices use WEP when they should be using WPA. Still, they use WEP. Call IT, ask them if they'll turn off WEP, turn off *all* security that is, on the company WiFi, 'cause you need to install some software. And for home users with WEP, they turn it off, sure, but do they turn it back on? Maybe. Even if they do, they're wide open while they're drive-sharing.

Sure, you can rip CDs and DVDs, do all this on another computer, then copy all this whopping load of data over to your MB Air. Sure, you can copy from the second computer to a USB2 hard drive and then sneakernet it over to the MB Air -- boy, that's a step forward -- or you can just wait a day and copy it over WiFi.

The list goes on and you people know it. It's a large, $1,800 iPhone, except no phone, no mobile wireless data. Please buy one. It's your money. I think anyone who likes something and can afford it should buy it. It's good for the economy, and personal taste is, well, personal. But it's beyond the pale to suggest I'm some sort of fool for stating the absolute fact the MB Air is impractical. It's Apple's leveraging the trendy cachet of iPod and iPhone to sell an overpriced, not very ultra-portable ultra-portable. Look even at the so-called thinness: Had Apple not tapered the thing to create the illusion of very thin, for the addition of very little extra weight, you'd have had double the hard drive storage, an optical drive built-in, maybe even ethernet or FireWire ports.

MB Air buyers will buy it for looks and then spend loads of time babysitting the thing. Buying for looks is fine, but totally out of line is going nuts on me or any other critic of the MB Air as a practical device in order to fabricate for yourself practicality of your purchase that isn't there, or to avoid admitting you're buying it on design or fashion sense, not practical use.

MacBook Air is an odd name for a computer. There seem so many options more appropriate to a slim, lighter Apple notebook, options that would still maintain Apple's penchant for unusual branding. MacBook Air is so loaded with irony I'm starting to wonder if it wasn't intentional.



PlaceofDis
Jan 31, 2008, 09:53 AM
its not meant to be your primary machine. end of story. i wish people would realize this.

the hard drive is slow, and its an ultra portable, its not meant to be the entertainment center. its for light usage and portability. which, if you have a desktop, reduces the issues you'd have with it. why rip with a portable when i have a desktop to do that?

i will agree that its stupid for the drive and ethernet attachment not to be included, but there really is nothing wrong with the machine itself without these.

sanford
Jan 31, 2008, 10:04 AM
its not meant to be your primary machine. end of story. i wish people would realize this.

Dis, I get that. Completely. If you take it as a huge iPhone, sans phone and mobile data, but with extra apps, it's fine. If you need to do anything else with it, it's a management nightmare. Your client's office is not going to turn off their WiFi security for you because you need to run a disk repair, or install or reinstall software. It's bad form to even ask.

It's a great portable if all you do is cross the street with it, or carry it around a campus. But if you travel with it, which is supposed to be a strong point for it, it's impractical as it's not self-contained should something come up. Save catastrophic failure with, for example, a MacBook, while traveling you can maintain, repair, add software you require, etc. You can do this at higher price on a slower computer with the MB Air, if you buy the external optical, another $100 to tack onto the price, but it kills the lean portability of the thing.

Of course you'd rip with your desktop, but you have no ethernet, no FireWire disk mode, only WiFi for data transfer. Pitifully slow for the sort of things one rips. Even a FireWire port for FW disk mode would have cut the babysitting issues way down.

I'm *not* saying it doesn't work, or it doesn't look great. I'm saying it's impractical for it's most-suited market: the constant traveler trying to keep things as simple in the travel kit as possible.

zippster
Jan 31, 2008, 10:06 AM
its not meant to be your primary machine. end of story. i wish people would realize this.

the hard drive is slow, and its an ultra portable, its not meant to be the entertainment center. its for light usage and portability. which, if you have a desktop, reduces the issues you'd have with it. why rip with a portable when i have a desktop to do that?

i will agree that its stupid for the drive and ethernet attachment not to be included, but there really is nothing wrong with the machine itself without these.

BFDING!!!!!! i have an imac as my work horse and this as a play thing!

if its your only machine then you may be in trouble ;)

LouTreize
Jan 31, 2008, 10:15 AM
BFDING!!!!!! i have an imac as my work horse and this as a play thing!

if its your only machine then you may be in trouble ;)

I agreeee...ultra portables are not meant to be primary. I should know, i was stuck with one fro 4 years! Oh man, never again.

kuwisdelu
Jan 31, 2008, 10:16 AM
You sound as if you're saying you need to carry around the optical drive to make it viable at all, and that any of us who claim that we don't use our optical drive much are outright liars. Yeah...sure.

I don't think any of us said we *never* use our optical drive; I think any of us who said anything about it, said we don't use it nearly as often as we used to, and never "on-the-go." So yes, I rip music, yes, I install software, yes I need it from time to time. But I've not once used it on the go. Why would I need to ask someone to turn off some business to turn off WEP so I can run a disk repair with the optical drive and the install disk I just happen to have with me? I wait until I get home. I do even though I do have an optical drive, because I don't go around carrying my install disks with me, but I guess you need one to match the optical drive you're carrying?

It's not for you. Don't buy one if you can't justify the price for yourself, and don't find the machine useful. But plenty of people do. I don't find the iPhone useful; I don't have one; I don't whine about it.

diabolic
Jan 31, 2008, 10:17 AM
I'm *not* saying it doesn't work, or it doesn't look great. I'm saying it's impractical for it's most-suited market: the constant traveler trying to keep things as simple in the travel kit as possible.

I think you are overestimating what a lot of business travelers need from their laptops. Most of the traveling executives that I know don't go much beyond Word docs and Excel spreadsheets. They certainly don't need firewire, and honestly, nobody I know rips CDs or DVDs on their laptops.

It is really nothing to keep the optional superdrive and ethernet adapter in your luggage. I think making them optional is a huge part of the allure of the MBA.

aristobrat
Jan 31, 2008, 10:18 AM
Save catastrophic failure with, for example, a MacBook, while traveling you can maintain, repair, add software you require, etc.
Who travels with optical discs in case they need to maintain or repair software on their notebook while traveling?

About the only software I've loaded via optical disc was Office and Microsoft Windows.

Everything else in my Applications folder (Adium, Azureus, Chicken of the VNC, CoRD, COverSutra, Cyberduck, Fetch, Flip4Mac, IPSecuritas, IStumbler, iWork, Lotus Notes, MySQL Query Browser, Remote Desktop Connection, Firefox, smcFanControl, VMWare Fusion, Perian, TiVoDecodeManager) was installed wirelessly.

bpd115
Jan 31, 2008, 10:28 AM
First, you only need to turn off WEP or security to install OS X remotely. You can still use remote disk with WEP. Read the link you posted again.

I don't expect windows to recognize a shared drive for an install either. MS OS installers still run their resolution at around 800x600, so I don't expect them to latch on to that technology any time soon.

Second, the $99 optical drive isn't huge and to have it *if* you need it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

In a situation where you NEED to access data from an optical disk, it isn't hard to have one shared as a volume on the network anyway, be it mac or PC.

My Father is going to get one to replace his 12" PowerBook 1.33 G4.

He's got a 24" iMac AL upstairs and my Mom has a 20" iMac AL on her desk downstairs. There is a 500 gig drive on the Airport Extreme as well. All the heavy lifting/major storage will be done on those machines.

My CD collection has been ripped for years. All my music I get digitally now, unless it's a live box set or something I really want to get.

I think I'd be quite fine with a MBA, a ~2 gig thumb drive and a WD Passport for Time Machine/extra storage.

My iTunes library is ~60 gigs but I have an 8 gig nano that holds most of the music I want to listen to today. Favorite songs on the Nano/MBA, entire album on the Mac Pro.

As far as power of the machine, it blew away a 1.67 G4, so it should smoke his 1.33 G4.

sanford
Jan 31, 2008, 11:10 AM
BFDING!!!!!! i have an imac as my work horse and this as a play thing!

Thank you. That's all I'm saying. Toy. I have plenty myself. I'm still *very definitely* considering this one, as a toy, having determined it's impractical for any real work, even with my rather limited work needs. $1,800 for a toy, which is not such a big thing if you consider how much do you really need a high-end 50" HDTV, either. I mean, even accepting an HDTV as a necessity (well, almost) these days, a top-end 50" model?

I was only addressing people who have trashed me and others on these forums for calling it what it is, a toy -- a sophisticated toy with some practical uses, but a plaything all the same. Going bats on people for calling a toy a toy because for some reason one is afraid to admit they bought an expensive toy is just completely out of line. I don't know that any of you in this thread in particular have done this, but many others have, to several people like myself, who were only trying to get a handle on an MB Air purchase for themselves, as a practical work and daily-use expense, or a plaything indulgence.

kuwisdelu
Jan 31, 2008, 11:23 AM
Certainly some people will buy it as an expensive toy. But from posts I've seen, seems like some people are buying it as a real tool, too. To each, his own. Some people are even fine using it as their primary machine (I wouldn't, yet, but maybe the next generation I could).