View Full Version : MBA as business machine

Feb 10, 2008, 09:36 PM
Greetings all from a new poster who just bought the MBA.

I have been running my business on a 12" powerbook for years and just grabbed this new Mac as soon as it appeared in the Apple store. I thought I would share a word or two about my use.

First off, I guess you would say I am not a power user as defined by many of you on this board. I don't own photoshop, play games, make DVD movies, or compose music on my machine. I do use it for exclusively business uses and email. The power of the new MBA is great...heck, my old PB12 worked OK but needed more memory and a bigger hard drive.

I have two jobs: I am a college professor part-time at a major state university and head of a small security/investigative/counterterrorism consulting company. We do work for the government (a bit) and for large private companies (a lot). The college job is pretty much what you would expect: lots of powerpoint, word, excel work. I am also a heavy user of Aquaminds fantastic Notetaker program.

The consulting job uses all the above tools plus Tinderbox (I use it to track projects, take notes, organize my life, keep clients straight, etc.) I also use Scrivener for writing materials for clients as well as working on books I am writing. Omni Graffle is the last item on my must list and is used to make presentations since I am totally devoid of artistic ability.

I put all my software on the MBA and was delighted to see that I still had over 55GB of open space on the machine. That is worlds for me. (I keep confidential files on on four different 4GB jump drives. In my business life, I have to work with info that belongs to others and I try my best to keep it confidential.)

Now that the MBA is my primary business machine, I will be carrying it daily between my three offices, using it at home and in the car as well, and generally putting it through its paces. Battery charges will be a daily occurrence as I have to have the thing fully charged when I walk out the door in the morning. I'll be lugging it around the USA and overseas as well.

Yes, I did pick up a USB hub since I need to put both a printer and one of the jump drives on at the same time.

Anyway, my first impressions are that this the machine of my dreams. I had previously a Thinkpad 240 that weighed about the same and that I beat up badly over the years. Replaced that with a Sony that had multiple hard drive failures, and then moved to Macs and the 12" PB. I've been waiting a long time for the successor to that machine and this MBA appears to be it.

Feb 10, 2008, 09:45 PM
Congrats! Definitely interested in how it holds up to your needs. Maybe time for a Time Capsule and dump the physical connection to the printer!

Feb 10, 2008, 09:56 PM
awesome to hear all is working out!

the mba is def an awesome machine hehe

i got myself a airport extreme mainly for wireless N and the ability to hook up my printer there so i can print wirelessly

Feb 11, 2008, 08:46 AM
Funny you should suggest time capsule as I am looking at that right now. I need to do some research to see how it is working out for others. I am very attractred to the idea of wireless backup.

Feb 11, 2008, 08:59 AM
I have very similar needs to you. I use mine for business only. I don't do your 007 stuff, but I am running financial and strategic planning for some 11 companies so I travel allot as well as many meetings. The MBA is so far above expectations for me and more capable than I would need it to be. I also run sensitive financial data on a usb stick rather than on the hard drive. If I lost the stick it would mean that anyone finding the data would be looking at it without knowing what it relates to which makes me feel safer!



Feb 11, 2008, 09:08 AM
You'll find most of the griping among hardcore forum users that it is not powerful enough for their heavy needs is really ill judged by those posters.

It was never intended to be.

For the general computing duties and environments the machine is destined to end up being used primarily in - it is not just adequate, but excels in these uses.

Those still griping simply need to look elsewhere and happily Apple provides them with more suitable machines for their needs, and allows them to configure to some degree even further.

Therefore it simply confuses me why we have so many trolls and detractors on the forum - I suspect they may just be suffering from MBA envy ;)

I'm delighted with my MBA. It does exactly what I need it to do, feels not once once slower in daily usage for me from the 2.2 MBP I replaced it with.

I love the aesthetics, I love the aluminum (a reason I just did not like the macbooks and I had both a white and black) and the LED screen and backlit keyboard are godsends.

Worth every penny to me and no regrets.

Feb 11, 2008, 09:12 AM
You sound like the absolute ideal candidate for what the MBA offers. Glad you're enjoying it :)

Sandy Santra
Feb 11, 2008, 12:02 PM
Retops, thanks for mentioning Tinderbox; I first just heard about it from someone else a few days ago. I've been using Daylite, but will look into it.

Sandy Santra
Feb 11, 2008, 12:04 PM
Funny you should suggest time capsule as I am looking at that right now. I need to do some research to see how it is working out for others. I am very attractred to the idea of wireless backup.

FYI: the very first backup can be very long, potentially overnight. After that it's much quicker, as it's incremental.

Feb 12, 2008, 01:09 PM
Thanks to all for the thoughtful replies. I continue to find this machine just right for my business use. Showed it to a business associate today and demonstrated how I use the software, causing him to take off for the Apple store to replace his Dell laptop with a Macbook Air.

Sandy: Tinderbox is not the easiest program to learn to use. I am still only scratching the surface of what it can do. It does have some strengths that I find just right including the ability to simulate "White Boards" for clients and then turn the ideas that result into documents.

Feb 12, 2008, 01:26 PM
Yep, seems about right for your needs. Like anything, the Air will suit some people and not others.