OS X to be distributed on SD cards?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by ipedro, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #1
    With the arrival of the new MacBook Air, all Macs will have SD card readers. The Air doesn't have an optical drive. What do you all think of the likelihood of Apple distributing OS X on SD cards going forward?
     
  2. macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #2
    Why SD cards when USB flash drives are cheaper?
     
  3. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #3
    Pressed plastic is cheap. SDs are not.
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    London
    #4
    The Mac Pro does not have a SD card slot so the basic premise is not true.
     
  5. macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    Jul 11, 2006
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    #5
    I don't think they will, maybe in the future when they have an OS that doesn't support any macs that don't have them, but not anytime soon.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #6
    SD cards are too easy to lose, cd/dvd media is still dominant in the marketplace and inexpensive. They'll switch to downloads only before they do that.
     
  7. macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #7
    MacBooks don't have SD slots. Judging by some of the threads here on MR asking for help, it appears to be just as easy to lose a DVD as an SD card.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    Flash based media is still much more expensive than e.g. DVDs and Blu-Rays are (i.e. optical media). Also, SD cards can't be pressed while optical media can so that would increase the manufacturing expenses.

    MBA has never had an optical drive but Snow Leopard came on DVD. You can use other Mac's DVD drive or an external DVD drive via USB
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #9
    nor my 17" MBP.
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    There may be some online distribution of OSX in future. I wouldn't be surprised by that, considering the Air...
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #11
    OSX on USB drive

    Close enough :D

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    Why?
    The brand new 11" MBA doesn't have an SD card reader, and do the current MacPros, and iMacs have them?

    What about all the legacy hardware that is still out there
     
  13. macrumors 603

    Joined:
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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #13
    Can an SD card (or flash drive in general) be made Read Only? The old floppies had a mechanical "switch" that could be flipped to make it impossible to write to a floppy. CDs are of course by nature Read Only. It only makes sense to distribute installation software on Read Only media.

    If SD cards can be made Read Only, I kinda think that Apple may be going that way. It's not just the cost of the card, but also the cost of packaging and shipping. Plus, Apple may be thinking environmental issues too. I don't know what the green credentials are SD vs CD, but there might be some motivation there.

    If we continue to see SD slots added to Macs, then I expect there is a good reason.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #14
    The software reinstall drive is a USB key. Same direction, different format.

    I just knew that with Apple heading in the direction of dropping optical media that they had to start shipping their Macs with a physical version of the OS on Flash memory. Here it is: the Reinstall Drive.
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    elppa

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #15
    MacBook Pro didn't get a SD card until mid 2009. The iMac got it after that.

    I could completely see a USB drive solution ala the new Air. It would get the packaging size down as well.
     
  16. macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #16
    I can see them doing that with 10.7 as all macs have USB, SD cards won't happen since not all macs have them, but USB would work well.
     
  17. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #17
    Is the USB Key Read Only? I suppose with it's Unix underpinnings it wouldn't be hard to set it Read Only? I don't know, I'm a photographer, dammit, not a developer. (sorry - no pun intended)
     
  18. Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #18
    Anything set at the filesystem could be unset so I see nothing about OSX being Unix or not that would effect the read-only state of the card. It could be read-only at a hardware level though.
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    lewis82

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    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #19
    The same way SD cards are. I hope they are read-only, otherwise some people could think "hey a nice flash drive! I'm going to format it". :p
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #20
    I'd guess it will appear as a read-only optical drive under OS X.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Location:
    Nashik
    #21
    Honestly, I don't really care what they distribute it on going forward. What I hope, is that they introduce a digital download.

    I'm in India, and it takes up to 3 months for the software disks to reach here officially. I have a fairly decent unlimited connection, why can't I pay using my card and download the damn disk image?

    I'm hoping their new datacenter in X Carolina will be something.
     
  22. macrumors 601

    cambookpro

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #22
    Mockup of Lion USB box-art :p


    [​IMG]


    Anyone can have the psd to mess around with it if they want.
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    mulo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #23
    haha thats a cute box, if it comes on a USB pin i'm going to reformat it! thats like the most awesome USB pin ever! :D I'll just rip it to another USB pin
     
  24. macrumors 68030

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #24
    Does it really matter how it's distributed?

    You install it once and hide your install disc in the closet.

    Or if you buy a new system, it's already pre-installed and you will never use the installer again.
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    lewis82

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #25
    USB flash drives are much faster than DVDs. SD cards too. If you have to reinstall, it is much more convenient.

    And besides, I would definitely buy a MBP without DVD drive...
     

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