New to Mac/MBA

kangi26

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2012
9
0
Hi all, I'm REALLY new to the world of Mac's So I'm trying to get up to speed(This will be my first Mac)

I purchased from a friend of mine a MBA A1304(late 2008 I believe). I'n not sure if it's the 1.6 or 1.86Ghz machine.
It needs a battery and a hard drive. It will boot via thumb drive, so I have confidence the MB is good. My main question is about getting a new hard drive for it. Ideally, I would love to be able to install a Western Digital Scorpio WD3200BEVT 320GB 5400 RPM SATA(which I already have). Will it work in this machine? Or am I going to have to take another route?

I'm getting a GREAT deal on it(or at least I think I am). I'm paying $100 for it.

Thanks in advance for any input

Edit** Oh yeah, I will need to get the OS too, will Lion work well in this machine? Or Snow Leopard? Any advice?
 

kangi26

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2012
9
0
Ha! Well, that is a new one to me. Didn't even know about 1.8" drives! Thanks
 

anirudh

macrumors 6502
Feb 28, 2008
476
0
India
Yeah, the 2.5" drives won't fit the MBA. If I were you, I would get a 64GB SSD (if money is a concern) to fit in your OS (go for OSX Leopard btw) and other application files. This might seem a little less, but its sufficient. Your media files and other stuff can be stored on the WD Scorpio that you have. Get an enclosure for it and use it as an external HDD.

Also, since you have the older air, few things to note would be not to use any of those speck or other hard shell cases since the hinges might be a little weak and don't expect the mba to do any intensive tasks. Other than that, sit back and let the MBA blow your mind away!! :D

Welcome to the world of macs and enjoy your purchase :)
 

kangi26

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2012
9
0
Yeah, the 2.5" drives won't fit the MBA. If I were you, I would get a 64GB SSD (if money is a concern) to fit in your OS (go for OSX Leopard btw) and other application files. This might seem a little less, but its sufficient. Your media files and other stuff can be stored on the WD Scorpio that you have. Get an enclosure for it and use it as an external HDD.

Also, since you have the older air, few things to note would be not to use any of those speck or other hard shell cases since the hinges might be a little weak and don't expect the mba to do any intensive tasks. Other than that, sit back and let the MBA blow your mind away!! :D

Welcome to the world of macs and enjoy your purchase :)
Great info, thanks! Actually the 320 is a Passport External, so I'm good to go there. If using it as an internal drive was an option, I was going to remove it from the case.
So in my research (correct me if I'm wrong), this MBA will have a zif connection. I also see that there are PATA, and SATA options available (depending if you have the 1.6 or the 1.86) am I understanding this correctly?

One of the main reasons I am getting it (great deal and my curiosity aside) is I am a photographer and I am going on a long trip later this year and need a something to download my photos to. I've heard great things about the way Macs handle photos. I'm not expecting this MBA to be able to handle processing. But I am very intrigued, and excited to get into it. Who knows, maybe I'll be converting my desktop too ;)

Sent from a autonomous device
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,390
3,834
OtherWorldComputing has a 120GB SSD that would work in the late 2008 MacBook Air.

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDAPMB120/

I had a late-2010 MacBook Air with a stock SSD for 2 years. It was a good machine. The trackpad is multitouch (though it still has a separate button), and it works well with Snow Leopard. Lion should also run on it but will be slower. Since you are completely new to Macs, Snow Leopard might be a good starting point as the UI is a little bit closer to Windows 7. Lion adds some iOS gestures, such as reversing the direction of scrolling with a mouse and trackpad, that take a little getting used to.

With this, you would have a decent notebook for a total cost under $350 (the cost of a netbook). This SSD is faster than the one that was in the stock Airs back then.

If you want to see what the processor speed is, click on the Apple menu, and go to "About this Mac." You'll see a button for a "System Report." In there you will get details about the hardware.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,823
2,292
Keep in mind the first generation macbook air is a much slower machine than the current one, so your expectations must be kept within reason. Even then it does sound like a great deal. Lion has a minimum requirement of 2GB of ram, but it runs better with 4. How much does this machine have? If you're short on it, go with Snow Leopard. Lion broke enough stuff that support for Snow Leopard should hold out a couple more years. The Snow Leopard disk is still listed on the Apple store website.
 

kangi26

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2012
9
0
Keep in mind the first generation macbook air is a much slower machine than the current one, so your expectations must be kept within reason. Even then it does sound like a great deal. Lion has a minimum requirement of 2GB of ram, but it runs better with 4. How much does this machine have? If you're short on it, go with Snow Leopard. Lion broke enough stuff that support for Snow Leopard should hold out a couple more years. The Snow Leopard disk is still listed on the Apple store website.
It's got 2gigs, which is apparently the maximum it can take (from what I've read). I wish it would run more, but it is what it is. I don't have super high expectations as far as performance from this, given the specs. But as a base, entry level, cheap machine, I can get my feet wet with the world of Mac, without breaking the bank
So Snow Leopard it is. I'm amazed that it's under $40!

I really appreciate all of the great feedback. Thank you all



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kangi26

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2012
9
0
Yeah, the 2.5" drives won't fit the MBA. If I were you, I would get a 64GB SSD (if money is a concern) to fit in your OS (go for OSX Leopard btw) and other application files. This might seem a little less, but its sufficient. Your media files and other stuff can be stored on the WD Scorpio that you have. Get an enclosure for it and use it as an external HDD.

Also, since you have the older air, few things to note would be not to use any of those speck or other hard shell cases since the hinges might be a little weak and don't expect the mba to do any intensive tasks. Other than that, sit back and let the MBA blow your mind away!! :D

Welcome to the world of macs and enjoy your purchase :)

I've decided to go with the 64G OWC, and load my files (music/photos) onto my Passport.
Until I can afford it though, I am going to load Snow Leopard onto my Passport to get my feet wet (mainly because I will be so impatient and won't want to with for the drive to come in)

Thanks all for your input. I think this will be fun

Sent from a autonomous device
 

ericDylan

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2012
101
0
Keep in mind the first generation macbook air is a much slower machine than the current one, so your expectations must be kept within reason. Even then it does sound like a great deal. Lion has a minimum requirement of 2GB of ram, but it runs better with 4. How much does this machine have? If you're short on it, go with Snow Leopard. Lion broke enough stuff that support for Snow Leopard should hold out a couple more years. The Snow Leopard disk is still listed on the Apple store website.
my 2010 macbook air runs lion perfectly with 2GBs of RAM.

Even when i run the sims 3 of Civ IV, the transitions are still smooth.

I would go with lion because of the UI improvements and gestures alone.
 

kangi26

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2012
9
0
my 2010 macbook air runs lion perfectly with 2GBs of RAM.

Even when i run the sims 3 of Civ IV, the transitions are still smooth.

I would go with lion because of the UI improvements and gestures alone.

It does have 2 gigs, obviously I wish I could run 4 gigs, but it sounds like there is a limit in place on this machine. So I'll live with that. I might try Lion after running Snow for a while


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anirudh

macrumors 6502
Feb 28, 2008
476
0
India
Run the OS from the external drive?! That is going to be PAINFULLY slow! But an interesting 'experiment' nevertheless ;)
 

kangi26

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2012
9
0
I know it will, but it'll have to do until I can get the SSD ordered :(
 

anirudh

macrumors 6502
Feb 28, 2008
476
0
India
And oh yeah, once you get the SSD, having 2gb of RAM won't be much of an issue (at least for basic to intermediate tasks)
 

kangi26

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2012
9
0
A little update.
So I got the MBA, and I had some issues getting the extracted Snow Leopard onto my external using the VM on my Windows machine, onto a separate partition. But once I got that done. Connected my external to the MBA, plugged it in, and by god it fired up and I installed Snow onto the partition. I'm in love!
Now the next issue was to get a new battery. After a bit of research I found one, got it ordered and had it a couple days later. Now came the most interesting part. I had no screws to mount the battery! The CRAZY part was, in checking around online. Ifixit wanted $50 for screws!!! Another site wanted $20 for the front 4, and another $20 for the back set! My local Apple store was pretty unwilling to help(short of recommending ifixit). I did end up finding the screw sizes and found them at my local fastener company for $0.43. That all was a bit shocking, to say the least.
Now for the HD, I've decided to go with the OCW 120gig. It's a little pricy but I am sure I'll need the extra space.

All in all the system runs great! Even on the external. My boot time is a bit high(about 1:25 min), but it's more than usable once it's booted

Thanks for all of your input!


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