Time to Mac up

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by diplo0, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. diplo0 macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2008
    After being a lifelong Micro$lave, I've decided to get Mac'ed. In one more week I'll be walking into an Apple Store to get me an MBA. I'm no road warrior, but like to travel (backpacking mostly) and have photography as a hobby (so I'll get Aperture as well). I do have some lingering questions though:
    - should I also get the Time Capsule or will a regular external HDD suit my disk space needs
    - how accident prone is the MBA (because it's so light and slim does it slip out of your hands easily), more specifically is it puppy-proof (strange question to ask, I know:rolleyes:)
    - What other equipment/software (apple or otherwise) did you buy when going for your first Mac?
  2. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    I'd get a case for it, don't get Applecare until the first free year is up, then you get 4 years. Photography, you know it doesn't have a firewire port right?
  3. diplo0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2008
    The case is already on order, so no issue there. And my D200 uses mini USB so I guess that's no real issue either. It may be a bit slower than I'd like, but than there's no need to rush all the time ;)
  4. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
  5. mogzieee macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2008
    London, UK
    Personally, for your needs as a traveling photographer, I'd get a standard MacBook because:

    - they have faster processors (2.0 or 2.4Ghz, not a puny 1.8Ghz)
    - they have a greater number of firewire / USB ports for your various cameras than the Air.
    - it's cheaper
    - still is rather thin, small and robust (like the air) compared to the other notebooks around
    - a MB has a CD drive to burn your pics onto
    - as a traveler you may find it useful to take your battery out in a MB to charge it seperately (perhaps!?)

    - yes you may say that it's heavier, and more chunky, but it's a better, and cheaper machine which does the same purpose. Plus, the weight isn't that different between the two.

    But, what ever you get, I'd get equipped with:

    - Aperture (as you know, for your photography)
    - iWork, if you want to do any word proccessing - office:mac is good, but too expensive and confusing. Or, if you don't want to pay for that, download NeoOffice for free (Google it)
    - Pixelmator, which is a third party application, that you can download from the web at $59 (i think.... Google it). It acts as a Photoshop equivalent for Mac OS X.
    - Depending on how much rough traveling you get up to, you may want to get the Apple Care Plan which essentially extends your warranty.

    Hope this helps, and good to see your switching to Mac!

  6. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    That is false. AppleCare isn't three years on top of the initial warranty, AppleCare replaces the initial warranty.

    If you purchase AppleCare the day before your first year is up then you get two years of AppleCare warranty. AppleCare covers the computer for up to three years from the date of purchase of the computer.
  7. BongoBanger macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    The new Eee seems more suitable for your needs.
  8. diplo0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2008
    With the Eee I'd still be chained to Windows, and although I know these systems well, I'm tired of the continuous problems and upgrade cycles that brake more than they fix. So for me, the Eee didn't even come near to be put into the equation.

    Thanks for your tips on software, I'll definitely check these out.

    The reason why I chose the MBA over the MB are a bit more complex. First and foremost is the fact that I've already been investigating this move for over three months and well, I'm don't want to wait any longer. The aggrevation I've been getting from working on my current home PC (1.8GHz, 2GB RAM ,120GB HDD regular clone type thing and butt-ugly :) ) is driving me up the walls. So the buying time is NOW. Waiting for the upcoming MB refresh is not an option for me. (A touchy-feely argument, but then again, you can handle only so much stress from inanimate objects :) ) Secondly, as you now know, the specs from my home PC aren't that different from the MBA and I know that I wasn't taxing that system with my day-to-day surfing, mailing, and general tinkering in Adobe Lightroom. So in that light, having a more powerfull machine isn't necessary either.

    So the main argument for getting the Air you could say is its light weight and 'travel-ability', especially when you travel through 'hot' countries (Namibia, Malaysia, Belize) with one single medium sized backpack. In this light both volume and weight become important. Having an extra battery pack would have helped, but when you are away from any grid for sometimes up to a week, even that becomes inconsequential.
  9. BongoBanger macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    The Eee runs on Linux although you can install XP. You also have the option of carrying a spare battery.
  10. diplo0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2008
    Granted, but the user experience is still stunted in a huuuge way. On the one hand you have a GUI experience of the OS which is slowly improving and on the other a growing number of applications (good) with each their own differing UI (very bad). Unless someone gets these different acts to dance on the same groove, you won't see me (re-)joining the linux community. (I tried linux a couple of years ago and still try out Ubuntu from time to time - whenever my Windows PC breaks down in such a manner that I deem a reinstall is necessary).
  11. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    I hope you enjoy your MBA, sounds like you're going to make great use of it, particularly when you're backpacking. My 'time to Mac up' was a little while back now, but I was similarly in need of a change of scenery and I haven't been disappointed! :)
  12. mykoljay macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2008
    As a backpacker, the slimness (a word?) and wait will be much better than the regular MB. Ever mm of space and ounce of weight makes a huge difference when you have one bag. The funny thing is I am in Europe for work and have 2 laptops with me (work laptop and my MBA) - I barely noticed having the MBA in addition.

    The only problem I can think of for you is no extra battery. Just n case you are somewhere without electricity. However, I feel certain that someone with come up with a decent external battery supply back.

    Go for it (as a recent mac convert).
  13. aussieinrome macrumors regular


    Apr 5, 2008
    Rome, Italy.
    Time Capsule Rocks!

    Hi diplo0,

    My Time Capsule arrived yesterday, so did my Parallels and XP Home for that matter.

    I installed my Time Capsule and did my big backup (30GB) it took 7 hours. Not too bad over wifi I thought.

    Parallels is pretty cool, It runs XP home really well. My god XP looks like crap in the OSX environment, it's one fugly OS! I got it running 3D Studio Max nicely using openGL.

    The Time Capsule is a great invention, my internet got a huge boost in speed too.
  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    The MBA has a small HD, and if you're into photography, shooting with a D200, you will definitely need extra HD space beyond that provided in the machine. I always carry a LaCie Rugged external HD with me when I travel, for the specific purpose of backing up the images I'm uploading from the camera's memory cards. If you shoot RAW it will be imperative to have plenty of HD space available. I use a CF card reader for transferring images from the card to the computer rather than camera directly to computer. You can buy a USB hub and plug that into the MBA and that will give you more ports to use rather than just the one provided by the MBA.

    I have not yet installed Aperture into my MBA but have gone ahead and installed Photo Mechanic, for quick and easy review of images even if I don't have time or inclination to post-process them while traveling. Usually I wait until I am back home before doing any serious photo editing and I am not anticipating using my MBA for this purpose.

    At home, Time Capsule is a good way to back up all of your files while also having the advantages of wireless connectivity. On the road a nice way to still have wireless connectivity even in hotel rooms which have data ports only, is to carry along an Airport Express and set up your own little wireless network. Time Capsule can work as a NAS as well, giving you a place to stash stuff, but you may also want to get an additional external HD.

    The MBA is a fun machine to carry around and to use -- no more prone to being dropped than any other lightweight portable computer.
  15. (((k))) macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2007
    The Lacie rugged drive is cool because it has a firewire 800 port, love that. Time machine backups are a lot faster wired than wireless. I think the Airport express is a great product if you listen to music at home. I use Airtunes all day and it's awesome.
  16. w00tini macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    with the price of USB powered externals being so low, don't worry about the 80Gb drive built into the Air. And since you're doing photo editing, I also wouldn't think the small bump in CPU power that the MacBook or MBPro has are much of a big deal at all. Were you encoding video and whatnot, that could be a different story.

    If you travel a lot, there is nothing that can take the place of the Air...nothing. I'd give up even more resources than the Air comes with to have its portability. Thankfully, it is a pretty beefy unit anyway.
  17. joegomolski macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2006
    So CA
    One of the first things I bought was the Invisibleshield adds to the MBA's beautiful appearance, my opinion, makes the feel tacky, so less likely for it to fall out of my hands.

    Oh, puppy proof, or puppy resistant? Ha, Ha you're joking right?
    Only solution to being prey to a puppy? Never leave it where the puppy can find it. That includes putting it on a table.

    We have a puppy, who, when he's alone, gets on our tables, anything left there will be eaten. At least partially.
  18. krye macrumors 68000


    Aug 21, 2007
    4 years is not true. Apple Care extends your 1 year warranty to 3 years from the date of purchase. You can activate AppleCare during the first year, giving you and extra 2 years.

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