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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > New Macbook AIR- what do you want to see in it next?

New Macbook AIR- what do you want to see in it next? (Page 4)
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May 17, 2010, 07:45 AM
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Point taken. However, to me it sounds like Apple is exactly the right company to against the 'psychological safety blanket'. The same way they ditched SCSI/serial/ADB for USB or Flash for HTML5. Maybe it's time to push people over that line.

A BTO option would be fine for me. I doubt however Apple would go that route. Choice is not exactly Steve's favorite issue.

I agree USB sticks will be more expensive than DVDs to distribute OS X. That's a choice Apple can make however. Just as they chose more expensive components over cheaper alternatives elsewhere.
Devil's advocate here: I'd be happy to lose the optical on a laptop, especially if it was a smaller one, but I'm trying to take a wider view.

When Apple removed SCSI, serial, ADB and the floppy, they did so after 90% of the use case had been covered some other way. Serial, ADB and most of SCSI usage were covered by USB (the remainder being external HDs), and CDs + network covered most of what floppies were used for. The missing holes were eventually filled in by Firewire, USB sticks and burners, but the point is that >90% of the use case was covered from day 1.

If you remove the optical today, has 90% of the usage been covered? OS installation remains a problem, because you have to able to boot from something, but I understand that the MBA handles that through sharing an optical from some other machine. That means that you must have a second machine to use for stuff like that - that or an external optical. For an MBA, that's a safe assumption - as it is for an iPad. For an MB? Maybe not - a significant percentage of those machines are used without any companion machines as backup.

So removing the optical permanently from all 13" probably isn't possible just yet. A BTO option is sub-optimal - yes, you could replace that optical with an even more massive battery, but the current battery is big enough that it doesn't really need an update. What remains then is stepping back on battery capacity in the default install and offering an extra battery instead of the optical. Would Apple really do that?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
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May 17, 2010, 12:12 PM
USB sticks would be available on day 1. In fact they've been around for years. The OS and install software could come on that. Everything else is accessed either through downloads, disk sharing, or external optical drives. This is way better covered than other cases where Apple has shoved legacy tech out the back door.
( Last edited by Simon; May 17, 2010 at 12:33 PM. )
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May 17, 2010, 01:58 PM
I agree with Simon completely - why not include the OS installer on a USB stick? The only time I usually ever use a laptop optical drive is when I'm installing an OS. I think the USB stick OS solution would be ideal.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
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May 19, 2010, 03:44 PM
Related note:

I just got my Macbook 13" and boy am I glad I got this over the Air. It's plenty light and I absolutely love this screen.

But about the issue you guys are discussing, I've transferred all my files and installed several programs (including Civ 4 complete and Spore) and I have yet to use the optical drive. In fact, I should probably do something with it just to make sure it works.
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