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High-quality MacBook Air SuperDrive photos, notes on Remote Disc

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
As was first reported by AppleInsider last February, Apple's new MacBook Air lacks a built-in optical disc drive, meaning users will need to perform backups and software installs using two new wireless solutions or with the help of the company's new MacBook Air external Super Drive.

The $99 MacBook Air Super Drive is thin, light, and easy to tote on the go. It's slot-loading, weighing 320 g (0.71 pounds) and measuring 139 x 139 x 17 mm / 5.47 x 5.47 x 0.67 inches (L x W x H).

For those MacBook Air users who prefer to forgo the external drive, Apple has introduced two wireless solutions aimed at tackling data backups and software installs.

The first, Time Capsule, is an AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi router with a built in "server grade" hard disk drive. It works directly with the MacBook Air, allowing owners to backup their notebook's hard disk drive wirelessly with help from Leopard's Time Machine software. Apple is offering a 500GB version for $299 and a 1TB version for $499, both of which are due to begin shipping next month.

To tackle software installs, Apple also introduced a software-based feature dubbed Remote Disc which will allow MacBook Air users to perform software installs wirelessly using a nearby Mac's optical disc drive.

Users simply install the Remote Disc software on a nearby Mac that contains an optical disc drive, insert into that Mac the optical disc containing the software to be installed on the MacBook Air, then select Remote Disc from the Finder's Devices menu on the MacBook Air.

"[Then] click on the computer you enabled, and then double-click to open the software DVD," Apple says. "Now proceed with the installation just as if you had a built-in optical drive."

MacBook Air SuperDrive


MacBook Air SuperDrive


MacBook Air SuperDrive


MacBook Air SuperDrive


MacBook Air SuperDrive


MacBook Air SuperDrive
post #2 of 56
Remote disc is a very cool feature. Another great innovation from Apple.
post #3 of 56
Does Remote Disk support booting from CD's?
post #4 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by amac4me View Post

Remote disc is a very cool feature. Another great innovation from Apple.

It's funny how that feature has been around since AppleTalk in the early 1990s.
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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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post #5 of 56
Darwin 9.1.2? My Macbook (Early 2006) only has 9.1.0
post #6 of 56
I love that Remote Disc feature.... I think it's a very innovative idea they put together with the most simplicity.

Those pics look great and the separately purchased drive is still fairly compact.

What I would like to know, is how do you re-install Mac OS-X. I know it supports as it was mentioned it did, but how is it implemented...
post #7 of 56
What about Migration Assistant? Doesn't seem like this will be able to be used, since there's no FireWire port on the MacBook Air.
post #8 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

What about Migration Assistant? Doesn't seem like this will be able to be used, since there's no FireWire port on the MacBook Air.

...or use Final Cut Express 4 for much (even though you can get it pre-installed on the MacBook Air via a BTO option).

Despite all of the frustrating things about this laptop, the lack of Firewire is the most annoying to me.
post #9 of 56
I was most struck by the hand and ring.
post #10 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The first, Time Capsule, is an AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi router with a built in "server grade" hard disk drive. It works directly with the MacBook Air, allowing owners to backup their notebook's hard disk drive wirelessly with help from Leopard's Time Machine software. Apple is offering a 500GB version for $299 and a 1TB version for $499, both of which are due to begin shipping next month.

If it really has an ES grade hard drive, then it's actually quite a bargain. Not the "markup hell" that some people are rushing to judge it to be. Even if it wasn't an ES drive, it's not a bad deal.

Quote:
"[Then] click on the computer you enabled, and then double-click to open the software DVD," Apple says. "Now proceed with the installation just as if you had a built-in optical drive."

Like someone mentioned, I hope they've made it so that it can boot from a remote drive. I wouldn't expect to need it that often, but I don't want to go to the Apple store to do it.
post #11 of 56
The new laptop just doesn't seem worth its price the more and more I found out about it.

Oh well, I know I'll it see it in a classroom near me soon.

I'd rather have the MBP...but that's just me.

=]
post #12 of 56
Toast Titanium has had a remote burning feature for years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

What about Migration Assistant? Doesn't seem like this will be able to be used, since there's no FireWire port on the MacBook Air.

I recall reading that Migration Assistant will work over your wireless network with the MBA.
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post #13 of 56
The Superdrive certainly adds a lot of acreage to the air's footprint, doesn't it? I'm not sure the size of the air+superdrive makes it worth buying over a Macbook Pro, since I use my optical drive every day.

Does it really attach to the right like that (since the cable is so short)? That's even worse since I would be using a Wacom tablet or a mouse. I would have to shove the Superdrive back and away at an awkward angle whenever it was attached. Or I guess since there's only one USB port I would have to buy a hub to get it all woking together. Kind of awkward.

Sexy thing, but looking like its not for me. Rats.
post #14 of 56
pixelcruncher, you bring to light the perfect example of how the MacBook Air does not fit to certain individuals. If you start wanting to have all those accessories along, then you are missing the point.

If you are a user who is burning everyday... then you dont want the Air. This computer is for those who want a second machine that they can carry around without the bulk. Or for those who need to have extreme portability.

The price point suggests not consumer, but professional and is directly inline with the competition. Currently there is no way possible to get this form factor with a built in optical drive. Additionally, such drives are large spenders of battery power in use.

Everyone needs to step back and look at the product for what its intended and not for how it can be adapted for tasks outside its intention.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

The Superdrive certainly adds a lot of acreage to the air's footprint, doesn't it? I'm not sure the size of the air+superdrive makes it worth buying over a Macbook Pro, since I use my optical drive every day.

Does it really attach to the right like that (since the cable is so short)? That's even worse since I would be using a Wacom tablet or a mouse. I would have to shove the Superdrive back and away at an awkward angle whenever it was attached. Or I guess since there's only one USB port I would have to buy a hub to get it all woking together. Kind of awkward.

Sexy thing, but looking like its not for me. Rats.
post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPilya View Post

pixelcruncher, you bring to light the perfect example of how the MacBook Air does not fit to certain individuals. If you start wanting to have all those accessories along, then you are missing the point.

If you are a user who is burning everyday... then you dont want the Air. This computer is for those who want a second machine that they can carry around without the bulk. Or for those who need to have extreme portability.

The price point suggests not consumer, but professional and is directly inline with the competition. Currently there is no way possible to get this form factor with a built in optical drive. Additionally, such drives are large spenders of battery power in use.

Everyone needs to step back and look at the product for what its intended and not for how it can be adapted for tasks outside its intention.

Well said.
I carry my TiBook back and forth to work every day. The extra portability of the MBA appeals to me. However, even though I have an iMac for my video and photo work, I am not sure that I want to reduce my portable's functionality quite so much. Nevertheless, you won't see me complaining about it. I feel like I have a pretty good spread of options with the MBA, MB and MBP to choose from. All I need now is money...


...And I only have about 6 months to go until the iIreland tablet Mac is introduced!
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post #16 of 56
Steves Keynote was awesome, a change from last year when all the attention was on the iPhone.
Reminds me of 2004 and 2003 and 2002!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

However:

In the keynote ? He looks thin, (his face); your impressions:?
post #17 of 56
The MBA is not impressive at all. I need a firewire input for my video projects. But the lack of a built in optical drive is the deal breaker. Even the smallest Sony portables have one. Imagine wanting to watch a DVD on the plane and having to plug in that external. How cumbersome and lame.
post #18 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyRevell View Post

The MBA is not impressive at all. I need a firewire input for my video projects. But the lack of a built in optical drive is the deal breaker. Even the smallest Sony portables have one. Imagine wanting to watch a DVD on the plane and having to plug in that external. How cumbersome and lame.

WHo watches DVDs on planes? You use much less power by ripping them to your HDD first. Most laptops wouldn't even last the typical 2+ hours before their machine would die.

Either way, your desire to use DVD and need for FW makes you not the target consumer for this device. For example, Rolls Royce Phantoms are not for me because I'd rather drive than be driven, but that doesn't mean I can't see what an impressive machine it is.
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post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by redison View Post

Steves Keynote was awesome, a change from last year when all the attention was on the iPhone.
Reminds me of 2004 and 2003 and 2002!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

However:

In the keynote ? He looks thin, (his face); your impressions:?

Maybe he's taking this "thin" thing a little too seriously.

Steve Jobs Air
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post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyRevell View Post

The MBA is not impressive at all. I need a firewire input for my video projects. But the lack of a built in optical drive is the deal breaker. Even the smallest Sony portables have one. Imagine wanting to watch a DVD on the plane and having to plug in that external. How cumbersome and lame.

I know! I can't even play a DVD on my iPod! What's up with that? And as for editing my latest feature film on my iPhone, just don't go there... it sux!
post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyRevell View Post

The MBA is not impressive at all. I need a firewire input for my video projects. But the lack of a built in optical drive is the deal breaker. Even the smallest Sony portables have one. Imagine wanting to watch a DVD on the plane and having to plug in that external. How cumbersome and lame.

Not exactly the first computer I would think of to use for Video editing. It is a good thing it wasn't designed for that.

And my Mac mini makes a horrible server. And even though that MacPro has handles, it is a real hassle to use on the bus.
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

And even though that MacPro has handles, it is a real hassle to use on the bus.

With all the whining going on here today it's good read something funny.
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post #23 of 56
Well Steve Jobs has officially convinced me that even he and Apple can fall to complacency. No BD? A "thin" notebook that lacks the optical drive that nearly all users need/want, no firewire (400 or 800), no 3g connectivity, no ethernet without an external plug, and the only wireless connectivty being Wifi??? Wow Steve, the "coffee" must be getting really good out there in Cupertino. Well while Steve was underwhelming the world today, Apple stock was falling like a stone (with good reason). Step aside Steve as the crowd runs out of the Apple store down the mall toward the Sony store so they can purchase their Vaio Blu-ray laptops with 3G, wifi, firewire and usb, and all in the size of the macbook. Can you say hackinstosh?
post #24 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolefan View Post

Gobbledygook

Thanks for the laugh. You talk like Apple's going to quit making MacBooks and MacBook Pros, and only sell this one. Not every product is for everybody. And good luck with that Vaio...
post #25 of 56
1) If Remote Disc is installed on a PC, can that PC now read Mac formatted discs?
2) Does the external Superdive work on other computers (i.e. MacBook) or just the MacBook Air?
post #26 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

1) If Remote Disc is installed on a PC, can that PC now read Mac formatted discs?
2) Does the external Superdive work on other computers (i.e. MacBook) or just the MacBook Air?

Jobs said in the presentation that PCs will be able to read Mac formatted disc, with the software Apple will provide.

I would assume the Superdrive would work on a PC, but I don't know for sure.
post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Jobs said in the presentation that PCs will be able to read Mac formatted disc, with the software Apple will provide.

Maybe that is within the Remote Disk application only and will not be passed onto the rest to the OS.
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post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

Maybe that is within the Remote Disk application only and will not be passed onto the rest to the OS.

You have a point there. I really don't know, it wasn't explained in detail. I'm not sure if there's that much advantage to be gained, apart from some install DVDs, how many CDs or DVDs are Mac formatted? Unless there's a pressing need, I'd rather stick to the standards, like 9660 and so on.
post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

You have a point there. I really don't know, it wasn't explained in detail. I'm not sure if there's that much advantage to be gained, apart from some install DVDs, how many CDs or DVDs are Mac formatted? Unless there's a pressing need, I'd rather stick to the standards, like 9660 and so on.

My point is, that if the free Apple software provides that functionality, then it eliminates the need for software like MacDrive. It's nice to be able to mount a Mac formatted external drive on a PC.
post #30 of 56
And if I can get a classy looking external SuperDrive for $100 then count me in!!!!

I know that's probably only the "Buy with Air" price, but I could probably go to my local Apple retailer and get them to sell them to me through another customer who didn't want one.
post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

I know! I can't even play a DVD on my iPod! What's up with that? And as for editing my latest feature film on my iPhone, just don't go there... it sux!

Haha, what a weak a$$ analogy. Last time I checked, the MBA was an $1800 notebook computer, not a phone or a music player. The fact that it doesn't have what most notebook computers have is frankly, piss poor. It takes up almost the same amount of space as a much cheaper and more fully featured Macbook in someone's backpack. Hell the low end MBP barely has a larger footprint than the MBA and it runs circles around it in every other way possible for only a couple hundred more. So, I'm curious: who IS the target market for this POS?
post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyRevell View Post

Haha, what a weak a$$ analogy. Last time I checked, the MBA was an $1800 notebook computer, not a phone or a music player. The fact that it doesn't have what most notebook computers have is frankly, piss poor. It takes up almost the same amount of space as a much cheaper and more fully featured Macbook in someone's backpack. Hell the low end MBP barely has a larger footprint than the MBA and it runs circles around it in every other way possible for only a couple hundred more. So, I'm curious: who IS the target market for this POS?

No one is MAKING you buy it, If Apple made the perfect computer for EVERYONE they would only need to make one computer. This computer is not intended to be a replacement for everything. It is strictly a portable. It is NOT a video editing machine; the 1.8" disk wouldn't last long if people did a lot of that on it. It is NOT a desktop replacement. It is NOT about footprint, it is about weight, yes it has a similar footprint to the MacBook, but it weighs 2 pounds less. Not everyone uses Optical disks every day. Heck, I've got 2 drives in my Mac Pro and the last time I put a disk in one of the drives was over 2 months ago. What people need to realize is Apple made this product because there was demand for it, but this machine also exists to show off some new technology. They are relying totally on WiFi and I'm thinking it will prove that you can do that, it has a Multitouch track pad and the ability to reload your OS through a wireless network connection from a PC if you have to. They are doing a lot with only 3 I/O Ports. It is new battery technology and they are meeting the challenge of producing an environmentally friendly computer.

You may not be the target market, but there is a target market, I'm thinking about getting one myself I already have a loaded 8-Core Mac Pro so this machine I feel is a great companion for it when I want to travel very light. It is a good replacement for my trusty ol' 12" PowerBook.
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyRevell View Post

Haha, what a weak a$$ analogy. Last time I checked, the MBA was an $1800 notebook computer, not a phone or a music player. The fact that it doesn't have what most notebook computers have is frankly, piss poor. It takes up almost the same amount of space as a much cheaper and more fully featured Macbook in someone's backpack. Hell the low end MBP barely has a larger footprint than the MBA and it runs circles around it in every other way possible for only a couple hundred more. So, I'm curious: who IS the target market for this POS?

If you have to ask, then you wouldn't understand the answer.
post #34 of 56
I really found it amusing that Steve claimed they just 'innovated' remote drive. I've been building networks with shared optical drives since Mac OS 7.

I may be way out on a limb here - but I'm currently using a 12" iBook as my main portable and I haven't stuck a CD or DVD in there... for as long as I can remember... No SuperDrive for me, thanks.
post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPilya View Post

If you are a user who is burning everyday... then you dont want the Air. This computer is for those who want a second machine that they can carry around without the bulk. Or for those who need to have extreme portability.

Well, it isn't that I burn everyday. But working in a creative industry, I'm constantly handed DVDs and CDs from clients and vendors. You're absolutely right, this is a second machine or a dedicated MS Office computer. I'm sure the writers will take a minute from walking the picket lines to sneak into an Apple store and buy one - seems perfect for them.
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolefan View Post

Well Steve Jobs has officially convinced me that even he and Apple can fall to complacency. No BD?

Wrong market. Apple wants to sell you online movies. Supplying computers with Blu-Ray drives for playback only would go against their general plan.

In addition, supporting Blu-Ray or HD-DVD commercial movie playback requires a significant level of commitment to system-wide hardware and software support for DRM, similar to what Vista offers on the right hardware. I doubt Apple is at all interested in going down that path.

The most likely scenario for BD on the Mac is that Apple will introduce BD-R drives as an optional feature for professional Mac models, aimed at content creators. It will not be designed to play back commercial Blu-Ray discs, only for use as data storage.

I expect this to happen at the NAB trade show in April, along with introduction of an updated Final Cut Studio which will add support for creation of Blu-Ray content.
post #37 of 56
If you're on the east coast that big crash you heard yesterday was my heart breaking
I could live with the slower processor or the 13" instead of the 11" - 12" that I had hoped for BUT add to that an $1800 price tag and it's a no sale for me.
Gorgeous as it is, the Macbook air is something that Ill just drool over and admire from afar.
post #38 of 56
Be great if they could use the remote disc technology to share a DVD over the network. Stick a movie in my G5's optical drive, and play it on my plasma via Apple TV!

Take 2.5 perhaps?
post #39 of 56
\ Meh..

I'm just not a fan of it. To me it's just something else that needs to be carried around rather than being integrated.
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post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolefan View Post

Well Steve Jobs has officially convinced me that even he and Apple can fall to complacency. No BD? A "thin" notebook that lacks the optical drive that nearly all users need/want, no firewire (400 or 800), no 3g connectivity, no ethernet without an external plug, and the only wireless connectivty being Wifi??? Wow Steve, the "coffee" must be getting really good out there in Cupertino. Well while Steve was underwhelming the world today, Apple stock was falling like a stone (with good reason). Step aside Steve as the crowd runs out of the Apple store down the mall toward the Sony store so they can purchase their Vaio Blu-ray laptops with 3G, wifi, firewire and usb, and all in the size of the macbook. Can you say hackinstosh?

nolefan - The entire market was falling like a stone, but since you seem quite good at taking things out of context (including the point of this notebook), you didn't appear to notice that.
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