Early adopter issues: MacBook Air and Migration Assistant



  • Reply 21 of 36

    Would you have guessed that Wireless N is nearly half as fast as Gigabit Ethernet?

    well, if you didn't actually configure the GigE to work at GigE performance, yes, I'd probably guess that 802.11n compared to about half what was probably fast ethernet speeds
  • Reply 22 of 36
    Large drives like the 500 Gig in my iMac need to interphase smartly with the little 80 Gig drive in the Air. .Mac will not Sync documents, old Mail stored, etc. ChronoSync has the idea. But no voice support.
  • Reply 23 of 36
    I just got my Air the other day, and instead of following directions (I hate directions), I did it my own way. I am migrating from and iBook, that I backup with Time Machine wirelessly over the network to a USB drive plugged into a Mac Mini that acts as a hub for my home, with several drives attached.

    When I started up the Air for the first time, I didn't give it my account name that I intended to use, I made up a different one, and told it I wasn't migrating any data. Once it was up and running, and on the network, I mounted the backup drive over the network using 'connect as' with my real account name so I had full access to the data. I did this just using normal network sharing, and haven't even loaded the CD/DVD sharing software yet. Once it was mounted, I then opened the Migration Assistant, and told it I wanted to migrate from a Time Machine backup. It saw the mounted backup drive and once selected, showed my account and backup from the iBook. I told it to restore Data only (not the applications, I feel better with those freshly installed). I sat it down to let it transfer, and used the time to also let the battery charge, while I did other things. It only took about an hour and a half, even though at first start up it estimated 3 + hours.

    When it was done, I rebooted and like magic, everything was there. I then let it do a software update, and all the built in apps worked fine. My iTunes saw my music, my iPhoto saw my pictures, Mail imported all my mail, etc. Then I just loaded the extra apps and they all saw their associated data too.

    Then I went into accounts and delete the bogus account I did the install under.
  • Reply 24 of 36
    I would love if Apple had figured out how to get a FireWire port on the MBA... but frankly I don't consider any of this to be real issues for early adopters (being one). First, the Migration Assistants biggest issue is that it isn't selective. You can choose to migrate just a few Apps and some data... which is what you really need for the MBA. It isn't a computer you are really going to totally migrate too. Some may... but I imagine most people are going to use it like myself as their take everywhere Mac... while they leave other Macs at open. The nature of the storage on it, doesn't match up well with the entire notion of the Migration Assistant as currently designed. What is really needed is some form of iSynch improvements that make it easy to keep the MBA in synch with them mother ship.

    Everyone keeps throwing darts at this machine... but from my perspective most miss the point of what this machine is. I have owned several small ultraportables. The nature of my job means I need to have a computer nearly with me always. They all sucked!!!! The screens were so small that it was a strain to use them. The keyboards so cramped it was awful. They might have had more ports some and disk drives... but they were not Macs and I am a Mac user. So far, I find the MBA does a very good job of doing what it seems to be designed for for us early adopters. A well built, uncompromising on the actual features one needs to live with a computer vs. the stuff that someone who really wants to just take it all with them needs. Yeah... I wish it was a 8-core, 3.2 Ghz, 1TB, fully loaded beast... and still in the same footprint. But knowing that isn't possible... I am struggling to find my first early adopter suprise.

    I guess if anything I have found the multitouch more hype than actually useful. Battery life works in the 4Hr range for my use pattern, I have been hooking to my Spring EVDO network without a hitch through my cell, the display is a joy... might even be too bright. The keyboard is great... I love the fact it is backlit for working at night. It fits in my camera bag... which wasn't even built for a laptop. And how small it is, is not an illusion... those curves do make it fint in places you would never expect. I am one very very very happy early adopter.
  • Reply 25 of 36
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

    After holding one of the MBAs in the store, I must say I now think it will be a successful seller. I never minded losing the optical drive, but GigE was a disappointment for me. I can live without firewire, but I wish they had at least provided a second USB port so 2.5" USB drives can work without an external power brick.

    They key for it being effective for people with two computers is to have Unison on both machines to minimize the network traffic required to move and copy files.

    The air will power an external 2.5" hd via the single USB port. It has more juice to power the superdrive.
  • Reply 26 of 36
    The problem with the Air is not the 1 time start up transfer. It is the Syncing during the year. The Air needs a iPhone style sync. Or ChronoSync. Or a .Mac that can do iTunes, iPhoto, Documents, etc.
  • Reply 27 of 36
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Originally Posted by roehlstation

    The Firewire Chipset is HUGE compared to USB 2.0 that is why they dropped it from the iPod.

    Originally Posted by S10

    No, it is not possible.. the "thingle" is not high enough for FireWire and would also need to be longer.. I suspect there is no space available inside.

    I'm sorry but I don't buy this at all. I think both of you are overstating your case. Yes, the firewire chipset is bigger than USB and yes, the port is bigger and longer, but we are talking milimetres here and there.

    The decision to drop FireWire from the iPod (which led to this "common wisdom" from Ars about the size of the chipset), is, in other quarters assigned to market conditions and the fact that USB 2.0 at that time had almost equal characteristics to FireWire in terms of transfer speeds. Add to that, the fact that an iPod never needed to have any intelligence at it's end of the cable, and USB became a cheaper and more widely compatible option.

    I know the Air is tight inside, I have seen all the pictures and tear-downs. I still am not convinced that a few milimetres here and there were not available for FireWire considering the great disadvantage it's absence creates.

    Given the Migration Assistant problems, I think FireWire should have been a part of the design from the start and the Air should not have been released until a way was found to include it. I have yet to hear a good argument to the contrary.
  • Reply 28 of 36
    I don't plan to migrate; I will install the few apps I need directly from the net.

    No FW is fine with me.
  • Reply 29 of 36
    ? The MBA comes with a lot of interesting innovations. But from my perspective falls just short. I believe they should have put an ExpressCard slot and sold modules for it. That would cover a much larger array of possible needs, like FireWire, eSata, more USB, etc... I think it would be a much tougher competitor to beat with that, which kinda makes up for no CD drive like it's thicker rivals have.

    ? All that at a price of 1,500 USD would probable be unbeatable.
  • Reply 30 of 36
    With respect the Migration Assistant, after having problems getting my router to allow the transfer and see both computers, I was told that Migration Assistant could not import identities that are encrypted with FileVault!

    Yeah, that's right. Apple that has created these encrypted disk images called FileVault does not give this new Migration Assistant the ability to decrypt with a password the vault to copy settings. So, I had to do everything manually. FileVault would not assist me. Poor planning Apple.

    There's also one non migration assistant early adopter penalty I've discovered. The ambient light sensor, in the right situations (or wrong situations) varies wildly causing the screen to brighten and dim back and forth, up and down in a way that makes the screen basically unusable. I've only experienced one of these situations, but it was not cool.
  • Reply 31 of 36
    Originally Posted by wilco View Post

    Apple should make an ad about that.

    You mean it's not obvious?

    This is a non-story.
  • Reply 32 of 36
    Users might only perform a migration once, but will likely need to install software regularly, and may occasionally need to reinstall their system from the Mac OS X DVD. This process also begs for the fastest possible method. Ideally, users will spring for the USB SuperDrive, a $99 option that Apple suggests users don't actually need. The next segment on early adopter issues looks at the Mac Book Air's lack of an optical drive and the suitability of the workarounds Apple provides. [/QUOTE]

    Granted, not everyone will be moving over from a Leopard machine, but the migrate from Time Machine option worked very well and very fast. I moved my apps and data from my MacBook in about 30 minutes via a USB connection to the TM drive.

    I'm seriously looking forward to having the ability to use TM over a network reliably for my backups whenever I'm on my home network, but until then I plug in the TM drive's USB connection when I'm at my desk and a few minutes later the MBA is backed up.....

    The MBA isn't for everyone but for someone who travels quite a bit to do presentations and run my optometric practice, its just the right fit.

  • Reply 33 of 36
    junkiejunkie Posts: 122member
    Seems pretty simple to use a USB drive. Either use TM or MA and you are set.

    But Apple should not be promoting wireless migration if it does not work.
  • Reply 34 of 36
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

    I don't plan to migrate; I will install the few apps I need directly from the net.

    No FW is fine with me.

    Same here.

    Does anyone realize that you can always just copy the image and copy it to the Air over a network or a usb key? I did that (both network and usb key). It works just like using the CD/DVD, the Air behaves the same way because it mounts the image. Optical drive is completely obsolete for me!

    I wouldn't be surprised if new software was sold on USB keys in the future. Or if there was a "software vending machine" connected to the net, where you purchase your software, stick in a USB key (or purchase a new one for an additional $5-10) and your good to go!
  • Reply 35 of 36
    Originally Posted by junkie View Post

    Seems pretty simple to use a USB drive. Either use TM or MA and you are set.

    But Apple should not be promoting wireless migration if it does not work.

    I agree. Apple should not have over-promised on wireless migration. It is clunky and slow if you don't have 802.11N. But a non-issue in terms of file transfers.

    Time Capsule should have been shipped before the MBA -- right now, it is slated to ship at the end of Feb. If TC works as promised, then many these concerns should be non-issues. I am surprised that it did not ship before.
  • Reply 36 of 36
    I have a Mini that I use as a hub for attaching lots of drive space which hosts all my media and backup drive images. I have the Mini attached to my Airport Extreme via gigabit ethernet. Even though TM doesn't currently allow backups to drives attached to the router, or NAS drives, it does allow you to backup over the network to any drive physically attached via usb to any Mac on the network. I have used TM to backup my iBook over wifi to the Mini's USB drive since the feature became available through Leopard with no issues. It's reliable, even over the iBooks slower G speeds, and the incrementals happen in the background and I don't even notice a slow down. Now that I have my Air, I also have it doing it's TM backup to the Mini's usb drive over wifi. I don't see why people think Time Capsule will be so much better.
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