Recycled Computing

2010 MacBook Air Thoughts: Third Time's a Charm

- 2010.11.10

I'm feeling a little better about the MacBook Air.

I recently ran across Toshiba Rolls Out Blade X-gale SSD Modules, Makes MacBook Air StorageLook a Little Less Proprietary on Engadget. It looks like othermanufacturers will be producing SSD drives to fit into the Macbook Air,so the possibility of larger (than 128 GB drives) is possible, althoughToshiba's 256 GB would seem to be too tall.*

I want to clear up some poor communication on my part, before myinbox suffers another massive assault. I do want a new MacBook Air.After all, I own a 12" Powerbook G4laptop.

I like small computers and really don't have the need to lug aroundthe equivalent of a desktop in a laptop. I like to write, surf the Web,watch a movie, and listen to music.

The fact that the MacBook Air has a camera and would allow me tovideo chat with my daughter is even cooler. Sort of coolnesssquared.

I know that Apple is moving towards portable computing big time. AndI recognize the logic in making sealed units that consumers shouldn'topen. But excuse me if I'm a little nostalgic for the Pismos of the past.

I Am a Tinkerer

One of my readers accused me of being a "tinkerer". You're right. Iam a tinkerer.

When the parking brake lever on my wife's 2006 Saab 9-3 "refused theoffice" and would not release, I was able to disconnect the cable tothe rear wheels and drive it to the dealership. Without my tinkering, Iwould have an immobile auto and a towing fee.

Sometimes a minimum mechanical ability is useful.

External FireWire and USB enclosures for notebook drivesBut let's switch to something lesscontroversial and more in the meme of "Recycled Computers". What do youdo with those tiny hard drives that you take out of the elderlycomputers that you bring back to life? By tiny, I mean I had a 13 GBdrive from my Pismo and a 10 GB drive from an Clamshell iBook.

Cripes, my iPod touch has a 16 GB capacity!

I went out and bought the cheapest IDE hard drive encloses I couldfind. I bought a FireWire enclosure for my PowerPC Macs (I partitionedit and have both Mac OS X10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopardinstalled on it, so I can boot from either) and a USB 2.0 enclosure formy children's Intel-based Macbooks.

If anything goes wrong with any of my machines, I can boot from anexternal drive and try to tinker with the computer. And now I think I'mgoing to have to buy a piece of software to defrag Mac drives.... LEM

* Editor's note: Also see First SSD Upgrade Kits for New MacBook AirBoast 30% Performance Increase - 256 GB is possible, althoughPhotoFast does not yet appear to have a distributor. dk

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