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Macbook Air .... useless machine

Dean Fredericks
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 04, 2004
Posts: 60
Im soooo disapointed with this machine. Sure a 13.3 inch screen is nice, fullsized keys is nice. But really what difference does thinness make to a note book? whats the point - when you loose tons of features.

-- I cant buy this notebook -- Because its un-usable

- No ethernet, so I cant take it into the datacenter where my companies servers are hosted, and plug it in to administer my rack mounted servers. How exactly does not having ethernet make a laptop more usefull???

- No DVD - pretty much all subnotebooks have them - Apple doesnt - lame.

- One USB ??? great, so if i plug my mighty mouse in... thats all my USB's gone - how then to play in my HSDPA Modem?? Or my digi-cam? One USB - How does this make a laptop more usefull???

- NO HSDPA ? How do browse the internet using 3G? Guess I cant - But i can on tons of other notebooks --- How did having no HSDPA Modem make this laptop more usefull???

Basically - You can only use this laptop if you have another PC to support it - Forget about using it if you 1 and only computer at home - because you wont be able to connect to the internet - how? How do you attatch your broadband??? there' no ethernet - great - so I have to put another PC at home, and set up a wireless network, just so the MBA can get into that network to browse the net - STUPID STUPID STUPID

What a USELESS Machine!!

Why exactly was it made so slim??? to make it more usefull? Forget it!!!

I would have really of liked to have seen a 12' MacBook Pro.... full featured, at around 1.5kg or somewhere there... now that would be a usefull, powerfull, portable mac that i could use

What exactly im I supposed to do with the Macbook Air? Stare at it and ooo and arrr that its so thin?

Keep you macbook Air Apple!!


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Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Originally posted by Dean Fredericks:
But really what difference does thinness make to a note book? whats the point - when you loose tons of features.

Some people prefer small size over features they don't use. I, for example, have used the optical drive on my Macbook maybe five times over the past 12 months. If I had had the option of not carrying around that blob of plastic and metal for those 12 months in exchange for plugging in an external drive on the few occasions I needed to, I probably would've went for it. But that's just me.

Originally posted by Dean Fredericks:
- No ethernet, so I cant take it into the datacenter where my companies servers are hosted, and plug it in to administer my rack mounted servers. How exactly does not having ethernet make a laptop more usefull???

Not having ethernet is not the point. Besides, you can buy an adapter to plug into the USB slot.

Originally posted by Dean Fredericks:
- One USB ??? great, so if i plug my mighty mouse in... thats all my USB's gone - how then to play in my HSDPA Modem?? Or my digi-cam? One USB - How does this make a laptop more usefull???

Again, the point is not that having just one USB slot would make it more useful. It's simply a compromise between two features. If you use an external mouse, the MacBook Air apparently isn't the right laptop for you. That, however, doesn't make the product stupid.

I've been waiting for a small form factor laptop from Apple to stand in for the old 12-inch Powerbook. When the Intel stuff came out, there was no 12-inch pro machine so I went for a MacBook. I don't know yet whether I'll stick to the MacBook or go for the MacBook Air but I'm sure a lot of people will be more than happy to make those trade-offs.


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24183
    
  34

Dean --

It's absolutely not intended for use as your primary machine. You're absolutely right in saying that you'd really need access to more substantial systems to support this one.

But if you did a lot of business travel, I think you'd appreciate how valuable a thin, light machine like this would be. Hotels all have wireless these days, and that's the only peripheral you really need.


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Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8805
    
    5
As a seasonal road warrior I have to say that I don't think this machine is "lacking" anything. If I was a millionaire it would be a no-brainer. My consideration at this point is whether to get this machine or the low-end macbook. And 99% of my internal debate focuses on price vs. weight. Nothing else, it's that simple.

I do have one complaint though - I'd love to be able to use that $99 external drive on my current Macs. So, as a bit of a hi-jack, does anyone know of a good 3rd party external DVD burner?


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60804
    
  65

Your topic title should state "useless to me".

You are obviously not its intended audience. That hardly makes it useless for the legions of road warriors who are clamoring for it.

As someone who travels no farther form home than a few miles, this machine holds no interest for me whatsoever. But I can readily recognize its coolness and utility for those to whom it is targeted.


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Bill Shirley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 08, 2007
Posts: 457
Dean,
What does this have to do with Java?
[ January 17, 2008: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]

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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60804
    
  65

To be fair, this forum has long been used to discuss Mac-related issues beyond Java.

That doesn't mean I agree with the post, or even the tone with which it was made -- which merely reflects badly on the poster, but the subject matter is not out of line.
[ January 17, 2008: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Yeah, I'm really disappointed with the Mini Cooper because it's not an 18-wheel semi-truck. Of course, there has never been any indication that the Cooper might be more than a small, stylish mode of transportation, but still... The fact that it can't accommodate a 60,000-ton load of cargo makes it useless.


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60804
    
  65

Dean, please check your private messages.
Dean Fredericks
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 04, 2004
Posts: 60
As for the silly Mini-Copper / 16 wheeler truck thing somebody posted. Its more like... The Standard Mini-Coopers in the market have full features. But the Apple-Cooper has no CD drive ( no listening to music when you drive) - if you really need a CD-Drive, you can buy a specific Apple one, that only works with that model, and strap it to the roof of your new car. It also has no back-seats, no passenger seat (because most users wont miss them since they mainly driver alone), no spare tire (if you get a flat tire, is not user-replaceable - you have to wait for apple to come and replace your tire while you wait on the side of the road (kinda like when your macbook air battery dies)
BUT the Apple Mini-Cooper is the best on the market, it blows the competition away because is bares the Apple Logo - awesome!!
Get the point??
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
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Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3476

http://apcmag.com/7839/macbook_air_top_10_things_wrong_with_it
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60804
    
  65

And yet you will find just as many forum and blog posts praising it as the perfect satellite machine for "road warrior" types. (I'm not going to bother with links -- you all have google) The MacBook Air is not at all suited to me, but I'm not myopic enough to believe that just because I have no use for it that it's useless to everyone. Going by that standard, I could say that ambulances are useless because I don't need one right now -- which is of course completely ludicrous.
[ January 21, 2008: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8805
    
    5
Hmmm... at the risk of yet another public display to ignorance :roll: ...

I read the "10 worst things" article. #5 talks about the lack of wireless broadband. The Apple specs indicate 802.11n, bluetooth 2.1 and EDR wireless. Which seems to match or exceed the MacBook Pros. What am I missing here?

(I gotta say that my MacBook Pro experience is very very positive as far as easily getting fast wireless wherever I go.)
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11404
    
  81

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
The Apple specs indicate 802.11n, bluetooth 2.1 and EDR wireless. Which seems to match or exceed the MacBook Pros. What am I missing here?

I believe that the people who are complaining about the lack of wireless broadband are actually complaining about the lack of HSPDA. In other words, you will not be able to make a broadband connection through the cell-phone (mobile-phone) networks.

Personally I find this a dubious "missing feature". I have not yet been to a place where I might have had HSDPA connectivity and not had 802.11n. However I have been to a few places in the last 6 months where HSDPA was not available but 802.11n was.

If I were still traveling with my laptop on a very frequent basis (as I used to in the 90s), then the size / weight of the Macbook Air would be a primary consideration. My previous laptop weighed in at 15 pounds, so having a 3 pound laptop is a major difference.

As for the other "top 10" deficiencies mentioned in that article :roll:
  • 80GB hard drive:


  • Horses for courses. This would suit me for when I am traveling. It will not suit me when I am working in my regular office or when I am at home, but in both those cases I can plug in an external drive. Just load up the laptop with what I actually need for the trip, then off I go. Using something like JungleDisk I could even swap stuff off the laptop if I so desired (so I could put a months worth of videos onto JungleDisk before I leave home, then copy new ones onto the laptop as I finish watching old episodes (although at 0.5 GB / 1 hour TV show I don't know how many videos I would really need to swap - I am not that addicted to TV while travelling)).

  • Non-expandable memory


  • I wonder if this is a limitation on the motherboard - if it can handle larger amounts of RAM then 3rd party vendors will start offering upgrades as the need arises. 2 GB is plenty for me today, and if I were still a road-warrior, then I would not consider this a show stopper.

  • 64GB flash-memory as an option in place of the hard drive


  • How is this a limitation? It answers the perceived limitation of the provided 80 GB hard drive being too slow.

  • One USB port


  • So how much do you want to have plugged in while traveling? I have heard a lot of people talking about how they need to have their mouse plugged in - I personally prefer to have a wireless mouse for traveling. If I were getting this kit then I would look at a bluetooth mouse. When traveling I usually plug in my camera at various times to take photos off - apart from that I do not use the USB port while traveling.

    In this scenario I would have a hub both at work and at home with all the devices already plugged in. So all I would need to do is connect up the hub to the laptop and I would be ready to go. This is no different to all the docking stations that most laptops have used for more years than I care to remember.

  • No wireless broadband


  • Discussed previously

  • Underpowered, last-gen processor


  • But does it do what it needs to do? What do you need those extra CPU cycles for? While I am sitting here at work I know that both my computers are idle most of the time - it is only while I am doing a clean compilation (delete all compiled code, start from scratch) that my CPU max's out. I suspect that most developers do iterative compilations, in which case this is unlikely to be a big issue. For those doing multimedia editing then this may be an issue - but then they are likely to have their own "favorite" machine for that particular need.

  • No microphone port


  • Umm - bluetooth anyone? Much better quality than an inbuilt microphone and speakers (and much more private). And it also works with my cell-phone. Where's the problem?

  • Non-replaceable battery


  • As with the iPod, I expect 3rd party vendors will start offering upgrades as the need arises. And the batteries will probably be better than the OEM ones. I don't see a problem.

  • Thin but not that thin


  • Where is the deficiency? Yes, there is at least one other laptop that is almost as thin (to the point where I would not be able to spot the difference). But that does not mean that the Macbook Air is worthless. The argument about this being "thin but not that thin" hinged on the other arguments being accepted - and I don't agree with the other reasons.

  • Oh, and no Ethernet port


  • If I am traveling this is unlikely to be a problem. If I am going to stay in a hotel that only has ethernet access then I will know about this beforehand and take a dongle with me. Same as if I am going to a country which has a different plug for power - I will take a converter with me. If I am in the office or at home then I would probably use a cheap dongle ($10 last I checked) permanently connected to the USB hub I already mentioned.

    So, all in all, I don't see any of these supposed 10 flaws stopping me from buying this if I were to need a laptop to travel with. The advantages of weight and size with running OSX definitely make this a contender in my eyes.

    Regards, Andrew


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    Hussein Baghdadi
    clojure forum advocate
    Bartender

    Joined: Nov 08, 2003
    Posts: 3476

    Just to be clear:
    I like Apple to death, I wish if I can own a MacBook Pro machine.
    This one "Air" is totally amazing, perfect fit for "rangers" people.
    marc weber
    Sheriff

    Joined: Aug 31, 2004
    Posts: 11343

    Originally posted by Dean Fredericks:
    As for the silly Mini-Copper / 16 wheeler truck thing somebody posted...

    Hi Dean, that was me. You might notice that the poster's name is listed on the left of the post.
    Henry Wong
    author
    Sheriff

    Joined: Sep 28, 2004
    Posts: 18545
        
      40

    I don't understand why the Macbook Air is being compared to desktops. Or even regular laptops.

    Isn't it Ultra Portable Laptop? And as such, shouldn't it be compared to other Ultra Portable Laptops? I think in that market, it does pretty well, as most ultra portable laptops in the market doesn't have full size keyboards, or full size screens (that are as bright).

    Henry


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    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma
    Marshal

    Joined: Jan 10, 2002
    Posts: 60804
        
      65

    Originally posted by Henry Wong:
    I don't understand why the Macbook Air is being compared to desktops. Or even regular laptops.

    I'm not sure either. To me, it was made obviously clear that this machine is not intended to be anyone's primary system, but a satellite that's easily carried around.

    Yes, it's probably useless for editing the next Hollywood blockbuster using Final Cut Pro. It's also useless for vacuuming your rugs. These are not its intended purposes.
    Pauline McNamara
    Sheriff

    Joined: Jan 19, 2001
    Posts: 4012
        
        6
    Originally posted by Henry Wong:
    Isn't it Ultra Portable Laptop? And as such, shouldn't it be compared to other Ultra Portable Laptops? I think in that market, it does pretty well, as most ultra portable laptops in the market doesn't have full size keyboards, or full size screens (that are as bright).

    Henry



    I just heard about ASUS eeePC the other day. Not a full sized keyboard, nor a full sized screen, but a bunch of other stuff the Air doesn't have, especially in terms of what you can plug into it. Linux pre-installed, and for 300 to 500 dollars! Just to have something to get online and answer emails while on the road - at that price, it could be tempting.
    [ January 27, 2008: Message edited by: Pauline McNamara ]
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
     
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