This is topic Theoretical MacBook Air Situation (no optical drive) in forum Ask a Geek! at The Geek Culture Forums!.


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Posted by CoffeeSmack (Member # 3937) on January 16, 2008, 19:22:
 
Ok, so here is a question my brother-in-law had about a possible situation one might encounter with the new MacBook Air (it also happens to be a variation on Moi's earlier question about backing up a game CD):

Suppose you go traveling with said MacBook Air, but for the sake of traveling light (ahem) you don't bring any accessories/peripherals included the external optical drive. How do you play a game that requires the original disc to be in the non-existent optical drive? (My bro-in-law's example was Rise of Nations, FYI)

I know using a virtual drive is how a lot of PC users get around this, whether the reasons are legitimate or dubious. However, I think that since the whole point of the Air is to be as slimmed down as possible, this presents a very real problem for a portion of its potential users.

Is there a virtual drive (or similar) option for Mac users that I'm not aware of?
 
Posted by maximile (Member # 3446) on January 16, 2008, 20:25:
 
I've not come across a game that requires the CD for a long time, but I'm not a big gamer. For the ones that do, you can try using Disk Utility to make a disk image. I think it works about half the time. You could also try looking for a no-CD crack. Or you could put the CD into a nearby computer with wireless and use the shared drive feature.

Remember that the GPU in the MacBook Air isn't suited for gaming - any serious gamer is likely to want to get a MBP instead. I don't think too many people will be too worried about this.
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on January 17, 2008, 03:02:
 
__________________________ Almost from the beginning Apple has held on to the belief that the Mac line is for Business use and then gaming. My biggest worry is what about file corruption and reinstal?

I have not studied the specs on this new machine but what would be wrong with burning a ROM with an OS and running the machine from a port. All files could be kept in a SD type card. Now how fast would that one boot up. Kind of reminds me of the old TI 99/4A
 
Posted by Callipygous (Member # 2071) on January 17, 2008, 04:36:
 
If you have Toast, using it to mount a disk image works in many more instances than Disk Utility. It's not a big deal however, as if games really matter to you, you'll either have a PC or a console.
 
Posted by DuoDoctor (Member # 13721) on January 17, 2008, 18:55:
 
This question popped into my head today as well! One of my pet peeves is an app that requires the use of a physical disk to run. I have Tiger Woods '08 that does this and I understand that making a disk image (using diskutility) does not do the trick. Has any one had any success recently with Cider aided apps? I hate to scratch and ruin this disk.
 
Posted by CoffeeSmack (Member # 3937) on January 17, 2008, 21:01:
 
I'm sorry to say I've tried the disk-to-DMG (disk image) trick, with various programs used to mount the image, but to no success. I believe I tried it once with Sim City 4 - I own it, but I didn't feel like swapping it with the Call of Duty disc which I play most of the time.

I understand that this device isn't geared for gaming, and that not all games/applications require a disc in a drive, and that this situation really only affects a fraction of the people who would own the Air in the first place.

But still: To me it's a very valid situation worth considering. Imagine that all computers no longer came with optical drives. The only reason for this would be because a feasible alternative to the optical drive is available. The Air would be an early adopter of that format. However, for now, how many people are going to get on a plane, for instance, thinking they're all set and then... "Oh, crap, I forgot."

Don't get me wrong, the Air is certainly an interesting device, and I'm not even really criticizing it. It's just, well, different. And new different things always give people some technological indigestion even if it represents innovation.
 
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on January 17, 2008, 21:21:
 
Folks...I'm not one to rejoice about the loss of an optical drive...but you can buy an USB CD-ROM drive for ~$20: (or DVD for ~$60)
http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=206775035

That will surely do anything and everything one would need...including helping to reload a system. Mind you, the best protection against a b0rked machine is to have an external HD and back up with SuperDuper or CCC. The little birdies tell me that Intel Macs can boot to these just the same as prior machines to Firewire. I've seen the Firewire version of this in action, and have been duly impressed!
 
Posted by Callipygous (Member # 2071) on January 18, 2008, 04:37:
 
Ah dman but the Air does not have a FireWire port and as far as I know this does not work over USB. You of course also won't be able to use it in FireWire Target mode. These for me are bigger drawbacks than the lack of an optical drive.
 
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on January 18, 2008, 06:31:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
Ah dman but the Air does not have a FireWire port and as far as I know this does not work over USB. You of course also won't be able to use it in FireWire Target mode. These for me are bigger drawbacks than the lack of an optical drive.

You didn't see the 'little birdies' bit...I've had many people tell me that SuperDuper and/or CCC backups on USB can be booted into on Intel Macs. I have never personally tested it, but one of the individuals who has claimed this /better/ know. If he's wrong, he needs to be smacked around a bit.

I quickly Googled, and didn't find much helpful info...though:
http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2006/09/7664/
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on January 18, 2008, 11:31:
 
________________________ Lets see back in late 1998 when the first iMac came into customers hands. WHAT NO FLOPPY DRIVE!!!!! and the USB ports could not be booted from, there was great knashing of collective teeth. They sold alot of iMacs with out floppy drives and with out being able to boot from a floppy, by the way as it is going it seems that with todays cameras you can only put one photo per floppy. So what did S. Jobs know then that the rest of us did not. I say wait and see. It will either sell or be like the Edsel, Mac TV. or the iMac.

Does any one remember the Lisa?
 
Posted by CoffeeSmack (Member # 3937) on January 18, 2008, 13:30:
 
MoMan, that's funny, because I was one of those iMac customers... Although I didn't lament the lack of a floppy drive; I was buying the iMac (it was one of the graphite DV special editions) as an inexpensive graphic design machine for college. The truth is, except for the relatively small screen size, compared to all the 17" monitors that were on campus, the iMac did a great job. Photoshop 5.5 and Quark 4 ran swimmingly.

I wasn't worried about the floppy drive because everybody in my major used Zip disks, which were a must-have. One hundred megabytes on one disk? Wow!
 
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on January 18, 2008, 14:27:
 
_______________________ This is where the fun begins at one time where I worked the Quality Lab bought a Lisa. They took a production worker with no computer experiance and in two months he was making Power point like presentations, no classes just set him in front of that little hork horse and expressed what management wanted from him, its amazing what can be done if the OS doesn't get in your way.
 
Posted by maximile (Member # 3446) on January 18, 2008, 14:56:
 
All this talk makes me wonder... do you think Apple are giving up on optical media entirely? Do you think that Apple will never put a Blu-Ray drive into the Mac Pros?

Unlikely I guess, but with this and the Apple TV obviously geared towards eliminating a DVD player it makes me wonder.
 
Posted by Dick Moore (Member # 13279) on January 18, 2008, 15:36:
 
Mechanical anythings have always been a problem in computers, so every designer and engineer wants to get rid of as much mechanical stuff as possible. SSDs are rapidly coming on to solve HDD storage problems caused by mechanical glitches, which I believe are the majority of instances. As to optical media, for the urban business executive types who will be the majority of Air buyers, linking via wi-fi or a derivative will be just dandy -- no disks or drives need apply. Doesn't the Air basically go with Italian suits and silk ties? What do those folks care about the issues you all have raised? That's what the trolls in the IT department are for. In fact, the appeal to execs of the Air may lead to a faster general adoption of Intel Macs in the business world...
 
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on January 18, 2008, 15:51:
 
And to offer a bit of humo[u]r:
http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1797523/

[Big Grin] [Big Grin]
 
Posted by password (Member # 12442) on January 19, 2008, 11:18:
 
i dont know if there is a Mac version of this program, but to solve all of your problems Alcohol 120% is a disk image maker, and virtual drive manager all in one. it costs, but i do believe it is worth it.
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on January 20, 2008, 13:08:
 
<sings>
Anything you can do I can do better...
</sings>

Similar size, faster processor, more ports, more pixels, a DVD drive, and best of all, it runs Vista !
 
Posted by password (Member # 12442) on January 20, 2008, 13:46:
 
hey, druid
hate to burst your bubble, but

VISTA IS THE MOST HORRIBLE OPERATING SYSTEM EVER TO COME OUT OF MICROSOFT!!! I WOULD MUCH RATHER USE NT!!!!!

even in all its horrific user incompatibility, vista is still infinitely better than any OS Macintosh has ever produced.
 
Posted by Steen (Member # 170) on January 20, 2008, 16:20:
 
password wrote:
VISTA IS THE MOST HORRIBLE OPERATING SYSTEM EVER TO COME OUT OF MICROSOFT!!! I WOULD MUCH RATHER USE NT!!!!!

*installs Windows 3.1 with the Microsoft Bob interface on password's computer*
 
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on January 20, 2008, 19:51:
 
TFD's post
=================
[20 ft./6 m]
=================
password's head


/whoosh
 
Posted by Callipygous (Member # 2071) on January 21, 2008, 17:24:
 
dman

you made me laugh

[Applause]
 


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