Update on the MacBook Air-As-a-Real-Computer

I’ve upgraded my 11″ MacBook Air to a 13″ Air, which has the same resolution as a 15″ MacBook Pro. In addition, it’s doubled my RAM and increased my hard drive capacity to 128 MB.

I have sold my old 11″ and the iMac. I have my Time Machine backup set to backup the Air and Carbon Copy Cloner is backing up external files (music, photo, movie libraries) to the Time Machine backup, too.

So, the current setup looks like this:

1 Apple Cinema Display ($1,000)
1 13″ MacBook Air ($1,200)
1 1 TB external hard drive ($80)
1 1 TB external Time Machine backup drive ($80)

My prior setup was:

1 27″ iMac ($1,700)
1 11″ MacBook Air ($1,000)
1 1 TB external hard drive ($80)
1 1 TB external Time Machine backup drive ($80)

I’ve already reduced the valuation from $2,860 to $2,360. Since I can keep the Cinema Display for a good long while (they don’t exactly change much for years at a time), I stand to save some money on upgrade costs later on by swapping $1,200 Airs instead of $1,700 iMacs. It also reduces maintenance burdens and file synchronization (seriously, stop saying “DROP BOX!” I use Drop Box, it’s great, but it’s also almost full. I have a lot of files, ok?)

I can also get amazing portability and access to most all of my files with the Air.

In the near future, I intend to upgrade the Cinema Display to a Thunderbolt Display (I still have 12 days to return this display to Apple) and plug in a Thunderbolt-capable external hard drive to save most of my larger external files. I won’t even notice a slight bit of lag then on writing files.

Then the current 1 TB drive will serve as a backup and I’ll plug it into my Airport Extreme and then I’ll have my own homemade “cloud drive” with all my files, accessible from anywhere. Neat! I’m also giving BackBlaze a trial for cloud backup of my files, too. (I looked at Carbonite first, but it doesn’t backup files on external hard drives, where most of my files now live).

The Air is amazing. I have managed to get it fired up a time or two that the fans kicked on, but it’s a very quiet, quick machine. I turned to my iMac earlier to fire up Safari and gave up waiting on it to load. I managed to load, search and find what I needed on my Air faster than my iMac could boot Safari.

I’d recommend this setup to anyone who does light computing for sure, and would advise high-end geeks consider it, too.

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Justin has been around the Internet long enough to remember when people started saying “content is king”.

He has worked for some of Indiana’s largest companies, state government, taught college-level courses, and about 1.1M people see his work every year.

You’ll probably see him around Indianapolis on a bicycle.

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