Currently Being ModeratedDec 31, 2010 3:58 PM (in response to aphcom)You can specify different locations for different applications and libraries. Each one can have the same or different locations.
As to whether you want a mac mini or or a time capsule> depends upon whether you want a storage/wifi/backup (time capsule )or a computer/wifi/storage/backup. It really depends upon whether you want just storage/backup or a double-duty second computer.
Message was edited by: Rhyd
Message was edited by: RhydMBA 13" 4/2.13/256 (2010), 2.53 13"MBP, MBA1.6HHD MBP 2.4 SR LED, 8G iPhone, Mac OS X (10.6.4), MBA MBP + PPC Mac notebooks, towers, and desktops now back to System 7.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 31, 2010 4:38 PM (in response to Rhyd)Thanks Rhyd. I understand your point - especially as it relates to a program like Aperture. However, I am concerned that iTunes is not flexible enough to support this functionality. For example, under the 'Time Capsule' scenario, if I maintain my 'main' 400 GB iTunes library on the remote Time Capsule disk, how would I copy a subset of movies to the local library on my MacBook Air? This type of thing is quite easy on Aperture (assuming the technology works), I just drag the project to my local disk.
Also, not too sure about relying on a printer hooked to the powered USB hub.
Bottom line is I do not need two computers. I can meet all of my program/processing needs on this new Air. The challenge is network storage, access and printing. These things are VERY easy if you have a second computer - - I'm trying to determine if it can be done without a second computer.
TomMac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
Currently Being ModeratedJan 7, 2011 9:51 PM (in response to aphcom)Just to share my growing understanding of the situation in case it might provide useful information to others.....
Once again, to summarize, my interest was to explore the potential of using the MBA as my 'only' computer. The major problem was to find a way to address the MBA's relatively small hard drive. The primary concept: find a way to keep my master files (e.g., Aperture and iTunes, other files) on a separate drive, copying only what I wanted to the MBA as required. Further, for convenience, I wanted to find a way to network this separate drive vs. attaching it via USB when at home. Finally, I desired also to establish a means of accessing this separate drive when away from my home network.
An AirPort Disk (via an AirPort Extreme or Time Capsule) provides a solution to this challenge-- with some limitations. What it CAN do is serve as offline storage for many applications/needs which extend to professional applications like Aperture. Moving albums, photo files, etc. is fairly straight-forward, even on network drives. Thus, if you have a MBA with limited hard drive space, you can copy only those things you need to the MBA's internal drive while maintaining the master library(s) on the networked drive (at least that is what I've gathered to this point).
Meeting needs with iTunes is a bit trickier. The challenge is to find a way to maintain a large 'master library' on the networked drive (e.g., the AirPort Disk or Time Capsule) and only copy what is needed to the MBA's local iTunes library. The specific limitation relates to an inability to open more than one iTunes library at a time on a single machine. Note that this is not a problem if you have two Macs on the same network - but it is a challenge with only one Mac. However, I found (at least) one third-party solution that appears to have functionality that overcomes this challenge (e.g., the application permits a user to open more than one iTunes library and manage content). So there appears to be a solution for iTunes!
HOWEVER, under this 'AirPort Disk as my Master Storage' scenario, I could not find a way to preserve Time Machine functionality for what would, in essence, be my primary disk. Time Machine is an application that runs on a single Mac. Under my scenario, this translates to one instance of Time Machine running on my MBA. I could not find a way to configure Time Machine to back up the external 'master' AirPort Disk - Time Machine only permits backups of internal hard drives and drives directly attached to a Mac. Although a number of third-party 'backup' utilities are available for networked drives, they do not appear to function as seamlessly as Time Machine. This is a show-stopper for me. If I regard the external AirPort Disk as my primary storage, I want this disk to be 'Time Machined' in the same seamless manner as my internal hard drive.
Bottom line -- IMO many users will face challenges using an MBA as their 'only' computer, presuming they want to preserve the full functionality of OSX (e.g., Time Machine). My current plan is to purchase a Mac Mini as a server. I will use the drive in the Mini as my 'master' drive, leveraging 'Back to My Mac' and 'Home Sharing' to pull content to my MBA as required -- with Time Machine working separately on my MBA and Mini.Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
Currently Being ModeratedJan 10, 2011 11:14 PM (in response to aphcom)Everything you describe is possible. However, I expect you will find that the performance will truly suffer: storage across the network is never as fast as with direct-attached storage. This is event true for a wired gigabit LAN, let alone WiFi or (worse yet) connecting to cloud-based storage over the internet.
The MBA is a great computer but it's definitely a niche: for people who prioritize small and lightweight above all other features. If you want huge storage, the MBA isn't the right machine for you.
That said, if you want to try to force the MBA into being the right computer for you, my best suggestion is to get a high-quality bus-powered external hard drive. You can attach this drive when you need the extra storage (photos, iTunes) and leave it behind when you prefer to be portable.
Alternately, a 13" MacBook Pro may be a better choice because you've got much greater storage capacity.Mac Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, iPhone, AppleTV, several iPods, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
Currently Being ModeratedJan 11, 2011 10:26 AM (in response to aphcom)You can hold down option key when launching iTunes, it then lets select which itunes library to load. This somewhat offsets the large library on time capsule, small library on Air issue.
There is a really good thread on accessible storage and how to set it up on your Air here :
Currently Being ModeratedApr 20, 2011 12:01 PM (in response to aphcom)
I have just bought, and installed, a new USB drive from Apple. I works without extra power and comes in sizes from 350GB to several tera bytes. It works fine and I have Time Machine on it, sharing the space with a lot of other things.
Hope it helps.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 20, 2011 3:25 PM (in response to aphcom)
Well I just wanted to say I wouldn't suggest using a Macbook Air as a main device. Huge difference between it and say a macbook pro or even a macbook. Just my two cents there.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 20, 2011 5:14 PM (in response to aphcom)
I've been using my MBA as my primary computer for a while now. I've had a DNS-323 NAS on my network for a long time and simply configured it to use AFP as well as SAMBA. (AFP performs MUCH better with the MBA than SAMABA.) I keep my Time Machine backups on it, as well as all my music files and photos. It works very well and performance for me is not bad all. The NAS uses mirrored drives for reliability. I can also back it up to my music server which contains a large hard drive using rsync. My Itunes and Aperture libraries point to the networked locations.