2 Replies Latest reply: Feb 13, 2012 10:40 AM by movie lady
movie lady Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)

i own an older imac with snow leopard and and older ibook.  i was all set to purchase the mac air and realized there is no super drive.  after talking with the store i know i can purchase an ext. one.


my concern is this... i make a lot of photos and want to install photoshop elements.  this would be for editing on site but i would need to store a rather larger amount of photos until i could get them backed up.  how is the performance on the mac air and how many apprx. photos could i store?  5, 000,  1,5000.


my second concern is what happens in 3 years when i need to update the operating system on the mac air?  do i also have to update first on the older imac and use the sharing option?  what if the imac dies and can't be replaced?  how would i update new operating software of the mac air?


lastly, what back up could i use to quickly store the photos,  i am not interested in purchasing time capsule and don't want to store online.  i want to be able to have an ext hard drive such as a usb drive.  (like the "passport model" that is 1tb, not sure if it is mac compatible but something similar).  i need to be able to back up instantly when downloading photos and loan to someone.  are there restrictions for backup?

sorry for all the questions, just so new to me with not having a superdrive.  i wanted to purchase tomorrow... any fast replies?


thank you, movie lady

imac, ibook, airport extreme, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Xandris Level 2 Level 2 (160 points)

    The performance of the Air is OUTSTANDING.  It is the fastest laptop I have ever owned, and I have owned A LOT of laptops.  The number of photos you can store is dependent on the size of the internal hard drive on the computer.  You dont mention which model you are looking at, but the 13 inch Air can be configured with a 256GB flash drive.  This is NOT a very large drive in terms of average storage today.  MOST computers come with 500GB drives, but they are the standard spinning drives, and NOT the super fast, flash based drives that come in the Air. 


    You will need updates MUCH sooner than 3 YEARS on the Air.  They are released pretty regularly.  Lion, the lastest version of OSX, is available in the App Store, which is downloaded to your computer and installed from the hard drive.  There is NO need for a DVD drive to do an OS upgrade.  All future updates will be released in the same manner as Lion was, and all you will have to do is purchase it from the App Store and let it download to your computer.  If you ever have to REINSTALL the OS, then there are options when you boot the Air on ALL new computers that allow you to do a fresh install from the internet.  Although, if your internet connection is slow, this will take quite a while.  There is also the option to either CREATE, or PURCHASE a USB bootable drive to load the OS from.  There is a utility on the Air that allows you to create this disc, and it is a much cheaper option than the drive that Apple sells in their store.


    Lastly, you already answered your own question for the final part.  An external drive is going to be your easiest option.  ANY external drive should be usable with the Air, although you may have to format it to the OSX file system.  I hope this helps out.

  • movie lady Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)

    xandris, thank you so much for the post.  you answered everything throughly and i appreciate that.  i decided to go with the mac pro.  i just couldn't get past having to have the external hard drive.  the air had some appealing things to me but just decided the pro would be best.


    now i am trying to decide about migrating "what" off my old ibook on to it. 


    thank you again for the long post.