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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Air - Strategies for dealing with the MacBook Air's Single USB Port


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m021478

 
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I wanted to know how some of the rest of you who also have MacBook Air computers have been dealing with the fact that these machines only have one available USB Port...

The single most inconvenient aspect of this is that, due to the mere 80GB hard drive I have installed in my MacBook Air, I use an external USB hard drive to store my iPhoto Library on...and then when the time comes that I want to copy photos to my iPhoto Library, there's no way to do so because the SD card in my camera has to be plugged into my MacBook Air via USB...

I've found three solutions for dealing with this problem...

1) Copy the photos from the SD card to my MacBook Air's internal drive first, the disconnect the SD card and connect the external hard drive that has the iPhoto library on it, then copy the photos to the iPhoto library from the MacBook Air's internal drive...

2) Use a USB Hub to provide a means of connecting both the external USB Hard Drive as well as the SD card via a USB card reader...The one major problem with this approach is, to the best of my knowledge is, that it would have to be a powered USB Hub (in order to provide the power required to run two external hard drives - SD card & USB HD). This means that my ultra thin, uber-portable MacBook Air is now tethered to a power outlet...

3) The third and final method I've come across that I've most recently been playing with is through using the Eye-Fi Wi-Fi SD Card...This awesome little device, which Time Magazine has just listed as one of it's top 10 gadgets of the year, is truly incredible...you can read more about it here...This device would totally and completely solve my problem if it were not for one major detail...it's not compatible with RAW images (which for obvious reasons, I would much rather be using than JPEG)...This one simple fact is most likely going to wind up being the deal breaker....

And so...here I am...adrift without a simple, practical, realistic, method of dealing with the limitations of my MacBook Air...

Any suggestions anyone can offer as to how I might consider dealing with this situation would be greatly appreciated... Thanks!
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Khris

 
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I use a small 4 port USB hub when I need the use of more than 1. Easiest solution out there.
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m021478

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khris View Post
I use a small 4 port USB hub when I need the use of more than 1. Easiest solution out there.
Can you give me a link to the specific one you use? I have been in the market for a compact 4-port USB hub but always wind up not getting one because of how little room there is near the USB port on the MacBook Air, and all of the cool little plug-and-play type hubs seem like they might not fit and that they would cause the MacBook Air to sit lopsided on a flat surface...
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trapzilla2002

 
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One other solution is kind of expensive, but one I am considering. I am thinking about upgrading my wireless router to the Time Capsule and that way I can have an external hard drive and not have to use another USB port. I have an old Apple AirPort and it is kind of slow and I have to restart it every few days or so. I may pull the trigger and buy it. Maybe i will get the 1TB one using my college student discount. <grin>

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MacMini I added a 2.16Ghz CDC to serves up everything via Apple Sharing and SMB. I use it's two 750GB HDD's for everything: the first for Time Machine and VM backups and the other for files, music, video, etc... I'd like to replace each one with a 1TB RAID when I get the money, but that's a different story. For portabilty, I have an 8GB Sandisc Cruzer for Handbraked stuff I take on trips with me. It also has DSL installed so it's bootable if needed.

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Khris

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m021478 View Post
Can you give me a link to the specific one you use? I have been in the market for a compact 4-port USB hub but always wind up not getting one because of how little room there is near the USB port on the MacBook Air, and all of the cool little plug-and-play type hubs seem like they might not fit and that they would cause the MacBook Air to sit lopsided on a flat surface...
Belkin : USB 2.0 4-Port Ultra Mini Hub

Bought this at Walmart for $15.
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Aptmunich

 
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If you're connecting to an external harddrive, you're already tied down.

Just get a USB hub and connect as many devices as you want. I have about 9 devices hooked up to my Hubs and all it takes to access them all is a single USB cable. Plus you can hide away all the devices, provided your USB cables are long enough.
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trapzilla2002

 
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I just bought a USB hub, but it does not work with the external CD-ROM drive. WTF? Does it use THAT much power just to read a CD?

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Khris

 
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I couldn't get mine to work with a hub either. Never tried a power hub though, that might be what it needs.
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