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Thunderbolt uses active cables. There is a circuit at each end of the cable which handles the physical transmission. This means the cables will always be expensive, although costs will probably come down if thunderbolt becomes mainstream and economies of scale kick in. It's also a reason why thunderbolt probably won't become mainstream.
I like the concept though, I would buy an Apple Thunderbolt display if they weren't as expensive as the MBA. Being able to connect a display, network, all external drives, etc all with one cable is pretty amazing. You would think that other companies would be all over this, as far as throughput goes USB 3.0 is sufficient for external HDD's but I am sure that HDD speeds will catch up to Thunderbolt.
> Well, I'm in IT so most of what I do is remote support and everything else gets stored in the cloud. > > Music - Google Music > Photos - Picasa Either of these are prone to choke the cloud. Full size photos can be especially bothersome on a it-feels-like-I-am-on-dialup-again wireless network.
I am not dependent on either of them for day to day use so that is not really a problem. If my connection is not fast enough to listen to music or view photo's then I have bigger problems since I will not be able to work, all of my work is done remotely.
Ditching network interfaces that actually perform well is one the reasons that anyone may steer far clear of MBA wannbes.
I can't tell if you are making a jab at the MBA for not having ethernet or trying to make a different point. Not having Ethernet is a bit of an issue but they do have an adapter, and that is fine with me. I only need to use a wired connection every once in a while and having a port on the laptop would make the profile much thicker.
Music - Google Music
Photos - Picasa
Docs - a combination of Google Docs and DropBox but those are mostly Excel and Word type documents so they don't take up much space.
Everything else gets stored on my media server at home. The only other thing that really takes up a lot of space is Steam games and I only install the ones I am playing and then delete the others when I am done.
With all of that said I still have 50GB of free space.
I do have a USB 3 external drive with a pair of old 5400RPM drives in a RAID0 that I use for some VM's when I need to do some migration tests but I only use that every so often.