updated 03:35 pm EDT, Tue June 24, 2008
Blogger hacks MBA_SD
Mobile Technology blogger tnkgrl has posted a workaround for using a MacBook Air SuperDrive with other computers. Previous reports indicated that the internal design of the system only allows it to be recognized by the MacBook Air and that power demands of the Apple-made drive prevent it being used elsewhere: the sole USB port has been boosted past its specifications to supply enough power to use the drive with just the data cable rather than a direct power connection: Tnkgrl, however, says he has successfully circumvented the system: "I have successfully hacked my MBA SuperDrive to work with other Macs and PCs. All you need is a $9 part (shipping extra) and a bit of soldering and you too can do this mod."
Tnkgrl goes on to explain that there is a handshake requirement between the IDE bridge in the SuperDrive that requires replacing the bridge with the above part (requiring removal of the daughterboard) allowing the drive to work with any USB equipped computer, Mac or PC. Photos on the blog show the procedure for the hack.