Yay or nay: Firewire

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This is a bit of a geeky one to start a new weekly series: Yay or Nay in which we pick a tech product or issue and ask you to vote and comment on whether it’s hot or not.

Still, I’m sure there are some of you who care how your devices connect together, so here we go…

Firewire: Yay or Nay?

Here’s some points to consider:

  1. Firewire (IEEE 1394) was developed by Apple Computer in the early 1990s as a high-speed replacement for SCSI.
  2. Sony implemented their own version (surprise surprise) called i-Link.
  3. Firewire is often used to connect high-speed devices like video cameras and hard drives to PCs.
  4. Firewire is generally faster than USB (even FW400 compared to USB2) due to its peer-to-peer architecture.
  5. Apple dropped Firewire support on some of its more recent products including iPods and new notebook computers.
  6. Microsoft has announced that it will support 1394b in its next-generation Vista operating system.
  7. Digital TVs, cable set top boxes, and DVD recorders are all driving 1394a growth in the consumer electronics market, according to recent research, and may spur 1394 as a home networking solution.

So… Firewire: Yay or nay?

Do you use FW and love it? Should it just lay down and die quietly in favour of USB? Or is it due a new lease of life.

Andy Merrett

4 comments

  • Apple has not dropped FireWire from ANY of its computer products. It merely ommitted the FW800 port from the lower-end MacBook Pro, providing just a FW400 port.

  • Thanks Seb – I fell for the hearsay as I thought FW had disappeared from some of the machines. I personally love Firewire so am pleased it’s still around.

  • Apple still support FireWire across their notebook line – both MacBook and MacBook Pro have FW400, and the 17″ MacBook Pro also has a FW800 port…

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