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Apple: We need front mounted USB and Firewire!

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
How do expect to be the digital hub when its just hard to hook up a device?


every desktop mac should have a USB and firewire port mounted on the front and the powerbook should have at least 1 usb on the side somewhere.

powermac especially. kinda hard to use the ipod if you have a tower under a desk or something.
post #2 of 62
applenut,
we're totally on the same wavelength ... i just posted a similar comment on the '3 things you want to change to the apple lineup' thread ... Maybe they'll listen and come up with something more elegant than what we have now in the PeeCee world ... which is usually either "hide the ports behind an ugly panel" or "leave the ports exposed". not sure i like either, but front mount ports would be an improvement.

What i do with my cube is, i have a dr. bott hub plugged into my keyboard, and i leave a firewire cord dangling for my video camera ... not the best solution, but it works
post #3 of 62
[quote]Originally posted by applenut:
<strong>kinda hard to use the ipod if you have a tower under a desk or something.</strong><hr></blockquote>What?? :eek: How dare you blaspheme Apple in such a vulgar way! Jobs 3:27 clearly proclaims: [quote]That all Macs be exposed gloriously, shining uncloaked high atop the pillarous altars of Apple, so to reveal the sovereignty that is Apple to thine heathen PC bretheren.<hr></blockquote>Thus, bring out your Macintosh from beneath the shawdows of your berth! We followers of the almighty Apple have nothing to hide!

:cool:
post #4 of 62
what about a front mounted headphone jack too for audio nuts!!
post #5 of 62
Sucks that adding ports to the front makes a machine so ugly. For real tho. Compaq's been doing it, and covering them up with a slide-away door for years. Blech.
post #6 of 62
[quote]Originally posted by macXusr:
<strong>what about a front mounted headphone jack too for audio nuts!!</strong><hr></blockquote>
Ditto that. I've memorized the "feel" of what and where the ports are in the back of my Mac just from swapping between speakers and headphones.
post #7 of 62
I'm surprised that computer companies still don't have this as standard, it just makes sense for devices that are swapped in and out. Permanent deviced connected up front is fugly, but the iPod screams for a convenient FW port.

Apple, with its beaucoup PrettyCase budget can surely come up with an aesthetically pleasing way of making that happen.

(As a personal gripe, I don't think Dell could make it any more difficult to hook things up without chainin attack dogs to the back of the system. grrrr

Dell designer: "Let's see, most people are right handed and it is easier to reach the top back rather than the bottom back, so on our desktops let's put all the ports on the bottom left, and make sure that the USB ports are blocked by the video cord. . .")

[ 11-17-2001: Message edited by: groverat ]</p>
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post #8 of 62
Towers like women.. belong under the desk
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post #9 of 62
Me too!

Whats worse is that I have Yikes! G4, Dual 450 G4, and a Digital Audio 466 G4 - they have all got different positioned FireWire ports!!

AND, the most recent G4 has squashed the ports between the USB and Ethernet ports making them even worst to fumble. Progress, what progress?

Front FireWire ports would make my life much easier.
post #10 of 62
The whole concept of connectivity is also what puzzles me. It definitely is a battle between pure form and the ability to connect with wires.

iMac wins because in its original incarnation you can use it in its pure form and be quite happy to use it without the need to add that many bits to it.

The Cube fell down somewhat because it seemed awkward to connect to the back. It was definitely a computer which when was put in its place - you didnt really want to interfere with it again, I certainly would not want to disturb its highfalutin majesty!

My G3 seems to just has a mass of stuff coming out the back of it!!!

I think the Hub version of computing is affecting alot of us now - so how can we do this without causing a mess and obscuring the pure forms of the art-like computer?

Solution 1

Make every thing a connected thing. The object looks like it should be connected!!

Solution 2

Create an Annex into which all the connections can be made.

This may be realised at a point where we have very little contact with the computer and the connection experience becomes its own objective - what I mean is that the computer can be philosophically split into 2 parts:

A The part that works and can exist anywhere (above and below a desk or in a rack even).

B The part you connect to: the annex Encourages the New Joy of Computing which is the ability to connect and feed/transfer various material.

The Annex therefore is a connection machine not in the parallel computing sense but in the physical sense - to compute is to connect. I think this is visualised well in the Rio iBook Ad, where its not about the iBook per se but how you connect.

What will the Annex look like?
  • It could just be like the iBook - a plush line of connectors on a solid base.
  • It could be on your keyboard or working input device.
  • It could be visually like an AirPort Base station
  • Or the monitor continues to evolve and take on more responsibility.

It might be also worth considering the tactile nature of making a physical connection... like do you want to be able to move the thing your connecting to and how does it feel? Is it rubberised to give you some purchase or grip?

It would be interesting to see any ideas as renderings or drawings...

userone

[ 11-17-2001: Message edited by: userone ]</p>
post #11 of 62
How 'bout a cheap live drive type thingy for the rather useless zip-bay???
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post #12 of 62
My iMac IS way more convenient with the ports on the side. Probably Powerbook/iBook owners think the same. How about ports on the side, or firewire ports incuded on the display?
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post #13 of 62
Hey, do they PowerMacs still have those internal firewire ports? You could drill a hole in the front of the case and run an extension lead from it to the hole and then work out some way to make a face plate. Probably look like hell, though.....
post #14 of 62
[quote]Originally posted by userone:
<strong>The whole concept of connectivity is also what puzzles me. It definitely is a battle between pure form and the ability to connect with wires...
... The Cube fell down somewhat because it seemed awkward to connect to the back. It was definitely a computer which when was put in its place - you didnt really want to interfere with it again, I certainly would not want to disturb its highfalutin majesty!...

Solution 1

Make every thing a connected thing. The object looks like it should be connected!!

Solution 2

Create an Annex into which all the connections can be made.
A The part that works and can exist anywhere (above and below a desk or in a rack even).
What will the Annex look like?[list][*]It could just be like the iBook - a plush line of connectors on a solid base.[*]It could be on your keyboard or working input device.[*]It could be visually like an AirPort Base station[*]Or the monitor continues to evolve and take on more responsibility.

... It would be interesting to see any ideas as renderings or drawings...

userone

[ 11-17-2001: Message edited by: userone ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Most Interesting userone.

On a personal note, my Cube sits as Art on my desk, positioned directly over a 2 inch "knock out" hole put there to run wires. All connections, save video, go right down that hole in a nice bundle. I have a Sony CD burner (on a shelf above my monitor) and a Sony DV Cam (doing double duty as a Web Cam) firewired to the Cube. USB to my Pro speakers and to a 7 port USB hub conveniently located, yet out of sight under my desk.

In a sense my Cube will become my "Annex" when I get a TiBook, as it will become my broadband firewall and file/web server. I'll use my TiBook from anywhere on my property - wirelessly.
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post #15 of 62
[quote]Originally posted by applenut:
<strong>How do expect to be the digital hub when its just hard to hook up a device?</strong><hr></blockquote>
I couldn't agree more, applenut. I have a feeling we'll get revised Apple displays in January which will include a handful of easily accessible USB and FireWire ports.

I would assume a revised iMac would also be made a bit more suitable for it's role as a "digital hub".
[quote]Sucks that adding ports to the front makes a machine so ugly.<hr></blockquote>
I don't know, I like the open ports on the iBook. It makes it look, um, kind of techie and gadgety. It's certainly prettier than a strip of serial, parallel and VGA ports.
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post #16 of 62
Why not just buy a hub? More ports. Easy access. Simple.
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post #17 of 62
[quote]Originally posted by wormboy:
<strong>Why not just buy a hub? More ports. Easy access. Simple.</strong><hr></blockquote>
I think applenut's point is that if Apple is selling it's hardware as a "digital hub" for your USB and FireWire devices, it would be kind of sensible for them to provide a clutch of easy to find ports.
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post #18 of 62
Whaddya think about this - aren't those all ports on the front? This machine is a digital hub.
post #19 of 62
It is true, my G4 has an internal FireWire port...i am thinking of getting an internal FireWire HD, considrun i dont want to upgrade to another card (SCSI or ATA/100)

this birds gotta fly <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />
post #20 of 62
What IS the point of that internal FW port?

I think instead of having them on the very front of the machine, how about the side or bottom somehow? I'm thinking the side, because it's not hard to plug in and it's not as ugly either.

Although, someone else had a point, they should just be on Apple's displays. Yeah. That's a good idea.
post #21 of 62
You got me thinking about the ports on the front and I remebered I found a G5 protype pic on hotline about 1-2 years ago. Not that I think this will ever see the light of day and I'm not saying look for this but notice the front ports-

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post #22 of 62
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:

<strong>Whaddya think about this - aren't those all ports on the front? This machine is a digital hub.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

This is where Apple should be. Sony clearly has Apple beat in the Digital Hub arena. Take a <a href="http://www.sony.co.jp/sd/products/Consumer/PCOM/PCV-MXS1L5/parts.html" target="_blank">look</a> at this Sony Vaio. I want one and I hate Windows.

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post #23 of 62
Its available in the US as well. Take a <a href="http://www.sonystyle.com/vaio/mx/index.shtml" target="_blank">look</a> at it. It has everything. It even has a TV tuner with Tivo functionality. It records video in MPEG-2 and you can save it to the DVD-R/RW drive if you want. You also get MiniDisc and Memory Stick slots and more imputs/outputs than you can imagine. Dammit Apple, why can't you come out with something like this? This is the perfect Digital Hub computer, except for that Windows XP thing...

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post #24 of 62
I've just took a look at that Sony. Apple R&D better had be looking at that machine very hard . That IS the type of machine the G5 [b]needs[b/] to beat, if Apple wants to become no1 withe the 'Digital Hub' idea.

Front mounted USB/FireWire ports are a must, my USB camera isn't recognized by the capture app unless it's plugged in to the USB on the back. The idea on that mockup above is a good one, use the cool 'soft eject' tec that is used on tape decks and it's a winner.

[ 11-17-2001: Message edited by: Mediaman ]</p>
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post #25 of 62
That Sony is amazing. I wish Apple would make something like it.

I also agree that Apple either need USB and FireWire in front or on the side. It would make life easier with things like the iPod and other MP3 players and Digital Cameras.
post #26 of 62
I agree, Apple needs to put some ports on the front, at least on the towers. I know it's not the best-looking thing in the world, but this is Apple, so I'd think they could find a way to make it work and make it look good.
post #27 of 62
Okay, so the appeal of this Sony is kinda lost on me, but we may be forgetting something pretty important....cables.

All our periphs have cables..some have two each, and they're pretty much all oriented the same as our Macs; business end up front, cables come out the back. So if I hook my scanner or CD-RW to a front or side port, then I'm left with cables that are bunching up along side my Mac.

Sad to say it but having cables come out the back of the Mac is the best thing for hiding them, since they can be run neatly off the back of your workstation. The break-out box that userone described sounds like it has real potential, but I doubt we'll see it anytime soon since Apple is all for combining cables instead of adding to them (think ADC).

Still I agree with applenut about the need for easier access, but if we're gonna have side-mounted ports, I think they have to be at least near the back. And maybe they don't have to be ugly. I think a nice wide groove could make a good design element while concealing some I/O ports. I did a quickie below, based on an old (but still very cool) mock-up from <a href="http://www.applele.com" target="_blank">Applele</a>. I know, it's not really to scale or anything, but you get the idea.


Anyway, glad to see the boards are back.
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post #28 of 62
The only ports on the frot of my iMac are two headphone polrts hateit I want USB in front!
post #29 of 62
[quote]Originally posted by Mediaman:
I've just took a look at that Sony. Apple R&D better had be looking at that machine very hard. That IS the type of machine the G5 needs to beat, if Apple wants to become no1 withe the 'Digital Hub' idea.<hr></blockquote>

So True Mediaman. Apple had better soon include the features that Sony put in this MV series. Sony even uses the term "Digital Lifestyle" with these new machines. Without incorporating TV and FM tuner capabilities into the platform, not to mention TiVo capabilities, Apple will never be a true "Digital Hub". Apple needs to walk their own talk.

[ 11-17-2001: Message edited by: Aphelion ]</p>
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post #30 of 62
Ummm....did Apple ever say it wants its desktops to be a digital hub? I mean, I know it is marketing the iBook with the whole 'digital hub' thing...but I thought the pro-line of desktops were for...well..pros. Do pros really need Tivo?
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post #31 of 62
[quote]Originally posted by Michael Grey:
[QB]All our periphs have cables..some have two each, and they're pretty much all oriented the same as our Macs; business end up front, cables come out the back. So if I hook my scanner or CD-RW to a front or side port, then I'm left with cables that are bunching up along side my Mac.<hr></blockquote>But the digital hub concept really applies to more temporarily connected devices such as cameras, camcorders, mp3 players, and the like. Not as much CD-RW drives and scanners. But I agree that there should be some in the back, too, for those types of devices.

I hope wireless has a bigger role in the future, so we won't need those ports at all! Maybe just an out-of-the-way Airport basestation.
post #32 of 62
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Michael Grey:
<strong>Okay, so the appeal of this Sony is kinda lost on me, but we may be forgetting something pretty important....cables.

All our periphs have cables..some have two each, and they're pretty much all oriented the same as our Macs; business end up front, cables come out the back. So if I hook my scanner or CD-RW to a front or side port, then I'm left with cables that are bunching up along side my Mac.

Sad to say it but having cables come out the back of the Mac is the best thing for hiding them, since they can be run neatly off the back of your workstation. The break-out box that userone described sounds like it has real potential, but I doubt we'll see it anytime soon since Apple is all for combining cables instead of adding to them (think ADC).

Still I agree with applenut about the need for easier access, but if we're gonna have side-mounted ports, I think they have to be at least near the back. And maybe they don't have to be ugly. I think a nice wide groove could make a good design element while concealing some I/O ports. I did a quickie below, based on an old (but still very cool) mock-up from <a href="http://www.applele.com" target="_blank">Applele</a>. I know, it's not really to scale or anything, but you get the idea.


Anyway, glad to see the boards are back.</strong><hr></blockquote>


perhaps you missed the point. the front accessable ports are not for devices that will be stationary or never unplugged like a scanner or printer. leave the back ports for that the front ones are for a digital camera or camcorder or iPod which is constantly unplugged and moved.

[quote] posted 11-17-2001 07:09 PM Â*Â*Â* Â*Â* Â* Â* Â* Â*Â*
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ummm....did Apple ever say it wants its desktops to be a digital hub? I mean, I know it is marketing the iBook with the whole 'digital hub' thing...but I thought the pro-line of desktops were for...well..pros. Do pros really need Tivo? <hr></blockquote>

1.) Apple means for the hub to be every product. or is iDVD not part of the hub now? or iTunes? or iMovie? they al ship on the pro products
2.) the PowerMac G4 is NOT a "pro product" even though it may be called one and priced like one. Example: look at me. I'm far from a pro user. But anything less than a PowerMac or Powerbook would not be suitable for me. And to say a "pro user" would not want added multimedia features such as Tivo is wrong.
post #33 of 62
Its an example of how Apple is falling behind. Look at what all you get with that Sony Vaio MX for the same price as a PowerMac G4. I mean, take a long hard look at the specs for this Sony. I think a lot of people would like the idea of Tivo functionality in their computer, especially when it doesn't require a service to do so. You also get digital optical in/out with Dolby Digital support. I believe you can even listen to the radio, cd, mp3 and minidisc all with the computer off. Not sure. This could be the perfect media computer, the perfect digital hub.

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post #34 of 62
[quote]Originally posted by apple_otaku:
<strong>Its an example of how Apple is falling behind. Look at what all you get with that Sony Vaio MX for the same price as a PowerMac G4. I mean, take a long hard look at the specs for this Sony. I think a lot of people would like the idea of Tivo functionality in their computer, especially when it doesn't require a service to do so. You also get digital optical in/out with Dolby Digital support. I believe you can even listen to the radio, cd, mp3 and minidisc all with the computer off. Not sure. This could be the perfect media computer, the perfect digital hub.

apple_otaku</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, not
perfect because it runs windows
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post #35 of 62
True enough. Here is a picture:




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[ 11-17-2001: Message edited by: apple_otaku ]</p>
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post #36 of 62
A couple close-up pictures:






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[ 11-17-2001: Message edited by: apple_otaku ]</p>
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post #37 of 62
god, that's hideous.
post #38 of 62
god, that's hideous.
post #39 of 62
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Jonathan:
<strong>god, that's hideous.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I think it looks great.

a bit better than the useless and boring front on current Apple towers
post #40 of 62
that thing could be so much better designed and proivide the same utility.
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