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Jobs responds to outrage over MacBook's missing FireWire - Page 29

post #1121 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

… QoS is usually not needed on a home network.

I'm not sure what you are getting since Ethernet has long been used for tried and true streaming and downloading and FW just doesn't have the distance and inexpensive setup as FW.

Yes, I can understand why you can't see where I'm getting at. This is now out of context and off-topic.

The original post was about firewire as a technology. I gave HANA as an example as they had rejected many technologies in favour of Firewire. I was just supporting my point of view with some real world information. Things have gone off course form there.

The case you bring up is a valid case. Your parents do just fine because they have a computer, resources and administer the technology themselves. That's fine.

But as a technology HANA has a whole set of other considerations that have to be met. First off there won't even be a computer (in the sense of mac or pc) in the setup. As a technology FW offers possibilities that help resolve those considerations. In that context QoS is essential. HDMI and ethernet were ruled out.

It's worth repeating that I don't even have an strong opinion one way or the other on HANA. I'd love to see something like that succeed as it would give Firewire another great use but I only mentioned HANA as an example of firewire as a technology. .
post #1122 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I hopw we'll see some movement there. Apple does have a habit of not letting us in though, as we know.

Possibly any update we may see in the Mini will give us an idea. If they remove FW from there as well, the it's obviously goodby.

I would imagine the new Mac Pro will retain it, and the updated iMacs would also, as they just added FW 800.

But I doubt that Apple will announce anything unless it's just about to appear.

It would have been good if The new standards were ready now, rather than later in 2009.

I would love to see your guesswork come true (although I have an inkling it won't) but what really matters to me would be for Apple to actively support firewire and start using FW3200 as soon as it becomes possible, provide products that make good use of what firewire can offer and for them to start pushing the technology again.

None of that seems on the cards so if firewire is present on new macs it will be as a legacy port (which of course would be better than nothing).

I find it sad that with so much spare cash in the bank, with Apple having so much more influence in the PC and consumer electronics markets and with mac market share rising Apple has chosen not to stand its ground with firewire.

AFAIK the standards are already finished, it's the silicon that's lacking.
post #1123 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avon B7 View Post

No part. Why do you enquire?

Let me just re-state that 100, 1000 or 10000 Mbps means little without adequate QoS built in to its DNA.

Yes, I'm aware that ethernet had some QoS patched into it. It was evaluated and discarded by HANA.

For 100BaseT. Again, which part of the current spec is 10x faster than what HANA evaluated confuses you?

GigE is more than capable of streaming HD without drops.

Oh as far as that HANA "analysis" goes...it was written by the Strategic Marketing Account Manager for Firewire at TI (Daniel Mar). Sounds to me like a biased source.

I'm not overly impressed by the member company list of HANA either. No MS, Apple or Sony on the list. No Tivo, SA or Motorolla either. Only two CE companies and two media companies of note.

Kinda like the "coalition of the willing" kinda deal eh?
post #1124 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avon B7 View Post

I don't need to. I've made my point but I'm sure some people will continue to see eSATA as an adequate substitute for Firewire. It isn't.

FW isn't everything for everyone, as you seem to think it is. FW for HDDs is something you have been talking up. It's not best for that, and when compared to SATA, it isn't even very good.

Quote:
The BareFeats link you provided gave a great example of why power through cable can be desirable. As eSATA is only for storage I agree it's not too urgent to have it. For technologies like FW though it is desirable.

I never said it wasn't desirable. I'm saying it isn't s useful as you think it is most of the time.

Quote:
I must be getting ahead of myself. I don't know why but I thought power over ethernet already existed.

How many computers or peripherals have you seen with it?

Quote:
That would be a joke but power over cabling is far from unpractical. Completely the opposite in fact. The key is powering devices while connected to the mains or for very short periods. Nobody I know enjoys having to tow power bricks around with them. In fact many smaller external drives do not even ship with power bricks (some don't even have an option for a power brick) so bus power is a must.

Like it or not, if you insist on powering an external drive from your laptop, you will be carrying at least one brick in the form of an extra charged battery, or two.

Quote:
Yes, but that's like talking about USB3.0. It's not here yet. The point of course will be moot for new MacBook owners as Apple has already hosed their options.

I've already stated my position on the timing.

Quote:
I'm pretty sure that firewire was projected to reach at least FW3200 right from the get go. From a Mac perspective I distinctly remember MacWorld magazine mentioning this in 1999. It definitely was quite well thought out in the early days, at least from a speed perspective. They knew where they wanted to go.

I didn't say it wasn't. What I did say, was that the later versions, 800 and up, were put on the backburner.

Quote:
Changes were made along the way and they did take too long to finalise revisions to the spec and then it took even longer for silicon to appear and for prices to come down.

FW is more complex than USB, once they allowed things to fall behind, it became another nail in the coffin.

Quote:
Nothing of this nature is not complex. Data loss and corrupted drives had absolutely nothing to do with firewire as a technology and absolutely everything to do with the lack of coordination between Apple and bridge producers.

FW is more complex because of many issues, such as bus timing, and allocation. Unlike packet systems, there is no allowance for corrupted data streams. With packets, the corrupt packet is thrown away, and another is called for. The FW standard didn't require enough standardization. That's a standard fault. Manufacturers had to figure it out themselves. That's a flaw in the system.

Quote:
Don't take this the wrong way but you yourself don't want me to tire you with my repitition of FW and eSATA being in completely different universes. Lack of native FW drives was an ENORMOUS issue (especially for mac users) but I can assure you it had nothing to do with dooming the standard. Firewire is not exclusively a storage technology. Not having native drives is irrevelant for the standard. It would have been a killer issue for eSATA as it is only a storage technology. Firewire, by nature does a lot more things than eSATA. FW does storage nicely but unfortunately has to use bridge chips.

Maybe you weren't around back then, but the idea of FW native drives was considered to be number one on the to-do list. When that failed to materialize, predictions of FW's failure began. That was a long time ago. Every time a standard is restricted in usefulness, its chance for long term success shrinks. Its other major success at the time was HDTv. When that failed too, FW was restricted more.

Once USB 2 camcorders began to appear, and work well, it was retricted again.

It's universe of usefulness has been shrinking for years. It won't be useful for most people once devices that don't need it dominate, as is already happening.

Quote:
Apple is supposed to buck trends. It doesn't need to be this way but it is this way thanks, at least in part, to Apple.

Apple bucks the status quo, not always trends. They do what they think is best for them.

Quote:
No. I am not repeating the same errors and this aspect of discussion is getting quite far off-topic.

I said that sometimes it is better to stream content rather than copy it. I said that A/V networking was a question of resources and how to make good use of them. Your TV cannot accommodate a multigigabyte file copy. Wherever possible, existing installations should be used (the coaxial reference) I said that QoS is essential. Your TV needs a guarantee that data will arrive on time and in order.

What you said is mostly incorrect, or irrelevant. Technology is passing your ideas by. A Tv doesn't need to store a movie, but Ethernet is more than good enough to get it there, as is WiFi, which will become the preferred method at some point. The Tv needs no guarantee. The signal will get there, just as it does in analog. You monitor doesn't negotiate with your computer. The computer just needs to know it's working, and can accept the signal. It's a streaming file as well. You're over concerned about this.

Quote:
There are all manner of ways to do that but it all has to be unified in some way and has to be as seamless to the end user as possible. FW is perfectly capable of such a task and is one of the reasons HANA chose it

Look, no matter what you think, FW is not the way to do it. It never was, and it never will be. Get over it.
post #1125 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avon B7 View Post

I would love to see your guesswork come true (although I have an inkling it won't) but what really matters to me would be for Apple to actively support firewire and start using FW3200 as soon as it becomes possible, provide products that make good use of what firewire can offer and for them to start pushing the technology again.

None of that seems on the cards so if firewire is present on new macs it will be as a legacy port (which of course would be better than nothing).

I find it sad that with so much spare cash in the bank, with Apple having so much more influence in the PC and consumer electronics markets and with mac market share rising Apple has chosen not to stand its ground with firewire.

AFAIK the standards are already finished, it's the silicon that's lacking.

Apple has always been slow with FW. They have never been the leader. I was frustrated over that since the beginning, not that Apple cared.

We may see 1,600, or later 3,200, but it will be too little, too late.
post #1126 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You keep repeating that same line about E-SATA, can't you come up with another one? It's tiring reading it again.

SCSI was also at first, an internal implementation. It was also extended, and never had power. It was very successful despite that.

SATA is the same sort of interface. E-SATA extends it. Power is not THAT important, but is being added.

We'll even be getting power over Ethernet before too long. 10 GB Ethernet with power will be kick-ass.

The truth is that even the amount of power FW has, isn't nearly enough for most practical purposes. Most photographers in the field who shoot digital (almost all) use generators to get enough power for fashion, and other big shoots. They don't power their external drives off the internal battery of their laptops. Thats a joke!

As far as power in the studio, or any other fixed location goes, power over the bus simply isn't important.

Power Over SATA is coming out simply because few people really want to run single FW drives anymore once they compare the speeds with E-SATA. I hope you read the link I posted yesterday to Bare Feats. Even FW 400 doesn't have too much of an advantage over USB 2 for HDD's now.

It really leaves just a few things. Older camcorders, and a few new models, and a few Audio devices.

In another year or so, most of those will be on USB 2 or 3, make no mistake about that.

I bet MOTO is kicking themselves for removing the USB 2 interface now.

The problem FW has, is that it wasn't thought out too well back in the early days. In the beginning, FW was 100 Mb/s. That's all most camcorders can do, as they only have 100 Mb/s FW chips. The first FW chips couldn't even handle anything other than camcorders. It took over a year after the first implementations before that problem was resolved. It was thought that FW 400 would be all anyone would really need, so faster implementations were put on the back burner, until after USB 2 came out, and they suddenly realized that they waited too long. Then they started to work on an ambitious program.

Unfortunately, they found that FW was pretty complex, as we found out from all the problems we had with lost data, and corrupted drives. FW 800 was about two years late. 1600 should have been out over 18 months ago, and 3200 should have been here NOW, today, in machines.

They screwed the pooch, as it's said, and it isn't likely they will ever make up for it.

One of the biggest failures was not being able to convince HDD manufacturers to produce "native" FW HDD controllers, as they did with IDE, SCSI, and now SATA. That doomed the standard in the beginning.

Even Hi Def. Tv, for which FW 400 was originally part of the standard, has abandoned it a while ago.

So, while Apple did jump a bit early, the trend is already established. FW is dying. The fact that it will linger on for a while in some expensive equipment doesn't matter for the vast majority. Those needing that expensive equipment will pay for expensive computers to run it, as they always have. Everyone else will get something else.

As far as networks go, you are repeating the same errors.

Most equipment now have cpus inside that can, and do, manage data, streaming or not, priorities etc. All BD players have a computer built-in, for example. All set-top boxes are computers, etc. FW is becoming less important all around as computing is reaching the "ubiquitous" stage. That is, with everything having its own built-in intelligence.

In the end, Intel, and other cpu manufacturers win, because the cost of this intelligence has become worth pennies per device. My toaster has a four bit cpu, with its own Flash memory, and the toaster only costs about $50.

I doubt that there is a single camcorder these days without a cpu controlling its functions. Even some SLR lenses have two computers inside, and the cameras often have at least three.

The iPhone has three computer chips, and most other phones have at least one.

The argument for FW was good in the days when cpu's were expensive still, and didn't exist in most other devices. The world has changed, and so that's no longer true.

Thus, that last argument for FW has disappeared, as each device communicates around the network, and can participate in managing itself.

Ethernet has been taking over these functions too.

This will become even more obvious as time moves on.


And yet, for all that Mel, even you agree that Apple pulled FireWire off the MacBook too soon.

So, who are you trying to convince here? Us? Or you?

Y'know what would've been cool? Steve, about a year from now, unveiling USB 3.0 on new MacBooks... that still had FW ports on them. And Steve saying, very publicly, "Firewire's been great, but now we've got something even better. The torch has been passed... and I'd plan accordingly."

Then, next MB rev after that... FW goes bye-bye. And no one can say boo, because it got replaced with something (at least arguably) better, and Stevie gave everyone very fair warning.

But, y'know, I guess that course of action would be too sane and reasonable, or something.

...
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post #1127 of 1657
anyone wanting further info on FW compared to other techs should check out this whitepaper by the 1394 trade association

yes it'll be biased based on it's source... find me one that isn't \

but it's no more biased than some posts here who keep insisting either
- FW is dead
- or that it can be easily replaced with existing technologies...

for those who think that the USB performance of the MBPs (note how the MB hasn't been tested) is up to that of firewire (and keep posting the barefeets test results) please have a look at 'compared to USB paragraph'
...pure speed has little to do with performance (and no one would really argue over single direction file transfer speed, as if that's the most critical for any of us...).
post #1128 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

FW isn't everything for everyone, as you seem to think it is. FW for HDDs is something you have been talking up. It's not best for that, and when compared to SATA, it isn't even very good.

No I just said that as a technology, nothing out there tops it (even though eSATA for example, may be faster)


Quote:
How many computers or peripherals have you seen with it?

Computers. Most of the ones I see (PCs included). Peripherals. Within two metres of where I am now I have a firewire printer, scanner, three external hard drives, a small RAID unit and two external DVD writers.


Quote:
Like it or not, if you insist on powering an external drive from your laptop, you will be carrying at least one brick in the form of an extra charged battery, or two.

No. If I plan on using external devices for more than a short period of time I would be using a mains connection for the laptop. If there were no mains connection I would use an extra battery. Either way, having bus power means less bricks.




Quote:
FW is more complex than USB, once they allowed things to fall behind, it became another nail in the coffin.

Could you please expand on this and give some technical reasons as, AFAIW, bus timing is handled in the chipset where peripheral manufacturers can largely forget about that kind of thing.


Quote:
The FW standard didn't require enough standardization. That's a standard fault. Manufacturers had to figure it out themselves. That's a flaw in the system.

Can you provide documentary evidence of this or a comment from an engineer somewhere that back that statement up.


Quote:
Maybe you weren't around back then, but the idea of FW native drives was considered to be number one on the to-do list

I was around then and using firewire but you are falling into the same trap again. Native FW on hard drive was important for computer users (of course with hard disks). FW caters to far more than hard disks.

Quote:
Once USB 2 camcorders began to appear, and work well, it was retricted again.

When USB camcorders appeared it was for still photography transfer. When USB started to handle video transfer it required special drivers from the manufacturer. Then, if I'm not mistaken, USB was updated to handle video transfer. I'm speaking from memory and have never used a USB camcorder though.




Quote:
What you said is mostly incorrect, or irrelevant. Technology is passing your ideas by. A Tv doesn't need to store a movie, but Ethernet is more than good enough to get it there, as is WiFi, which will become the preferred method at some point. The Tv needs no guarantee. The signal will get there, just as it does in analog. You monitor doesn't negotiate with your computer. The computer just needs to know it's working, and can accept the signal. It's a streaming file as well. You're over concerned about this

It's most definitely not incorrect or irrelevant. If your A/V devices are not storing content locally I deduce that you now agree with me on the streaming point I raised. And you are incorrect. From a technology perspective a guarantee of content delivery on time is an absolute number one priority in the situations I have put forward. You cannot say 'I have enough speed and bandwidth so things should work'. This stuff cannot be left to chance. Sooner or later your network is going to get congested.
post #1129 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

And yet, for all that Mel, even you agree that Apple pulled FireWire off the MacBook too soon.

So, who are you trying to convince here? Us? Or you?

Y'know what would've been cool? Steve, about a year from now, unveiling USB 3.0 on new MacBooks... that still had FW ports on them. And Steve saying, very publicly, "Firewire's been great, but now we've got something even better. The torch has been passed... and I'd plan accordingly."

Then, next MB rev after that... FW goes bye-bye. And no one can say boo, because it got replaced with something (at least arguably) better, and Stevie gave everyone very fair warning.

But, y'know, I guess that course of action would be too sane and reasonable, or something.

...

I don't see how could do that with the physical limitations of the case design without removing one of the USB ports to keep FW400. Having one USB and one FW400 is much greater crime than than having two USB and no FW400.

The only other options are for Apple to go all Dell with their design and put ports in funky places or to hold off the case design change until USB3.0 was available. The former would never happen, and it you vote for the latter then the solution is just to get the $999 MacBook, which is still a great machine at a now lower price point.

But waiting for USB3.0 wouldn't solve the main issues people have with the removal of FW400. DV cameras would still use FW. Target Mode still wouldn't work. FW3200 would be even closer and propose faster speeds than USB3.0.

We can certainly blame Apple for, as Melgross put it, "screwing the pooch" for not making FireWire a more competitive option on many different levels, from marketing, to licensing to backwards compatible port interfaces. But they didn't and despite the disappointment we saw it coming, we just didn't know when until the new MacBooks arrived. It does suck, but it sucks more to me that I had 3 ports (2xUSB, 1xFW400) and now I only have 2 ports (2xUSB). The loss of 50% of my I/O peripheral ports are gone, is a much bigger travesty to me when their are times that I do use three at once.
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post #1130 of 1657
can we get some of the functionality of FW like TDM, and can we make a bootable copy for backup with ethernet or usb...any way around this??
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post #1131 of 1657
Are the USB ports on the MacBook on the same bus?
post #1132 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by otwayross View Post

anyone wanting further info on FW compared to other techs should check out this whitepaper by the 1394 trade association

AKA marketing.

Quote:
yes it'll be biased based on it's source... find me one that isn't \

Look, when it says FW is better than eSATA and HDMI for their OWN NATIVE PURPOSES I call bullshit. Given that 1394 ports have been DISAPPEARING from set top boxes rather than increasing I doubt HANA will get any traction. My old HD cable box had Firewire (disabled by Comcast but it was there). The new ones from Dish and FiOS do not. They all have HDMI ports. For HD.

Why? Because for a point to point interface from CE to CE to TV HDMI is superior to Firewire. For whole house distribution, ethernet is already present in the form of 802.11a/b/g/n or wired ethernet and if HANA had any likely future Jobs wouldn't have dropped FW on the MacBook even if aTV is just a "hobby".

Slingbox, aTV, PS3, 360, TiVO, and a large number of IPTV devices are all already IP based and sent over the internet. Yea and verily streamed HD over U-verse IPTV service.

No microsoft on HANA is very telling.

Quote:
for those who think that the USB performance of the MBPs (note how the MB hasn't been tested) is up to that of firewire (and keep posting the barefeets test results) please have a look at 'compared to USB paragraph'

If there was a "white paper" from Intel touting the superiority of USB you would call it what it is: Marketing.

It cites that FW is better than USB for external disk drives and camcorders because of speed/performance but that FW is better than eSATA because...get this...speed/performance doesn't matter...it is convienence.
post #1133 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avon B7 View Post

Are the USB ports on the MacBook on the same bus?

No. There are 4 USB buses listed for the new MacBook in System Profiler. There are two USB1.0 buses and two USB2.0 buses. I tested this by plugging in my iPhone to each USB port, which clearly showed the iPhone showing up under a different High Speed USB bus.
USB Bus (USB 1.0)
. . . • Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad
. . . • IR Reciever

USB Bus (USB 1.0)
. . . • Bluetooth USB Host Controller on a Broadcom BCM2045B2

USB High Speed Bus (USB 2.0)
. . . • Built-in iSIght camera
. . . • USB port closest to front of machine

USB High Speed Bus (USB 2.0)
. . . • USB port closest to back of machine
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post #1134 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

AKA marketing.

errr duh !?
like i said this comes from a trade association - and i warned it would be biased.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Look, when it says FW is better than eSATA and HDMI for their OWN NATIVE PURPOSES I call bullshit. Given that 1394 ports have been DISAPPEARING from set top boxes rather than increasing I doubt HANA will get any traction. My old HD cable box had Firewire (disabled by Comcast but it was there). The new ones from Dish and FiOS do not. They all have HDMI ports. For HD.

Why? Because for a point to point interface from CE to CE to TV HDMI is superior to Firewire. For whole house distribution, ethernet is already present in the form of 802.11a/b/g/n or wired ethernet and if HANA had any likely future Jobs wouldn't have dropped FW on the MacBook even if aTV is just a "hobby".

Slingbox, aTV, PS3, 360, TiVO, and a large number of IPTV devices are all already IP based and sent over the internet. Yea and verily streamed HD over U-verse IPTV service.

No microsoft on HANA is very telling.

telling for what?
that it's a good thing for Apple to have left FW off a portable notebook?
why are you bringing home networks into this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

If there was a "white paper" from Intel touting the superiority of USB you would call it what it is: Marketing.

It cites that FW is better than USB for external disk drives and camcorders because of speed/performance but that FW is better than eSATA because...get this...speed/performance doesn't matter...it is convienence.

first things first
when you compare technologies you should cover:
- intended market
- similarities
- differences

I think they do that quite well given that a trade association wrote it...

regarding FW vs ESata
their first reason that FW comes close to ESata is because of.... speed
(to be precise bottlenecks in drives meaning increased interface speed is useless)

Quote:
But an interface can never operate faster than drives can read or write data.
Most of the mainstream drives used in consumer PCs and consumer electronic
devices such as DVR-equipped set-top boxes use drives with a maximum data rate
of about 100-Mbytes/sec or about the same speed as S800 1394.

their 2nd reason mentioned is convenience...

but you will note that they spend most of the paper comparing FW and USB
(which are the most comparable techs for most consumers - even though there are huge differences)

oh and I'd love to read a white paper from Intel on USB3 if you have one
(seriously I think that'd interest everyone on this forum)

I found their comments about the increased silicon cost of USB3 to be very interesting
and the backwards compatibility probs forcing USB3 to remain host controlled telling...

but take from it what you will, I put it out there for info
post #1135 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by otwayross View Post

errr duh !?
like i said this comes from a trade association - and i warned it would be biased.

I'm biased toward Apple and BMW. That's different than marketing.

Quote:
telling for what?

Telling that HANA is not taken too seriously if none of the set top makers are involved and Microsoft has dumped a lot of money into the set top wars including a hefty amount of development of IPTV. These companies join pretty much everything relevant just so they have a say in things. Or at least an ear.

Quote:
that it's a good thing for Apple to have left FW off a portable notebook?

It's telling that Apple dropped FW of their most common laptop and one of the potential providers of media content for aTV. Evidently they don't see FW getting traction in the home media network environment.

Quote:
why are you bringing home networks into this?

Because HANA has been touted as the reason why FW has a future beyond a niche interface. The whole reason that FW is "better" than HDMI is because it isn't point to point but now available via coax.

Maybe so. Maybe not. But the required industry players are not at the table yet so at this point the technology is nothing but a white paper and a trade show demo. And amusingly the trade show demo that HANA talks about with "wireless" HANA is the Pulse-Link and Westinghouse is wireless HDMI using UWB demo. Not 1394 over UWB.

Freescale demo'd high data rate room to room IPTV over coax using Pulse-Link's chipset for ethernet over coax (same chipset doing firewire over coax). Same with HDMI over coax.

HDMI over UWB is far more likely to hit the market than FW over coax or FW over UWB. Belkin, Monster, Gefen and a host of other companies are moving toward wireless HDMI.

Quote:
their first reason that FW comes close to ESata is because of.... speed
(to be precise bottlenecks in drives meaning increased interface speed is useless)

Except it's not useless for raid arrays and the same argument can be made for USB2. There have been several examples already posted where drives area no faster using their FW400 interface than their USB2 interface. This is even more likely with the slower notebook drives many notebook owners choose for their external drives.
post #1136 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

I'm biased toward Apple and BMW. That's different than marketing.

yes you have your bias because of their marketing
(and to split hairs, you market something you want to sell - and they're not selling FW
just trying to justify why they use it in their products, hence the bias)

either way for other readers of the white paper
i'm not sure it's useful to say that it's marketing 'bullshit'

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

It's telling that Apple dropped FW of their most common laptop and one of the potential providers of media content for aTV. Evidently they don't see FW getting traction in the home media network environment.

ok, you can have an opinion on what the next connection tech is going to be.
i'm not sure that matters for the point of this thread

either way apple has just released a pretty looking, lemon of a notebook
with a very sturdy case, which is going to last forever
and have a very low resale value as soon as the next update comes out
because it's missing any / all of the future intelligent connections

it's like they had option paralysis and said
"arrrgh can't choose !!!! so let's just not put any decent interface on it !!"
post #1137 of 1657
I've read quite a few arguments here for why it made sense for Apple to eliminate FireWire on the MacBook. I'm not sure one of them applies to the MacBook but not the MacBook Pro. Why did Apple keep FW on the MacBook Pro?
post #1138 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

I've read quite a few arguments here for why it made sense for Apple to eliminate FireWire on the MacBook. I'm not sure one of them applies to the MacBook but not the MacBook Pro. Why did Apple keep FW on the MacBook Pro?

Besides the MBP being a pro machine, Apple did remove the same FW400 port from both the MB and MBP. I think it came down to needing to remove a port due to new space constraints and FW400 being the weakest link, because it wasn't replaced by FW800 or another USB port, which would have been nice.
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post #1139 of 1657
Yah I still don't get that. Can you plug a fw400 device into a fw800 port? There are so few and far between fw800 devices. All my harddrives are fw400. /sigh.

 

 

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post #1140 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Yah I still don't get that. Can you plug a fw400 device into a fw800 port?

You can, but you'll need a new cable or a cable adapter that goes from FW400 to FW800. These are cheap because FW800 is backwards compatible to FW400 in every way... expect for the port interface design, or course.
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post #1141 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Yah I still don't get that. Can you plug a fw400 device into a fw800 port? There are so few and far between fw800 devices. All my harddrives are fw400. /sigh.

Few? All 8 of my firewire drives have fw800. I even have a fw800 iPod cable. :-)

But all you need to do is get a 6 pin (fw400) to 9 pin (fw800) cable.
post #1142 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Besides the MBP being a pro machine, Apple did remove the same FW400 port from both the MB and MBP. I think it came down to needing to remove a port due to new space constraints and FW400 being the weakest link, because it wasn't replaced by FW800 or another USB port, which would have been nice.

I wasn't considering the distinction between FW400 and FW800 since they are compatible without any trouble at all. In other words, if Apple simply converted the FW400 port on the MacBook to FW800, no one would mind in the least. You mentioned the space constraint issue but I was referring to all of the reasons posted in this thread about why FW isn't needed on the MB. What are those reasons that apply to the MB but not the MBP? I don't recall one that's been mentioned.
post #1143 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

Few? All 8 of my firewire drives have fw800.

They are a lot harder to find. I personally don't remember seeing one for sale locally, I had to order them online.

Quote:
I even have a fw800 iPod cable. :-)

You riced your iPod?
post #1144 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

They are a lot harder to find. I personally don't remember seeing one for sale locally, I had to order them online.

Were else would you buy reliable equipment?

Retail only carries the low end trash.

Other World Computing is the best source of all the good stuff. http://www.otherworldcomputing.com
post #1145 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

What are those reasons that apply to the MB but not the MBP? I don't recall one that's been mentioned.

Pros are more likely to use FireWire while the vast majority of MacBook consumers have never used it or even heard of it. Apple did the same thing on both machines, it removed FW400. I don't think FW is dying, but I do think that FW400 is a dead-end port interface. It's too bad that Apple didn't make FW800 use the same port interface as FW400, like USB has down with all 3 iterations.
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post #1146 of 1657
Vinea,

When a group of companies get together to consider a new technology they do not ask their marketing people to sit in on the meetings.

HANA chose firewire based on information from their tech committees. From that point on it would be usual for marketing to get in on the act.

The decision to run HANA products over firewire was most definitely not made by marketers.

For what HANA proposes HDMI is absolutely worthless.
post #1147 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

For 100BaseT. Again, which part of the current spec is 10x faster than what HANA evaluated confuses you?

Again. None.

Quote:
GigE is more than capable of streaming HD without drops.

I don't know how to put this without repeating myself. HANA needs guaranteed QoS.

Why don't you just say 'Gigabit ethernet guarantees real-time HD content delivery without drops'? Why hedge your words with 'more than capable'. If current ethernet standards and equipment can do what HANA needs, just say so.

The fact that you, your brother or your best friend has a full blown computer with ample resources outputting content to a HD TV panel over Gigabit ethernet does not make it the solution to the issues that have been put here.

I thought the white paper listed here was an interesting read. Everybody is free to make their own conclusions.

I brought up the subject of HANA as an example because somebody said that firewire was not good (or a good option - I can't remember now) for moving/streaming A/V content. It was only an example to support my post.

I'm not a proponent of HANA. I don't even know if it will get off the ground and I said so right from the start. However, from a technological viewpoint it does raise some issues for the people that say FW now has no reason to exist.

I still say FW has no single competitor out there that is better for a broad spectrum of uses. I haven't seen anything here to make me think otherwise.

That white paper raised an interesting point on the cost of silicon for USB3.0. If that proved to be correct Apple may be missing a good opportunity to really push newer FW versions. Not that it matters much now as I think Apple already considers FW as legacy.
post #1148 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

And yet, for all that Mel, even you agree that Apple pulled FireWire off the MacBook too soon.

So, who are you trying to convince here? Us? Or you?

Y'know what would've been cool? Steve, about a year from now, unveiling USB 3.0 on new MacBooks... that still had FW ports on them. And Steve saying, very publicly, "Firewire's been great, but now we've got something even better. The torch has been passed... and I'd plan accordingly."

Then, next MB rev after that... FW goes bye-bye. And no one can say boo, because it got replaced with something (at least arguably) better, and Stevie gave everyone very fair warning.

But, y'know, I guess that course of action would be too sane and reasonable, or something.

...

There are two arguments here. And I certainly don't have to convince myself with a false argument as others are doing for the opposite reasons.

The truth is that Apple did move too soon for their current customer base that needs (wants) FW on the less expensive machines. That's pretty obvious, and I've stated it numerous times.

But, the bigger picture is that FW is going away. While it was a great choice, it's become less so.

Before too long, few will be interested in it at all. Apple's moving it off their more consumer orinted machines will push FW further to the background. It will disappear more quickly than it would have done had Apple continued its use. Apple knows that as well.

I'm in sympathy with that small percentage of Apple users that find FW to be useful. But make no mistake about it, FW s only used by a minority.

There are a lot of emotional reasons why some want FW to stay. One of the biggest is that some people really want to buy a new really cool aluminum MB machined from a block. It's a great bragging point. Of course, few will admit to that, but we all know that it's always a big reason to upgrade to new machinery.

Some really may need the power, but it also must be remembered that the new machines aren't more powerful than the older ones. Apple even moved back in cpu speeds. So the GPU is the main advantage here, and it's no advantage for audio, 2D graphics, or even video. It's an advantage for 3D work and some games.

If someone now has a FW based device that works well with their current machine, then I don't understand the fuss. Keep the machine until sometime when you really need to upgrade. The excuse that a MBP weighs a pound more, or is a bit larger isn't really a great argument. Not if you lug equipment around. If the extra $500 is too much, then buy the older model at discount, or a refurbished model. Either will be more powerful than any MB, and will include FW 800 as well, which no MB ever did.

The arguments being presented here by those few who are pissed by this are overblown. I'm not saying they're without any merit, but they can be worked around.
post #1149 of 1657
I'm rather late to this whole debate since I've been on vacation for the past two weeks. I think one argument that isn't getting enough of a hearing in this situation isn't so much the merits of FireWire vs USB 2/3 but the fact that the new MacBook computers only have two multi-purpose I/O ports now as oppose to the 3 that are available on the old MacBook computers. If I have a printer, iPod and a backup/data HD I'm now one port short. I know hubs are cheap but still it's a level of complexity I could have avoided with the previous generation of computer.

OK, continue on with the USB vs FireWire deathmatch! May the best eSATA win!
post #1150 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by otwayross View Post

anyone wanting further info on FW compared to other techs should check out this whitepaper by the 1394 trade association

yes it'll be biased based on it's source... find me one that isn't \

but it's no more biased than some posts here who keep insisting either
- FW is dead
- or that it can be easily replaced with existing technologies...

for those who think that the USB performance of the MBPs (note how the MB hasn't been tested) is up to that of firewire (and keep posting the barefeets test results) please have a look at 'compared to USB paragraph'
...pure speed has little to do with performance (and no one would really argue over single direction file transfer speed, as if that's the most critical for any of us...).

I hope you aren't referring to me here. I NEVER said that FW can be completely replaced by USB 2 in all circumstances. There are places where it can be, and those where it can't.

That's why I said it would have been better if Apple had waited.
post #1151 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I hope you aren't referring to me here. I NEVER said that FW can be completely replaced by USB 2 in all circumstances. There are places where it can be, and those where it can't.

That's why I said it would have been better if Apple had waited.

no I wasn't actually
i like reading your replies
generally well thought out and of balanced opinion.
(i'm serious btw)

although i do question your idea that "firewire is going away"
post #1152 of 1657
melgross,

From the Apple/Users/Firewire perspective I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head.

Apple has goofed IMO and although it's unlikely they'll change their stance and put FW back on the MacBook, I won't be buying one without FW.

I had to take the MacBook off my Christmas list and if, when I finally need to upgrade, there is no portable mac in my price range, it will be a hackintosh for me. I sent feedback to Apple but I doubt anything will be done to change things.
post #1153 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by night9hawk View Post

I think one argument that isn't getting enough of a hearing in this situation isn't so much the merits of FireWire vs USB 2/3 but the fact that the new MacBook computers only have two multi-purpose I/O ports now as oppose to the 3 that are available on the old MacBook computers. If I have a printer, iPod and a backup/data HD I'm now one port short. I know hubs are cheap but still it's a level of complexity I could have avoided with the previous generation of computer.

OK, continue on with the USB vs FireWire deathmatch! May the best eSATA win!

LOL.

I brought up this issue a few pages back but I think the post got deleted in the end. It's a big issue.

Also having FW available allowed users to balance things out a little. I've never been happy with sticking everything on USB via hubs.My experience has not been good. Freedom of choice (on ports) would be nice.
post #1154 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by otwayross View Post

yes you have your bias because of their marketing

I have a bias because I like their products. Marketing always has an influence but it doesn't help a product that sucks at its core.

Quote:
(and to split hairs, you market something you want to sell - and they're not selling FW
just trying to justify why they use it in their products, hence the bias)

either way for other readers of the white paper
i'm not sure it's useful to say that it's marketing 'bullshit'

Yeah, just because they were penned by a TI firewire sales guy means it must be the absolute truth.

Quote:
ok, you can have an opinion on what the next connection tech is going to be.
i'm not sure that matters for the point of this thread

It matters because one of the FW proponents brought it up. Do you even read these posts?

Quote:
either way apple has just released a pretty looking, lemon of a notebook
with a very sturdy case, which is going to last forever
and have a very low resale value as soon as the next update comes out
because it's missing any / all of the future intelligent connections

Bitter much?

Quote:
it's like they had option paralysis and said "arrrgh can't choose !!!! so let's just not put any decent interface on it !!"

Yep, Apple sucks. Oh well...I guess it's time for you to move on to greener vistas.
post #1155 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Pros are more likely to use FireWire while the vast majority of MacBook consumers have never used it or even heard of it. Apple did the same thing on both machines, it removed FW400. I don't think FW is dying, but I do think that FW400 is a dead-end port interface. It's too bad that Apple didn't make FW800 use the same port interface as FW400, like USB has down with all 3 iterations.

"Pros are more likely to use FireWire" is a predicted outcome. I was hoping someone who thinks FW isn't necessary could offer a reason why it's needed on the MBP but not on the MB.
post #1156 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avon B7 View Post

No I just said that as a technology, nothing out there tops it (even though eSATA for example, may be faster)

I would have agreed ten years ago, but not today.

Quote:
Computers. Most of the ones I see (PCs included). Peripherals. Within two metres of where I am now I have a firewire printer, scanner, three external hard drives, a small RAID unit and two external DVD writers.

I don't think you understood the question. This was the dialog, starting with your statement, and then my question:

Quote:
Quote:
I must be getting ahead of myself. I don't know why but I thought power over ethernet already existed.

How many computers or peripherals have you seen with it?

Are you saying that all of your computers and devices have Power Over Ethernet?

You answered a question about that, with a statement about FW.


Quote:
No. If I plan on using external devices for more than a short period of time I would be using a mains connection for the laptop. If there were no mains connection I would use an extra battery. Either way, having bus power means less bricks.

Heh! Your statement coincides with mine, though you don't realize it.

Same number of bricks.

Quote:
Could you please expand on this and give some technical reasons as, AFAIW, bus timing is handled in the chipset where peripheral manufacturers can largely forget about that kind of thing.

You don't really want technical reason, do you? There are multi page papers that would do that. This isn't the place for that. If you don't know that adding a cpu to a device allows the software, in firmware to do this, then you won't understand the more technical explanations.

Quote:
Can you provide documentary evidence of this or a comment from an engineer somewhere that back that statement up.

I'll provide a few links to more current problems with compatibility problems here and there. Finding 15 year old articles isn't easy.

One problem has always been the poor physical layer specs. Some of these problems show that.

http://www.rme-audio.com/english/tec...fw800alert.htm

Read down to the last two sections to see what I'm talking about with command structures and such (meaning protocols). Too much was left in the various manufacturers hands. It took years until many finally agreed on what to do.

http://www.synthetic-ap.com/products...eosupport.html

This is an interesting thread to read. It shows some of the FW problems we experienced on our Macs.

http://discussions.apple.com/thread....6860&tstart=12

Check the very bottom of this page.

http://eshop.macsales.com/Descriptio...softraid3.html

These problems were not supposed to happen at all, we were assured, but they did.

https://rainrecording.co.uk/support/article?id=109

Again, this is not supposed to happen, but the lax standards do allow it.

While I can't find early technical articles now, there are enough articles in Google about FW compatibility problems to show it's real.

Quote:
I was around then and using firewire but you are falling into the same trap again. Native FW on hard drive was important for computer users (of course with hard disks). FW caters to far more than hard disks.

no trap. just a fact. There are over 300 million computers sold a year now, and that number is continually goig up. If FW drives appeared, and were sucessful, most of those computers would now have FW bisses.

Because it failed, they don't. Putting in FW is not worth it for most companies, so they don't. It's limited the use of FW severely, and has lead to the current situation.

Do you really think that if FW dries were here, and FW was at 3,200, Apple would have removed the ports?

No.

Quote:
When USB camcorders appeared it was for still photography transfer. When USB started to handle video transfer it required special drivers from the manufacturer. Then, if I'm not mistaken, USB was updated to handle video transfer. I'm speaking from memory and have never used a USB camcorder though.

It doesn't matter what the original reason was. What does matter is what it's evolved to. Tape will be obsolete shortly in camcorders. In tapeless camcorders, FW serves no purpose. Indeed, it's a waste of time.

Quote:
It's most definitely not incorrect or irrelevant. If your A/V devices are not storing content locally I deduce that you now agree with me on the streaming point I raised. And you are incorrect. From a technology perspective a guarantee of content delivery on time is an absolute number one priority in the situations I have put forward. You cannot say 'I have enough speed and bandwidth so things should work'. This stuff cannot be left to chance. Sooner or later your network is going to get congested.

I'm not saying that streaming isn't done on networks, just that your idea of it is irrelevant. I'm not the only one here to point out that FW isn't needed for that.

FW gets just as conjected as dows any other network. I dn't understand your insistance that it won't. FW was NOT designed for network use. It is inferior for that use. Attempts have been made to use it that way for several years. I even have some of the software and devices that were being tested for that purpose. But it wasn't a good idea. It's expensive, as FW was never intended for stretches of more than 15 feet per cable without repeaters, and other hardware.

The networking protocols are not part of the standards, and have been written by several companies in non compatible ways. None have succeeded in becoming used.

Can you point to any successful FW networking companies? I can't. Only a couple that have played around with it.

Ethernet, and other networking systems don't leave moving files around the network to chance. I can't imagine why you would think they do.
post #1157 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

"Pros are more likely to use FireWire" is a predicted outcome. I was hoping someone who thinks FW isn't necessary could offer a reason why it's needed on the MBP but not on the MB.

Depending on how Apple markets FW in the future and the success of other technologies, it may not be needed by almost all professionals on the MBP. But that isn't what is being discussed here.

It's clear that some feel that FW400 is needed on the MB. The problem is that those needs aren't shared with the vast majority of people buying a MB. It's not an all or nothing situation, otherwise it would have been removed from the MBP, too. It's about what is the best option for Apple for the majority of their MB consumer demographic.
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post #1158 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avon B7 View Post

melgross,

From the Apple/Users/Firewire perspective I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head.

Apple has goofed IMO and although it's unlikely they'll change their stance and put FW back on the MacBook, I won't be buying one without FW.

I had to take the MacBook off my Christmas list and if, when I finally need to upgrade, there is no portable mac in my price range, it will be a hackintosh for me. I sent feedback to Apple but I doubt anything will be done to change things.

When we come back to this discussion a year or so, we will all be much closer on it than we are now.
post #1159 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avon B7 View Post

LOL.

I brought up this issue a few pages back but I think the post got deleted in the end. It's a big issue.

Also having FW available allowed users to balance things out a little. I've never been happy with sticking everything on USB via hubs.My experience has not been good. Freedom of choice (on ports) would be nice.

Limited ports on Macs has always been a fact of life, except on the towers, and even there, we sometimes complain.
post #1160 of 1657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

"Pros are more likely to use FireWire" is a predicted outcome. I was hoping someone who thinks FW isn't necessary could offer a reason why it's needed on the MBP but not on the MB.

It isn't that is isn't necessary. It's that it isn't AS necessary as it used to be.

So, yes, pros are more likely to want it than consumers. Most audio devices use USB 2. A few use FW. The main difference is bandwidth.

When we look at the MOTO II vs the III, we see the difference is mostly bandwidth between the interfaces. Otherwise, the units work pretty much the same, other than the features added in the upgrade.

Most consumers devices that had FW are moving to USB 2. That's a simple fact.

You can get external drives with USB 2 interfaces (the most common), USB 2 + FW 400 (number two), USB 2, E-SATA (number three),USB 2, FW 400, and E-SATA) number four), and E-SATA (number five). Rarely will you still see drives with just FW these days.

But that doesn't tell us everything. While E-SATA is moving up fast, the USB FW models are shrinking in the marketspace.

Most new camcorders, once the exclusive user of FW, use USB 2.

Even Apple stopped iPods from using FW years ago. Certainly one of the biggest consumer FW product areas.

All I can advise people to do, for their own comfort in the future, is to buy a device based on what it does for them, and in the case of two competing devices that are about equal, buy the USB 2 equipped one.
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