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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > FireWire: Do You Use It?

View Poll Results: How often do you use FireWire?
Poll Options:
Never (What needs FireWire?) 9 votes (8.26%)
Rarely (Like for Target Disk Mode) 14 votes (12.84%)
Occasionally (Have a device or two that uses it, but I don't need regularly) 4 votes (3.67%)
Regularly (A couple of my devices need it; Like once or twice a month) 17 votes (15.60%)
Constantly (On a weekly to daily basis) 65 votes (59.63%)
Voters: 109. You may not vote on this poll
FireWire: Do You Use It? (Page 2)
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boy8cookie
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Oct 16, 2008, 03:40 PM
 
I use a firewire cable to connect two macs (while they're on, not target disk mode) for use with Teleport & transferring files. It's nifty.
     
Chuckit
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Oct 16, 2008, 04:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar V View Post
Whether you like the quality of the alternative doesn't preclude the fact that it's an alternative.
I suppose a tricycle is technically an alternative to a car, but I think the quality makes a pretty big difference.
Chuck
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Gankdawg
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Oct 16, 2008, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Not really. Time Machine is ridiculously slow even with FireWire 800.
I must be lucky. It's screamin' fast for me. I downloaded PSE the other day (1.27 GB) and TM backed it up over its FW800 connection in a matter of seconds.
     
Dakar V  (op)
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Oct 16, 2008, 04:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I suppose a tricycle is technically an alternative to a car, but I think the quality makes a pretty big difference.
I think the difference between a Geo Metro and a Porsche would be a more accurate comparison, but feel free to continue exaggerating.
     
analogika
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Oct 16, 2008, 04:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I suppose a tricycle is technically an alternative to a car, but I think the quality makes a pretty big difference.
Non sequitur fallacy. Your analogy isn't about quality.

There's very high-quality tricycles, and there's crappy tricycles, as well.
     
CharlesS
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Oct 16, 2008, 04:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Gankdawg View Post
I must be lucky. It's screamin' fast for me. I downloaded PSE the other day (1.27 GB) and TM backed it up over its FW800 connection in a matter of seconds.
Sure, that's one big file. When there's lots of little files, TM's performance gets a lot more sketchy.

I will admit that it's become a lot better since I upgraded to a MBP from my old iMac G5 - my guess is that it's doing something that heavily taxes the processor, and the dual cores are helping me out here (since my MBP's hard drive is actually slower than the iMac's, it's not the HD). Still though, it will occasionally decide to take an unreasonable amount of time to complete even when the amount of data being backed up is quite small. It's quite frustrating to watch the progress bar sit at the same place for extended periods of time, not moving, when it's just backing 500 KB or so of data.

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Kenneth
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Oct 16, 2008, 07:42 PM
 
I picked 'Constantly (On a weekly to daily basis)'. However, omitting the FireWire port on MacBook and MacBook Air won't affect my purchase decision.
     
Gankdawg
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Oct 16, 2008, 07:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Sure, that's one big file. When there's lots of little files, TM's performance gets a lot more sketchy.
Possibly, but I haven't noticed it. When I hear the TM drive start working, I sometimes like to look at how much it's copying. Most of the time, by the time I mouse my mouse up to the menu bar, it says "Finishing Backup". Again, I may just be lucky. TM has the occasional hiccup for me (sometimes I get an error message saying that files couldn't be backed up) but I'm very happy with the performance.
     
davidflas
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Oct 16, 2008, 09:00 PM
 
I have a late 2007 Mac Book and I use firewire a few times a year to digitize analog video tapes. I use it constantly for Time Machine. I know USB would work for Time Machine, but it would not for my video work. I now have to find a way to afford a MacBook Pro if I want a new laptop with firewire.
2.7Ghz 15" Mid 2012 MBP 16GB RAM 7.2k 750GB HD anti-glare display|64GB iPad4 ATT LTE|
     
Eug
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Oct 16, 2008, 09:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Gankdawg View Post
Possibly, but I haven't noticed it. When I hear the TM drive start working, I sometimes like to look at how much it's copying. Most of the time, by the time I mouse my mouse up to the menu bar, it says "Finishing Backup". Again, I may just be lucky. TM has the occasional hiccup for me (sometimes I get an error message saying that files couldn't be backed up) but I'm very happy with the performance.
I'm seriously thinking of scrapping my TM drive. It can sometimes slow my iMac Core 2 Duo to a crawl.

It's really quite irritating. Time Machine is one of Apple's ideas that they just haven't implemented very well. Here's hoping for Snow Leopard's TM...
     
Mac User #001
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Oct 16, 2008, 10:08 PM
 
Never used it. Not once. I have yet to stick anything in to that certain port. (Cue the sex jokes.)
I'm on MacNN forums, but no longer have a Mac...
     
osiris
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Oct 17, 2008, 01:11 AM
 
I have a large archive of captured DV on firewire drives, and my video cameras are all firewire.
Though I've transitioned my backups to USB drives, I still need Firewire for the video.
Chalk me up for a yes.

I don't appreciate forced obsolescence, not for something like a port - whose format was forced down our throats not too long ago. But this is the business we choose...
still, I wish Apple included a larger variety of ports on all their systems.
"Faster, faster! 'Till the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - HST
     
CharlesS
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Oct 17, 2008, 01:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I'm seriously thinking of scrapping my TM drive. It can sometimes slow my iMac Core 2 Duo to a crawl.

It's really quite irritating. Time Machine is one of Apple's ideas that they just haven't implemented very well. Here's hoping for Snow Leopard's TM...
My guess is that Time Machine was supposed to run on ZFS, but it wasn't ready in time, so we're stuck with plain old HFS+, which isn't as well suited for the job.

Whatever - I just don't want to make it even worse by using USB (which also adds a little extra hit on the processor - oh joy).

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
Hawkeye_a
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Oct 17, 2008, 05:52 AM
 
Daily. FireWire HDD, which can go over USB2.0 if i choose(which would require me to buy an external HUB). i do use it occasionally to import video into iMovie as well, which is not possible over USB 2.0.

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TETENAL
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Oct 17, 2008, 06:03 AM
 
Daily for hard drives which could be attached via USB with some pain. Every 6 months or so for a very old camcorder.
( Last edited by TETENAL; Oct 17, 2008 at 06:14 AM. )
     
analogika
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Oct 17, 2008, 07:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
Daily. FireWire HDD, which can go over USB2.0 if i choose(which would require me to buy an external HUB). i do use it occasionally to import video into iMovie as well, which is not possible over USB 2.0.
iMovie can do it - if your camera can.
     
badidea
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Oct 17, 2008, 07:56 AM
 
I have 4 external firewire HDs which are FW only and connected in a row (which isn't possible with USB)!
I really wouldn't like to buy 4 new enclosures and a Hub!

IDE - SCSI
100MB Zip - 135MB Syquest EZDrive
USB - Firewire

Why is always the better stuff disappearing???????
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Doofy
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Oct 17, 2008, 08:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by badidea View Post
IDE - SCSI
100MB Zip - 135MB Syquest EZDrive
USB - Firewire

Why is always the better stuff disappearing???????
Because the better stuff always costs a little more, so the unwashed masses generally don't buy it, so market forces kick in and it eventually becomes unprofitable.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
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stevesnj
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Oct 17, 2008, 09:08 AM
 
I teach Video Production and we use firewire everyday...I cant wait to go to hard drive based capture but that still requires FW...so if FW went away without a suitable rplacement...there could be trouble!!
MacBook Pro 15" i7 ~ Snow Leopard ~ iPhone 4 - 16Gb
     
SSharon
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Oct 17, 2008, 01:36 PM
 
It looks like I am the only one still using firewire for an isight which I use regularly. Last I checked apple doesn't sell a USB 2 version. Yes I know the MB has an internal one but I like my external isight since I can point it at other objects, use it with my ibook, etc.

I use firewire to sync my old ipod.

I also have 2 firewire HDs. I don't want to buy a hub just to use the HD when firewire works better and I have 12 other usb devices all wanting to use the same few ports that apple includes on its machines.
I use TDM, but not that often.
AT&T iPhone 5S and 6; 13" MBP; MDD G4.
     
Hawkeye_a
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Oct 17, 2008, 01:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
Daily for hard drives which could be attached via USB with some pain. Every 6 months or so for a very old camcorder.
One does only USB 2.0 (JVC) the other(which we use) is only FW. IS USB a common thing on camcorderes these days ? persoanlly i would still prefer FW for video, cause thats what it was designed for....low latency and such apparently.

If i were to get an HD camcorder i'd hope they'd come with FW800, just cause of the extra bandwidth over USB2.0.
     
Mac User #001
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Oct 17, 2008, 02:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by StevenSimpson View Post
...and I occasionally connect with FW400 in TDM to transfer items between my and a colleague's computer...
You use FireWire in team death matches?
I'm on MacNN forums, but no longer have a Mac...
     
sek929
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Oct 17, 2008, 02:35 PM
 
Only use FW for my iPod, which was the last generation to include FW.
     
cybergoober
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Oct 17, 2008, 08:03 PM
 
Like SSharon I use FireWire quite often for an iSight as well. I also use it to import video from my camcorder. Not sure if I can use USB as my machine isn't awesome enough to run iMovie 08.
     
mduell
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Oct 18, 2008, 10:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
One does only USB 2.0 (JVC) the other(which we use) is only FW. IS USB a common thing on camcorderes these days ? persoanlly i would still prefer FW for video, cause thats what it was designed for....low latency and such apparently.
The latency is irrelevant once you've moved on from the glacial realtime imports to importing via bulk data transfers.
     
Eug
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Oct 19, 2008, 12:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
The latency is irrelevant once you've moved on from the glacial realtime imports to importing via bulk data transfers.
Correct. It is a non-issue in this scenario with USB.

Even if the transfer took 2 days (if say you were using it with USB 1.1 for some odd reason), there would be no dropped frames with USB, unlike with tape-based media which requires real-time high-bitrate FW transfer.

That said, I still want the FW port for disk target mode.
     
introducingimacs
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Oct 19, 2008, 08:34 AM
 
for my work in developing countries I absolutely NEED ieee1394 drives. Most of the Powermac G4/imac G4's don't have usb2 yet, so i need firewire to make backups or as a medium between their (older) hardware and my macbook. Also, I need it for DV editing purposes.

"Introducing iMacs to the developing world"
     
- - e r i k - -
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Oct 19, 2008, 08:36 AM
 
About 6 FW800 drives.

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