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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Firewire solution for new macbooks?

Firewire solution for new macbooks?
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paularizer
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Jan 2, 2009, 03:16 PM
 
has anyone found anything resembling a solution for the lack of firewire on the new macbooks? i did some minor research and there don't seem to be any firewire to usb type converters or anything of the such.
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fisherKing
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Jan 2, 2009, 03:22 PM
 
apple HAS the solution: replace all firewire devices (ie external drives, camcorders, audio interfaces) with usb devices. it's the WORST part of the macbook design (wait, the second worst, after the screen).

have i mentioned that i (nonetheless) am loving my new macbook?
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And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
paularizer  (op)
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Jan 2, 2009, 03:47 PM
 
i'm loving my new macbook too, minus the firewire issue.

replacing every device is not a solution, it's a last resort. the only firewire device i use is my camcorder, and it would suck to have to replace it since i paid two grand for it.

how about a real solution?
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fisherKing
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Jan 2, 2009, 04:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by paularizer View Post
i'm loving my new macbook too, minus the firewire issue.

replacing every device is not a solution, it's a last resort. the only firewire device i use is my camcorder, and it would suck to have to replace it since i paid two grand for it.

how about a real solution?
sorry, i think the point is..there is no real solution. i know i was planning an apple-endorsed firewire audio device and a new macbook, so...no go. call apple, (innocently) ask them what to do...
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Spheric Harlot
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Jan 2, 2009, 04:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by paularizer View Post
i'm loving my new macbook too, minus the firewire issue.

replacing every device is not a solution, it's a last resort. the only firewire device i use is my camcorder, and it would suck to have to replace it since i paid two grand for it.

how about a real solution?
Snark all you want: that IS the "real solution".


You can spend $100+ on a supposed Firewire to USB converter that will ONLY do DV (and damned if I'd trust it to do that as far as I could throw it), and ONLY do so under Windows.


If you've got a $2000 camera that needs Firewire and that you're unwilling to sell, then the only real option is to sell or return the MacBook and get a MacBook Pro, instead.
     
Big Mac
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Jan 2, 2009, 04:17 PM
 
There is no such thing as a proper USB to Firewire adapater. There never will be.

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Spheric Harlot
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Jan 2, 2009, 04:20 PM
 
These are those DV-only guys I was talking about:

http://www.usbfirewire.com/uadapters.html
     
Big Mac
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Jan 2, 2009, 04:26 PM
 
People need to come to terms with the fact that Apple screwed up here by not including Firewire.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
paularizer  (op)
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Jan 2, 2009, 04:30 PM
 
good stuff guys. so it's hopeless yeah? i still have my old PB. i can use it to capture.

what was it that steve jobs was saying about how all new devices use usb anyway?
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Big Mac
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Jan 2, 2009, 04:32 PM
 
Marketing spin that's simply not true. I saw two miniDV camcorders at Target a few weeks ago.

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Wiskedjak
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Jan 2, 2009, 04:38 PM
 
Apple doesn't screw up. Clearly, Firewire is a pro-user feature as Firewire-only miniDV camcorders are almost $200!!!
     
paularizer  (op)
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Jan 2, 2009, 04:41 PM
 
it wasn't a pro user feature before.
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Spheric Harlot
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Jan 2, 2009, 04:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
People need to come to terms with the fact that Apple screwed up here by not including Firewire.
No, people need to come to terms with the fact that Apple hasn't included Firewire.

Whether they screwed up or not is completely irrelevant, as it simply doesn't affect reality.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 2, 2009, 04:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by paularizer View Post
it wasn't a pro user feature before.
SCSI wasn't a "pro" feature on Macs either; it was just standard.

For the rest of the computer market, it *was* a "pro" feature.
     
Wiskedjak
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Jan 2, 2009, 04:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
For the rest of the computer market, it *was* a "pro" feature.
Of course, now that it *is* "standard" for the rest of the computer market (my $600 Dell laptop at work has firewire), Apple decides that it's a "pro" feature ...
     
fisherKing
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Jan 2, 2009, 06:13 PM
 
nothing to do about it, and it's been discussed to death here (and, for instance, on apple's own forums).
a shame (i think), but that's the deal...
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And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
mduell
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Jan 2, 2009, 08:19 PM
 
Continue to use the computer you were already using with your Firewire-crippled video camera (ugh, realtime importing). Or buy a new video camera that's not fresh out of 1995.
     
fisherKing
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Jan 2, 2009, 09:25 PM
 
all the "apple-can-do-whatever-it-wants-if-you-want-firewire-buy-a-pro" people...
what about macusers with firewire drives? what about those of us who use a firewire audio interface?
maybe some of us prefer a smaller notebook (or have a smaller budget)?

isn't it possible that apple has made a bad move here? there are a lot of people upset on apple's own forums.
apple is an amazing company, but it's not infallible... whatever...peace!
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
mduell
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Jan 2, 2009, 10:19 PM
 
What about Mac users with ADB keyboards and SCSI scanners? Why doesn't Apple still support those?
     
Wiskedjak
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Jan 2, 2009, 11:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
What about Mac users with ADB keyboards and SCSI scanners? Why doesn't Apple still support those?
Because Apple has a bad habit of adopting emerging technologies, claiming how much better they are than competing technologies, and then dropping those new technologies shortly after they become more commonly used.
     
CharlesS
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Jan 3, 2009, 03:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
What about Mac users with ADB keyboards and SCSI scanners? Why doesn't Apple still support those?
Those things were both replaced with solutions that were superior to them. ADB with USB, SCSI with FireWire. On the new MacBooks, however, FireWire has been replaced with... nothing. It's simply a loss of functionality.

Also, there were ADB-to-USB adapters, and there were both USB and FireWire adapters for SCSI, so it wasn't like it was impossible to connect an older device to one of those Macs. No such thing exists today for FireWire - and indeed it can't, because no other built-in interface on the MacBook is able to do what FireWire does (perhaps when USB 3.0 comes out, someone will be able to make a decent adapter... but we'll see).

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thechidz
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Jan 3, 2009, 03:35 AM
 
the new macbooks suck IMO
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Spheric Harlot
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Jan 3, 2009, 07:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
all the "apple-can-do-whatever-it-wants-if-you-want-firewire-buy-a-pro" people...
what about macusers with firewire drives? what about those of us who use a firewire audio interface?
maybe some of us prefer a smaller notebook (or have a smaller budget)?

isn't it possible that apple has made a bad move here? there are a lot of people upset on apple's own forums.
apple is an amazing company, but it's not infallible... whatever...peace!
Absolutely, that's possible.

Maybe they ****ed up; maybe their decision *is* premature.

Does that make you feel better? Does it change reality?

If you want Firewire, buy a Pro, or a plastic MacBook.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 3, 2009, 07:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by thechidz View Post
the new macbooks suck IMO
I've talked to the new MacBooks, and they said YOU suck.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 3, 2009, 08:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Those things were both replaced with solutions that were superior to them. ADB with USB, SCSI with FireWire. On the new MacBooks, however, FireWire has been replaced with... nothing. It's simply a loss of functionality.
There was a LOT of bitching about how Firewire was NOT superior to SCSI, by a long shot, IIRC. In addition, Firewire transfer speeds SUCKED until the Oxford bridge came out.

And on the new MacBooks, benchmarks have shown that USB 2.0 is definitely an adequate replacement - in terms of transfer speed: http://hardmac.com/news/2008-10-28/#9086
39MB/sec vs. 36MB/sec sustained read speed, and 32MB/sec vs. 30MB/sec sustained write speed is NOT enough of a difference to claim loss of functionality.

It's still not an option for serious audio/video media usage, because the USB protocol is ****, even in isochronous mode, and DV cameras will need to be replaced, just like all the SCSI peripherals back then, but for the VAST majority of the market, it's not a big deal. Just like the loss of SCSI wasn't a big deal back then: Most people who depended on SCSI hardware bought "pro" machines anyway and stuck SCSI cards in them to support their legacy hardware - which they did until what, 10.4.something?
     
Simon
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Jan 3, 2009, 08:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I've talked to the new MacBooks, and they said YOU suck.
Unwarranted personal attack. Reported.

And before you reply with any insults directed towards me, you might want to consider that you'll just be making my point.
( Last edited by Simon; Jan 3, 2009 at 09:06 AM. )
     
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Jan 3, 2009, 09:02 AM
 
I think it may have been a joke. Spheric Harlot certainly has an interesting way with people.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 3, 2009, 09:20 AM
 
Please...think about the MacBooks.

How do you think *they* feel?


(The difference between a grin and a snarl may only be one of degree, but that doesn't mean it ain't there)
     
Wiskedjak
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Jan 3, 2009, 11:18 AM
 
Personally, I think the issue is moot for everyone except those who are heavily invested in firewire peripherals. I think the real problem is Apple's habit of generating conflict through loyalty. The firewire-vs-USB debates were almost as heated as any Windows-vs-Mac debate, and then, after years of telling everyone how much better Firewire is, Mac users are suddenly faced with being left with the very technology they were evangelizing against.
     
fisherKing
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Jan 3, 2009, 11:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Absolutely, that's possible.

Maybe they ****ed up; maybe their decision *is* premature.

Does that make you feel better? Does it change reality?

If you want Firewire, buy a Pro, or a plastic MacBook.

not trying to change reality LOL, just expressing my point-of-view.
great place to do that: these forums...
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 3, 2009, 02:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Personally, I think the issue is moot for everyone except those who are heavily invested in firewire peripherals. I think the real problem is Apple's habit of generating conflict through loyalty. The firewire-vs-USB debates were almost as heated as any Windows-vs-Mac debate, and then, after years of telling everyone how much better Firewire is, Mac users are suddenly faced with being left with the very technology they were evangelizing against.
I think that's pretty much the heart of the issue.

Well done!
     
Hg2491
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Jan 3, 2009, 03:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I've talked to the new MacBooks, and they said YOU suck.
lol++
     
Hg2491
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Jan 3, 2009, 03:27 PM
 
USB 3.0 its on its way.
Relax people, breath.
     
CharlesS
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Jan 3, 2009, 04:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
There was a LOT of bitching about how Firewire was NOT superior to SCSI, by a long shot, IIRC.
It may not have been superior to Ultra2 Wide SCSI or whatever, but it sure as hell was superior to the ancient SCSI-1 ports that Apple had been including, pretty much unchanged IIRC, since 1986.

Don't forget that FireWire was based on the SCSI standard - it basically was a faster, hot-swappable version of SCSI with nicer cables and which didn't make you bother with ID numbers or termination.

In addition, Firewire transfer speeds SUCKED until the Oxford bridge came out.
They would have had to really suck to be slower than the old SCSI-1 ports, which ran at one tenth the speed of FireWire, so I sort of doubt it. And that situation was resolved anyway once the Oxford bridge did come out.

39MB/sec vs. 36MB/sec sustained read speed, and 32MB/sec vs. 30MB/sec sustained write speed is NOT enough of a difference to claim loss of functionality.
It's interesting that you say this, and then immediately go on to say:

It's still not an option for serious audio/video media usage, because the USB protocol is ****, even in isochronous mode
Translation: loss of functionality. The machine used to do something, which now it can't, and that's pretty much the definition, no?
( Last edited by CharlesS; Jan 3, 2009 at 04:23 PM. )

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Jan 3, 2009, 04:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by iPublius View Post
I think it may have been a joke. Spheric Harlot certainly has an interesting way with people.
I concur, the sentence conveys instead of
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 3, 2009, 05:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
It's interesting that you say this, and then immediately go on to say:


Translation: loss of functionality. The machine used to do something, which now it can't, and that's pretty much the definition, no?
For the vast majority of the market (as I was saying), that's NOT lost functionality, since guaranteed on-time delivery of large-bandwidth media streams is simply completely irrelevant.

The people for whom this *is* relevant are - yep: pros.
     
CharlesS
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Jan 3, 2009, 05:57 PM
 
You could make the same argument about SCSI back in the day, and it would be just as irrelevant. The point remains that functionality has been lost, which remains true whether or not you think most people will notice it, and that the situation is therefore not analogous to the move from ADB to USB or from SCSI to FireWire. Heck, you can still use that ADB keyboard with your MacBook - all you need is one of these:



No such solution for FireWire (which is the topic of this thread). Apples and oranges.

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Jan 3, 2009, 08:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hg2491 View Post
USB 3.0 its on its way.
And how long will it take for Apple to implement it? They've been lagging the industry substantially with recent standards (802.11n, eSATA, etc).

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Translation: loss of functionality. The machine used to do something, which now it can't, and that's pretty much the definition, no?
A loss of compatibility, no doubt, but what's the loss of functionality? They can still connect to comparable video cameras and external audio devices.
( Last edited by mduell; Jan 3, 2009 at 08:42 PM. )
     
fisherKing
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Jan 3, 2009, 08:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
And how long will it take for Apple to implement it? They've been lagging the industry substantially with recent standards (802.11n, eSATA, etc).



A loss of compatibility, no doubt, but what's the loss of functionality? They can still connect to comparable video cameras and external audio devices.
sure, my situation isn't common. but i wanted a new macbook (the right size for me, especially coming from a 12" powerbook), to carry reason and logic work to & from a music studio (i live in nyc, and do a lot of walking); i was going to get the (apple-recommended, made-for-logic) apogee duet, but..

the macbook can be bought with logic express pre-installed. apple recommends a firewire audio interface for logic. yet...there's no such interface on the new macbook.

makes no sense to me, and is a disappointment. i DO like my macbook, and am using a usb audio interface, but remain disappointed in apple (and have no problems voicing such thoughts on these forums).
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And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
Hg2491
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Jan 3, 2009, 09:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
And how long will it take for Apple to implement it? They've been lagging the industry substantially with recent standards (802.11n, eSATA, etc).
I'm not saying they are going to implement the standard right a way, but there is a faster option on its way. If people need firewire with such need, then they should consider getting the MacBook Pro.

EDIT: Imagine if Apple would start putting every standard that comes out on the machines.... We would end up having 1001 useless ports for the general public.
     
fisherKing
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Jan 3, 2009, 09:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hg2491 View Post
I'm not saying they are going to implement the standard right a way, but there is a faster option on its way. If people need firewire with such need, then they should consider getting the MacBook Pro.

EDIT: Imagine if Apple would start putting every standard that comes out on the machines.... We would end up having 1001 useless ports for the general public.
or imagine if apple continued to support it's users who depend on firewire, which they encouraged us to use in the first place (and which is a current standard still)...
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
Hg2491
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Jan 3, 2009, 09:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
or imagine if apple continued to support it's users who depend on firewire, which they encouraged us to use in the first place (and which is a current standard still)...
I'm not saying what they did it's ok, but what is done is done. I think I read there's not enough space to have Firewire, or is it that there is?
     
amazing
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Jan 3, 2009, 11:53 PM
 
There is some history of Apple responding to public protests, isn't there? For example, the Powerbooks had both a fw-400 and a fw-800 port, and the fw-800 port was removed on the first 15" MBP (big public outcry), only to be reinstated on the C2D MBP.

Apple seemingly figured out that there "was" space on the motherboard after all...
     
juraiprince
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Jan 3, 2009, 11:57 PM
 
The item on the bottom of this page might be a solution, but don't hold your breath waiting for it.

http://www.xtrememac.com/category/new/chargers.php
     
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Jan 3, 2009, 11:59 PM
 
That's just a way of providing power to USB devices using a firewire port, not a firewire data solution for the MB.
     
juraiprince
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Jan 4, 2009, 12:00 AM
 
Actually, I guess it won't be a solution for macbook users. Sorry about that.
     
juraiprince
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Jan 4, 2009, 12:01 AM
 
I stand corrected Cold Warrior. My apologies everyone.
     
Cold Warrior
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Jan 4, 2009, 12:07 AM
 
Don't sweat it. You were just trying to help.
     
Hg2491
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Jan 4, 2009, 03:55 AM
 
It's not really a solution, but what about getting an old iMac G3? Those had 2 Firewire ports.
     
kw14
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Jan 4, 2009, 05:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Hg2491 View Post
It's not really a solution, but what about getting an old iMac G3? Those had 2 Firewire ports.
Ha ha. That's one giant firewire adapter. I like it.

The more I think about this issue, the more I believe Apple is premature with removing FW on the Macbooks. The MB is probably market positioned as a casual home use machine. So the logic is true that for emailing, Internet surfing, online shopping, etc., the user wouldn't need such "pro feature".

But the reality is we have a lot of people who like the form factor, need to use it as a secondary machine, and/or on a budget. For them, MBP may not be an option. But Apple does not offer an alternative. To think that offering a FW port could have change that! So yeah, my vote is Apple screwed up.
     
 
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