FireWire Resuscitated By Apple
by, June 9th, 2009 at 05:08 PM
On October 14, 2008, Apple CEO Steve Jobs euthanized FireWire, the I/O interface superior to USB 2.0 (read the obituary here for greater detail).
Thanks to a passionate Firewire user base voicing a collective feeling of vexation and neglect, Apple resuscitated the more advanced I/O interface. Yesterday, June 8th, Apple added the "Pro" designation to it's 13"unibody MacBook, making it the new 13" MacBook Pro. To warrant this moniker modification, an SD card slot was added, the display quality was stepped up, capable RAM capacity was increased to 8GB, and most importantly, FireWire 800 was placed among the other I/O connections on the notebooks left side.
Apple.com, Apple retail stores, and authorized sellers of Mac notebooks had received complaints concerning the lack of FireWire in the 13" unibody MacBook introduced last October. During the last eight months, several customers have walked out of Apple retail stores empty-handed, frustrated that their FireWire needs could not be met with the 13" unibody Macbook.
During the keynote yesterday, when it was revealed that FireWire was to be in the new 13" MacBook Pro ,the audience whooped with glee (watch it here, about at the 12:40 mark).
Terrific news for those of us who have a plethora of FireWire devices such as hard drives, HD cameras, and high-end audio equipment.
Although FireWire is back in every computer line from Apple (except the superfluously thin MacBook Air), FireWire may begin to be phased out when USB 3 becomes available (slated for 2010). The speed of USB 3 is said to be 4.8 gigabits per second, but previous versions of USB have failed to deliver the advertised speed. Since USB requires constant management from the CPU, the real-life speeds may be significantly slower. Windows 7 drivers for the new USB technology are reported as being in development, but have not been made available to the public.
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