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FireWire lives to link another day

image Last October, Christina Warren at TUAW expressed concerns that Apple might be phasing out FireWire while her fellow TUAWer (pronounced “tower”?) Mike Schramm more recently danced on the grave of the 400 Mbps spec, likening it to Polaroid film. I blogged about competition to FireWire 800 in 2007 and more recently commented about it in a TechNewsWorld article regarding the future of PC ports.

FireWire 800 is, of course, backward compatible with FireWire 400 although a physical adapter is required, and the overall standard got a boost last week when Apple announced the continuation of the port on its low-end Mac mini which, small as it is, apparently doesn’t require the kinds of tradeoffs that led to FireWire being axed on the MacBook. So apparently we will have Apple’s sexy name for IEEE 1394 around for some time to come. While I, like Christina, am a fan of FireWire’s target disk mode that USB 3.0 won’t have an equivalent for, I increasingly look at it as more of a legacy standard as Apple somewhat characterized it at the MacBook’s introduction. Apple would do more for video at this point by nailing. AVCHD support in Mac OS than continuing to promote or support FireWire, particularly given the blistering speeds that USB 3.0 promise to support.

One Comment

  1. Mike Mike March 8, 2009

    The reason Firewire remains an important and vital standard on the Mac platform is the long and enduring role the Mac plays in video production. Every DV and HDV camera produced in the last 10 years supports FW, so as much as USB3 may be the future we still need to get our content via the past. 🙂

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