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Users Rage Over Missing FireWire On New MacBooks

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the liar-liar-pants-not-wired dept.

Portables (Apple) 820

CWmike writes "Apple customers, unhappy that the company dropped FireWire from its new MacBook (not the Pro), are venting their frustrations on the company's support forum in hundreds of messages. Within minutes of Apple CEO Steve Jobs wrapping up a launch event in Cupertino, Calif., users started several threads to vent over the omission. 'Apple really screwed up with no FireWire port,' said Russ Tolman, who inaugurated a thread that by Thursday has collected more than 300 messages and been viewed over 8,000 times. 'No MacBook with [FireWire] — no new MacBook for me,' added Simon Meyer in a message posted yesterday. Several mentioned that FireWire's disappearance means that the new MacBooks could not be connected to other Macs using Target Disk Mode, and one noted that iMovie will have no way to connect to new MacBooks. Others pointed out that the previous-generation MacBook, which Apple is still selling at a reduced price of $999, includes a FireWire port. Apple introduced FireWire into its product lines in 1999 and championed the standard."

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Drat you Steve! (5, Funny)

Art Popp (29075) | about 6 years ago | (#25412593)

Now I won't have anywhere to hookup my HD-DVD drive!

Re:Drat you Steve! (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | about 6 years ago | (#25412655)

Hopefully they'll do something like offer an external adapter. I think that's the best thing they can do in this situation. Knowing Apple, it'll still cost you. Then again, if there's enough RAGEing going on, Apple might provide it low-cost or free.

Re:Drat you Steve! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412695)


Re:Drat you Steve! (4, Informative)

ip_vjl (410654) | about 6 years ago | (#25412775)

An external adapter would still require somewhere to plug into. The MacBook doesn't have an ExpressCard slot like the MBPro does.

The only ports available are 2xUSB2 and Gigabit Ethernet. USB2 can't keep up with FW400 (even though the theoretical max is slightly higher) and doesn't transfer in the realtime mode needed by DV cams. There is talk of Firewire over Ethernet, but there is no known compatible adapter.

If the Ethernet adapter in the MacBook supports this (but possibly not until Snow Leopard is released, then come out and say so now. That would likely shut a number of people up.

I was planning on switching to a MacBook because the video card in the old one wouldn't work properly with Blender (Apple's OpenGL problems, as the same card works with Win/Linux and Blender) ... but the lack of a FW400 port means I can't hook in my DV camera, and using iMovie/iDVD was one of the reasons to want to switch to a Mac to begin with.

Having to capture on another computer and then move the video to the Mac means having to have a system around specifically for when I want to capture. Not very elegant at all. Now, I'm thinking I'll probably get a ThinkPad.

Re:Drat you Steve! (5, Insightful)

theaveng (1243528) | about 6 years ago | (#25413125)

Let's face it:

FireWire is on its way out due to USB's huge dominance... if it's not discontinued now, it will be eventually. It will join the ranks of all the other discontinued proprietary formats like Atari, Commodore, Amiga, VHS, Betamax, DivX, HD DVD, and so on.

Re:Drat you Steve! (4, Insightful)

Godji (957148) | about 6 years ago | (#25412789)

Apple and "low-cost or free" hardware? What have you been smoking?

Re:Drat you Steve! (4, Informative)

v1 (525388) | about 6 years ago | (#25412847)

the original macbook pros lacked a firewire 800 port, which was added to the next refresh on them. I expect to see a fw800 port added to the first refresh on these new macbooks.

Yes, no firewire sucks. I do mac repair work, and I use the firewire port a LOT. This is going to make it a lot harder for me to get my job done. I hate working on the slot load imacs that lack the firewire port.

I use to pity the PC service tech as he always had to disassemble machines and pull the HD out to work on certain things.

Re:Drat you Steve! (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | about 6 years ago | (#25413111)

I do mac repair work

Stop spreading lies. Everyone knows that Apple products do not break down. Any issues you may be experiencing with your Apple product are merely a result of insufficient faith.

Re:Drat you Steve! (5, Insightful)

MikeDirnt69 (1105185) | about 6 years ago | (#25412715)

Of course you do, keep using the mac you have right now.

Mod parent up (1, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 6 years ago | (#25412951)

Thank you. Why people throw down thousands of dollars to get a new computer when they already have a working computer is a mystery to me.

Re:Mod parent up (1)

somersault (912633) | about 6 years ago | (#25413159)

Likewise for Operating Systems and productivity software.

Though, having said that, my Amiga 1200 was still working when I finally stopped using it.. and the Amiga 500 I had before the 1200 was working okay too. By the time he actually needs a new computer though, his peripherals will probably themselves be obsolete

is that still around? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412599)

Isn't the new fast version of USB just as fast as firewire?

Why do mac users insist on using "different" stuff? Not that there is anything wrong with that...

Re:is that still around? (5, Informative)

Nushio (951488) | about 6 years ago | (#25412703)

The complaint is because the Macbook makes all their firewire accesories useless. (Duh).

Re:is that still around? (4, Informative)

sdpuppy (898535) | about 6 years ago | (#25412721)

It's like comparing two runners - one who runs a marathon and goes 7 min/mile and a sprinter who does 7 min/mile.

They both have the same specifications, but the marathoner can keep it up much longer.

USB does it in bursts and firewire is continuous transfer - thats why its better for movies.

(Aren't you glad I didn't use a car analogy? :-))

Re:is that still around? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412791)

(Aren't you glad I didn't use a car analogy? :-))

No. You suck. I hate you.

Re:is that still around? (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 6 years ago | (#25412825)

Thank god someone else understands the difference...

Adaptors do not work... not the way firewire does.

For video IEEE1394 eats USB, no doubt it works in other applications the same. USB does some things great, but a Mac without Firewire is like a shark without fins - menacing, but no real danger.

Re:is that still around? (2, Informative)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | about 6 years ago | (#25412909)

but a Mac without Firewire is like a shark without fins - menacing, but no real danger.

you mean, like a shark with no teeth..... right?

(a shark with fins, but no teeth will be menacing, but no real danger)

Re:is that still around? (0, Offtopic)

albeit unknown (136964) | about 6 years ago | (#25413137)

No, a shark with lasers

Re:is that still around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25413149)

a shark without fins is no danger, the bastards gonna sink!

Re:is that still around? (1)

LiquidDeath (771564) | about 6 years ago | (#25413097)

I would have preferred two trains leaving Chicago.

Re:is that still around? (1)

Rinisari (521266) | about 6 years ago | (#25412755)

It's not a matter of speed, it's a matter of paired hardware support. DV Cameras have Firewire out and that's the standard when it comes to DV capture. USB2.0 could arguably handle it, but the DV market chose Firewire. This, obviously, makes the new Macbooks useless for folks who rely on Firewire devices and who have a hardware investment in Firewire devices.

I agree that this is a poor decision, but perhaps Apple made an executive design somewhere along the line, expecting users who really need Firewire to spring for the MBP instead.

Re:is that still around? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412781)

USB is a burst protocol.
Firewire handles high throughput streams gallantly, and does not put extra load on the CPU.

Re:is that still around? (2, Insightful)

cosmocain (1060326) | about 6 years ago | (#25412783)

1) Think different (r) 2) Target Disk Mode, for example. This is a real feature [] instead of 1) 3) Existing hardware which can only be used with FireWire (e.g. audio/video-equipment)

Re:is that still around? (1)

techess (1322623) | about 6 years ago | (#25412839)

What I regret losing is not speed but function. Firewire allows target disk mode which is one of the best tools you can ever give your IT staff. Besides being useful for loads & backups, it can be real life saver when you have hardware failure or even when someone drops their laptop 5 minutes before an important meeting.

With the new laptops you'll have to pull the disk if you need to do any emergency data recovery. Sure it is only one screw to get the drives out, but target disk allowed you access without any tools and nearly instantly. The only think you need is a firewire cable and another mac.

Re:is that still around? (5, Informative)

DrLang21 (900992) | about 6 years ago | (#25412845)

Assuming that you are refering to USB 2.0 and not 3.0, which isn't out yet, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages with Firewire. A standard Firewire bus is rated to 400 Mb/s, while USB 2.0 is rated to 450 Mb/s. However, the USB High Speed protocol with individual devices is limited to 400 Mb/s. In addition, the USB protocol has a lot more overhead when it comes to control of the bus. The entire USB bus is fully controlled by a single host computer, whereas Firewire is an intelligent bus that requires less overhead. What all of this generally amounts to is that when it comes to a single continuous data stream, Firewire still beats USB 2.0 by quite a bit. But when it comes to managing multiple devices, or transfering many small files, the differences are not so great. For external hard drives and digital video cameras, Firewire beats USB 2.0, especially if you run Firewire 800, which is capable of 800 Mb/s.

Re:is that still around? (4, Interesting)

sqlrob (173498) | about 6 years ago | (#25412895)

Speed isn't the issue, at least for me.

USB doesn't let you use the Mac in Target mode, turning it into an HD without needing any OS to boot. It's great for system recovery.

Maybe they were forced to drop it? (2, Insightful)

netglen (253539) | about 6 years ago | (#25412605)

Because they couldn't afford the royalty fees for using the technology? Just kidding.... but do you all remember what the original royalty fees that Apple demanded before they were forced to tone it down?

Re:Maybe they were forced to drop it? (4, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 6 years ago | (#25412769)

I think that they wanted $0.25 per end-user. Other than licensing, Firewire is a more expensive technology to implement due the hardware. That's really kept it out of the low-end markets. USB is a decent technology for certain things like peripherals and general data transfers. Firewire supplies more power and is better in time-sensitive transfer applications. Overall, Firewire 400 which came out 1995 has a higher sustained transfer rate than USB 2.0 which came out in 2000.

Mine has two (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 6 years ago | (#25412617)

Mine has two, if you look through the RDF.

Re:Mine has two (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 6 years ago | (#25412947)

What does the Robotech Defense Force have to do with this? Are you Rick Hunter in disguise?

They will buy one anyways... (0, Troll)

rtr1212 (1192941) | about 6 years ago | (#25412629)

The person who is a Mac fan is the same person who cannot stand not having what his friends have when it comes to new overpriced things.

Re:They will buy one anyways... (4, Funny)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | about 6 years ago | (#25412709)

Hey look, I can generalize too!

The person who mindlessly criticizes Mac fans is the same person who cannot open his mouth without looking like an ass.

Re:They will buy one anyways... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412987)

The person who mindlessly criticizes Mac fans is the same person who cannot open his mouth without looking like an ass.

That's true, but fortunately most criticism of Mac fans isn't mindless...

Re:They will buy one anyways... (1, Insightful)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | about 6 years ago | (#25412713)


I thought we'd dispelled the myth [] that Apple's computers were significantly overpriced.

Oh wait, you were trolling. In that case, nevermind.

Drat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412935)


I thought we'd dispelled the myth [] that Apple's computers were significantly overpriced.

Oh wait, you were trolling. In that case, nevermind.

Shit! I guess the only anti-Apple argument left is that Apple Computers are gay.

Re:They will buy one anyways... (1)

IsaacD (1376213) | about 6 years ago | (#25413157)

but apple fans are the coolest looking of the slaves

Moi aussi (2, Interesting)

azav (469988) | about 6 years ago | (#25412681)

Yeah, I'm fucking bullshit about that. Not going to buy another MacBook until they put it back.

I've got a crapload of external drives, many of which are firewire only. Pisses me off that apple drops their own widely used standard on their own equipment.


Re:Moi aussi (5, Funny)

R2.0 (532027) | about 6 years ago | (#25412719)

Yeah, I'm fucking bullshit about that. Not going to buy another MacBook until they put it back.

I've got a crapload of external drives, many of which are firewire only. Pisses me off that apple drops their own widely used standard on their own equipment.


Fuck Yeah! Like, do you know how many ISA cards I have sitting in a box at home?

Re:Moi aussi (4, Insightful)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | about 6 years ago | (#25412793)

Is firewire really outdated? ISA surely is, but last I checked, despite being not widely used outside the Macintosh scene, it's still feature-competitive.

Re:Moi aussi (1)

R2.0 (532027) | about 6 years ago | (#25412873)

I was more referring to the outraged tone.

"My favorite company dropped a feature I like! OMGWTFBBQ!!!"

Re:Moi aussi (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | about 6 years ago | (#25412893)

So... you LIKE ISA? Is there something wrong with you?

Re:Moi aussi (4, Insightful)

azav (469988) | about 6 years ago | (#25412939)

But sadly, there is no BBQ. Apple pushed FW on us as a superior solution and championed it, encouraging us to adopt it. We do. Then they drop it, leaving us with a load of FW enabled devices. Is that not clear enough to you? Hence the outrage. HENCE!

Re:Moi aussi (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25412871)

Yeah but, unlike ISA>PCI, Firewire is actually BETTER than the only connection the new Macbooks offer (USB 2.0). It irks me because Firewire is still my choice for importing and exporting DV video. USB 2.0 just isn't up to snuff (not with the equipment I use, anyway).

Re:Moi aussi (0)

theaveng (1243528) | about 6 years ago | (#25413085)

Yeah well, the Commodore Amiga was better than either Macintosh or IBM PCs of the mid-90s, but it died too (not enough users). So I cried a little, and then I moved on. Likewise I would love to get my hands on a brand-new Super VHS or Digital VHS VCR, which can produce recordings that appear identical to a "live" DTV signal, but that too has been discontinued (as of 2007).

FireWire is on its way out due to USB's huge dominance... if it's not discontinued now, it will be eventually. It will join the ranks of all the other discontinued proprietary formats like Amiga, VHS, Betamax, DivX, HD DVD, and so on.

Re:Moi aussi (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 years ago | (#25412813)

for different values of 'widely'.

Compared to USB, it's hardly drop in the bucket.

Don't get me wrong, I think doing this without even providing some kind of an adapter is shortsighted and not good customer services.

Re:Moi aussi (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412885)

Pisses me off that apple drops their own widely used standard on their own equipment.

(emphasis mine)

Their own standard, widely used on Macs. And... that's about it. A "standard" nobody else uses and that Apple tried bludgeoning through the market to drive attention to themselves. It...

Wait, this is sounding familiar all of a sudden. Wasn't there some other large, arrogant company that tried this not too long ago?

Re:Moi aussi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25413033)

Nice try retard, but no. Firewire was developed by Apple, but it's available elsewhere (Dell and Sony probably produce more firewire computers than apple).

Re:Moi aussi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412927)

That's okay, just add a firewire card from a third party... oh wait... ;)

Re:Moi aussi (2, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | about 6 years ago | (#25412931)

I see now how rage is just opposite side of the same fandom coin.

Re:Moi aussi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412961)

Why didn't you buy USB2 external drives? They are cheaper and works on all computers since at least 10 years, and I am sure will works in all computers for at least 10 more. To save 1% CPU while reading a DVD?
You made the choice of buying external drives with only one vendor (apple) in mind. I understand your frustration against this vendor, but in my opinion you made a bad choice, as it's always the case when someone focus on compatibility with a single vendor.

Re:Moi aussi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412975)

Yeah, I'm pissed off too. Fortunately, I don't have any firewire devices.

No, wait, I think one external drive enclosure had dual USB and firewire. I stopped using that a couple of years ago. Now I won't be able to use any of the firewire devices on the Intel Macbook I don't have. Seems such a shame! What were they thinking?

Re:Moi aussi (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 6 years ago | (#25412997)

Uhm, good? Don't buy a new computer until your old one stops working?

Re:Moi aussi (1)

Luscious868 (679143) | about 6 years ago | (#25413093)

I've got a crapload of external drives, many of which are firewire only. Pisses me off that apple drops their own widely used standard on their own equipment.


So do what I did and buy a Macbook Pro instead. If new units are too pricey, as they are for me, then grab a refurbished unit. I just bought one at the online Apple Store for $1,399 bucks (only $100 more than the $1,299 Apple is charging for the new model of the MacBook) that has a better processor, a bigger hard drive, a better GPU and firewire. The only downside is that it uses DDR2 memory instead of DDR3 but with a faster CPU and a much bigger hard drive and a better GPU I could care less. If you really, really want a Macbook than grab the $999 version which also has a firewire port but doesn't have the new case or the new NVIDIA chipset.

Problem solved.

Wow! (0)

Doomstalk (629173) | about 6 years ago | (#25412699)

How did they fit a tempest in that teeny little teapot? This is almost definitely a case of a very vocal minority.

neat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412705)

This won't change anything. Apple customers who think they have a voice are just as out of touch with reality as windows users.

Lack of firewire is NOT the end of the world... (-1)

nweaver (113078) | about 6 years ago | (#25412717)

FireWire is a dying standard. Only apple has really been supporting it, and its going away is dissapointing but rather inevitable, especially as USB performance closes the gap.

The biggest annoyance is lack of target-disk mode. But is there a USB target-disk mode on the new ones? And, worst case, you can always get a $20 enclosure and pull the drive: it just pops right out of the new MacBooks.

Re:Lack of firewire is NOT the end of the world... (2, Insightful)

DrLang21 (900992) | about 6 years ago | (#25413003)

You can't make a USB target disk mode unless you either violate the USB standard and sell special Type A to Type A USB cables or you install a USB Type B connector in the laptops.

Why we like firewire (2, Interesting)

marvelouspatric (1112793) | about 6 years ago | (#25412727)

we mac folks like firewire because it's a constant 400 Mbs. Unless I'm mistaken (which is possible) USB 2.0's 480 is split among all the devices on the bus. So, the firewire 400 would give better performance for the transfer of large files.

Re:Why we like firewire (2, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 6 years ago | (#25412887)

  1. How many devices do you typically connect to your system at a time? If you are connecting multiple hard drives at the same time, why are you wasting your money on external drives?
  2. If IO latency is so important to you, why are you using a notebook? You can get a workstation with much higher IO throughput for the same price, with faster SATA disk drives.

Re:Why we like firewire (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about 6 years ago | (#25412955)

If you're are talking about a transfer from one specific device (say an external drive) to your computer, then both USB and IEEE-1394 have exactly the same issues (or lack thereof).

The difference between USB and IEEE-1394 is that USB requires a "host" and all transfers must go through the host. IEEE-1394 allows transfers directly between any devices on the bus. In the real world, this is almost never used, though, because generally your computer (i.e., the "host") has to process the data from the source device before it gets sent to the destination device.

One other difference is that because IEEE-1394 doesn't use a host, all the devices are "smarter" and don't require as much CPU load. But, with today's fast processors, the difference doesn't amount to much in the real world. From what I have seen, both USB at 480Mbps and IEEE-1394 at 400Mbps perform about the same, with both far behind 800Mbps IEEE-1394 and all of them standing still compared to eSATA at 3Gbps.

Why (1)

jeanph01 (700760) | about 6 years ago | (#25412733)

Why apple did that ? USB is now that convenient ?

Not quite (5, Insightful)

yttrstein (891553) | about 6 years ago | (#25412735)

No one is really "raging". A few loudmouths (and it's always the same ones if you hang around those boards and wait long enough) are whining about not being able to plug cameras (that they don't own) into the new Macbook (which they also mostly don't own). This is bitching for bitching's sake, and I can show you. Look here:

The white macbook is still being sold in the Apple store, and will be for the foreseeable future, having just been made Apple's "cheap" notebook. And white macbooks still have firewire400. Which is exactly what these whiny people are screaming that they want.

It seems to me that a few very loud people quite badly aren't going to shut up until Jobs give each and every single one of them their own free, customized mac.

Re:Not quite (2, Informative)

azav (469988) | about 6 years ago | (#25413007)

I have a Sony HDV-A1U camera that I used in Africa to videotape stuff and digitize into my MacBook. 1) I'm rarely a loudmouth here. B) I own the camera. III) I preferred to lug a more rugged MacBook to Africa than a much more expensive and delicate Pro model.

Steve Jobs' take. . . (4, Informative)

MistaE (776169) | about 6 years ago | (#25412747)

A MacRumors article [] has a response from Steve about the lack of Firewire, with his only explanation being that, "All the new HD camcorders have been using USB for the last two years."

Sigh, I'm probably picking up a MBP, but I know plenty of folks that use firewire for things other than camcorders (particularly good external HDs)

Re:Steve Jobs' take. . . (3, Interesting)

EricWright (16803) | about 6 years ago | (#25412915)

Then maybe I'll buy a new HD camcorder and skip the MacBook purchase.

Good Job(s), Steve.

Re:Steve Jobs' take. . . (2, Informative)

elrick_the_brave (160509) | about 6 years ago | (#25413119)

Steve's right. All new(er) cameras and camcorders are USB. It sucks... but it's what we got. I'm sure someone will use a USB to Firewire adaptor or hub... []

In other news, FireWire is still dead... (2, Insightful)

mkcmkc (197982) | about 6 years ago | (#25412749)

Nobody but Apple uses it anyway--I think they're just surrendering to the inevitable here...

Re:In other news, FireWire is still dead... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25412913)

Firewire is still the best way to import/export DV video. Most of my Mini-DV cameras only have firewire ports. So pretty important to have it for *me*, be it Mac or PC.

MacBook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412763)

What is a MacBook? Is it something like an iPod?

Good? (0, Offtopic)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 6 years ago | (#25412773)

[Cynical alert]

Good, people shouldn't be upgrading their computers until their previous system stops working. Have any of these people given any thought to the resources required to build a computer? Oil, minerals, etc., vastly more than is necessary for most of the other things we need (like food), and very much non-renewable. I have a functional system from 2002 that is still chugging away and still serves my needs just fine -- more so, in fact, as my load averages rarely go about 0.6.

Maybe there is something about Mac fans that causes them to be excessively wasteful?

Re:Good? (2, Insightful)

dal20402 (895630) | about 6 years ago | (#25413079)

Maybe you don't need up-to-date equipment. Some of us do. Especially when more processor and disk speed, and more RAM, translate directly into more money.

For example, until laptops with 4GB RAM were reasonably available -- which first happened in 2007 -- I couldn't run two OSes at once without lots of unproductive swapping.

Beyond work, I like to be able to view current websites with reasonable speed. Much 2005 hardware won't do that anymore -- let alone 2002 hardware.

And today's features are useful too. I enjoy USB 2.0 and my MagSafe adapter. I don't think my purchase of machines in 2006 and 2008, both of which I still own, was wasteful at all -- especially since the machines they replaced are all being used by new owners.

If I didn't replace a system until it stopped working, I would be using a Mac Plus; my Mac Plus still works.

You've crossed the line from environmental awareness to punitive, pointless asceticism.

FireWire has DMA, not USB! (5, Informative)

Zymergy (803632) | about 6 years ago | (#25412787)

My Firewire 400 external drives routinely kick the crap out of my USB2 external drivers when archiving large volumes of itty-bitty files.
If I remember correctly, USB2 is controllerless and requires CPU overhead and therefore the latency of USB2 sucks badly compared to FireWire (IEEE 1394x) with its controller and DMA (Direct Memory Access) channel.
This just makes sense if you have ever tried it.

FireWire 800 is even better than FireWire 400 for most anything and it is backward compatible. I believe it is much much faster than USB2 could ever hope to be and it is here NOW. (USB3 is still a LONG way off)

This is really about MONEY and Apple's either being greedy or cheap or both. Apparently they did this specifically on purpose as other 'new' models have FireWire... So, Why?
Apple is not wanting to pay the FireWire licensing fees and they are apparently wanting to push their user base into buying an affordable Hackintosh laptop (what many will likely do) or er.., will, uh... I mean Apple intends for their FireWire needing users to just pay many hundreds more for the "Pro" model that has FireWire.

As I understand it, there are also many cool things you can do with hard disk (and DVD and CD) 1-to-1 disk imaging with FireWire on the OSX macs too.. Not anymore. It's a Feature! [] []

Seems like it would just be a lot cheaper to just add a FireWire CardBus 54 (PCIe) notebook controller card?

Firewire Common on PC Notebooks (5, Insightful)

BBCWatcher (900486) | about 6 years ago | (#25412795)

Firewire is actually fairly common on even budget PC notebooks, including Dells, so this omission by Apple is all the more perplexing. And Apple still doesn't offer Blu-ray drives or 3G wireless at any price on any model. (No 3G wireless option from the iPhone company!) It also amazes me that their latest hardware refresh still caps RAM at 4G maximum. Even Dell has figured out how to go to 8G max on a notebook.

That said, there is some great design in these new MacBooks. But Apple engineers waxing eloquently about "unibody" construction (it isn't, by the way) when they forgot the damn Firewire port is a bit too much to stomach.

Good lord (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412797)

I've never heard people complain so vocally that they *aren't* going to spend nearly $1000 on something.

So what? (-1, Flamebait)

uberrhino (809897) | about 6 years ago | (#25412815)

So dont get the new MacBook. Mac's suck anyways. Faggots.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25413073)

1 Question.


Mac Book Pro Anyone? (1)

seringen (670743) | about 6 years ago | (#25412817)

Wow, it's almost like if you wanted firewire, you could buy another one of their computers. You know, pay extra for more features?

I was thinking about a new laptop, but I can wait until when snow leopard comes out.

I just called apple, and while they suggested that I might be going to hell for not buying their newest laptop every time they release one, I might be able to absolve my sins by buying two next time.

There's a Pro version for a reason (2, Insightful)

SilentChris (452960) | about 6 years ago | (#25412831)

Macbook = Consumer laptop
Macbook Pro = Better than consumer laptop

If you need to do particular work, you buy the tool best associated to do the job.

I wouldn't hammer a nail in with a screwdriver.
I wouldn't buy a point-and-shoot POS over a SLR if I was a newspaper photographer.
I wouldn't get a Macbook if I needed to do any kind of video editing.

Also, the Macbook screen sucks: []

Re:There's a Pro version for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25412943)

So, eh, why didn't they remove iMovie or iDVD from the new MacBooks?

What about the external Firewire drives everyone is selling?

Re:There's a Pro version for a reason (1)

SengirV (203400) | about 6 years ago | (#25413061)

Seems like Apple intended iMovie and iDVD as consumer products, not pro products. And since a TON of people have firewire only DV camcorders, that has been the tool of choice. Now Steve has given all those people(including myself) the finger by dropping firewie on the CONSUMER laptop.

You wouldn't hammer a nail in with a screwdriver, and you obviously wouldn't listen to any voice of reason from those actually impacted from this horrible omission.

Re:There's a Pro version for a reason (1)

dal20402 (895630) | about 6 years ago | (#25413145)

The point is that Apple is putting itself in an uncompetitive position by having its only laptop that is 1) desirable and 2) FireWire-equipped cost $1800 after student discount.

People won't try to use a MacBook. They'll buy a $1000 Dell or Lenovo laptop instead.

USB as replacement for Firewire ? (0)

markus_baertschi (259069) | about 6 years ago | (#25412837)

What exactly can you do only with firewire ? Is a USB-Firewire converter cable not be an option ? The only time I even needed Firewire is for my Sony DV camera who only has a Firewire port. Firewire has some advantages, but since USB 2.0 they look largely theoretical to me. Where is the beef ?

Re:USB as replacement for Firewire ? (1)

soupforare (542403) | about 6 years ago | (#25412971)

I can't speak for video, but I know the best external audio interfaces are firewire.
Even with USB2, you can't get the track counts (especially at high bit/sampling rates) OR the latencies that you can with firewire.

Firewire->USB wouldn't work. You could probably do it, but all the advantages would be lost. No DMA, no device to device communication, etc.

Re:USB as replacement for Firewire ? (1)

SengirV (203400) | about 6 years ago | (#25413099)

Can you point me to a Firewire to USB converter that will actually work with firewire only DV camcorder and iMovie? Until then, it's a problem.

No worries (5, Funny)

soupforare (542403) | about 6 years ago | (#25412863)

You can just plug a firewire card in to the expresscard sl... oh wait

Boo effing Hoo (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | about 6 years ago | (#25412867)

Sorry, Steve was right, most new if not all HD recorders are USB.

Hell, I could not tell what they whining was loudest about, the fire wire or that the base aluminum macbook doesn't have a back lit keyboard (no macbook before this offered that feature anyway)

Fact is, people feel the need to be a victim or otherwise justify a decision for them. In other words, instead of admitting they had no wish to buy the new one (or means to) they can not blame Apple for not doing it. Very nice and tidy and common practice on message boards world wide. Besides getting to portray themselves as the victim they can get a sense of belonging with a possibly valid aggrieved party. It is always easier if you can blame someone else, regardless of the truth.

Yeah, it would nice nice if Firewire was there. However Firewire has always been associated with "Professional" and it has become an artifact of days gone by. Apple sunk FW themselves when they pushed USB to the forefront on iMacs and even with iPods now.

You want firewire, its easy to get, but the PRO line. It is only $400 more to the bottom end of the Pro line from the top of the "consumer" mac line.

Frankly, the new MacBooks are great. Some of the best integrated graphics seen on an Apple laptop. In fact the 9400M series removes a major reason people always held over Apple's head for not buying one before.

The real fault with the 13" Macbook is the viewing angles and color reproduction of that panel are horrible. Really cheaped out. So if you want your firewire and a great display get a Pro. After all if your buying an Apple laptop for more than sitting around Starbucks to look cool you would have gotten the Pro and never bitched

Re:Boo effing Hoo (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | about 6 years ago | (#25413109)

My desktop is a year old and it's got firewire, my brand new laptop has firewire, and in every review I see for a motherboard - it includes firewire.

Just because a standard is *starting* to fade off doesn't mean it's a good way for you to save some money on your machines. PCI Express has been around for years now and PCI is still around. Not because it's necessary but because manufacturers know that people have old PCI cards and they want to use them.

Look at how long parallel ports and PS/2 ports have lasted. People have been using USB printers, mice, and keyboards for the last 5 years and yet those ports still show up. You're just now regularly seeing machines that don't include some or all of those. Apple is just being cheap and/or lazy here and their customers are justifiably upset.

Firewire is a standard, not a luxury (5, Interesting)

waveformwafflehouse (1221950) | about 6 years ago | (#25412889)

Quite simply they needed a way to sell more MacBook Pros.
The average audio/video hobbyist/artist is not going to shell out 2 grand for a firewire port so they can record their music and capture their video.

wah! (0, Flamebait)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 6 years ago | (#25412903)

The internet has become a giant echo chamber/amplifier for whining. And slashdot gives the whiniest whiners the mic far too often, in my opinion.

FW400 to 800 adapter $8.35 (1)

Eganicus (1374269) | about 6 years ago | (#25412959)

FW 400 (6pin) to FW 800 (9pin) via 2 seconds on google. What exactly is the point? Technology changes? Is this a new thing?

Do I care? (4, Interesting)

kilodelta (843627) | about 6 years ago | (#25412979)

My Dell XPS laptop has a Firewire (IEEE-1394) port on it. I've NEVER used it.

The world has chosen USB for just about everything.

How about updating USB camcorder support then? (4, Informative)

Oshawapilot (1039614) | about 6 years ago | (#25413005)

If they're on the way to eventually eliminating Firewire I sure hope that Apple has plans to update USB support for more camcorders then.

I have a JVC hard drive camcorder that is USB and iMovie has absolutely no idea what to do with it when I plug it into any of my Macs. It seems thatt if I had chosen a camcorder with Firewire instead (which Apple themselves trumpeted as the thing to do) I'd have had no issues.


And yet... (4, Insightful)

NoNeeeed (157503) | about 6 years ago | (#25413021)

And yet Apple will still probably sell a metric assload of new MacBooks.

Saying that hundreds of users are pissed off just means there is a small but vocal minority who are annoyed.

The vast majority of MacBook users and potential buyers couldn't care less what FW is, and probably don't even know what it is.

As a number of commentators have pointed out, the vast majority of consumer grade video cameras now use USB. Seriously, if you don't like the product, don't buy it. Is it really that hard?

Target Disk mode works on USB on intel macbooks!NT (1)

Eganicus (1374269) | about 6 years ago | (#25413023)

This is so irrational... Do you know intel isn't PPC compatible? Are cpus & ram also a complaint?

My canned response: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25413031)

As much as it pains me: We've basically been pros leeching off the consumer product segment due to the inclusion of a port that has lost its meaning in the consumer market. If Apple can make an extra $700 off people who don't have a choice, they'd be stupid not to. :) (Though, of course, they still offer the white MacBook, so really, nothing has changed for us, except an even cheaper entry level.)


Recording (4, Interesting)

Dr. Sp0ng (24354) | about 6 years ago | (#25413043)

Firewire is absolutely key when recording audio (in my case, guitar, bass, vocals, etc). USB pushes the CPU too hard and doesn't leave it free for realtime sound processing - amp simulation, etc. Currently I'm doing it on a 2 year old MacBook, but at this point my only upgrade option is a MBP. After factoring in the cost of replacing my Firewire hardware, the MBP isn't much more expensive anyway.

Then again, I guess that's what Apple wants.

Something to think about (5, Informative)

Dallas Caley (1262692) | about 6 years ago | (#25413077)

I work for a major cable manufacturing company, which has made both the standard 6 pin firewire as well as 9 pin. what i do for this company specifically is make their catalog, and i can tell you that in our upcoming 2009 catalog we will not be offering 9 pin firewire at all, and our 6 pin stock selection has been greatly reduced. Obviously (to me) firewire is loosing in popularity (to usb) so get ready to upgrade your soon to be obsolete peripherals.

mac users apparently a very angry bunch (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | about 6 years ago | (#25413091)

- angry over confusion []
- angry over video card []
- angry over southpark []
- angry over upgrades []
- angry over waiting in line []

differentiation between macbook and macbook pro (1)

zojas (530814) | about 6 years ago | (#25413129)

seems to me their are fewer things that differentiate the macbook from the macbook pro now: screen resolution, processor speed (which is a questionable difference, the cpu is still limited by the bus speed, and even the macbook has a really fast processor now), video chipset, and the card slot. so now presence of firewire is one more differentiating factor.

I'm sure to get flamed for this... (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | about 6 years ago | (#25413141)

...but come on. I'm hearing the following complaints: -"I can't hook up my DV camera." If you're going to be doing video editing, why aren't you using the MacBook Pro already? Or even better, a desktop? I just can't see doing any serious video work on a mid-range laptop. And if you want to give me the "I want to edit video on the road" bit, well then I ask you how long is that battery going to last working with big video files? -"I can't hook up my external drives." Okay this one is a bit more serious, but then again, every external drive I have ever bought has been either USB or USB with Firewire. The number of pure Firewire drives out there has to be pretty small. But even so, a new USB backup drive won't set you back more than $150 or so. -"I can't use target disk." Apple has suggested work arounds (i.e., ghosting) for transferring the system from computer to computer. But how many mainstream users actually use target disk on a regular basis, if ever. It sounds to me like Apple got rid of a feature that most of the target MacBook audience wasn't even using anyway. When I buy one of the new ones, I'll appreciate not having to pay extra for a feature I'll never use.
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