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Posts Tagged ‘Firewire

Help me understand please.

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In 2007 I purchased a White 2Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo Macbook.  I paid £650.

In 2009, Apple released the White 2.26Ghz Unibody Macbook. Apple are asking £799 for it.  It DOESN’T come with Firewire of any kind, a battery indicator or an SD slot.  Admittedly it comes with a better screen, a beefier graphics card and multitouch trackpad, nice to have but nothing mind blowing or anything that could extend the life of the machine.

I could rant about how great Firewire and how stupid Apple is for leaving it out, all I need to say is that I have 2 Firewire hard drives daisy chained attached to this machine, one of them a Time Machine Backup, 820GB’s in total running off the 1 cable.  I can’t take any of this with me if I moved to the new MacBook.

There is an argument that for only £100 more you can get the Aluminium 13″ MacBook Pro, which comes with everything I’m griping about that the plastic unibody doesn’t.  This is the up sell technique in action.  But I would argue that if there is only £100 in the difference, why even bother making the plastic version?  Why not just sell MacBook Pro’s and the MacBook Air, why even bother wasting people’s time when its so obvious in what they want to move the customer to?

Sure there will be some people who will buy it, but its such a boring machine I don’t think it does Apple any favours.  There are Netbooks with more connectivity which are more than half the price and there are other Windows machines priced at £799 that are capable of doing so much more as well. Not only isn’t it competitive with windows machines but there is also the Mac Mini.

The Mac Mini is a £499 machine with a supposed ‘Pro’ feature such as Firewire 800 (1), why even bother adding Firewire to a £499 machine but not to a £799 laptop?  The Mac Mini does have 5 USB ports as it is.  Why does a lower priced machine have it, where is the up sell technique in Apple’s desktop lineup?  Are 2 USB ports even enough for the Macbook, they are if you purchase enough wireless gear I guess.

Let’s not forget the total fail that is the SD card slot, its pretty much standard on any laptop in the consumer market, bar the actual laptop that Apple sells to consumers.

For people with the older MacBooks, the difference isn’t going to be £100 either, it will be the difference between what we paid for our current MacBooks, so the difference is actually £250.  Is it worth it now?

  1. Being a Pro feature means that its use is reserved only for the Pro Machines.  An artificial distinction Apple has made with its machine to justify product differentiation.  I would argue there are better ways but hey ho.

Written by jonathanjk

October 23, 2009 at 23:23

Hard drive nostalgia

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I only mention this because I’ve just bought a 500GB laptop hard drive for my MacBook as a second backup drive * (I was waiting for the 7200rpm version but they are taking too long to come out), its going to cost me £102 inc VAT, (for those in the US, take the current 15% VAT off and then roughly by doubling the remaining figure, you’ll get your price).  

Anyway a 1.5TB desktop hard drive at the moment costs £116.  I didn’t realise such a high capacity drive was so cheap, even here in the UK!  Anyway I remember back in 1998 when I wanted to purchase a 3GB desktop hard drive.  Yes you read that right, 3GB!  You can get more formatted space in a mobile phone today!  

The asking price in an issue of MicroMart £150!  How things change, one can only wonder what things will be like in the next 10 years for single disk drives.  In terms of size the difference between 3GB and 1.5TB is 500 times!  Anyway I found this link for those interested which tracks the megabyte to cost ratio all the way back to 1956.  Back then a 5MB drive cost $50,000, thankfully I didn’t live in the 50’s, but its all relative I suppose, somebody is going to look back on this time period in say 50 years and say the same thing!

*As a side note I also bought this Macally enclosure for said drive here. It is a Firewire/USB enclosure but thankfully it has 2 FireWire ports ideal for daisy chaining and ideal because it doesn’t require a power cable either.


The hard drive and the Macally enclosure arrived today and here is a pic of 820GB’s connected through 1 FireWire cable.  I have 320GB in the Macbook as well.  In the box with the Macally enclosure you also get 2 USB cables (you need to use both of those btw) if you want to power up the enclosure and you can’t daisy chain it as you see here with the FireWire… side note to Apple, why did you remove this kind of functionality from the new Macbooks again?


From one firewire cable.

From one firewire cable.

The 500GB is also performing the Time Machine backups while I’m transfering information over to the 320GB Freecom Toughdrive.

Written by jonathanjk

December 30, 2008 at 19:04

Is it an issue for you?

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Compounding the problem is the fact that somewhere along the way, the brains at Apple have decided that “Pro” means “big”.

I’m going to mention again the lack of firewire in the new MacBooks. Apple’s sudden decision to cripple their line of laptops by downsizing the firewire ports.  This article here neatly covers everything about the situation and as a photographer myself who travels I much prefer (for the moment) my smaller MacBook over the bigger laptops Apple offers.  I would love to see a response from Apple about this other than the supposed email from Steve Jobs who when asked about the lack of firewire stated that most cameras are USB now and there isn’t a need for the FW port.

Firewire is so much more than that.  But is it?  Does it bother you that the firewire port has disappeared? I’ve read on forums that people are buying the older generation White MacBooks because it has Firewire.

In relation to the quote, why can’t we have a full featured laptop smaller than 15″ like with what we had when the 12″ PowerBook came out.  People loved that thing as well as myself because of its form factor and ability to be a near complete all in one for those who used it.

Written by jonathanjk

October 22, 2008 at 14:08

Posted in Opinion

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Things to do

I haven’t written anything for a while, this is because I have been busy with University and the time I’m spending on one of my photographic projects.  At the moment I’m also curating and setting up an exhibition, if you’re in Swansea it opens in the Grand Theatre on November the 3rd and will run for 18 days.  It will be a collection of work by the students from Swansea Metropolitan University.  

That aside I will be doing a bigger update in the near future, I still need to write my third part to buying an SLR and upload one of the projects I am working on.

However as a photographer I am concerned by the recent announcement by Apple to not include Firewire on the new MacBooks.  If you want to sign the petition which is going round the internet then you can find it here.  There have been over 9000 signatures at the time of writing.

Written by jonathanjk

October 20, 2008 at 17:10

The joy of Firewire and the failure of software

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So my new laptop hard drive decided to die on me in the last 5 minutes of watching the Thomas Crown Affair.  The Pierce Brosnan version from iTunes movie of the week (99p).  Currently I’m running my MacBook off a firewire cable to my external drive like its an umbilical cord, kinda neat I can do this with Firewire but it also acts like a ball and chain around the laptop.  The external drive is mains powered, being a 3.5 inch desktop size hard drive, so I’m not taking this anywhere for a while.

So until the new laptop drive gets here (tomorrow now) I don’t fancy installing a lot of software when I have to wipe the drive anyway.  I’ve only installed the apps I’ve needed, Camino, Skype, etc, etc. It hasn’t been too bad until I shot on the Saturday and today and only in raw!  I can’t do any edits until the drive gets here.  On top of that I have tried to reinstall Lightroom at least just so I can convert my ORF files to DNG.  No dice, Lightroom will install but will not load up the the palette screens or allow me to import files.  I get a ‘failure to load module’ type error which I haven’t seen anybody been able to rectify while on my travels in forums looking for a solution.

Anyway if somebody can help me with that, it would be great, drop me a comment or something.  There isn’t a need to register here btw.

Written by jonathanjk

September 8, 2008 at 22:09


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