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  • Jobs Responds to Angry Customer about No FireWire Port

    An angry customer, and previously loyal MacBook fan, emailed Steve Jobs about the new 13 inch MacBooks not having a FireWire port and received a response.

    Characteristic of Jobs, he only briefly responded with one line;

    "Actually, all of the new HD camcorders of the past few years use USB 2."

    AppleInsider experts have validated the authenticity of Jobs response with a great degree of certainty.

    Jobs and FireWire ports have a long history together; after all it was Apple that invented the FireWire port in the late 80s as a replacement for SCSI. Apple released the technology through a standards body to become IEEE 1394, while DEC, Texas Instruments, and Sony contributed to the development of FireWire ports.

    As FireWire was really taking off as the new technology for video and music applications, Jobs tried to procure some licensing royalties from it for Apple after his return to the company in 1997. However, it was ironically the 1998 iMac that really began to push the adoption of USB and in 2005 Apple took FireWire Synce out of the iPod. Another instance of Apple always pushing the envelope on the latest and greatest technological advances.

    In his response, Jobs was correct, as Canon, Hitachi, JVC, Samsung and Sony all use USB 2.0 to transfer footage.

    David responded

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the fast response! In answer to your statement, though, I decided to look at the selection of camcorders on BestBuy.com since I believe they represent a pretty average staple of what consumer electronics people are buying. Although you are correct that (almost) all of the new HD camcorders use USB 2.0, there are still many, many standard definition camcorders (read: affordable for average Joes) that require firewire. Does this mean to say that Apple no longer supports average Joes from making home movies on their computers? In other words, if I have a $300 firewire camcorder and a new MacBook, shouldn’t I be able to edit videos of my kid's birthday just as easily as someone who has a MacBook Pro and a $1200 HD camcorder?



    Interestingly, perhaps in an effort to smooth things over, Jobs sent this angry customer (David) another confirmed email from his iPhone,

    The new HD camcorders start around $500.

    What do you guys think about FireWire port missing? My husband has a MacBook Pro and a USB 2.0 camcorder, so I don’t miss it…but I have a few friends who do…


    AppleInsider | Jobs responds to outrage over MacBook's missing FireWire [u]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Jobs Responds to Angry Customer about No FireWire Port started by AppleChic View original post
    Comments 50 Comments
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by dennder View Post


      I disagree. It does not. The fastest ones are always optional and for additional charge higher, than in competiting products. GPU's arent the fastest at all.

      I agree though, that apple low-end is mostly "high-ender" than the competiting mid level products.
      AGAIN... when comparing the exact hardware with windows and apple windws will always be cheaper. Why? They load a bunch of "crap" to offest the costs... I love this fact... I can easily just reload windows to have a clean install and don;t mind this. This isn't their marketing scheme. As far as ram speeds, 1066 DDR3 is pretty top of the line for a notebook currently. 2.4ghz dual core is really high up there too. Remember we are also talking battery life. You can get a 3.0ghz processor in your notebook but currently those are higher power consumption. When you lower power consumption and up speed you get a more expensive product. There really isn't any faster chip in the PC market that isn;t a power hog (and a massive heat generator too).
    1. dennder's Avatar
      dennder -
      You didn't get my point.

      first, not all notebooks on market are "loaded with bunch of crap". There are linux or no OS at all versions and those are cheaper, than then windows loaded ones (at least here in my country).
      second, it is cheaper for me to buy upgrades for apple products in electronics store, than in apple "configure" store. I get the same quality here, no one is talking buying bull-sh** for as low as possible.

      The best example is SSD. Why should i pay apple 600$ for swapping 250gb hdd (in case of MB 2.4) with 128gb ssd, when i can get the SAME SSD for 450-500$ in store and also keep 250gb as additional USB drive (with proper case for ~15$).

      This is what i'm talking about overpricing. If i can get SSD in retail store for 450$, apple should get it in large quantities for 300$ (maybe even less). So i'd prefer to buy ssd from apple for those 450$ (even 500$), but not for 600$.

      All my computers are apple (as i said before). But i personally upgraded those with spare parts from store, not from apple. And i got same quality for not as much money.

      You can get a 3.0ghz processor in your notebook but currently those are higher power consumption.
      As a consumer, it is my choice whether to choose it or not, isn't it? So if there is an option to get faster cpu and sacrifice battery life, is is my sole choice. But there is no option for me to decide, if this CPU isn't available.

      The loss of firewire is a setback, huge one. I might agree, that MB does not need it. But if it is removed from next versions of iMac, i'll be getting back to hackintoshes.
    1. Alperovich's Avatar
      Alperovich -
      Quote Originally Posted by skatertrash View Post
      people who edit video professionally want firewire ports. people with external hard drives want firewire ports because firewire is MUCH faster than usb 2.0. professional and students involved in video editing will be very disappointed/ disinterested in a macbook with the power of mac pro incapable of interfacing with pro video equipment. im not even sure you can capture video with usb 2.0 in final cut pro. it was just a bad decision all around.
      if u edit video professionally and are getting a macbook, its time to change your career choice. clearly its not working out for you.
    1. mrtonyyx's Avatar
      mrtonyyx -
      Apple is like joining a Communistic country. You're bound to be going with what they want and not what you need.
    1. Macboy67's Avatar
      Macboy67 -
    1. sane's Avatar
      sane -
      I think the email writer has a valid complaint.

      Why should I have to purchase a new camcorder just because I need to replace my MacBook or TiBook?

      Forcing the customer to needlessly abandon perfectly good equipment is lame. At least put a PC card/PC Express card slot in there so we can add a Firewire.

      Not all of us can afford a MacBookPro.

      And the "just get a PC" argument is an equally weak one. Where's Final Cut Express for the PC? So not I have to buy new software and use a clunky OS?

      It just means that I'll be buying older machines through eBay or craigslist until I need to replace the companion electronics that require Firewire (ie camcorder, my plethora or FW external Hard Drives and my FW Dazzle).

      Oh well, they just postponed about three computer sales for at least a year or two (until I can justify replacing all the software/hard drives and camcorders as well as my machines).
    1. WillyDavidK's Avatar
      WillyDavidK -
      As a recording engineer, FW is an absolute MUST for me. I'm using 3 firewire devices on my iMac, one of which is a 10x10 multichannel audio interface ... good luck using that with USB (there is a siilar TASCAM unit that is usb, and many usb mixers, but you get a 2-channel stereo sum over usb, so it defeats the purpose)

      And I'm sure you can buy a 'usb to firewire' cable from hong kong on ebay, but that means nothing. There's probably some asian factory soldering the leads from the connectors together and calling it an 'adapter'. This will NOT work properly. You might be able to get lucky with some cheap sd camcorder, which is sending relatively small amounts of data, but firewire and usb work very differently, and trying to use any data intensive fw device (and most of them are, otherwise it would be cheaper for the to just be usb) would result in a catastrophic failure.

      USB relies on cpu cycles for processing, while firewire has it's own bus that takes the load off of the cpu almost entirely. Firewire also provides higher voltages over the larger, more common 6-pin form, and it allows daisy chaining devices.

      The thing that makes abandonment of the firewire different than previous ditching of technologies (floppy drives, scsi, etc) is that there is currently nothing to replace firewire. In short, it seems from everything i've read on this issue, the primary reason is for apple to differentiate the new Macbook from the MBP. As for target disk mode, all you need is a crossover cable - or really any cat5 cable will do, since the macbook's NIC will autodetect if you use the wrong cable.

      Most likely the will update the ethernet connector in the next macbook to support IEEE 1394c, the next firewire standard which will support data transfer up to 3200 MBps, and will use an RJ-45 conector.
    1. Bluprint's Avatar
      Bluprint -
      Apple has a simple plan and that plan is to dictate your life.
    1. khaoticsquirrel's Avatar
      khaoticsquirrel -
      haha since when did steve jobs personally reply to every happy or angry Apple customer?

      though this is upsetting news, i will just have to get externals that are USB2 compatible, which is not a bad choice considering that it is a faster transfer anyways...
    1. sampsonite33's Avatar
      sampsonite33 -
      does david realize that the cheapest MacBook (perhaps the one your average Joe might buy) for $999 still has Firewire 400 AND and brand new SuperDrive to burn your imported movies?... maybe he just needed a reason to write to Steve.