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Focus Enhancements FireStore
Specifically for the FireStore DV Direct-To-Edit Disk Recording Solutions.


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Old January 30th, 2002, 10:33 AM   #1
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Firestore beware

I just bought a firestore and from reading ads in magazines and web articles as well as the firestore website I was really excited about this little box. I have been hoping someone would come out with a direct to drive device like this for over a year. However, I was very dissappointed to find that you MUST format firewire drives with a PC to use with the unit! I use a MAC and I edit with FCP. I know no one who owns a firewire equiped PC. So, the firestore is useless to me. This is a major flaw and I can't believe that they did this--it seems as if they are out to get us Mac users! Apple invented firewire for God's sake! For whatever reason they have decided to do this that is fine--their choice. What really ticks me off is they didn't publish this fact anywhere. So, all you FCP Mac users who are thinking about buying a firestore, unless you know someone or have a PC with firewire, you are screwed.

Will Boggs
DustBowl Productions
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Old January 30th, 2002, 11:09 AM   #2
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Sorry about your experience Will,

However, the fact that FireStore requires a drive formatted in FAT32 is well documented and should not have come as a surprise. I guess I need to add this info to my review page, but I never thought about it since I edit with a PC. On the Videonics FireStore web page, the FAT32 requirement is listed right there. Also, it's mentioned at About.com's site at http://desktopvideo.about.com/library/weekly/aapr_firestore.htm

Considering that the FAT32 requirement is on the Videonics FireStore website home page, product brochure, FAQ page and Compatibility Guide, you can hardly say it's not published. See http://www.focusinfo.com/products/firestore/firestore.htm -- simple research should have revealed that fact immediately.

Please don't take this the wrong way... I'm not trying to rub salt into an open wound or anything, but I can't stress enough how important it is to do thorough research before making a purchase decision like this. I've always encouraged people to read all they can find, not just the stuff I write. I'll try to update my review for the benefit of Mac users. Sorry you have to go through the hassle of returning it.
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Old January 30th, 2002, 11:36 AM   #3
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I'm don't think that this should be a problem. I'm using a FAT32 60Gb external firewire volume on my MAC G3. My MAC will read FAT32 volumes just fine.

I also found out yesterday that OS-10.1 will also read FAT32 volumes, so you're not stuck with using 9.1 or 9.2.

I completed a long project last night on my FAT32 drive.

Vic
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Old January 30th, 2002, 11:40 AM   #4
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Forgot to mention:

My understanding is that the Firestore will format a drive -- I don't have mine yet, so perhaps Chris can verify this. There are also lots of PCs out there with a $20 firewire card installed (including mine), if that became necessary. Sony VAIO laptops have built-in a 1394 interface.

Vic
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Old January 30th, 2002, 12:47 PM   #5
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The firestore will format butn not if the drive was previously formatted on a Mac. Yes, Mac OS will read FAT32 but you must have a PC to format it. The firestore is not capable of formatting from Mac to FAT32. I guess I will need to spend $50 or so and install a firewire card into my wife's PC at work or a friend's. A hassle, yes, but I really like the thought of not having to capture.
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Old January 30th, 2002, 12:53 PM   #6
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And Chris, I agree with research, but I really don't have time to look all over the internet at a lot of info, even when that info is not that hard to find. I am also not very familiar with FAT32--personally I hate PCs and try to stay away from them as much as I can. Lastly, I called Focus Enhancements and talked to someone and told them I used FCP and was curious as to how FCP would see the files. He told me .dv and we exchanged more info and not once did he mention the FAT32 issue. I just assumed it would work because just about everything firewire will interface with a Mac.

WB
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Old January 30th, 2002, 01:35 PM   #7
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Will,

maybe you can try taking the Firestore to a local college or even a local Comp-USA- i'm sure someone would be willing to format the internal drive w/FAT 32.....good luck.

(I'd offer a quick $10 if I were you- chances are they'll not take the $$ but hey whatever it takes to get that Firestore running)
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Old January 30th, 2002, 04:17 PM   #8
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MACs are the gods of the computer universe.....unlike a PC, they'll recognize almost anything you put on them. If it's a PC format disk, it'll tell you so -- and read/write it. (Uh, Oh....platform wars!)

The data sheets on the Firestore web site make it pretty clear as to the format; so the Firestore FAQs. In fact, that's where I found the initial info about FAT32 not working under OS-10.0 -- that's now supposedly been fixed with OS-10.1.

$50 for a 1394 card is WAY too much. You can get a good one for 20 bucks.

Vic
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Old March 26th, 2002, 12:30 PM   #9
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Firestore update

Time to resurrect this thread--

Focus Enhancements has a firmware update for the Firestore. It adds some new features/formats, and fixes some problems. One problem that's reportedly been fixed is the ability of MAC OS-10 to read FW drives that have been formatted with the Firestore.

Previously, my MAC, with OS-10.1.3, would read FAT32 volumes OK, but not if I used the Firestore to do the formating. I'll check this feature when I get mine back from FE.

The upgrade is free for recent purchasers, $99 for others. See
www.focusinfo.com/products/firestore/upgrade2.htm
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