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Old October 17th, 2010, 10:48 PM   #1
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Where did firewire go?

Hello everyone,

I have been trying to find a new laptop for a friend who is starting to get into audio recording and working on visual/audio art projects. I was shocked while I was looking at laptops to find that the Firewire ports are gone!? My current laptop atleast has an expressport so I can use firewire that way when I need it. But I didnt even see an express port except for a couple Sony vaios.

I understand technology changes- but it is a bit ridiculous when there are still billions of dollars worth of audio/video equiptment around the world that require firewire - and no userfriendly alternative.

Is there a solution to get firewire to a laptop today that I do not know about? I seen that the macs have firewire 800 - but nothing for the pc's. Any ideas?
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Old October 18th, 2010, 07:56 AM   #2
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I'm surprised that you didn't find express ports standard. That's what I had to do to get firewire in. I'm not sure how else to get firewire in.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 02:45 PM   #3
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Hopefully to hell, where it belongs. Firewire was a good concept, but the connectors and potential for firying equipment made it the worst IMO.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #4
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Firewire has been a necessary evil. I keep waiting for USB 3 to be mainstream. Is it going to ever show up?
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Old October 18th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #5
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Firewire turns out to be rarely used in the PC world. It's not really needed for connecting peripherals, since USB is so ubiqitous - manufacturers dropped it in all but specialty laptops.

Unless your doing DV/HDV or audio (and what's the user percentage of that?) it's an added cost.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #6
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I wonder if, beyond the cost for the ports, manufacturers have to pay a license to Apple - which would raise the cost even more.

I don't know for sure if they do or not, just thinking it's a possibility.

I know for LTO tape, the media makers pay significant royalties to the three companies (IBM/HP/Quantum.) I think that maybe one reason Quantum bought Seagate's tape business was really to get the LTO royalties/license fees from FujiFilm, Maxell, etc.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 10:40 PM   #7
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Some of the higher spec'd mocels still have them, but it doesn't surpirse me that the sony's don't seeing as they are so "trendy".

Even though my workstation has a firewire port I still couldn't live without one on my laptop. I actually prefer to do all my capturing through it rather than my desktop for a number of reasons - 1) I don't have to keep crawling behind the desk to connect the cable to the back of the desktop; 2) I can move it around the house so I can monitor what is being captured while I do something else like cook dinner or watch TV; & 3) the 4-pin port used on laptops is not designed to carry a charge (unlike the 6-pin ports which do provide power) so you're less likely to fry your camera.

When I'm done capturing I just plug in an exteral drive and copy it to that - which I would be doing even if I captured from the desktop because I always edit from external drives.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 11:09 PM   #8
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Dale if your friend is just starting to get into audio work and doesn't own an audio interface yet, like a MOTU Traveler, or a RME or a Presonus, etc which most rely on firewire, I would suggest he opt to get an audio interface that does USB rather than firewire. Most of the companies that make audio interfaces began producing ones that worked over USB 2.0 about a year or two ago seeing that Firewire was on its way out.

Most musicians who self-produce their music are really chuffed that firewire is going by the wayside.

If he needs firewire look for a laptop that has an express card slot and buy a firewire card for the express slot.

One other thought. Might want to check into Dell laptops. They may have some models with Firewire ports.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 11:50 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the great replies.

"the 4-pin port used on laptops is not designed to carry a charge (unlike the 6-pin ports which do provide power) so you're less likely to fry your camera. " Good to know John - Yeah this is something I have always feared and my teachers were constantly warning us about. You would think the firewire ports would have some type of lock like xlr cables.

Jim Andrada "I wonder if, beyond the cost for the ports, manufacturers have to pay a license to Apple - which would raise the cost even more." - This is exactly what I was wondering. I figured it was either a license fee, or simply just politics between pc companies and apple.

Andrew Stone "Most of the companies that make audio interfaces began producing ones that worked over USB 2.0 about a year or two ago seeing that Firewire was on its way out."

Yeah unfortunately she already bough an echo 16 (this is going to be used for a bit of a strange contemporary art project) - I think I convinced her to just use her desktop computer for know. She definitely wants something with fire-wire though eventually - I am thinking about steering her towards a mac.

Still for myself I am sad to see the fire wire options slowly disappear. But excited for USB 3.0 ....
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Old October 19th, 2010, 12:27 AM   #10
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Yeah, and it makes it hard to capture from existing cams that need a firewire port!

I'm a PC person but use a MacBook because when I needed a new laptop they were all coming with Vista - and there was no way I was going to grab that particular jumping cholla (A particularly vicious local cactus that has the "nice" habit of letting whatever part you touch break off so you can get a LOT of spines embedded in your skin while you dance around trying to get it off!)

So getting a Mac is an option but then there's the issue of software and if you happen to use Windows only software on your main PC there can be some "challenges and opportunities to innovate"

Isn't this so much fun?
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Old November 11th, 2010, 09:18 PM   #11
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So, if my laptop has a 4pin firewire, which then connects to my Canon's 6pin firewire, is there a possibility of frying my precious?

We've been wanting to shoot and capture live for a while now, and the only thing that's stopping us is the risk with the cable. Any suggestions about how to avoid burning my camera? Is there a firewire lock, or has Apple locked it up somewhere deep in a warehouse in Finland?

Also, since Canon obviously is not a big fan of HDMI (no such port on the XH-A1s), is there another way of field monitoring, besides the notorious firewire?
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Old November 14th, 2010, 06:37 AM   #12
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Vlady,

4 pin does not carry power, only signals. 6 pin can carry power on the extra 2. So your Canon could fry your laptop interface, but your laptop can't fry your Canon. It will only occur if your Canon has implemented power on the extra two pins and you have a cable that has an internal defect or the cable connector internally connects between the power and signal pins or...

Hope this helps at least in understanding the risk.

Cheers, Ian
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Old November 14th, 2010, 09:10 PM   #13
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Personally, I hate firewire due to my bad experiences with audio interfaces including Mackie and M-Audio and just about every audio interface requires the Texas Instruments T2 chipset (which has never been the problem for me). My latest 'fun' is with a Mackie Onyx 1220i. Apparently, its not possible to write even decent drivers for a firewire audio device.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 05:47 AM   #14
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The HP Pavilion series, such as the DV-5, have a Firewire port.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 06:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Personally, I hate firewire due to my bad experiences with audio interfaces including Mackie and M-Audio....
It's USB audio interfaces that I've had problems with, Firewire has been much more reliable.
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