By Harry McCracken | Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 12:31 pm
A couple of days ago when I posted my initial thoughts on the new Apple MacBooks and MacBook Pros, I declared that the lack of FireWire on the new MacBook was no big deal. Several commenters begged to differ with me. And now Computerworld has a good story by Gregg Keizer reporting that hundreds of angry users are bemoaning the MacBook’s lack of FireWire in Apple’s own forums.
When I said that the death of MacBook FireWire was no biggie, I confessed that I was basing that mostly on my own experience. But it is true that it eliminates the ability to use OS X’s handy FireWire Target Disk mode, which lets you easily and quickly copy files between Macs by treating one of them as an external hard drive. I will miss Target Disk Mode, but I’m thinking that Apple will get around to making it work with USB, too. And Targus already sells a $50 cable that lets you do USB transfers between two Macs or a Windows PC and a Mac.
Apple has a history of eliminating features such as dial-up modems and floppy drives before the rest of the market, and catching some flak for doing so. I’m still thinking that it’s doing something that will eventually seem like a logical move–but doing it before everyone’s comfortable. One thing seems certain: FireWire ain’t coming back to MacBooks.
Anyhow, it’s clear that the people who love FireWire really love it–but I’m still not sure whether they’re a tiny-but-noisy minority or a sizable chunk of Mac users. Let’s take a poll of the Technologizer community, shall we?
(UPDATE: Our coverage of this story continues with “FireWire Isn’t Alone: A Brief History of Features Apple Has Killed.” I dunno whether a decade of other examples of Apple axing stuff will make FireWire fans feel better or worse…)