FireWire Isn’t Alone: A Brief History of Features Apple Has Killed

By  |  Friday, October 17, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Apple has a storied history of being the first company to introduce an array of new technologies in its computers, or among the very first, at least. It all started with color graphics in 1977’s Apple II and continuied features such as graphical user interfaces, Firewire, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and light-up keyboards–and items such as the buttonless touchpads on its new laptops. But it’s just as core to the company’s character that it’s often the first company to kill a technology if it appears to be heading for the dustbin of computing history.

Which is causing a bit of a firestorm this week: The new MacBook has no FireWire port, and some Apple fans are very, very unhappy about that. In our T-Poll on the topic, 49% of respondents are pretty ticked off, and 85% think FireWire still has life in it; only 10 percent applaud Apple’s decision.

It looks like Steve Jobs isn’t terribly sympathetic: He allegedly sent a brief e-mail to an unhappy customer pointing out that USB has been standard equipment on new HD camcorders for several years. Which is true, but may not pacify folks with camcorders that are FireWire only. Or who like FireWire’s speed for external hard drives. Or who just have trouble giving up technologies that they know and love.

(Side note: Some pundits snipe at Jobs for the fact that his e-mails in response to Apple customers are usually extremely brief. Me, I’m impressed that he finds the time to send ‘em at all–and what the e-mails lack in diplomacy, they make up for in honesty.)

Like I say, Apple would clearly prefer to move too fast rather than too slowly when it comes to eliminating technologies that may be past their prime. I don’t know if anyone from the company has ever explained its rationale, but I presume it stems from a desire to save money; t remove components and therefore reduce weight and bulk; and maybe simply to simply remove clutter from the clusters of ports on its computers. I know of no instances in which feedback from angry customers caused it to reverse its decisions. Nor of any where most PC manufacturers didn’t eventually follow its lead.

Shall we review the evidence?

The Floppy Drive

The first most famous thing about Apple’s original iMac was its radically new industrial design in a world of beige PC boxes. The second most famous thing? It had no floppy-disk drive, which at the time seemed sacrilegious. (Jobs had tried to kill the floppy before: His first NeXT workstation dispensed with it in favor of an drive that took $100 magneto-optical discs, but a later NeXT machine brought back the floppy drive.) British computer magazine PC Pro was part of a chorus of doubters:

The lack of a floppy drive is more of a concern. Many people use floppies as a cheap way of transporting and safekeeping files. Apple’s argument is that the built-in modem and Ethernet adaptor make the floppy disk redundant. If you want to transfer a file from system to system, you can do that via email or across a network. That’s true, but some of us still find a floppy disk more convenient. If your network falls down or your modem connection fails, it can be the only way of getting a vital document from one system to another, and it’s not as if a floppy drive would have been an expensive addition.

Aftermath: This time, Jobs didn’t bend when people demanded their floppy drives back; eventually, Apple eliminated them from all MAcs. PC manufacturers were slower to murder the floppy, but murder it they did: In 2003, Dell made headlines when it stopped including floppy drives in Dimension desktops as standard equipment. But “murder” might not be the right word considering that Dell still offers floppy drives as a build-to-order option on at least some of its computers, a decade into the iMac era. Hey, you can still buy a 5.25″ floppy drive if you really need it.

SCSI

Once upon a time, Macs had SCSI interfaces and everything from scanners to printers were attached via them. The iMac had no such port, and while I don’t know if anyone became violently angry over that, it did cause headaches for folks who tried to connect their old SCSI devices to iMacs via USB-to-SCSI adapters and found it didn’t work very well.

Aftermath: SCSI was always somewhat exotic on PCs, although many flatbed scanners used it in the pre-USB age, and sometimes included an external SCSI card in the box. It long ago disappeared from the desktop, but lives on in the form of iSCSI, a very popular standard for attaching hard drives to networks in data centers.

Serial Port

The iMac also ditched the RS-232 RS-422 serial port. (On PCs, serial ports were used to connect keyboards and mice; on Macs, their primary purpose was to connect Macs together and to attach printers.) Its loss didn’t inspire the passion that the iMac’s omission of a floppy drive did, but it was noticed and mourned. From a 1998 thread in the misc.invest.stocks newsgroup:

Since the iMac does not come with a serial port, connecting it to older Macs is in fact a major problem, and something Apple investors should know, as it may limit adoption of the iMac by older Mac users.  In fact, this seems to be the case: a lot of existing Mac users are waiting for USB-to-serial adapters to come out before purchasing the iMac.  Personally, I wish Apple had included at least one traditional serial port with the iMac so people could use existing peripherals such as printers, etc.  But Apple decided to screw the short-term
customer in an effort to force industry adoption of USB, for the benefit of users in the long run.

Aftermath: On PCs, the RS-232 serial port and its soulmate, the parallel port, were eventually known as “legacy” ports–which was a codeword for “you’re obsolete but people would squawk if we killed you right now.” Today, serial is mostly dead, but not entirely so–here’s an HP desktop that still has it, for instance.

Apple Desktop Bus

ADB was once the connector Macs used to hook up keyboards and mice; its disappearance on the PowerBook 150 caused some controversy, but it really began to say its bye-byes when it was missing on the original iMac in 1998; by the end of 1999, it was missing from most Macs. As far as I know, the Mac community didn’t descend on Cupertino with pitchforks and torches as a result. But reading up on ADB at Wikipedia, I just learned something I didn’t know: It was created by Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak in the mid-1980s. Is it too late to be angry about Apple killing what was possibly the last bit of technology in its products personally invented by Woz?

Aftermath: Until 2005, PowerBooks and iBooks still used ADB internally to connect their keyboards and mice, possibly making them the last Apple computers with direct contributions from Woz.

Dial-Up Modem

In 2005, Apple phased out dial-up modems from Macs. It didn’t create a firestorm. But some campers were less than happy over the move. A gripe from AppleFritter:

I understand that technology must advance, and that in order to advance, certain companies (like Apple) must force their hand and just stop selling computers with modems. I don’t think that time is now, though. I think that they should wait until a clear majority of the people of the U.S. have access to broadband. 51%, that’s all I’m asking.

Aftermath: Forty-nine bucks will still get you an external 56-Kbps Apple modem, proving that there are such things as Mac users who want dial-up. I’d love to know how many Apple sells a year, and when it will discontinue the product. Meanwhile, dial-up is still present on many (but by no means all) Windows-based PCs to this day.

FireWire for iPods

Also in 2005, Apple released the first full-sized iPods without FireWire support–FireWire having been a major selling point for the original iPod back in 2001, since most other audio players at the time supported only the sluggish USB 1.1. ZDNet’s Jason D. O’Grady was shocked. And amazed:

I am simply shocked and amazed that Apple has abandoned FireWire on the just-announced fifth generation iPods with video. I understand why there’s no FireWire on the iPod shuffle (no port) and even why it’s off the nano (tiny form-factor, lower cost) but why in blazes did Apple leave FireWire off the new video iPod?

Don’t believe me? Take a close look at the iPod specs page and their Autosync page – there’s no mention of FireWire anywhere, just USB 2.0. Apple has even gone to the trouble of demoting their FireWire Web page from a top level page (www.apple.com/firewire/) to a page buried on their developer Web site under device drivers(developer.apple.com/devicedrivers/firewire/index.html) on or around October 12th, according to Google’s cache.

Apple invented FireWire as “one of the fastest peripheral standards ever developed” and wonEmmy and Grammy awards for the technology’s impact on the television and music industries. It’s inexcusable to leave FireWre off an iPod that you’re supposed to sync videos to, it just doesn’t make sense.

Aftermath: iPods have become very popular video devices despite the lack of FireWire–USB 2.0 is fast enough, it would seem. Meanwhile, I believe iPods still have a tiny bit of FireWire legacy left to them–enough to let them charge if you plug them into a FireWire port via an old FireWire synching cable. This circuitry is also used by some iPod/iPhone docks and chargers. But the iPhone 3G eliminated this capability, causing headaches for manufacturers of iPhone accessories and rendering add-ons already owned by 3G buyers obsolete.

I’m not sure if any technologies or features in current Macs are on Apple’s hit list, though if I had to predict, I’d guess that it may be the first company to eliminate DVD drives and argue that high-def downloads (such as those from, oh, iTunes) have eliminated the need for optical drives. Any other thoughts on which features in current Macs may be toast within the next couple of years?

 
154 Comments


Read more: ,

136 Comments For This Post

  1. Michael Says:

    The biggest problem with the whole missing FireWire bit is the fact that there’s nothing better on the new Macbook. At least with some of these older ports like serial, parallel, ADB, and the RJ-11, USB would provide adapters and no speed loss. Now the only thing that compares to FW is the Gigabit ethernet port, but what consumer peripherals come with ethernet ports, besides fancy external hard disks? At least with the MacBook Pro there is a FW800 port and an ExpressCard 34 slot. The omission of the FW port on the MacBook is a big mistake on Apple’s part.

    FireWire compares to USB the way Macs compare to Windows; the latter is cheap, crappy, and slow.

  2. phisrow Says:

    I’m not at all sure that firewire being omitted from the macbook is part of Apple’s plan to kill it(at least not immediately). Rather, it looks like the strategy that they will be using to distinguish the macbooks from the pros, now that build quality and materials are roughly identical, CPU speeds extremely similar, and GPU performance markedly less awful on the macbook line. A similar phenomenon could be seen with the ibook. Apple deliberately omitted dual-monitor support on the ibooks, and allowed it on the powerbooks. That wasn’t because Apple wanted to kill dual monitor support, far from it, but because they wanted people to buy powerbooks.

    I suspect that a similar plan is afoot here. Apple knows that the hardcore Apple loyalists with their firewire cameras and audio mixers and whatnot, will mostly suck it up and buy a pro. The macbook is for the switcher college kids who want to get a free ipod when their parents buy them a computer for school. It is a cynical and somewhat unpleasant move on Apple’s part; but I suspect that it is a sensible one.

  3. baaker Says:

    Clearly, some bean counter at Apple figured it was another $1.42 in their pocket per machine to drop FireWire. Why not let the unwashed masses of undiscerning consumers make up the difference with their time? After all, they’re mostly switchers who wouldn’t miss FireWire anyway, right?

    Apple makes a lot of good decisions, until it doesn’t. The MacBook Pro has all the glorioski screen real estate, ExpressCard expansion, and the GPU(s) to upsell buyers. The MacBook needed a FW800 port, but somewhere, a bean counter needed a down-payment on a new BMW.

    All Macs should have FireWire, until FireWire’s functionality can be replaced and surpassed. Earth to Apple bean counters: FireWire is NOT a deprecated architecture. Faster backups and Target Disk Mode and alternate IP networking are NOT the floppy drive of 1998.

  4. David Says:

    Macs never had RS-232 ports. What they had was RS-422 ports which were used to connect printers and other peripherals, and for LocalTalk.

  5. Dave Barnes Says:

    CD/DVD is next to go away.

    USB flash drives (aka thumb drives) will do the job. I mean, 16GB drive for under $90 USD. A lot easier to use than a CD or DVD.

    I only need a CD reader until I get the last of my music onto a computer hard drive in FLAC format. When Apple drops the “disc” drive from iMacs, I will just buy an inexpensive external drive.

  6. Lee Collier Says:

    I tend to agree with Baaker, this is all about lowering the price of the entry-level MacBook and differentiating from the MBP. They left it off the Air as a size/weight/cost reducing measure too, and also because they people it’s aimed at generally don’t need firewire.

    I’ve emailed Apple suggesting they consider an MBP ‘lite’ that has a big drive, big RAM, Firewire but a 13″ screen. I would _love_ to have an MBP performance-wise, but I want something I can carry around without getting backache.

  7. lioballs Says:

    Audio In.

    You actually DID miss one, Audio in. Apple (Steve in particular) tried to kill the audio in port on the imac and everything else (obstensibly because audio was going to go all digital, and anyone wanted an audio in port would be able to get a -crappy- USB dongle). The outcry/backlash was huge and caused apple to re-insert the missing audio port.

    I think the dropping of firewire at this early point (where there is no cardslot to add it for users who need it) is almost as bad, if not worse.

    I applaud apple getting rid of crufty tech, or tech that isnt crufty but on its way…. how-ever, when apple does it and theres no viable alternative its smells REALLY BAD, and is in general not conducive to sales.

    I was literally waiting for the 14th to buy a macbook, as opposed to some exc3eletn HP deals that came out… now i wont get a macbook (and all that malarky abuot buying the older model is rubbish), simply because if i spend near a 1000$ i sincerly do believe i deserve SOME degree of feature parity with a PC laptop.

    not to mention im not gonna buy new camcorders explicitly for my macbook, and importing to an older machine (dying?) and transferring over the network (compatibility, speed, will it work right with FC/imovie?) is kinda ridiculous for apple to save a couple bucks.

  8. Michael Says:

    Nobody cares. Really. It’s just you. The vast majority of consumers do not give a rip about Firewire and most of them won’t even know it is gone.

  9. SJobs Says:

    Those complaining about the lack of FireWire are probably the same people who still lament the demise of Betamax video recorders.

  10. Scott Says:

    Firewire has been on it’s way out for a long time, it was (and still is) great technology but the adoption rate and marketing outside of Apple was always poor. How many PC users give blank looks if you ask them if they have an IEEE 1394 port? Most have heard of Firewire, but never really “got” the connection between the two nor saw the need to use that funny shaped USB port (actual user comment).

  11. Joe Says:

    This story is just trying to qualify the original author’s decision that firewire is no big deal.

    The trouble is, firewire is a very useful technology and is by no means dead like the floppy or the 56k modem. And even though Apple did drop techs like that, you could use the ports that the machine had to add the function back if you really needed it (USB floppy, USB modem, USB>RS-232 adapter etc). With the loss of the firewire port here, there is no way to replicate the function that has been lost, even with an adapter.

    Sure, there are USB-capable camcorders, but the *vast* majority of consumer camcorders use the tried, tested, working and very much alive-and-kicking firewire interface, which works as a superb all-in-one interface for iMove, Final Cut Express etc. There is no way to easily replicate that on the new macbook. Even if some sort of esoteric firewire to usb adapter is invented for camcorders, do you think it’s going to be as easy as connecting a 6>4 pin firewire cable between macbook and camera and begin capturing your footage with zero setup?

    The loss of target disk mode… If the mac has power and the disk isn’t fried, enables you to easily rescue data and save machines in almost all fail-to-boot problems. If you have a second Mac, it’s a virtually indispensable tool to rescue a dead Mac.

    I’ll leave out further firewire devices, like professional audio gear and any number of other external firewire-driven gear that performs on a simply technically superior bus than USB, since these are geared to people who tend to have more grunt in their machines. I will mention firewire hard drives here though, which obviously do the same job as a USB2 hard drive (and sometimes even both interfaces on the same box) but they simply do it better as firewire.

  12. Joel Says:

    I’m guessing they dropped it from the Air and it didn’t create a stir, so they figured it was safe to drop from the macbook. The problem is that the mac community “got” that the Air was different, it was targeted at the road warrior, someone who was willing to give up everything in the interest of saving weight.

    Apple’s mistake was thinking that we would feel the same way about the macbook.

    I was planning to buy one, and now will not. I am not alone.

    Joel

  13. Jeff Lewis Says:

    I have Firewire on my Shuttles, and on my Tosh laptop, and on my two Macs…

    Except for the iBook, which only has USB 1.1 – I’ve never actually used a Firewire device on any of them.

    As for speed, the difference just isn’t that great and usually my hard drives’ throughput is below either of them… so it’s kind of bisecting a sneeze.

    As for camcorders – well, sorry – but Jobs is right. Almost no new camcorders come with Firewire. The logic for it isn’t valid anymore. You used to want to keep the data on the camera because bulk downloading was too slow and the amount of data was huge (relative to the storage at the time). In an era of USB 2.0 and 320GB *pocket* hard drives – it just makes more sense to pull all the data to the hard drive and then work with it on the computer than having to use your camcorder as a remote editing station.

    As for cost – guys – you’re talking about buying a $1300 – $1700 laptop and you’re moaning about the cost of a camcorder? If it’s really that big an issue – get a MacBook Pro or get the original MacBook – which is still on sale. Or get a modern camcorder first and get used to using USB.

  14. Yossie Says:

    And Video-In? I LOVED Video-In on my 7100. It worked, well, and I used it a LOT. Now I have to settle for a USB connected (internally) webcam :) That one lasted a very short period, basically it existed in the early PPC machines, that is it.

  15. Lars Says:

    Has anyone considered that a backdoor agreement with Intel, the creator of USB, is responsible for the phasing out of USB’s only competitor, Firewire?

  16. Matt Says:

    Point of order on SCSI. It lives on in _many_ derivatives besides iSCSI: Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) is a mainstay interface for fast spinning, low-access-time hard drives. Fibre Channel is also a serialized and packetized form of the SCSI protocol. Let’s not also forget SSA, Serial Storage Architecture, also a derivative.

  17. Guardian Proxy Says:

    I am a bit startled at Apple’s decision to drop the Firewire port on the new MacBook’s, but I won’t be shedding many tears from it. My only concern is the target disk mode function which requires a firewire 800 to firewire 800 connection. Doesn’t this make switching harder?

    People are mentioning professional software, and how they use firewire connections because of it’s superiority over USB. But the truth is, how many professionals are using MacBooks over MacBookPro’s, iMacs or Mac Pro’s. If you’re doing professional work, the amount of power in a MacBook is simply not enough so there is no need for it.

    As for other media devices, there are plenty of Firewire 400 / Firewire 800 to USB cables out there from your local electronic store, so that isn’t much of a problem.

    And what is the next to go? CD’s I image would be next. Getting rid of the DVD drives from MacBook’s or MBP’s will be next, making them as thin as the air. It’s rare that I use a CD anyway.

    I remember when the Floppy disk was removed from the iMac and the Macintosh community were in absolute uproar, because it wasn’t just files on floppy drives that were being lost, software that used a floppy to install itself were also lost. the same uproar is being made with Firewire, and I predict that although users may be slightly unhappy, if they want the power of owning a new Macbook, then they should update all their technologies.

    If not, the old MacBooks are quite suitable, and as I understand, quite cheap :P

  18. justin Says:

    Seems that Apple is moving towards universal standards, and commodity hardware. They just do it better. Great to see. more examples webkit, intel, mach kernel.

  19. jmgore75 Says:

    As far as target disk mode is concerned, I think the fact that the hard drive is so incredibly easy to remove largely obviates that. Just remove and pop your drive into an external case of your choice… or straight into your new machine.

  20. Jack Elliot Says:

    For as much complaining as everyone is doing, I can say, one, I would never buy a MacBook over a MacBook Pro anyway, and two, it was obvious that FireWire was on its way out even two years ago. If you have bought a FireWire 400-only drive after 2005, all I can ask is, what were you thinking?

    I mean, goto NewEgg and sort the IEEE1394-only drives (all three of them) from the USB 2.0 drives and it’s clear the writing has been on the wall for a long time.

    And for those of you complaining about not being able to hook-up your camcorders, well… are you REALLY going to try to edit video on your MacBook? Sounds like you’re now reading the specs right.

  21. Adam Says:

    I use Firewire exclusively for Target disk mode for which it works very well. If there is a Target Disk Mode for USB 2.0 I’ll be happy, if not I will not be upgrading this year…

  22. Robert J. Holtz Says:

    In my opinion, this has more to do with the growing relationship between Apple and Intel. One of the things that put Apple and Intel at odds rather than at partnership before the Intel CPU made its way into the Mac architecture was Apple’s use of FireWire and active marketing at the time affirming it as superior to USB. USB is an Intel technology as is the current motherboard bus architecture and ram architecture. Apple used to use its own proprietary NuBus prior to ADB (another tech you neglected to mention). Part of the Intel alliance is clearly a preference towards Intel architecture. This makes most sense of all at the CPU and motherboard levels. The old iMacs only had FireWire ports. Then one USB port, than another (2 FW / 2 USB). The first gen Intel iMac had 3 USB ports and just 1 FW port. This drop off of FireWire support is far from subtle. They’ve been phasing it out of every product and they haven’t been pushing FireWire for some time now.

    USB is ubiquitous at this point and it better serves their alliance with Intel. In my opinion, the switch is perfectly sound ESPECIALLY at the MacBook level which is an entry-level product. They want to steer users to the technology base they most advocate and support. If you are and advanced user that somehow NEEDS FireWire, you’ll go up the product line. In my view, that is as it should be.

  23. mf Says:

    @justin

    Since when has apple EVER moved towards open standards better than anyone else.

    Firewire by itself is a proprietary communication standard owned by apple.

    The real issue is apple builds these standards, then charges too much, and no manufactures want to build them into their equipment. If apple was better then it would provide free licenses for the firewire technology, and be glad that it is being accepted industry wide.

    This is what you get when buying an apple, dead end products. fw 800 will be next.

  24. Michael Long Says:

    Apple should at least offer an official FW/USB converter/cable or mini-hub, much as they do with the various DisplayPort converters.

  25. Chris C Says:

    SCSI also lives on in just about every optical drive, as SCSI over ATA. Ie, all the disc writing commands are actually SCSI commands sent over the ATA interface.

  26. Wayne Says:

    This reminds me of the aforementioned deletion of SCSI. I owned then (and still do) a small advertising company. We photographed in 4×5 positive film and scanned them using high-end desktop scanners. They all connected with SCSI. Now, I was no fan of SCSI, but it was the only show in town so we put up with its (sometimes) unfathomable idiosyncrasies. We bought cards to adapt to the old scanners and eventually replaced our expensive scanners with better (and cheaper) firewire scanners. At the time, it seemed frustrating, but I suspect that Apple was right all along. Today we don’t even use scanners (or film of any size), but we have a small fortune tied up in digital camera backs. That’s just the way technology is. If it were any different it wouldn’t be called technology.

  27. Adam Says:

    Firewire is a must for anyone doing Pro Audio work. Hell, even the CHEAP gear come in FW and ALL of the high quality gear comes in (at least for laptop users) FW only. If I get another laptop while Macbooks still don’t have FW, I’m building a hackintosh and saying F*CK YOU to Apple.

  28. justin Says:

    @mf hey I’m a 100% linux user. @ home, work, and my phone. I believe Mr. Holtz hit the nail on the head first sentence. Intel Apple

  29. David VomLehn Says:

    Sometimes Apple does an amazingly good job of doing away with features. In particular, dropping the 68000-family processors for the PowerPC processors. Everything just worked. And you didn’t mention the switch to x86 processors…

  30. Zev Says:

    Apple did reverse one decision that I can specifically think of. When the 15″ MacBook Pro first came out, there was a firewire 400 port, but no firewire 800 port. The 15″ powerbooks it replaced had both firewire 400 and firewire 800 ports. As soon as the 2nd generation of MBPs came out, lo and behold, there were both ports again.

  31. Marty Says:

    Can anyone confirm the nVidia chipset supports Firewire? They may have had to remove it to meet other goals, or eliminated it to reduce licensing costs.

  32. Ted Simpson Says:

    One HUGE problem with FireWire is that it has not grown up. Most all FireWire devices – even disk devices – operate with FW400. FW800 devices aren’t exactly rare, but they are less common. Faster FireWire? I’ve never seen a faster device, and believe-me-you, when transferring boatloads of raw video, faster is ALWAYS better.

    Yes, FW400 is in fact faster than USB 2.0 in the real world (despite its “higher” 480 mb/s speed). Sadly, FW is not substantially faster than USB 2.0, and the FW peripheral community has failed to address the situation.

    USB is the VHS of peripheral bus, and FW is the BetaMax. For BetaMax to win, all of it really needs to substantially beat USB on performance across the board.

  33. John Says:

    Like a previous person noted, I wouldn’t mind as much if there were a MacBook Pro that was the same size as the MacBook. I would be willing to pay more for this.

    As for the next technology to go ? I would not miss the optical drive as I really don’t use it much as it is and if I needed one I could connect and external one.

  34. mbpark Says:

    Wait a second,

    The XServe has an RS-232 port on it for console access. It’s actually the first Apple I can think of that has a standard DB-9 port on it for serial communications.

  35. Rob P. Says:

    Jack Elliot wrote: “I mean, goto NewEgg and sort the IEEE1394-only drives (all three of them) from the USB 2.0 drives and it’s clear the writing has been on the wall for a long time.”

    That’s pretty specious reasoning. Your thought exercise doesn’t take into account the fact that most external hard drives that include an IEEE 1394 interface also include a USB 2.0 interface for flexibility (because just about everything has USB these days, and because if your FireWire port got fried, you still have a prayer of accessing your data with USB).

    I own a Western Digital “MyBook” product which includes 4 (yes, four) interfaces: FW 400, FW 800, USB 2.0, and eSATA. I primarily use the FW 800 port for convenience when backing up my MacBook Pro, although sometimes I switch to eSATA (using an ExpressCard/34 eSATA adapter). But FW 800 is by far the most convenient interface for me to use, and combines the right mix of speed and utility.

    The fact is, FireWire has a niche, and it’s not all about storage (or just about storage). Professional musicians, and quite a few amateurs, use FireWire-based equipment. Video amateurs and professionals alike use FireWire for DV applications.

    Yeah, I saw that Jobs said most consumer camcorders are going to USB 2.0 — except many of those camcorders make no pretense of Mac compatibility, and won’t work with Apple’s iMovie application anyway, so that’s not really saying much. I also have heard and read about some of the supposed work-arounds for target disk mode, including allowing the migration assistant to use WiFi, ethernet, and USB, but I’m not sanguine about the reliability of any of those solutions for migrating data and settings, especially on a system that’s borked to the point where networking won’t work reliably.

  36. Galen Rhodes Says:

    I think we have to look at the target audience for the MacBook to see why Apple made this decision. The MacBook is targeted at the entry level market – college/high school kids, people switching from PCs (most of which don’t have Firewire anyway), and travelers looking for a cheap way to stay connected. These people don’t care about Firewire. Most of them use cheap USB external drives and cameras like The Flip. (http://www.theflip.com)

    For the most part people who are going to be doing serious work will purchase a MacBook Pro. And in consideration of that Apple included a FW800 port for all MacBook Pros, something that, in the past, it reserved for the 17″ model only. I think that if Apple was going to kill off Firewire it would not have made that move for the 15″ MBPs.

  37. Rob P. Says:

    Also, I believe the Mac din-style (round plug) serial ports were in fact RS-422, not RS-232 as the article states. They were the foundation of the old Appletalk networking paradigm, but I don’t think too many folks were sad to see them go.

    In reality, the loss of the serial ports was a blessing, since the advent of USB on the Mac meant I could run out and buy a USB dongle for my iBook that gave me a 9-pin D-sub serial port very much like the 9-pin D-sub port that used to be on most PCs. If the serial hardware choked for any reason, resetting it was as simple as unplugging the dongle from the USB port, and if I was working on a particular project for any length of time, I could simply leave the dongle attached to the serial cable instead of leaving it attached to my laptop. Need more serial ports? Buy more dongles.

  38. Thomas Says:

    @adam: why would you NOT buy a Pro machine for “Pro Audio work”?

  39. Peter Andrews Says:

    Just a quick note for people who keep saying “USB is junky” vs. FireWire:

    USB is a processor-controlled interface, meaning that everything going through USB ports is handled by the machine’s normal processor. This traffic rarely uses a large amount of processing power, but when the system is already under heavy load, it can get bogged down.

    FireWire is a hardware-controlled interface, which means that everything going through its ports is handled by an external chip. FireWire doesn’t touch the CPU for its processing, so there’s no slowdown during heavy usage.

    Even though that’s the main difference, there is a minor speed change as well. The latest FireWire specification in use (1394b) goes up to 3,400 Mbit/sec where as USB 2.0 goes up to 480Mbit/sec. USB 2.0 is a different kind of spec for a different market: you’ll only use that extra speed for extremely high-bandwidth devices (like DV camcorders).

    All of that said, I agree that Apple should have left in the FW port on their new products. It’s a good standard if you’re doing heavy lifting, and leaving it out makes hardware choices that much harder for some users.
    Cheers,
    Peter

  40. thehumanyawn Says:

    I don’t really care about the lack of FW400 on the MacBook, as that is a machine mostly geared toward the average consumer, which knows about USB but hasn’t heard of FW. I do think that leaving FW400 out of the new MacBook Pro was a mistake that they shouldn’t have made. Pros and advanced users, the target market for MBPs, are the ones most likely to use FW, and while we can buy EC cards and PW800-to-400 adapters, why should we. The baka who made the decision to remove it from the MBPs should be fired. But maybe it will show up on a redesigned 17″ MBP?

  41. thehumanyawn Says:

    @ Peter Andrews

    The latest FW spec in use is FW800 at 800 mbps

  42. Sam Says:

    I purchased the modem so that I can use my 24″ iMac as a fax server.

  43. Mike Pawluk Says:

    Firewire is like BetaMax: it may be better but expense, proprietary nature and overall lack of adoption compared to USB made USB 2.0 an attractive choice by being “good enough” for the most part.
    I’m not going to cry without it, and I applaud the decision to get rid of it.

  44. Dan Razzell Says:

    Wait another second.

    The Mac Mini also has an RS-232 console port. It’s what makes this device attractive in network environments and server rooms, because you don’t have to be physically present in front of a screen and keyboard to manage it.

    Outside of the purely consumer mindset, it’s anything but true that “serial is mostly dead.” Sometimes I wish it were, because it’s fussy to get the cabling right. The ideal serial interface would completely auto-negotiate, in the same manner as Ethernet does at the physical layer. Meanwhile, technicians will continue to waste countless hours fiddling with adapter cables and breakout boxes.

  45. Joe Says:

    Old PC mice use RS-232 ports (both 9-pin and 25-pin), keyboards use the 5-pin DIN ports (AT) and later 6-pin PS2 ports. I’m not aware that RS-232 keyboards for the PC ever had much currency.

    Apple has never had much use for legacy hardware.

  46. Harry McCracken Says:

    My goof (corrected) on calling the Apple serial port “RS-232.” I go so far back with ports that I still think of the parallel port as a Centronics port, so you think I wouldn’t get confused–but I did…

    –Harry

  47. Dave Fenderson Says:

    Wow, everybody likes to defend The Prophet!

    A few points: USB < FW. FW400 is significantly faster, and if you are going to do any real video editing, is an absolute necessity. Yes, I do video editing on a Mac. I have a iBook 1.33 and a Dual 1.83 MDD for the purpose, and Final Cut Studio is amazing on both of them. I don’t think Final Cut can even handle USB cameras – or for that matter, non-DV cameras (maybe there are DVD and HDD based cameras that fake it over the FW port, I don’t know). And if you happen to have a cheapo camcorder lying around, POW! It’s an extremely capable SD deck.

    And don’t forget: whining that everyone shoud “just upgrade” is absurd. Why would I want to go out and spend $2-3k on a new Mac Pro and $2k on a new notebook to get the same functionality? Everything that I do is quick and flawless, even on “obsolete” hardware. 4 years old isn’t even really old, anyway. I drive a 2000, and I’m a 1979 model, myself, so what’s the deal? If it works, it works.

    Also: I am NOT happy with Apple as a company. I swore never to buy a computer from them again over their nonexistent customer service. I was told by a “genius” that the side fan (bearings shot) in my MDD would NOT be covered under warranty because I added more memory to my then-new MDD. Also, I was told that a 9-month old computer was “like, really old” and that I should buy a G5 instead. That’s the kind of attitude that Apple has had from some time, and it comes from the top down.

    So if you haven’t been screwed by Apple, just wait! They say that money can’t buy you love, but Apple is expecting about $2000 a year for you to be hip and always have The Latest. Never mind if it’s missing features, or doesn’t work the same way – they sure don’t. As for me, I know that forking over to Steve Jobs doesn’t make my dick any bigger, it just makes my wallet that much thinner.

  48. MAKO Says:

    Keyboard is next to go.
    Followed by display.

  49. gr8ful Says:

    I just posted something similar to this on another site, how Apple has a history of killing technology well ahead of the rest of the industry. However, I believe that the technology Apple subtly announced the death of is…..The Mouse.

    Apple is making a very bold statement with the new trackpads with no buttons, that the mouse is dead and multi-touch is the future. I expect the next step Apple will make with multi-touch is a desktop version of the trackpad that replaces the mouse. It would shock the industry, but Apple will again prove to be right and lead the industry in yet another transition.

  50. Romequez Says:

    Of all people, I would assume that Mac users would understand the idea “popular doesn’t mean better” I mean, PCs are cheaper, more widespread, and are supported by more devices. Kinda like USB, right? I’m just saying…

  51. chris b Says:

    The problem is this is NOT about technology it is a blatant attempt to force semi pro and pro video and audio users to purchase the massively expensive MacBook Pro. (As if the Macbook is not expensive enough!!)

    Come on Steve …how much does Firewire cost you ….provide it as an option on a MacBook revision asap….but I suspect you won’t… that would admit that the consumer was right!!

    Until FW reappears on the Macbook my dollars stay in my wallet…or maybe they end up at Dell.

    And deleting threads on the Apple forum won’t make the issue go away.

  52. Andrew Says:

    Serial port on PCs – as long as routers and other hardware require a serial port to connect at 2400 to 9600 Baud over serial connection, we will still see serial ports.

    It is one reason why network engineers tend to run Linux on a PC instead of getting a Mac – need a way to connect to network/telecom gear.

  53. Miguel Says:

    Note that a lot of these other technologies were killed (nearly) simultaneously, when Apple made a stated choice to move toward more industry standard components and technologies to reduce manufacturing costs, where those technologies were equally capable.

    One difference is that this is an Apple developed technology that many other manufacturers had adopted. I’m not particularly angry – I’m not planning on buying one of these laptops anyway. My iPhone, however, still does not charge as fast over USB as my iPod did over firewire.

    I think many people are bothered by the fact that Apple *successfully* pushed this as an industry standard, and are dropping(?) it when it is still viable. In the long run, if they are phasing out firewire entirely, I’m sure there are legitimate reasons.

  54. Eric Smith Says:

    I suppose everyone has forgotten Apple’s late-but-not-lamented QuickRing.

  55. Dave Farquhar Says:

    Another point of correction: Serial ports were never used to connect keyboards. PCs had (and still have, generally) a dedicated keyboard port. On a PC, an RS-232 serial port was primarily used for modems, although it was also used for mice before PS/2 mouse ports became universal. They were also used for syncing to Palmpilots and occasionally for hooking up printers or plotters, although most printers/plotters had parallel interfaces.

    The majority of PCs still include an RS-232 port, since the circuitry is in the chipset already whether you use it or not and the connector is cheap. Intel-based Macs probably have the circuitry too, not that they have any use for it when running OS X. Sometimes they omit the RS-232 port from the ATX backplane to make room for other stuff, but often there’s a header on the motherboard that you can hook up if you want the functionality. Unless the PC is advertised as “legacy free,” there’s probably an RS-232 port in there somewhere, although it could be hiding.

  56. Gerhard Says:

    I have many Apple products, but this piece has an echo from the writer being so ensconced between Mr. Jobs cheeks.

  57. Dave Says:

    Quite the crying about apple dropping firewire. If it freaking means that much to you… you get a different one that meets your needs.

  58. Vince Thomas Says:

    I’ve just paid $500 for a Presonus FireStudio Project an 8 channel 24-bit/96K professional recording system. The USB capture devices just can’t hack it. I was looking to buy a Mac laptop but not any more I guess.

  59. Yale Says:

    The pro world tends to hang onto old technologies for a long, long time. I work in film editing, and just a couple of weeks ago, I had some data off of a floppy I was given. No kidding. There are quite a few editors out there who won’t cut on anything newer than a G4 running OS 9 with an Avid Meridien–a technology that hasn’t been sold in nearly half a decade.

    Eliminating FireWire from the MacBook isn’t that big a deal. Annoying, perhaps, but people will adapt. But if this is an overture toward eliminating it across the board, it’s going to seriously impact Apple’s status in the pro video market, which it has been desperately trying to capture with Final Cut Pro (and not altogether successfully, despite what their marketing materials would have you believe). I personally use every single port on my MacBook Pro on a daily basis (except the Audio in and ExpressCard ports, which I use only a couple of times a month), and while I can probably get by with only one FireWire port, it makes me nervous about investing in new gear if I don’t know what ports will be standard on Apple equipment five years from now. At the very least, it would be nice to see eSATA ports built into the pro laptops by now.

  60. Dr. Strangelove Says:

    I remember when Apple dropped the floppy drive from the iMac. Most Apple fateful defended the move, but in EVERY large organization that still used Macs the first iMac generations were always purchased with external USB floppy drives. Not always one per every machine, but enough to go satisfy the quite evident need for a floppy drive. So I would say that Apple dropped the floppy drive about 2-3 years too early for convenience. But then again “we know best” has always been the Apple way of doing things… It works reasonably well when they really do know best, but unfortunately that is not always the case.

  61. Tom Buckner Says:

    I’m running pro-quality audio on a near-new 20 inch IMac, through FireWire. Could have got a similar-spec Windows computer for less than half the shekels, but I got the machine to run the $500 Appple Logic software, which is world-beater good. (It’s thought that Apple underprice this software by about 75% in order to sell computers). You CAN’T GET the multitrack audio performance you need reliably in USB. Pros use FireWire, or the only thing faster, an internal PCI card. PCI in an Apple would mean buying a Mac Pro. Here’s the catch: for every millionaire musician there are a thousand who play for love and have to buy the food with a day job. I couldn’t realistically pay top dollar for the computer becuase that would leave me broke, having to settle for crap speakers and a crap interface and a crap microphone…

    I looked at the Macbook, but the Pro was too spendy and I wasn’t convinced the base Macbook was powerful enough anyway. Still, I think every model should have FireWire.

  62. Boley Says:

    1) Don’t beat yourself up over the RS-232/422 thing. The RS-422 (differential) made a great RS-232 (single ended) port by simply connecting the wires to a connector correctly. Round Apple RS-422 to 25-pin mini-D (rs-232) cables were on the rack in any decent computer store in their day.
    2) RS-422 and RS-232 are still used in industrial settings. I’ve bought a lot of USB to serial converters to keep new Macs and PC laptops with out serial ports working in industrial and aerospace environments. Belkin Devices work well, but Serial-Gear’s optically isolated unit is a must if you are controlling a device in a plant or outdoors.
    3) Mac OS X supports serial devices just fine.
    4) “USB to Firewire” cables only let you use the cables for another purpose. They don’t let you connect a USB to Firewire device.
    5) There is a USB to Firewire adaptor I know of, but it only works with WinXP, but has some issues(bugs) and so far it fails under Vista. There are no plans to make it work with a Mac.

  63. Jacques Says:

    Do you have any idea what you’re talking about?

  64. Dan Says:

    What are the chances of Target Disk mode being replaced with something similar to the MacBook Air’s Remote Disc?

  65. Cam Says:

    “Today, serial is mostly dead, but not entirely so–here’s an HP desktop that still has it, for instance.”

    On a home PC, perhaps. In industry, it’s still going strong. Fortunately most vendors still offer at least one portable model with a real serial port. It’s still standard on all of the rugged machines, too.

  66. Luis Says:

    Apple used to take pride in their computers being very artist/creative oriented and user friendly.
    How can they justify getting rid of a vital technology for indie musicians and videomakers?

    Plus, doesn´t Apple understand that their own software -like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro- rely pretty much on firewire as an I/O for data transfer?

    Does anybody at Apple think about how many young creative students rely on Macbooks for their projects?
    It is not nice at all to tell them “just buy a new USB camera or audio interface”

    The “think different” slogan just don’t suits Apple anymore

    Shame… the Mac guy is becoming PC

    Too bad Mr. $teve Gates…

  67. Zandr Says:

    Steve doesn’t know $#!+ about video, apparently. While there *are* USB jacks on HD cameras, you can’t get HDV out through them. HDV is isochronous, and there’s just no way to do isochronous transmission over USB.

    The real statement here is that the MacBook is *not* a 13″ Pro machine. Which is too bad, and Apple deleting threads about it from the discussion boards is appalling.

  68. Doug McLaren Says:

    What? No mention of the cassette tape interface, standard on every Apple II until the Apple //c ?

  69. Dave Says:

    I was actually someone annoyed that I got FireWire on my current Dell laptop, but no DVI-out. I’d really prefer something that can use my (pretty darned good) video card to connect to my HDTV (for work reasons, really!) in true 1080p without just a simple cable.

    FireWire? Really? Well, at least I get FireWire (that I don’t care about), even though I’m stuck at 1366×768 VGA on my 1080p TV flat screen. With a 256 mb video card.

    FireWire, go to hell. I’ll take an HDMI or DVI output any day.

  70. Kartik Mistry Says:

    Oh, and they killed Right Click too.

  71. Oliver Says:

    “Apple deliberately omitted dual-monitor support on the ibooks, and allowed it on the powerbooks. That wasn’t because Apple wanted to kill dual monitor support, far from it, but because they wanted people to buy powerbooks.”

    Not entirely… that and perhaps because users who purchase an iBook would have trouble understanding dual monitors whereas mirroring makes perfect sense to a mom+and+pop+VCR+using brain. If you bought an iBook for the form factor, you would also have the skills required to enable dual monitors.

  72. John Waters Says:

    You forgot the brief yet interesting appearance of DSPs as coprocessors on the last generation of “AV” 68040 Macintoshes, which at the time was a technology shared only by high end UNIX workstations (NeXT, SGI Indy) and one PC from AT&T. They said that the PowerPC 601 was fast enough to cover the loss of the DSP, but it really was not for at least a couple years. Those of us that were stuck with the “Geoport” modems can attest to that.

    An intriguing NeXT Product, designed by the same guy that also made the Eventide Harmonizer and “Plugzilla” computer music system (utility? Effects? I don’t know how to characterize it, but I digress) was the Ariel Quintprocessor; a NeXTBus card that had *five* DSPs along with some static memory that could be host in a Cube along with three others for a mind boggling total of 17 motorola DSP 56k processors. There was also the IRCAM Twin i860 board, which had its own OS, but I am getting too far off track. :)

    I still have my old NeXTCube, and I am still looking for an Ariel or IRCAM board….
    jcw

  73. Dan Birchall Says:

    Uh, guys, you seem to have left a rather noticeable one off the list:

    The CRT display.

  74. Gary Says:

    I can see only offering FireWire on the Pro line (I don’t like it though), they need to make a distinction somewhere, BUT then they need to offer a 13 inch Pro model…

  75. Magnus Says:

    Well, along with the new MacBooks they announced that they will be phasing out DVI and replace it with DisplayPort. If they hurry, they might actually make the switch before HP has finished switching _to_ DVI.

  76. A pc/linux user Says:

    I have a medion notebook, more like a luggable desktop ;) I’ve heard it was made by asus actually. Anyways, it does have an ieee 1394 port. I have it a couple of years now, and I’ve always compiled a custom linux kernel for it, precisely matching the hardware, to make the kernel small, fast and stable. I did always compile ieee 1394 device drivers.

    A couple of weeks ago I decided to take a closer look at its configuration, in an effort to make the thing boot and run as fast as possible. I turned off everything I’ve never used in the bios setup…

    … including the ieee 1394 firewire port.

    Great timing Steve.

  77. Noah Says:

    >Firewire by itself is a proprietary communication standard >owned by apple.

    uhm, not it’s not. The trademark “firewire” is owned by apple, but the actual standard is an IEEE industry standard. Sony also pushes it heavily.

  78. jeff Says:

    Having used a mac for years fire wire 400 and usb2.0 are similar in speed 400 mbps for firewire versus 480 mbps for usb2.0 so fire wire is faster????
    as for power I have never had a drive not power up and show up in finder because of power sounds like you buy crappy drive enclosures pay the extra $3 for a name brand
    as for firewire I stopped using it when everything switch to usb2.0 cheaper faster and the cables can be purchased just about anywhere in the world Try finding a firewire cable in hilo hawaii damn near impossible I know I lived thru it when I lost a cable and had an important document on a firewire drive thank god it was a usb2.0 firewire drive now I don’t use it much at all except to find stuff on old drives I use rarely which I could transfer over to my new terabyte nas hard drive

  79. Jordan Adler Says:

    I think the complaining is a little silly. The fact that Apple is no longer including Firewire doesn’t mean that the Firewire you currently use stops working. If, for some reason, you really depend on it, why are you so eager to get a new computer? Does the new Macbook (not Pro!) really provide something significantly different from what you have?

    I use my Mac for a lot of audio work, and it works. There aren’t significant performance issues, so I’m not going to be getting a new computer for a while. It’s hard for me to believe that there are a sizable number of people who both REALLY care about Firewire (i.e., have expensive Firewire-only equipment) and are planning on buying a Macbook very soon.

  80. recu Says:

    i miss the firwire

  81. Bob Says:

    Get a proof reader to check for spelling mistakes, missing words and the like before you post stuff.

  82. Crash Says:

    Macbook and Macbook Pro. It’s kinda obvious who they are targeted to. The Macbook is designed with the average user, not the professional. The Majority of average users have no use for FW, why put it in? The professionals, if they truely are, would be dropping the extra money and getting professional gear, Macbook Pro, Hey! it has FW, who’d of thunk it.

  83. Tuukka Says:

    While I’m a strong supporter of Firewire over USB, I do understand Apple’s decission. It saves them money. Also the MacBook is an entry level laptop, so it’ll do without one.
    Personally I would have loved it to have one, as I was waiting for a new small form factor laptop from Apple. I’d love to buy one. I need a small laptop with long battery life. Unfortunately for Apple, they cut the Firewire. Because it alone would have justified the size for me. I could have used it for video editing too.
    But now that Apple decided to drop Firewire, I think I’ll go for an eeePC. It can do everything else I need in a nice small package, but no video editing. I guess I won’t be doing that on the road then…

  84. Barry Says:

    Think the fire wire 400 on the mac book should have been changed to fire wire 800 its almost twice as fast as usb 2.

    That being said My audio interface can work with FW400 and FW800.
    and its about 1500 to 1700 dollars.

    Mostly use PC but was thinking about a macbook but now mmmmmm do I really want to spend extra for a macbook pro but that does have fw 800 on it.

    there are a lot of advantages to fire wire and there are some devices that are being made Fire wire only.

  85. Jaffa Says:

    If Apple hadn’t killed those technologies when they did, and sent a clear message to the industry, we’d probably still be sneaking around with half the world sending their data out on freaking floppy disks.

    USB 3.0 is almost here and is 10x faster than USB 2.0 and 50% faster than FW-800.

  86. Jake Says:

    A lot of the defenders of this move seem to be basically saying, "I don't use FireWire, so you shouldn't want it either." And I understand the argument that the Macbook is an entry-level computer that doesn't need FireWire, but the fact is that up until last Tuesday, it had it. The hole in the Mac line between the low end and the high end has just become a little wider, and a lot of us want something in that area.

  87. daharrin Says:

    @Lars: “Has anyone considered that a backdoor agreement with Intel, the creator of USB, is responsible for the phasing out of USB’s only competitor, Firewire?”

    Not with their simultaneous dropping of Intel integrated graphics for the new Nvidia chips. If they were that tied to Intel, they’d be following a lot closer in-step.

  88. daharrin Says:

    @jmgore75:”As far as target disk mode is concerned, I think the fact that the hard drive is so incredibly easy to remove largely obviates that. Just remove and pop your drive into an external case of your choice… or straight into your new machine.”

    Great, as long as you have an external case around. And, as long as that old drive actually fits in the new machine (e.g. old iMac user buying a new portable). And, as long as your new machine’s hardware doesn’t require any special patches on the old drive to run that system.

    All of these are major obstacles to most users.

  89. Alex Says:

    I think this is being blown way out of proportion. The MacBook is Apple’s entry level notebook and I don’t imagine it’s target audience is likely to miss FireWire. They dropped FW support from the iPods back in the PowerPC days so I would reason that there’s little incentive to keep it in a product where few people use it. I think Apple *should* keep it on the MacBook Pro as well as the desktops given this is where it will see more use with multimedia software. Personally, I use FW devices all the time. Working in post-production it’s simply one of the easiest ways to get my work from computer to computer and much faster than USB 2.0 when it comes to encoding H.264 video straight to disk.

  90. Rick Says:

    I’m all for a Firewire USB dongle. :D

  91. Rasputin Says:

    BETA was used up to a few years ago by those that tape a lot i.e. the news organizations. It has not sold in the consumer market since what, 1986/7 and lasted in the commercial market until after 2000. So goes FW – it will be there on the hardware for those that demand it and not for the masses that don’t even know what it is. I get the deer in the headlights look when I ask people if they have a FW port so it does not surprise me that they left it out. In the world on industry, cost is king and margins required regardless of how small they seem to be such as eliminating FW ports. There are more variables in the cost equation like inventory, quality, obsolescence, assembly time, various overheads, and customer support service. You can complain but we were not privy to the decision to remove it. Keep what you have.

  92. astro Says:

    I was going to buy an Apple But I have a DV video Cam that costs more then the Mac so Another PC for me

  93. poorfisher Says:

    Next to go isn’t a technology per se, but rather a form factor: all desktop models, one by one – the demand for laptops will eventually make the desktop – in any form factor – too expensive to produce with too little fiscal return verses what the same resources used to make laptops will be able to generate in fiscal return.

    Already, pro users who used to nearly exclusively AAPL users are turning to wintel boxes. The latest moves with the new MacBooks and Pros are showing the way and will further excelerate the exodus of pro users. Sadly.

  94. Tom Says:

    Working in tech support I would comment that I am amazed how many people buy Mac’s simply because they have firewire. This is a killer feature you maybe a third of my clients whether they are doing casual video editing or pro sound. I myself use target mode regularly for support. But the fact is that USB 2.0 is only as fast as Firewire 400 under IDEAL conditions that don’t really ever exist. USB is a keyboard/mouse connectivity solution but can not and will never be a high bandwidth desktop bus. But if I was more cynical I’d guess that this is Apple giving a bit to Intel (Pusher of all things USB and firm oppenent of Firewire) for cheaper processors. The fact that it is just the MacBook makes it look like an experiment. If sales plummet and heat stays on Apple has something to show Intel saying that no USB is the suck we are putting firewire back.

  95. At0m Says:

    ADC (Apple Display Connection) is missing from the List.
    One had to buy an expensive (>100$ adapter) to connect an ADC Display with a DVI graphicscard.

  96. Mark James Says:

    I am very irritated with apple. Firewire is still very useful, it’s a good connection for external hard drives, it’s a good connection for many camcorders, external sound cards, etc. Add to that a lot of equipment (which only has a firewire interface) will become, obsolete and/or unusable on new macs. This move is such a waste. I thought apple was a “cool” company, that cared about the environment. Think of all the stuff which becomes unusable, by Apple making this move. Apple is either incedibly short sighted and inconsiderate, or is pathetically trying to improve it’s bottom line, by doing something that will inconvienence a lot of customers, and is just plain not necessary.

  97. Jeff C. Says:

    People will probably not agree with me on this one, but…

    This is exactly why Apple is still a consumer products company. Corporations adopt new technologies slowly and are not to quick to move to a new one. Why? Because that is good business. Do not fix something if it is not broken or does not contribute significantly more to the bottom line than the existing solution. It is not uncommon to find serial SLIP networks still in some environments. Why? It might not look pretty but guess what? It still does the job. Moving to something new – just because it is new is bad business. When I go out to bid on new desktops or laptops I write into the spec that parts and accessories need to be available for 5 to 7 years depending on what it is.

    I agree with the previous analysis that this is probably a result of two things: The deal with Intel and cost cutting. Remember Apple's stock fell 15% one day because a financial analysts chastised them for the lack of a sub $1,000 offering.

    There is also another obvious reason. Let say you were upgrading a G3 "Gossimer" Mac to an iMac (I believe this was the generation before the iMac). Will you had this beige machine and all of these beige devices attached via SCSI, ADB, or Mac Serial. So you go buy this new shiny iMac and guess what else you have to buy? A bunch of new shiny USB devices and peripherals. This is great business for Apple and their device manufacturers. It is bad business for the consumer (unless they have some masochistic complex of always having the newest, shiniest stuff).

    Finally, this article omits one huge point. There were USB to SCSI adapters when the iMac launched. I cannot think of an iMac that I ever saw with a USB connected floppy. So, Apple is pushing the burden to support "legacy ports" on the end user.

  98. Lu Says:

    I work for an educational company and we use the firewire and the firewire boot option quite regularly. Our testing gear is based on the firewire 400 tech, and allows us to perform a full suite of tstes on non-booting equipment. Also, there isn’t the DVD/CD spin up lag when switching from test to test. Booting off the firewire also makes cloning a breeze, especially when an image with updates, software, and other preloads can get as large as 17GB.

    I can totally agree with removing both the FW400 and FW800 ports on the machine, as long as they stuck with one or the other. Putting a FW800 port would have been swell, as I can get conversion cables to FW400 and firewire allows me to daisy chain my devices all off one port, so long as the power requirements don’t get too high.

    Unless the newer versions of Mac OS are going to allow for USB boot and os load, firewire is going to be a pretty firm requirement in the education market. We actually canceled a 250 unit order on Friday over this (the option of taking 250 of the previous gen Macbooks was not an option).

    Though this could also be a corporate shift for them. Previously they were very big in education because they didn’t have much big business penetration. Now that they do, maybe the halcyon days of Apple and primary and secondary education are ending.

  99. Dave Mullins Says:

    I am 71 years old and bought my first Apple ever two years ago. I would never go back to a pc for any reason, but I am a little put out over apple dropping firewire on the Macbook. Mine is two years old and I recently bought a WD 500 GB external drive for time machine back ups which I run on firewire. I also run Super Duper on a Maxtor drive for the simplicity of it’s complete restore feature. I put it on firewire so I could make it a bootable drive.
    .
    I could never justify the expense of a macbook pro, I simply have no use for all that power.

    I guess when this macbook gives up the ghost, I will be forced back to a desktop.

    Thanks Steve

  100. Doug Putnam Says:

    I’m curious. Do these “enraged Fan Boys” plan to throw away their old MacBooks now that new MacBooks are here? Every time Apple comes out with a new and innovative product the Doubters and Scoffers start pulling out their hair and bemoaning the injustice of it all. Then 3 months later (when they pull together the $$$ for a shiny new MacBook) all will be forgiven and Steve will be a genius again. How do I know this? Because I’m one of those guys who ridicules every new Apple product, but you know what, once I get over the sticker shock, I’m happy that I’ve got one of each: iPod, Mac Mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac. Nuff said.

  101. Dr. Strangelove Says:

    Quite a few people Mac fans seem to think that the floppy disk was killed by Apple’s decision to drop it from the Mac. That is simply hogwash, since the floppy disk was not completely dead until USB flash drives became commonplace. True, floppies were already pretty much dead before that in the pro and techie world, but CD-RW was too difficult to use for most basic users and without USB flash drives they would still be using floppies.

  102. lethargic8 Says:

    people bitching about the lack of a firewire port on teh Macbook are fricking nuts. Yes lots of high end digital cameras use firewire but if you are spending that much money on video equipment there is no reason why you wont get a the much more powerful macbook pro which has a firewire 800 port. I mean honestly just read the fracking specs people.

  103. Mike Bentley Says:

    I think the problem is the disconnect between what Apple thinks their marketing position is with their laptops, and what customers think. Apple thinks that the MacBook is an economy laptop, and MacBook Pro is the deluxe laptop. Everyone outside of Apple thinks that each laptop in Apple’s product line is a Mac, and that the MacBook is the Mac laptop with the smaller desktop footprint and screen.

    Obviously MacBooks cost less than MacBook Pros. Clearly there has to be a reason the MacBooks are available for much less.

    I’m not surprised by the now missing Firewire 400 port on the new MacBook, Apple does that. They usually don’t do it when a large chunk of their customer base would be obviously bit by it. All you have to do is ask your customers and they’ll tell you right away if doing something will affect them badly or not. Apple customers aren’t usually shy. So I figure Apple did, in fact, ask customers, and found that Firewire 400 isn’t a do or die feature by the numbers.

    I have a stack of Firewire external hard disk cases that’ll keep me from buying a MacBook this go-around. They’ll be shelved when faster interconnects supported by the next laptop are available.

    I am surprised that Apple didn’t replace it with something new and better. Firewire 400 and 800, and USB 2, are ports that provide more or less the same transfer speed. Firewire 800 is faster, but not an order of magnitude faster, more like a factor of two. There are much faster options out there, but maybe none of them were up to Apple quality standards.

    Firewire is a good interconnect standard, but stay frosty while using it, Apple may not support it for very much longer. It may be on Death’s Door, even. It may be doooooooooooooooooooooooomed. Do not trust a vendor to support a particular interconnnect standard? Take steps to invest conservatively in that interconnect standard. NEVER base a major purchase on someone saying that an ExpressCard will be released by XYZCo in two months, you have to see the darn thing in action before you buy.

  104. Dbug Says:

    Without any slot to allow people to add an adaptor to support some needed missing interface, I think Apple went a bit far filling Firewire.
    There are plenty of people with tight budgets or who are using other existing hardware that would otherwise be just fine with the price/performance of the Macbook series. Forcing someone into getting a Pro model just for a port as absurd.

    I still keep a Powerbook G3 around just to have easy access to serial ports. Some of us have jobs where there is a need to tie into something with a serial port, and don’t want to have to use a PC just to do it. (for instance some satellite equipment used by broadcasters is configured through a serial port).

    Jobs answer that HD camcorders have had USB for a couple of years and that that somehow eliminates the need for Firewire is a bit offensive.

    By similar logic, Steve could have said that all Macs have had Intel CPUs and PC compatible hardware for several years and now no longer need OS X since they can all run Windows… (or Linux)

    Being able to work around the omission of something doesn’t that it is desirable to have to do so.

    Where are the eSATA ports? USB 2 transfers to external drives are damn slow. iMacs would do well doing double-duty as HD-PVRs, but dealing with external USB 2 storage is painfully slow.
    Note that I’m talking about a CONSUMER application here…

  105. justin Says:

    seriously guys – think about this. it has nothing to do with getting rid of a technology. its the fact that if the macbook had everything that the macbook pro did except size, why would i spend another 500 dollars on it? i wouldn’t. apple knows this, they are not stupid. its called knowing your market and making smart business decisions.

    my new macbook is great, i admit that i was a little irritated the first time i tried to use a firewire drive and….well, couldnt – but im over it. benefits outweigh the negatives, and hey, i spent 1599 not 1999. so i should not expect to have the pro level machine at the consumer level price.

    think about it.

  106. John McCord Says:

    The loss of Firewire also has another side effect – the loss of Target Disk Mode. I’ve used this many times to backup and repair sick Mac laptops and USB doesn’t support this feature.

    Typically when a feature was deleted there was a superior alternative. USB 2.0 doesn’t make up for the loss of Firewire. Hopefully they won’t drop it from the iMac line.

  107. hwertz Says:

    Well, I don’t use Macs either way, I have PCs with Gentoo and Ubuntu (Windows can go to hell). But the big complaints I’ve seen about Firewire are both valid — no target disk mode without firewire. Very valid. And secondly, if the imovie app really relies on firewire camera input, well, that’s crap to not have firewire on there.

    As for speeds.. Firewire 400 versus USB’s 480mbps.. I think they are close enough. Windows has horrible USB support but under Linux I have gotten over 40MB/sec consistently over USB (to external hard disks — my USB memory sticks aren’t that fast!) There *was* a Firewire 800 though — Apple already dropped it when they went from G4s and G5s to Intel machines (again to save money).. I don’t know how many devices used Firewire 800 but it would definitely have outrun USB2. Personally, if I were into macs, I wouldn’t be miffed over the speed difference. I *would* be pissed over losing actual functionality though.

  108. Gio Says:

    I wasn’t able to read all the comments so I may be repeating somebody else but they are also responsible for ditching the CRT monitor.

  109. lamapper Says:

    I read with great interest the many posts here…you guys obviously feel very strongly about Apple products and know what you are talking about….thank you for the additional education. The last MAC I used was the IIE + Radius Monitor, so its been quite a while for me.

    I agree with MF (and others for other reasons) about proprietary technology. Seems we invest significant amounts of money in a technology (and that specific company) only to have them discontinue it or refuse to support it. Often in a vain attempt to force us to make upgrade (i.e. make capital expenditures sooner than we normally would).

    Sadly this is money that many companies and individuals desperately need given the economy now especially. But in all economic times, this money if spent in either research and development or investments, would likely translate into more profits.

    While all of Apple’s products are proprietary, they are not alone in this. Even companies that have products with an open architecture (the PC) like IBM make this mistake with other product architectures (the Micro Channel), thus the architecture dies out.

    Even more companies are guilty of this with software and operating systems, i.e Microsoft, Xerox, Lotus, Novell, Corel, being among them. I personally find it extremely irritating to be forced to upgrade my computer or hand held device’s operating system for a third party software product (the list is many so I won’t bother to list even one). If I cannot circumvent their software installation process and get it to work (via external device – USB or simply in a different file folder); I stop purchasing the third party software and find another solution.

    In fact that is a good simple test, if you cannot install the software on the hardware device of your choosing, perhaps an alternative would be a better choice. (Hint, if you are not allowed to select the USB or FireWire device, chose a different subdirectory / file folder and after installation, copy to the device you prefer. And you should not have to do that, you should be allowed to choose.) I have personally stopped using some software products and some operating systems only because of these ‘forced’ installation, migration and update policies that I believe to be anti customer. (To date I have found workable alternatives, many times superior to the product that I was about to purchase, I find that happily ironic).

    If enough of us did this, some companies might take notice and stop these anti-consumer practices, well I can wish that they might. At least I am saving money, enough to purchase a new computer every year if I want to.

    While making a walk through an electronics store in LA, I noticed that many of the camcorders had 60 GB and 80 GB hard drives internal (less then $900, in some cases closer to $600) and the marketing slick stated that with the 60GB drive you could get 14 hours of video. If I were buying today, I would not buy one without an internal hard drive.

    My decision point would depend upon how fast I can get the data off the camcorders hard drive to my computer for editing. I admit that I have not compared the numbers, but I would guess that Firewire is not so much faster then USB 2.0 that it would honestly impact me in the above situation.

    However, if I were a long term Apple customer, the lack of this much touted and much used Apple proprietary technology (Firewire) would give me pause. Perhaps they are just using this to save a few pennies and differentiate their basic and pro products. Regardless I would not be happy, especially considering the devices that are in use that ONLY have a Firewire port. (Reminds me of last Christmas when a member of my family was trying to get her daughters video from analog to Digital for editing on a computer; I remember thinking, no way in heck would I purchase an analog camcorder, it was too much of a hassle.)

  110. MaartenA Says:

    This list is getting to long for anyone to read, but o.k.:
    First i think a consumernotebook is a pc priced notebook 6/700 euros.
    The MacBook cost twice as much. Apples idea of consumers is not the same as that of the people who actualy have to pay.
    The FW-port is not that expensive, so no real reason, exept for crippling a MBP and telling the world that this is the consumerbit.
    My students are being trained in basic video-editing techniques. All of our camera’s are FW, they have to last another 3 years. My students wil need laptops -now-, so i can’t recommend MacBooks anymore. A sufficient pc wil cost half of it anyway. MBP are only for the happy and lucky few.
    I can’t really advice Macs for my students anymore…
    Did I mention that we are the largest basic video/multimedia/gaming school in the south of my country?
    Thats half of it.
    Clever, marketing guys from Apple!

  111. MaartenA Says:

    For the record: videocameras with a hardisk or dvd give a too compressed (distorted) image. sd-cards that are good enough are way to expensive.
    DV-tape (wich is digital) gives the best image possible. And is compatible with all the major editing applications, AVID Premiere FCP.
    I was going to get FCP back in the education, but it will stay Premiere and AVID.
    …….

  112. Captain Obvious Says:

    Have no fear! Your top of the line 21st century gaming PC still comes with the standard array of floppy drive, PS/2, parallel, and com data port for all your critical DOT matrix printing and null modem data transfer needs!

  113. John Says:

    The real problem is no option for a matte display, which Pro’s like to use. The glair is so bad on the glass that my eyes were strained after 5 minutes of use in the store. These are the worse laptops apple has ever released. They are so bad that I will be looking for any matte laptop I could get my hands on once my 2 year old MBP dies. Which always seems to be 1 month after Apple Care runs out.

  114. Xhinga Says:

    Before, when Apple killed something they replaced it with something better,faster,newer.Now I am still in love with OSX but I’ve personally given op on Apple an their exclusive quest for designer computers,I have been running an excellent hackingtosh for the past 6 months now and have a machine with 12 USB2 ports (3 usb ports on iMac come on! ),
    2 firewire ports AND a working Esata port, now that is fast, I have a WD750Gb hooked up to that and it rocks, and the best part ? : the MotherBoard cost me like 75 euro.
    I just can’t understand why Apple hasn’t introduced External sata ports on Mac’s like 1Y ago.

  115. Dave in Canada Says:

    If you need firewire, pony up the $600 extra for the upgrade. If it is that important to you, that is. If not, don’t whine. You pay your apple tax, now you pay your firewire tax.

  116. grant czerepak Says:

    I think getting rid of the DVD on the iMac would be a grand idea.

    We should all be moving to cloud computing.

    Personally, after a month on my iMac I have only used Firefox, iChat and Inkscape.

    Everything else is in my Google environment.

  117. Some Fun Guy Says:

    Your link for purchasing a 5.25″ floppy drive says they stopped selling them in April.

  118. laptopleon Says:

    I’m with Mako — but I dont know if we will see it in our times.

    I don’t think the keyboard will go because of it’s still handy if you have mouses and / or multi gesture trackpads.

  119. Realist Says:

    I’m surprised at all these people citing Target Disk Mode as a major loss. I’d never even heard of it before this story broke. I’ve carried out a quick poll of a dozen or so Mac users I know in real life, and so far I haven’t found anyone else who’d heard of it, either.

    I know anecdotes aren’t evidence, but it sure does make me wonder how many of the people who are ranting now have ever actually used Target Disk Mode for anything at all, ever.

    (Cue ten people all telling me they used it daily. I’m sure there’s no reason to doubt their word — who would ever exaggerate on the Internet?)

  120. christian Says:

    Apple owns you. They have a terrible record for killing things that work and people love on their computers and what most of you don’t get is that it’s all about planned obsolesence. They’re just greedy.

    And I won’t be buying any of their new computers again. Screw ‘em.

  121. Snafu Says:

    Apple had a tormentous love affair with IrDA, too. The we had that silly extralarge mic jack, audio RCAs, etc.

    To those that relegate DV and HDV video hardware connectivity to pros: actually, DV and HDV are consumer video formats!!! By the way, are they going to kill Final Cut Express and Logic Express, too?

  122. Saif Says:

    I (will) miss FireWire when it’s gone. (I’m planning on buying a MacBook Pro, so I don’t have to say goodbye for a little while.)

    I have to admit, however, that Target Disk Mode isn’t really the only solution to the problem it attempts to solve, nor is it necessarily the best one. If you get one of these, you can simply attach whatever drive (or other IDE/SATA device you want) to any USB 2.0 port:

    http://newertech.com/products/usb2_adaptv2.php

    For data migration, volume recovery, or for quick drive swapping, it doesn’t have to be FireWire anymore. Of course, if the device you were trying to connect is an old laptop where the drive isn’t easily removable, then I guess it’s not a “more” convenient solution, but at least it’s possible. Personally, I love that little device — it even lets me connect my old internal LightScribe burner to a laptop :-)

  123. Mister Snitch Says:

    “Any other thoughts on which features in current Macs may be toast within the next couple of years?”

    Yeah, as a matter of fact. Watch the company that popularized the mouse get rid of it, in favor of multitouch LED trackpads for all models. Like an iPhone for navigating your iMac or Mac Pro. (Myself, I’m holding out for a Wii controller – the only thing that could possibly make MS Office any fun.)

  124. George Says:

    Umm…let’s see, Apple DID do away with a feature in the latest iPods and bit my wallet big time. Prior to iPod 80gb Classic and the 3g iPod Nano, one could get video out from both the earphone and through the dock connector. There are any number of docks that feature quality video taken from the dock connector. Of course, Apple being Apple, decided they wanted a bigger chunk of the accessory and cable market, so they screwed their customers yet again by removing the crappy composite out from the headphone jack and requiring a special cable to get the video from the dock connector. So that nice video dock I bought JUST FOR the bloody iPod only gives me audio. The ‘special’ cable costs fifty bucks.
    Oh, my relatively new Samsung camcorder is Firewire. I picked out my HP notebook specifically because it also included Firewire. My HP desktop ALSO has Firewire and I use an external Western Digital HDD on that very same Firewire port.
    I suspect a previous commenter was right: this is due to the whole Intel relationship more than a ‘dead’ technology.
    Apple threw them a bone for the loss of the integrated video business.

  125. nuc Says:

    Innovation is not about saying yes to everything. It’s about saying NO to all but the most crucial features.

    – Steve Jobs

  126. johnbellone Says:

    This is an attempt on Apple’s part to get Joe Consumer to buy the higher end “Pro” laptops. What exactly is distinguishes a “Pro” laptop from a consumer laptop now? The firewire port and additional GPU (that honestly cannot be used in hybrid SLI – so basically what Apple is saying is that they included the MacBook’s GPU in order for you to save power).

    MacBooks are already overpriced; look at the baseline MacBook that costs $999 – it comes with a 120GB hard-drive and 1GB of ram. Didn’t Apple phase out selling their last generation MacBooks (which is actually this model) with 1GB of ram nearly a year ago? And yet, in order to have a laptop that is “sub one-thousand dollars” they merely drop the ram? This is ridiculous. Its the same damn machine.

    In my own personal opinion the only laptop in Apple’s line that is worth the money is the $1,299.00 aluminum MacBook. My only gripe, besides the loss of Firewire, is the fact that still cannot buy a a backlit keyboard as an additional accessory. I would be willing to pay an the additional ridiculous price of $50 for this accessory, but, what I won’t do is spend $300 for double the GPU memory and a hard-drive upgrade along with it. That’s a joke; Apple is a joke. They really need to get someone other than Steve overlooking these notebook upgrades, because his arrogance is killing the consumers.

  127. snolan Says:

    Firewire is more critical than most of the other technologies you mentioned, because it has NOT been replaced with something better.

    You cannot boot a second Mac in USB 2.0 Target Disk Only Mode….

    Firewire is better than USB 2 even when not booting in Target Disk Only Mode.

    I love my MacBook Air (original) – but miss Firewire very much on it.

    I used to think this of SCSI when that was dropped, but to be honest, the combination of USB, Firewire, and SATA made SCSI obsolete except in servers; and there we’ve gone to SAS anyway or RAID of SATA drives anyway.

    Missing both SCSI and Firewire? That is an issue unless something improves USB dramatically and soon.

  128. BranchfromIndy Says:

    There should always be at least one model of portable with a serial port, for industrial and engineering use. The vast majority of PLCs anf automation controls out there in the real world are programed with their ladder logic via serial port. I have engineers lugging around 6 year old laptops because the sexy new uber-notebook has no serial port. Also no matter what they say, USB-Serial adapters do not work for this AT ALL.

    Vent over,
    be safe and have a good one.

  129. john0 Says:

    The BIG questions I have is; can I still boot into target disk mode? Can I boot off of an extenal USB drive? If, not the new design is a setback.

  130. Jimbo Says:

    Apple dropped the ball on this one. For the price Apple charges you for a Macbook, it should definitely have a freakin’ Firewire port. It’s hardly an “entry-level” computer, for what they charge.
    You don’t have to be a “Pro” to want a firewire port. I use mine for external hard drives; it’s way better than usb 2.
    I think Apple doesn’t really give a shit about computers anymore. And especially, they don’t really care about marketing their products to the creative types and education sector ( the people who saved Apples’ ass in the tough times).
    No, these days the priority is the iPhone and iPods.

  131. Gui Says:

    When the original iMac was released, we wanted to buy one, but we resisted due to the lack of floppies, which were basically the only way to get data out of the computer at the time, since dial-up was still expensive at the time and we had no other computers at home to network it with. But the dude from the shop gave us a USB/Parallel Zip Drive for almost free.

    Apple eliminating SCSI wasn’t really a big deal to me, since by then, USB was already an option on Macs and many USB-compliant equipment worked reasonably well on Macs.

    For ADB, you could get USB-to-ADB adapters that worked fairly well, and Apple still sells USB modems.

    But in FireWire’s case, it’s the first time a clearly superior technology gets dumped from a Mac. USB might be good enough, but as anyone who is an audio/video enthusiast knows, even most amateur gear is FireWire these days, and many more PCs do have it these days.

    And Steve might say all new cameras are USB, but for some reason beyond me, iMovie only accepts data from my Sony DV camera using FireWire.

    That being said, I might be looking for a refurb “obsolete” MBP or black MB.

  132. Brent Says:

    I can see an optical drive being dropped and replaced by some other kind of portable media. The way that SD media and the like are moving in size and cost, it just may be that optical wont be cost effective. It will always be great for archiving as of now, yet it has it’s limited applications.

  133. SunyGuy53 Says:

    You FW people should be getting mad at the industry for choosing USB 2.0 over FW.
    Apple is an industry leader, but if the industry doesn’t follow, they have to cut their
    loses at some point, and maintain “standard” ports.

    With protocols like eSATA and SAS becoming standards for hard drives, FW will be
    even less needed or relevant going forward. Apple doesn’t gain by becoming an
    industry “holdout” to keep some disgruntled users pleased.

    Sunny Guy

    P.S. I loved FW 400 as well as the next guy. I still use FW 800 for my external disk.

  134. pj wilkinson Says:

    As a Professional musician/producer, the lack of the firewire port is a disaster . we all know that firewire is better for streaming than USB. My first choice of sound card like many others is the MOTU and currently they only offer on model that is USB the 828MKII.
    The first Macbook pros have so many faults that when mine is finally died, and it’s heading that way, I will not only have to buy a new laptop but also a new soundcard. I think many of us using mac with motu are in that sticky position right now. if I didn’t hate microsoft products so much I would go to PC. Maybe a Linux developer will offer a solution that is customer friendly and not designed to squeeze every last cent out of its clients..
    Just for the record here is a list of the problems I have with my MacBookPro and absolutley no help from Apple..

    1. Battery, a silent recall was issued unbeknowing to most customers!
    2. audio output is now constantly on digital out, which means I cannot use the built in speakers.
    3. CD/DVD drive does not burn DVDs and has trouble reading CDs
    4. I pay for all my software and the new logic 8 has so many bugs I cannot list them all on this post..

  135. YYY Says:

    I really can’t relate to those voices that love to speak on Apple’s behalf and patronise users of “entry-level” MacBooks with a snooty “Oh, they don’t need that” attitude.

  136. Randy Says:

    Am I the only one thinking:
    USB 3.0?

18 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. FireWire Isn’t Alone: A Brief History of Features Apple Has Killed | Thetroubleshooting Blog Says:

    […] FireWire Isn’t Alone: A Brief History of Features Apple Has Killed: “Apple has a storied history of being the first company (or among the first, at least) to introduce an array of new technologies in its computers-starting with color graphics in 1977’s Apple II and continuing through graphical user interfaces, Firewire, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, light-up keyboards, buttonless touchpads, and beyond. But it’s just as core to the […]“ […]

  2. technichristian.net » Blog Archive » Apple Kills Firewire; Fans Enraged Says:

    […] read A Brief History of Features Apple Has Killed. Write a […]

  3. Bookmarks for October 17th through October 18th | Bieber Labs Says:

    […] FireWire Isn’t Alone: A Brief History of Features Apple Has Killed | Technologizer – List of technology Apple has chosen to kill from its products over the years. […]

  4. On the way out: CRT Monitors and Inkjet Printers « Limulus Says:

    […] October 18, 2008: You can add FireWire to the list too.] Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Inkjet vs Laser PrintersUsing […]

  5. jo-zone.com Says:

    […] innovative software and hardware. Steve has called time on FireWire and that’s fine by me, as Harry McCracken points out, this isn’t the first feature that Apple have killed, it definitely isn’t the last and […]

  6. icedcoffee | words » links and things - sunday 19th october Says:

    […] Technology Apple has killed off. […]

  7. Bites from the Apple: MacBook Afterglow (Now LED-Powered) | Save Price Hunter Says:

    […] Check out some of the other technologies that Apple has laid waste to over the years (remember that floppy drive?) over at Technologizer. […]

  8. Bites from the Apple: MacBook Afterglow (Now LED-Powered) | aStore SEO | aStore Theme | aStore Tips Says:

    […] Check out some of the other technologies that Apple has laid waste to over the years (remember that floppy drive?) over at Technologizer. […]

  9. FireWire, we hardly knew ya… - MAC.BLORGE Says:

    […] See also—Firewire Isn’t Alone: A Brief History of Features Apple Has Killed […]

  10. Tecnologías que Apple ha enterrado (algunas antes de tiempo) Says:

    […] Technologizer […]

  11. FireWire no fue la única. Tecnologías que Apple ha matado Says:

    […] han sido poco populares y algunas otras pasaron un tanto desapercibidas. Technologizer hace una lista de algunas de ellas con sus respectivas explicaciones y consecuencias, me gustaría resaltar […]

  12. mac | Apple History | macfidelity Says:

    […] Technologizer – FireWire isn’t alone – A brief history of features Apple has killed […]

  13. tow.com » blog » Backup Strategy Says:

    […] The Drobo holds completed photography projects and other infrequently accessed files. I don’t have it on all of the time because (1) it’s a little noisy and (2) it’s slow because of the USB interface. There is a faster Drobo today that offers two FireWire 800 ports. Sadly, I don’t know how much longer FireWire will be with us, seeing that Apple may be phasing out the high-speed peripheral port. […]

  14. Technologizer’s Fifteen Most Popular Stories of 2008 | Technologizer Says:

    […] FireWire Isn’t Alone: A Brief History of Features Apple Has Killed (October): When the new MacBook’s lack of FireWire prompted controversy, I thought back to […]

  15. A Bevy of New Macs: More For Less, But No Major Surprises | Technologizer Says:

    […] a built-in button, and a Mini DisplayPort connector. It loses the FireWire connector–oh no, not again!–but, strangely, doesn’t seem to gain an SD slot. It’s also got Apple’s […]

  16. A Bevy of New Macs: More For Less, But No Major Surprises | Macs Guide - MacBookSet.com Says:

    […] with a built-in button, and a Mini DisplayPort connector. It loses a FireWire connector-oh no, not again!-but, strangely, doesn’t seem to benefit an SD slot. It’s also got Apple’s […]

  17. Vadama.com » Why You Don't (and Won't) Find USB 3.0 Ports on Macs Says:

    […] it gave Firewire a fair shake before the overwhelming popularity of USB 2.0 won out. Apple has a history of ditching technology the rest of the tech world still uses, and after Steve Jobs recently commented that “We […]

  18. TouchSmart Review » A Bevy of New Macs: More For Less, But No Major Surprises Says:

    […] with a built-in button, and a Mini DisplayPort connector. It loses the FireWire connector-oh no, not again!-but, strangely, doesn’t seem to gain an SD slot. It’s also got Apple’s sealed […]