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No FireWire in new MacBooks

Sections: Apple Business, Apple News, Conferences, Laptops, MacBook, Macintosh/Apple Hardware, Originals

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No FireWire on new MacBooksWell, that’s a kick in the pants. Apple giveth, and Apple taketh away. At today’s MacBook event, Apple announced (amongst other things) that the new MacBooks are finally getting an honest-to-goodness graphics card: the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M. But did they really have to remove FireWire capabilities to make room for the card?

It’s true. Well, I mean, the two are probably mutually exclusive, but the new MacBooks will have no FireWire capabilities at all. Rather, you’re left with two USB 2.0 ports. And oddly, the $999 MacBook (now dubbed the MacBook White) doesn’t have the new GeForce 9400M, but retains the FireWire port.

Personally, I’ll take the Nvidia card over FireWire capabilities, but I’m still quite disappointed in the move to USB 2.0 only, as I now won’t be able to plug my Canon GL2 digital camcorder directly into a MacBook. It’ll be interesting to hear Apple’s explanation for this decision, because it’s most certainly going to cause quit a stir.

Update: Direct from Steve: Migration Assistant works over Ethernet.

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58 Comments

  1. No Firewire?!? Shiiitte…

    Glad I got the old black Macbook. I'd rather do without the aluminum casing than the Firewire since it's got faster connectivity. There's too much connected on my USB sockets already.

    keisha4
  2. No firewire on Macbook? WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!!?!?!!

    Lost a sale here.

    Benny Ulfsson
  3. Hello all… I am new here. Today I filed a complaint with Apple's Consumer Relations Division. I feel I have a merited reason being that I am an Audio professional. I DO have a Mac Pro "tower" but like editing and mixing on a Macbook when I travel. A lot of audio applications require a FW400 device to be attached while in use which makes me wonder what Apple is thinking…
    THE RESPONSE: The response I recieved was in conversation with Apple tech support was, "I am actaully not sure what Apple was thinking, I just found out yesterday myself. I don't understand because we use it for troubleshooting and diagnostics ourselves…" So even the people at APPLE are not happy…
    The person with Apple's Consumer Relation's division said if Apple gets enough viable complaints they may change the design of the products… Posting on this forum may do very little good, that's why WE must file with Apple's Consumer Relations Division which you can speak with my calling the main number and requesting to file a complaint with Apple's Consumer Relation's division…
    I like Apple, I think they are a great company, I think they make good products… I mean, I have an Apple Logo on my car!! BUT many of US are AUDIO and VISUAL professional who need products with Firewire 400!
    I intend no harm to Apple and want them to succeed in their endeavors… But this was a very poor decision that MANY of us will agree on…

    To file a complaint about the exclusion of FIREWIRE in Macbooks you can simply click here… very simple.

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/macbook.html

    Or call 1-MY-APPLE and ask to speak with the consumer relations division…

    jj9520
  4. If you're a pro, buy a MBP and add a Firewire capable ExpressCard/34.

    Dude
  5. One of the best parts of switching to a mac is finding out how amazing firewire is. I am surprised that they did not replace it with something faster at least.

    jiji
  6. Dude! Why buy a MBP and a Firewire capable ExpressCard/34? The MBP comes with a Firewire 800 port!

    Mark
  7. This would be the perfect laptop, if it only had Fire Wire. I don't find real functional reasons on the user for taking off this incredible port.

    Mauricio Fernandez Rosiñol
  8. This is a very bad move for Apple. The use of Firewire and Target Disk Mode, allows the user to update and re-image large numbers of Macs in a very short time. This is particularly useful and necessary for school districts and companies that manage large numbers os Macs. There is currently no other process out there, that I am aware of, that can do this in the time that the Firewire/TDM process does. Nothing even comes close. A typical Intel Mac can be reimaged in about 15 to 25 minutes time. Any other process will take 4 to 5 times as long.

    If you are truly outraged about Apple dropping the Firewire and Target Disk Mode from the new MacBooks, you can provide feedback to Apple on their bonehead decision by going to: http://www.apple.com/feedback/macbook.html

    Go there and register your complaint about the Firewire issue. If enough people complain about it, they will fix it. It happened with the iMac G5 and the Ambient Light Sensor issue. It sucked, enought people complained and they dropped the ALS in the next design revision.

    Pass this URL on to everyone that is concerned and have them provide input. When enough people make enough noise, Apple will fix the problem.

    The wouldn't alienate their education market, WOULD THEY???!!!

    -dp

    David
  9. what a stupid mistake by apple. no firewire? give me a break. i know apple likes to phase out technologies that they think is getting outdated, but if that's the case why didn't they do away with the ethernet port as well? who goes to a coffee shop and plugs into an ethernet jack? who goes ANYWHERE and plugs into an ethernet jack? i have a camcorder, audio interface, and ext. HDD that uses firewire. consumers have 2 choices: either spend an extra $1k on a MBP or spend an extra $1k new equipment that uses USB.

    baek3
  10. I was at the apple store today, ready to buy, and then I did the perusal of the ports and literally could not believe it. I was looking around the back of the thing, underneath… it's just mind-boggling. I work as an editor for a major cable network and while we don't usually use firewire (use SDI), we most certainly use tape. Trust me, it's not going anywhere, especially for professional applications. I actually got rid of an HVX200 and downsized to an HV20 because I can't stand the storage requirements and the constant backing up necessary with tapeless storage. I had a hard drive that went bad on an an indie film before we had the footage backed up (recovered it with Data Rescue II), and waiting to find out if the stuff could be recovered was extremely stressful. The convenience of buying a case of tape for $10 and having a tiny archive for every hour of material that you can just throw a bunch of 'em in a fireproof safe gives much better peace of mind, imho. Anyway, I'll stick with my old, trusty 12" and 15" powerbooks for the road (12" has firewire 400, the 15" has 400 AND 800) and the 24" imac for home. Thank god I got one of those late last year, who knows if they'll decide to start removing features on their desktop computers during the next round.

    cine229
  11. Can't believe this… I was in the Apple store in Vegas, with my Amex card out… until I noticed the lack of firewire. I don't want to cart something the size of a Pro around, nor pay the extra for it (or for a replacement video camera that will work with USB). I'll stick with my macbook white. Apple lost a sale today and I know I will be one of many.

    Adam Featherston
  12. I am not a pro, but I do shoot a lot of home video with my Sony Handicam MiniDV camcorder. I actually have three of them. I also regularly back my old Powerbook up to my G5 tower via Target Disk Mode, and I make copies of home movies for friends and family with an external DVD burner that connects via Firewire. I will not be buying a new MacBook anytime as long as it lacks Firewire. I can't even consider a MacBook Pro, because of the cost. I have been using Macs exclusively for work and home since 1990. Now, if I need to replace this Powerbook for any reason, I guess I'll have to buy an older MacBook or maybe seriously consider switching to Windows. It's funny. Apple has been bashing Microsoft for it's horrible Vista OS, lately. Now Windows has some solid Apple-bashing ammo of it's own. As Microsoft ignored the pleas of its customers who simply wanted to keep the better Windows XP OS alive, Apple has ignored the wishes of thousands of customers who favor – and NEED – Firewire over the arguably inferior USB 2.0. Shame on you Steve Jobs. Shame on you and your arrogance.

    Chris
  13. Why does apple does sh*t like this!! I'm not really happy about all of the changes in connectivity either. It feels like they are saying firewire 400 is obsolete, and what is the point of the mini display port! How much smaller does it need to get? Now I have to buy a stupid new Mini to DVI adapter just because they changed the connection. I love Mac with all my heart but sometimes I want to smack them for taking advantage of their customers.

    Jason
  14. Unbelievable! What a bad move for Apple who have been the industry standard for audio/video editing, and now they have tossed the Firewire port out of their new MacBooks potentially losing millions of potential buyers.

    I cancelled my order when I found out there was no Firewire port in the new MacBook 13". Shouldn't done my research first though!

    Marco
  15. Like so many of you, we were at the Apple store today and ready to buy the new Macbook. That is until the apple people told us they had no answer for the absent firewire port. This is incredibly unacceptable by Apple. I have owned nothing but Apple Macs since 1992. What in the world were they thinking.

    John
  16. The sad fact is that the new MacBook is probably selling fairly well, which would mean that Apple will not be likely to rectify this misguided decision ever. I have found that, in most situations, people who are unhappy with company decisions on products will complain about them, but will ultimately purchase the products. I know a lot of people who hate AT&T, but they bought iPhone anyway. The only way to force a company to listen to its customers is to not purchase their products until change is made. We might as well get used to the loss of Firewire in Apple products. It's only a matter of time before it vanishes from the MacBook Pro.

    Chris
  17. I am very upset this new macbook doesn't have a firewire port. Now I cant transfer important info and files from my old one

    charlie
  18. I was ready to buy one like many other but i have a canon hv20 so i need firewire for editing and many other things, so i ending up buying the older white model with it and i like it. and also why transferring info from my old one using apples migration asset you need firewire to use it, so a new mac book comes with this program you can use without firewire now that is stupid!

    Austin
  19. You have three options for transferring files from your old computer to a new MacBook without Firewire. You can use a Time Machine hard drive via USB, you can use Airport, or you can use ethernet. All work just fine, although not as fast as Firewire. I recently transferred files from my iMac to my new MacBook via ethernet, and had not problems at all after getting past the initial set up.

    See:

    http://www.appletell.com/apple/comment/in-the-laptop-of-the-gods-the-fascinating-behavior-of-migratory-macs/

    Kirk Hiner
  20. I guess this story was BS… the new MacBook Pros announced at MacWorld 2009 have firewire.

    apple fan
  21. It's not BS. The MacBook Pros have Firewire 800 (which can be used to connect FW 400 devices with an adapter), but the consumer-prices MacBook lacks Firewire. That's the problem and the point of these complaints. Firewire only adds about $5 to the purchase price of a Macbook, but since Apple only offers it in a high end laptop, one would have to spend almost $1000 over the cost of a Macbook to get FW. That's just not cool.

    Chris
  22. Wow Billbad. That's just about the most ignorant comment I have ever heard on this subject. First of all, in terms of sustained throughput, Firewire 400 is actually FASTER than USB 2.0. You can look that up on Google, if you'd like. So is it your opinion that dropping a better technology for a lesser but newer one is "progress"? SCSI was dropped because it was inferior to Firewire. Your point there has no merit. Speaking of points, you missed the point of the issue altogether. The new MacBook has NO FIREWIRE AT ALL. It's not just an issue of buying an adapter to use FW 400 peripherals with an FW 800 port. There are no adapters for FW to USB. People with THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS invested in audio and/or video peripherals that require a FW port are screwed if they buy a Macbook. They are being forced into a MacBook Pro or a major reinvestment in electronic equipment if they want to keep using Apple laptops. I think maybe it's not the people making the other comments who are frauds. I think it might be you. You must work for Apple. How else can anyone with half a brain willingly accept a DECREASE of features in the MacBook? It's another example of the consumer being shafted, and you seem perfectly willing to take it right up the …

    Chris
  23. Billbad – For what it's worth, I suppose I really could have made my point to you in less of an obnoxious tone, now that I re-read what I wrote in response to your earlier comment. This revamped Macbook really peeves me, but it should not lead me to be rude about it. I am glad I made my point, but I am sorry if I offended you in any way in doing so.

    Chris
  24. LOL. Point taken.

    Chris
  25. Having been one of the oblivious fools who bought a new Macbook, assuming that since it was a Mac that it had to have Firewire, I am now angry both at Apple and myself. I am no longer able to use my mini-DV camcorder, which cost $1000 two years ago. Will there ever be a way to retrofit the current Macbook with firewire, either by removing the ethernet, or altering one of the USB ports? or something? Anything? Or jamming a firewire card somewhere in there? It is truly aweful that my ancient 2001 HP laptop now has more video capability than my new Macbook.

    Eric Chastain
  26. Unfortunately, there is no way to adapt a USB port to work with FW, as they are totally different. If Apple had at least included a PC Card slot in the MacBook, then you could have purchased a FW PC Card and used that.

    Chris
  27. Thanks, Chris. I should have gone for the Pro, but it was 15 inches and a lot more. Two strikes against it then for my needs, but the firewire thing is a total strikeout. So now I am tinkering with hooking my camcorder to my DVD recorder first, then trying to get my computers to recognize the DVD-VR result. Still trying to find a way out of the woods….

    Eric Chastain
  28. Unless there has been some dramatic breakthrough in the technologies, I doubt that Best Buy has (or will have) what you need. Read this, from http://www.wisegeek.com:

    "Firewire (IEEE 1394) and USB (Universal Serial Bus) are two separate high-speed bus technologies that allow multiple devices to be connected to a computer. The two technologies are not integrated, and it is not possible to connect a USB device to a Firewire port either directly or through the use of a Firewire to USB adapter."

    But, there might be something out there that I don't know about. If you get one, and it works, post your experience here. That would be really useful information and might make it more practical for people to buy a MacBook after all.

    Chris
  29. For the life of me, I can't find anything that allows for Firewire devices to be connected to a USB port on the Best Buy or Radio Shack website. Scoot, either it's not something that's available in the USA or the guy you talked with at Best Buy isn't much of a computer guy. I guess I'll check out eBay.

    Chris
  30. For the people who are lost with out their firewire 400 ports

    I also work in the sound industry and use drives with 400 and 800 ports, if you still are adamant you want to use your old drive with firewire 400 ports you can spend all of $11 for a little adaptor
    http://www.amazon.com/Firewire-800-9-6-Adapter-Rohs/dp/B000LGGAD4/ref=tag_tdp_ptcn_edpp_url

    or you can buy a new drive with 800 ports (and still dont require external power)
    http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=10949

    have a nice day, please come again!!!

    Johnathan Rush
  31. To Jonathan – Your link is for a good adapter for someone with only FW 800 ports on their laptop and FW 400 peripherals that they still want to use. But unfortunately, it is not a product that will address the current shortcomings of the new Macbook. The Macbook has no Firewire, only USB. As I posted earlier, there are no adapters that can enable someone to hook up a Firewire peripheral to a USB port.

    To Anyone Else Who Cares – As long as FW remains absent from the Macbook line, anyone with FW 800 or 400 devices should steer clear of it. Either buy a used or refurbished older Macbook or pony up some serious cash for a Macbook Pro and the adapter that Jonathan mentioned, above.

    Chris
  32. I Fcukin hate Apple!
    I'm a PC user, and this is the first time I buy an Apple product. I was shocked when I discovered that my Macbook doesn't have FW! I went back to the store to complain and I asked them to repair it, but they didn't accept because the laptop has been already used.. wtf man!! it didn't even come into my mind to check if there's a FW input..

    I was doing the right thing by being a PC/Windows users

    Maz
  33. Sorry for your troubles, Maz. Too bad you didn't come across this thread before you bought your Macbook. My only advice to you would be to sell it. It's new and still has Apple's transferable AppleCare warranty, so you should get a good amount of your money back. Personally, I think it's adding insult to injury that Apple won't accept it back as a return. It's not what you expected when you bought it. But I guess a used computer is a used computer. I guess I can see why they would not take it back.

    I guess not enough people have complained to Apple about this rotten policy to abandon FW. Apple is still churning out these FW-deprived Macbooks. And stupid people apparently don't mind paying premium prices for inferior products, because they are still blowing their cash on them. You'd think in this economy most people would be smart enough to buy the most feature-laden laptops on the market, and not the Macbook.

    In my opinion, we'd all be better off if we just said "no" when companies cheapen their products. Live with an older computer/car/cell phone, etc. for awhile longer. Hurt companies like Apple in their bottom line, where it counts, and thereby force them to keep providing customers with what they want and need. But we're a country that likes disposable technology. If it ain't the newest and flashiest, we don't want it. Too bad. That's why we, as consumers, are so taken advantage of on an almost daily basis.

    ACM
  34. Actually, I must retract my comment "stupid people apparently don’t mind paying premium prices for inferior products" because I actually don't think of the people who prefer Apple computers as stupid. Bad choice of words. But I do think the people who buy these are not making the right choice.

    ACM
  35. A PC user who bought a MacBook without first researching what it can/can't do, and who now regrets the decision based on it not including technology that was never at all embraced on the PC to begin with? Okay, now you people are just making stuff up.

    Kirk Hiner
  36. Kirk – Maybe Maz is making his story up, since I agree it would seem unlikely that anyone would make the PC-to-Mac switch without researching the Mac thoroughly first, but some people buy on impulse and some are easily swayed by effective advertising. Only Maz knows if his post is legit. But you are wrong about PCs not "embracing" Firewire. Although FW was developed by Apple, it quickly became an industry standard for high-speed data transfers. All computers included it, across all lines. Mac calls it Firewire. PC manufacturers call it IEEE 1394.

    I don't know of any current PC, desktop or laptop, that does not come with IEEE1394 standard or as an add-on. I would call that "embraced".

    ACM
  37. For anyone who cares:

    Despite Wikipedia's often sketchy reputation for inaccurate information, they have a very good entry on Firewire here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1394_interface

    As you'll see, it's still a very viable and widely-used technology that, for most of the world and much of the video industry, is far from dead.

    Also, if you scroll down to the bottom of the entry, you'll see a very clear explanation as to why FW is actually faster than USB 2.0 in actual application.

    ACM
  38. Yeah, I'm not denouncing the viability of FireWire. I dig me the FireWire, and I'm pretty upset that Apple pulled it from the MacBook (I now have to take my Canon GL2 to my office iMac in order to import my videos to iMovie). Of course I want FireWire. But this hyperbole surrounding Apple pulling the technology from one line of laptop (and even the lowest priced MacBook still contains FireWire) is kind of crazy.

    As for the PC embracing FireWire, sure, you can get it, but the vast number of PC peripherals are USB 2.0. If more PC manufacturers and developers took full advantage of FireWire, we wouldn't be having this conversation about Apple pulling it. It would still be on all iPods, and it would still be on all Apple computers.

    Kirk Hiner
  39. Hey Kirk –

    While it's true that most new printers, external hard drives, and scanners are USB 2.0, many older peripherals for both Macs and PCs were built for Firewire. Almost all MiniDV cameras use FW to transfer video, and many older CD and DVD burners, laser printers, and external hard drives are FW compatible. It's not hyperbole, it's cold, hard financial fact that most consumers really can't afford to replace all of the older Firewire-compatible equipment they have when they need to buy a new laptop. Especially when you consider that the entry-level Macbook starts at $1,299.

    Even the cheapest, entry-level Dell Inspiron 15, at only $449, includes an ExpressCard slot, which would enable one to add FW-capability with a third-party FW ExpressCard (from Belkin, for example.) But the Macbook lacks an ExpressCard slot, so FW is not even an option at all at any price.

    What Apple did is they kind of crippled their "lower-priced" laptops by removing FW and ExpressCard slots, forcing people with a real need for those features to have to pony up for a Macbook Pro, which starts at $1,999.

    Of course, a $449 Dell is lacking in many features, and to equip one to match a comparable Macbook would equalize the prices somewhat, or at least narrow the cost differential. But the fact remains that no current Macbook at any price would ever be able to handle Firewire. So the actual cost of a new Macbook, plus a new camcorder, plus a new external hard drive, plus a new external DVD burner (if you needed one), plus a new laser printer for some could likely exceed $2,000; maybe by a lot.

    I stand by my opinion: If you have lots of FW-compatible equipment, and it's all in good working order, and you're really a Mac person, DON'T buy a Macbook. Buy a Macbook Pro. It would cost as much as a Macbook plus upgrading all your "stuff" and you'll have a better, faster, more versatile machine. But if you are not married to Apple computers, consider switching to a PC. You'll save money and still be able to use the equipment you own.

    ACM
  40. One last comment for Kirk:

    You said "and even the lowest priced MacBook still contains FireWire" in your last post. That's not true. No new Macbook supports Firewire. Only the last generation (the all-white and all-black ones) have FW ports, and you can only buy them new as clearance items. You can still get refurbished ones from Apple, from time-to-time. As I said above, you'd need to spend $700 more for a lower end Macbook PRO for FW, and even then you won't get FW 400. They only have FW 800, so you'd need to spend more on an adapter if you needed to hook up a FW 400 device, like a MiniDV camcorder.

    ACM
  41. Literally had my wallet out to buy one. i saw that it had no firewire port and decided not to buy it. I Paid $400 for my recording midi devise, and I'm not going to buy another midi devise to accommodate the new mac book. i guess ill stick with my old G4 mac mini.

    scott
  42. The guy at best-buy told me that they sold a firewire to USB cable, but when he tried showing me the cable they were all sold out. I'm not going to get the mac book; I'm waiting for the new Imacs or maybe the mac minis to come out. The Imacs are much more reasonably priced than the mac book are.

    Scoot
  43. Of course, you'd have to buy all new PC software, so…

    The hyperbole is the whole "Apple sucks! I'm never buying from Apple again!" mentality because they removed FireWire from two models in the MacBook line. If you need a MacBook with FireWire, get the $999 MacBook white. If you don't need a MacBook, pony up for the MacBook Pro, if possible.

    Again, I'm on everyone's side, here. I want FireWire on my MacBook. But I'm not taking its removal as some sort of slight against me or any other Apple customer. To decry Apple as if this decision was reached on a whim or is an effort to force people to pay $1,000 more for a MacBook (removing the DVD drive or Ethernet would've been more effective if that were the goal) is really kind of naive.

    Kirk Hiner
  44. And you're wrong about the MacBooks, ACM:

    http://www.apple.com/macbook/white/specs.html

    Apple is actively selling the $999 MacBook White online, not as clearance or refurbished items. In fact, they just recently upgraded them with a better graphics card.

    Kirk Hiner
  45. Duh. It's just progress. Firewire 400 is OLD. Firewire 800 is still reverse-compatible (with an adaptor). There isn't room for every outdated connector on every new piece of technology. Someone is probably still complaining about no SCSI PORT. This article is pointless and most of the comments are probably fraudulent.

    Billbad
  46. Dood. I misunderstood the article. I didn't realize the Macbooks didn't have Firewire at all. I thought all the fuss was over the lack of an old FW400 connection. I swear, I read the whole thing. I stand corrected. …more coffee.

    What the hell were they thinking? I wouldn't buy a Macbook now.

    Billbad
  47. I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! DIE! DIE! DIE! :)

    Billbad
  48. I stand corrected on the white Macbook issue. At the time of this original posting, when the aluminum Macbooks were brand new, the white Macbook was being discontinued and could only be available until supplies ran out. Apparently, Apple decided to keep that line going awhile longer. Good for them. But that was not the case a few months ago. My guess is the negative uproar over the removal of Firewire caused Apple to rethink its decision to eliminate it altogether from Macbooks. I am glad to see that I still do have a Macbook option after all. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, Kirk.

    As for the idea that it's OK to drop Firewire because "The majority of the people don’t even use firewire (they dont even know what it is)" and "if you truly are a firewire user i think that you would want a more powerful computer" are the really naive comments that reinforce to companies that it OK to cut back on features but not price. A great many people do know what FW is, use it regularly, and have no need for a more powerful computer. I use an old Powerbook G4. I rely on Firewire for printing to my laser printer, video editing, audio work, and regular backups to my external hard drive for work and home. I am not an A/V professional. I have no need for more processing speed, but I do have a real need for FW. I do not have the budget for a Macbook Pro, nor can I afford to replace all my "stuff" with USB 2.0 versions.

    I also think that the idea that Apple didn't drop FW in an effort to get people to spend more for a Pro model is also quite naive. Apple has followed that practice for many years. They offer limited options in all their product lines, with almost no add-ons or upgrade capability, forcing people to spend a great deal more for what should be available at all levels.

    I love Macs. I way prefer the Mac OS to Windows. I like the styling of Apple products. I am a big fan. But I don't like to see "progress" at the expense of people who need older technology to make use of the substantial investment they have made in perfectly good, functional, albeit older equipment. I read once that Apple saved about $5.00 per unit by dropping Firewire. Multiplied across thousands of units and you see a significant cost savings, there.

    Apple knows what it's doing, alright. They are making money hand over fist. Good for them. It doesn't mean they made the right decision by the consumer.

    BTW – I appreciate this open, frank discourse and I ultimately respect any and all opinions on this matter. Please don't take offense to any comments I make, as they are not personal. I am simply, persistently bothered by Apple's policies regarding the direction it is taking its product line.

    ACM
  49. Most likely my last word on this topic, and these are not even my own words! This is from the MacInTouch.com October 21, 2008 review of the aluminum MacBook, by Robert Mohns:

    "FireWire — a technology Apple invented and popularized — disappeared from the aluminum MacBook. It's used for hard drives, video capture, audio hardware and high-end scanners — essential devices for Apple's huge base of "creative professional" users.

    If you depend on hardware that requires FireWire, you must either upgrade to the $1999 MacBook Pro, or downgrade to the older, white Macbook (which is available now for $999).

    Apple CEO Steve Jobs defended the decision, stating that most consumer camcorders now use USB instead of FireWire. That doesn't do much good for someone who already owns a FireWire-only camcorder; for most of us, that's a pretty big investment! And USB 2, despite its huge speed improvement over USB 1, still isn't suitable for professional audio work — it just isn't designed for time-sensitive data.

    In hopes of getting a view into more typical consumer behavior, we talked to a salesperson at an Apple retail store. He said he was selling a lot of the new MacBooks even without FireWire. When asked how we could get video from our FireWire camcorder onto the new MacBook, the salesperson candidly answered, "You can't, and I know that's not a good answer."

    We asked if the week's buyers knew or cared about the loss of FireWire. "A few people have been pretty upset," we were told, but many don't have any FireWire devices. A few buyers, he volunteered, did require FireWire, and in every instance, they went up to the MacBook Pro, not down to the white MacBook. But, he noted, "We're not all billionaires, a video camera is a big investment!"

    The long-requested, but still-missing eSATA port would take the sting out of losing FireWire, and a fast I/O bus always can be exploited. USB is seriously deficient when it comes to multi-device data streaming; it may be good enough for Apple, but it's not adequate for a small, but influential, portion of Apple's traditional customer base.

    We think it's a big mistake to take such a versatile, useful feature out of Apple's most popular laptop arbitrarily. But the marginal cost of upgrading to a MacBook Pro is less than the cost of a new video camera or audio hardware; maybe that's what Apple is counting on. If so, it's an artificial and cynical product segmentation tactic."

    ACM
  50. Well, it looks like we really DID need Firewire. After much negative press, audio/video industry uprisings, and a 16,000 person petition for the return of FW to the Macbook line, Apple relented and has returned Firewire 800 to it's newly renamed 13-inch unibody Macbook now called the "13-inch Macbook Pro". Well done, Apple. Your people spoke and you listened. My faith is restored. I might buy one this week!

    ACM
  51. some say: if you are a pro, buy a mbp to have firewire!!! what if someone is not a pro and still needs firewire for his personal purposes??? apple just sucks money…

    Farshid
  52. Farshid, dude, Apple put FireWire back in the MacBooks over a year ago. You're good.

    Kirk Hiner
  53. Wow, I can't believe I still get links to this thread. It's pretty old.

    Kirk – You are mistaken. Apple does not include Firewire in ANY of it's current Macbook computers. The old-style white one AND the newer unibody both lack FW. Only the Macbook Pro includes it, and only as FW 800 (which is backwards compatible with FW 400, as long as you have the right cable.)

    Farshid – Although a new Macbook Pro is considerably more expensive than a new Macbook, if you really still NEED Firewire, look into a refurbished Macbook Pro. As recently as last week, Apple was selling them for under $930. So you do have an affordable option to keep using FW. But be prepared for the inevitable end to FW support altogether. It will happen across ALL Apple's product line sooner or later.

    ACM
  54. Well, yeah, I was thinking the $999 white MacBook doesn't have it (that's the only MacBook available now, isn't it?), but all of the MacBook Pro models do, and those start at $1,199 for the 13" model (it's hard for me to not view those as MacBooks, even if Apple re-designated them).

    Of course, you pointed all of this out above, so I'm just repeating you. The point is that the complaining about having to buy a MacBook Pro to get FireWire doesn't make much sense, since you're paying old MacBook prices for that MacBook Pro.

    Kirk Hiner
  55. I agree. But the lack of FW on Macbooks was a much bigger issue for me when this thread first started. Now, with Pro prices at more realistic levels, they are much more accessible, especially, as I mentioned above, when they're refurbished. So while I still kind of feel that Apple killed FW unnecessarily, it's not as aggravating to me anymore.

    ACM
  56. Well, it's still aggravating to me, because I still have a unibody MacBook without FireWire!

    Kirk Hiner
  57. I have lots of FW peripherals, so it is still aggravating to me. Just not "as" aggravating as it was. But I do feel your pain, man. Apple's way is to drop features and tell people it's what they want. And that really sucks!

    ACM
  58. First of all, Apple has 2 Macbook models they have the white polycarbonate that comes with a 2.0Ghz processor ddr2 ram the new Nvidea 9400m Graphics card. The next model they have is the Alluminum Macbook which you can choose from the 2.0Ghz or the 2.4Ghz which come with the same Nvidea 9400m graphic card and with DDR3 ram. The white Macbook is the old body but with new guts, but runs on DDR2 ram which hardly makes a difference, i have witnessed. i have the new aluminum 2.4 and my friend has the new Polycarbonate with the NVidea Graphics and there is really isn't much of a difference in performance besides the esthetics.

    Second, i see the new aluminum mac books everywhere on my campus. The majority of the people don't even use firewire (they dont even know what it is). Anyone who really needs firewire will probably get the macbook pro, the white Macbook, or an Imac. who really needs firewire on the go, if you truly are a firewire user i think that you would want a more powerful computer. There are speculation that apple removed the fire wire to make the laptop more reliable, apparently firewire ports are know to burn out and cause problems to the machine.

    Third, for Maz from Dubai, i bought my mac book at future shop and i was considering to exchange it for the Macbook pro 2.4 or for an older Macbook pro (which are still really good machines, macs are very capable of lasting for a minimum of 6 years). Future shop had no problem with exchanging my aluminum Macbook 2.4 (that i had for 30 days) for any other computer in the store. I decided to keep my Macbook because i thought about it, and I really don't need the firewire and its a great machine, if I ever really need to use firewire i have a firewire port on my mac mini. All this to say, try to exchange your laptop if your really unhappy. Just don't put down i think they know what they are doing.

    Scott Porco