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Missing Firewire Port On New Macbooks
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smpte24
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Joined: 17/09/2011 22:21:16
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There is no firewire port on the new macbook pro. Should I be looking for an old macbook?
MikeRivers
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smpte24 wrote:There is no firewire port on the new macbook pro. Should I be looking for an old macbook?


I was just looking into this yesterday. I went to the local used computer store to see what they had in the way of last year's models. They guy there (who's pretty knowledgeable, at least about PCs) took out a current model that was off-lease ($1100, more than I wanted to spend). When I asked about Firewire, the pointed out a 4-pin port that he said was the Thunderbolt port which was also backward compatible with Firewire 400 and 800. That's pretty cool, if it's correct. Anyone know for sure?

These models change fast enough so that only people who make a point of following them or know the right buzzwords to look for (or to see if they're missing) in the literature probably really knows. I was under the impression that Apple dropped Firewire on the plain MacBook, but it was still there on the MacBook Pro. Just about every portable Mac recommendation I've read here has been for the "Pro."

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bnski
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Can't verify the Thunderbolt to FW 400/800... but for under $12 you can buy an adapter to convert the 800 into 400, http://amzn.to/ojuq0n

I own/use the above, no issues.
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roblof
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MikeRivers wrote: When I asked about Firewire, the pointed out a 4-pin port that he said was the Thunderbolt port which was also backward compatible with Firewire 400 and 800. That's pretty cool, if it's correct. Anyone know for sure?)

No, thundebolt is an extension of pci-express + some hdmi thrown into it.

This means that you need some sort of interface like the ones offered here: http://www.thunderbolt-peripherals.com/thunderbolt-adapter
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MikeRivers
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roblof wrote:t is an extension of pci-express + some hdmi thrown into it.

This means that you need some sort of interface like the ones offered here: http://www.thunderbolt-peripherals.com/thunderbolt-adapter


Yes, that's what I thought too. About that Thunderbolt-Firewire adapter: Have you seen the whites of its eyes? I couldn't find it on the Sonnet web site, and when I looked for where to buy one, I only found Amazon, which had a page of Thunderbolt-to-video adapters, but no Firewire. I think it's a ghost or a look into the future.

However, having seen a close-up of the Thunderbolt port, I believe there was one of those as well as a 4-pin Firewire port on this MacBook Pro that I was looking at. Maybe the guy at this shop doesn't know all that much about Macs.

That I might get a MacBook Pro is, I believe, just a passing fancy, unless I find a paying gig that will justify it.

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floaty83
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Current Macbook Pro's DO have a Firewire port. It's a Firewire 800. You just need a simple 400 (6-pin) to 800 (9-pin) cable.
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scottmckenna
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floaty83 wrote:Current Macbook Pro's DO have a Firewire port. It's a Firewire 800. You just need a simple 400 (6-pin) to 800 (9-pin) cable.


Was just going to post the same thing. Yes, they have a FW800 port, and it's a simple cable, 400-800 works perfect. That's what I use.
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talmen
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The Thunderbolt adapters aren't being sold yet, Mike. They are promised by Sonnet, but are not on the market yet. I don't know of any other manufacturers who are tackling making those types of adapters, either.

The next question will be whether or not the adapter in question will "play nice" with our audio devices/drivers, or whether we'll have to wait for development of new ones. If that is an issue, then we may be waiting much longer for something that uses Thunderbolt natively, and who knows how long that will be in coming.
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talmen wrote:The Thunderbolt adapters aren't being sold yet, Mike. They are promised by Sonnet, but are not on the market yet. I don't know of any other manufacturers who are tackling making those types of adapters, either.


Making an adapter from anything to Firewire is tough since Firewire takes care of a lot of housekeeping right at the interface level. It needs some smarts, and probably some licensing. That's why we don't have real USB-Firewire adapters.


The next question will be whether or not the adapter in question will "play nice" with our audio devices/drivers, or whether we'll have to wait for development of new ones. If that is an issue, then we may be waiting much longer for something that uses Thunderbolt natively, and who knows how long that will be in coming.


Yup. I expect that the first Thunderbolt audio devices will be at the consumer level and it will be a while before we see any studio grade products, simply because "our" industry doesn't have the money or the huge market of consumer electronics.

I guess we've established that at least some (or maybe all) MacBook Pro models are available with a Firewire port, 4-pin or 6-pin, FW400 or FW800, or something, so it's not a crisis yet. But somebody in the audio interface business had better get on the stick.
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floaty83
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If you didn't know already, Belkin has a Thunderbolt Express dock coming out that gives a whole slew of I/O including Firewire. Check it out - http://www.macrumors.com/2011/09/13/belkin-shows-off-upcoming-thunderbolt-express-dock/
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MikeRivers
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From the news item: "Unfortunately, there is no word yet on pricing or a launch date for the docking station"

Stuff's coming, but the MacBook Pro is already.
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MikeRivers
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Well, I guess I can answer one of my own questions now that I've blundered my way through the Apple web site.



Is that a regular Firewire 800 port or some miniature version? I thought that what I saw in the shop (because of that notch in the middle of one side) was a mini (4-pin) Firewire connector, but I know that the normal Firewire 800 connector has 9 pins. But if there's just one size, I guess I didn't realize it was that small. No Firewire 800 in my world yet.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 06/10/2011 19:24:07

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Jason.Harris
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MikeRivers wrote:Well, I guess I can answer one of my own questions now that I've blundered my way through the Apple web site.



Is that a regular Firewire 800 port or some miniature version? I thought that what I saw in the shop (because of that notch in the middle of one side) was a mini (4-pin) Firewire connector, but I know that the normal Firewire 800 connector has 9 pins. But if there's just one size, I guess I didn't realize it was that small. No Firewire 800 in my world yet.



thats an 800 port Mike complete with 9 pins.

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MikeRivers
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Jason.Harris wrote:

thats an 800 port Mike complete with 9 pins.


Jeez, I wouldn't trust a connector that small with that many pins to stay in for the length of a show, much less a festival day, without a couple of clamps or jackscrews to hold it in place. And I wouldn't dare add the extra mass and strain of an 800-400 adapter, at least not at the computer end. Maybe this is why some people are having trouble with their boards losing sync with the computer periodically.

I read a specification that the 1394b connector was rated for 1500 insertions (the big one is 6500). I guess it'll last ten years if you take your rig out three times a week and don't connect it when you get back home. I suppose that's longer than your computer will last, so it's OK.

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Jason.Harris
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MikeRivers wrote:
Jason.Harris wrote:

thats an 800 port Mike complete with 9 pins.


Jeez, I wouldn't trust a connector that small with that many pins to stay in for the length of a show, much less a festival day, without a couple of clamps or jackscrews to hold it in place. And I wouldn't dare add the extra mass and strain of an 800-400 adapter, at least not at the computer end. Maybe this is why some people are having trouble with their boards losing sync with the computer periodically.

I read a specification that the 1394b connector was rated for 1500 insertions (the big one is 6500). I guess it'll last ten years if you take your rig out three times a week and don't connect it when you get back home. I suppose that's longer than your computer will last, so it's OK.



LOL! You're right about the computers... I think 3 years is a bit generous.

 
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