No FireWire On New MacBooks, Only One FW800 on MBP

Nerd ranting warning.

What the hell is Apple doing? There are no FireWire ports on the new MacBooks! Essentially, that means that anyone doing any serious work in video or audio has no reason to buy a MacBook. Our university buys roughly 60 MacBooks per year for the students to buy at a cheap price, but now I dont see any reason why our Audiovisual Media Culture program would buy any of these, since they are useless for video work.

And the new MacBook Pro only has one FW800 port. Again, making any musicians life a bitch since you will most likely need at least 2 FW ports, for an HD and an audio interface. Well, at least you can daisy chain FW devices. And another useless idea was introducing the DisplayPort. That means dropping the support for S-Video and composite adapters. So you´ll need more dongles to connect to different diplays or projectors. I would rather have a computer that is 2mm thicker than having to carry around five different dongles to display the image. Granted, it is smaller and cheaper to manufacture, but that should show up in the price or that would have allowed the space for another FW800 or USB port. Did I mention no E-SATA and no Blu-Ray?

I´m just hoping my current MBP will last through this generation and that Apple would change their course and actually start making laptops that are useful for audio and video professionals.

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5 Responses to “No FireWire On New MacBooks, Only One FW800 on MBP”

  1. Ålari says:

    Ahh crap!

    I knew Apple was going to fuck things up just before I have the money for a new laptop. But hey, you wouldn´t carry five dongles? I´m gonna have six after I get that lovely package in my mailbox.

    One silly question: Does FW800 still support the old FW? Or do i have to order some more fucking plastic for that?

    Did I mention ass fisting?

  2. Månsteri says:

    FW800 ports work with FW400. you just need a cable with FW800 to FW400.

    Bigger problem is getting S-Video or composite out of that thing. You need something like this

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  3. Ålari says:

    Wait! Are you saying that my great plan to connect two dongles to get S-video out won´t work? Apple offers DisplatPort to DVI adapter and I was supposed to put Apple´s DVI to S-video adapter after that. I can´t do that?

    The problem with the solution the guy had made in the link that you provided, is that the adapter he uses to convert VGA to S-video uses power from USB port. And I believe that the new MBP has still only 2 USB ports. So that leaves one to be used with external hard drive AND midi-keyboard. Now how is this going to happen? Some more gear to carry for simple things?

  4. Ålari says:

    Hmph, figured it out myself. Linking two Apple adaptors won´t do it cause Apple´s new DisplayPort to DVI sends only digital output and digital and analog outputs use different pins in DVI. So the second adaptor (DVI to S-video) won´t even get the analog signal.

    So the DisplayPort to VGA (provided by Apple) + VGA to composite/S-video (not provided by Apple) is the only current working solution. Shame shame shame.

    And I will most likely lose one of my 2 USB ports for this “solution”. VJ´s nightmare – Apple´s engineer´s wet dream. Do I want to buy an extra hub for new USB ports?

    If I only would have realized this last week, I would not have made my MBP order. But it´s too late to think about a different computer now, my friend.

    Here´s the whole discussion about the subject in Apple´s support forum:


  5. Månsteri says:

    Yep, that’s how it goes.

    Oh you already ordered. I’ve played with the new MPB in an Apple store. It’s pretty sexy, but I wish it was a little bit more useful for VJing and other PROfessional work.

    You might want to use the ExpressCard slot to add some more FireWire and USB ports.

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