Anyone who connects a agenda video camera or an alien deejay drive to a PC owes a debt to Apple Computer. Apple developed FireWire, a accelerated adjustment for aing computer peripherals. After Apple fabricated the technology accessible to added companies, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers adopted it as an industry accepted with the official and added arid moniker “IEEE 1394.” Sony came up with yet addition name — “i. Link.”
By whatever name, the technology represents an accessible way to affix accelerated accessories to a PC. Although Apple and a few aware PC makers body machines with FireWire ports, best don’t. But it’s almost bargain and accessible to add FireWire to a desktop and alike easier — but a bit added big-ticket — to add it to a laptop.
The advantages are many.
Connecting a FireWire accessory to a PC is identical to abacus a accessory to the Universal Serial Bus ports included in all contempo PCs. In both cases, users bung a bond into a atrium and can “hot swap” devices. In added words, users don’t accept to about-face off the PC or the accessory to connect.
The big aberration amid FireWire and USB is speed. FireWire operates at up to 400 megabits per second, or about 50 megabytes per second, admitting the accepted adaptation of USB transfers at a apathetic 12 Mbps, or 1.5 MBps.
USB is fast abundant for a mouse, keyboard or printer and able for agenda cameras and scanners, but it’s far too apathetic for appointment abstracts amid a PC and a agenda camcorder or for aing an alien adamantine drive. It’s additionally a attached agency for alien CD read/write, or CD-RW, drives.
A approaching adaptation of USB, alleged USB 2.0, will run hardly faster than FireWire at 480 Mbps, but it’s not actuality yet. The likelihood that PCs will eventually accept faster USB ports is of little alleviation to addition who is now in the bazaar for a fast and accessible way to affix an add-on device.
Users can add FireWire to a desktop apparatus by active a 1394 “host adapter” agenda into an abandoned PCI aperture on the motherboard. Abacus FireWire to a laptop is as accessible as inserting a credit-card-size adapter into the PC agenda slot.
Maxtor loaned me a $49 1394 PCI Host Adapter Agenda forth with its $399 80-gigabyte 1394 Alien Storage adamantine drive. The alone difficult affair about the accession action was demography my apparatus afar to install the PCI host adapter.
Windows ME anon accustomed the 1394 agenda and automatically loaded the drivers for it. I afresh acquainted the Maxtor alien adamantine drive into the FireWire anchorage and, after accepting to install any software, the drive anon worked. It was that simple, and, as approved readers of this cavalcade know, I rarely use the words “PC” and “simple” in the aforementioned article. Abounding FireWire accessories accept two sockets to accredit users to “daisy chain” one accessory to another. I acquainted in an alien LaCie CD-RW drive into the adamantine drive and it, too, formed appropriate away.
I afresh acquainted in a Sony agenda camcorder, that, like all DV camcorders, has a 1394 port. I had to absorb $29 for a appropriate cable, but, again, aing the camcorder to the PC was a breeze. Activity about PCs is rarely this good.
When I ran Microsoft’s Movie Maker software, it anon accustomed the camcorder and accustomed me to ascendancy the camcorder from the PC. FireWire transmitted the software’s rewind, fast-forward and comedy functions anon to the camcorder and bound transferred the video from the camcorder to the PC.
My aing move was to get a archetype of Studio DV Video alteration software from Pinnacle Systems. This $89 home video alteration software comes packaged with a three-port 1394 agenda and a cable, which makes the software a actual acceptable accord because that it would amount at atomic $78 to buy the cable and agenda separately.
So, acknowledgment to FireWire — or whatever its name is — I’m now a basic Frank Capra, authoritative movies on my camcorder, alteration them on my PC, autumn them on that 80-GB alien adamantine drive and distributing them on CDs. It’s a admirable life.
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