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R.I.P Firewire
Old 6 Days Ago   #1
lynnb
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R.I.P Firewire

Thom Hogan is a respected journalist who writes mostly on Nikon matters but also about other manufacturers and the industry in general. He has posted the following in this article, talking about what he has seen and learnt at the NAB show - the National Association of Broadcasters trade show in Las Vegas:

Quote:
Oh, and by the way, Firewire is dead. Done. Toast. Nothing but ashes.

Here’s what I was told by multiple vendors: they simply can’t buy Firewire controllers anymore. When they run out their current stock of parts, any Firewire device they are making will have to be end-of-lifed. So those of you hoping to keep using your old Firewire drives on new and future docks for your computers, I’m sorry to dash your hopes, but it’s time to move on.

- Thom Hogan www.bythom.com
This is not the sort of news I like to hear, but in the age of obsolescence I guess it was going to happen sometime. Time to start planning on a new generation of drives for my archives, once I am eventually forced to upgrade or replace my ageing Mac mini.

A heads up for all in a similar boat.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #2
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hmmm... it's the Nikon scanners that concern me (currently running on a mid-2011 Mac Mini)
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Old 6 Days Ago   #3
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Don't panic. Buy a few of these. They work!
https://express.google.com/product/1...FUSTZAodOpgA_w
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Old 6 Days Ago   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muser53 View Post
Don't panic. Buy a few of these. They work!
https://express.google.com/product/1...FUSTZAodOpgA_w
Got any FW400 to FW800 adapters to go with those?

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Old 5 Days Ago   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
Got any FW400 to FW800 adapters to go with those?

Just a cable.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #6
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I've got those cables for my Firewire drives, so as long as Thunderbolt stays around, I'm good. After that, I guess it's back to the wet darkroom.

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Old 5 Days Ago   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
Got any FW400 to FW800 adapters to go with those?

A quick Amaz** search from here in the US shows a number of the Sonnet Tech adapters still in stock. Sonnet Tech's website lists them as a discontinued item, so it's a good idea to stock up now.

I've got both an adapter and a cable and have found that for some gear combinations, one will work and the other won't. My scanner, an older UMAX unit, is also not recognized using OS versions later than 10.5. I keep an older Macbook Pro around specifically for scanning.

Firewire. It was good while it lasted.
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Last edited by dof : 5 Days Ago at 13:35. Reason: clarity
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Old 5 Days Ago   #8
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I think FireWire cables and Cards will be around for a while, at least through Phase One. Many of their older backs, still valued in the many $ thousands, rely on the 12 vdc power from a fire wire cable along with delivering data when tethered to a Mac work station or Win rig with a FW card.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
Got any FW400 to FW800 adapters to go with those?

As a matter of fact I do! They are easily ordered from the Office Despot or Amazon.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #10
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Now I've got to figure out what to do for my Nikon Coolscan 9000. Last time I used it was 4 years ago, and I had a Windows XP computer at the time. I had several job changes, and so the Coolscan has been boxed up all this time. I do want to revive it, but from what I read on the internet Windows 10 doesn't recognize firewire immediately.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
Now I've got to figure out what to do for my Nikon Coolscan 9000. Last time I used it was 4 years ago, and I had a Windows XP computer at the time. I had several job changes, and so the Coolscan has been boxed up all this time. I do want to revive it, but from what I read on the internet Windows 10 doesn't recognize firewire immediately.


May be it will work On Windows 10
But it works certainty in Windows 7 x64
My Nikon coolscan 4000 is running flawlessly with FireWire card and cable attached.


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Old 5 Days Ago   #12
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Firewire has been on the way out for a few yrs now. It was originally made by Apple, and they were the main proponents of it, but they quit putting it on Macs a couple yrs ago in favor of Thunderbolt.

I'm still using a ten year old Mac Pro (Early 2008 model) that has both Firewire 400 and 800. I used a FW-800 CF Card Reader and it is super fast. Sad to see it going away.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
Now I've got to figure out what to do for my Nikon Coolscan 9000. Last time I used it was 4 years ago, and I had a Windows XP computer at the time. I had several job changes, and so the Coolscan has been boxed up all this time. I do want to revive it, but from what I read on the internet Windows 10 doesn't recognize firewire immediately.
Partition a disk with a linux OS on it and run vuescan. Runs perfectly.

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Old 5 Days Ago   #14
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My FW scanner is also a Umax (PowerLook 1000, FW400) and I rely on it to scan 4x5 and bigger size negatives. Currently It is hooked up to a vintage Mac G4 with maxed-out memory.

Guess I need to stock up on a few adapters to get from FW400 to FW800 to ThunderBolt so I can keep running it in the future. Those G4s won't be around forever either!

Thanks all!
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Old 5 Days Ago   #15
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This was timely. My MacBook Pro just died. The adapter I used to connect the Firewire 400 on the Nikon scanner to the laptop is not supported on any computer made today. What I have found is that it will take 3 adapters: Firewire 400 to 800 (I got a 6 foot cable), Firewire 800 to Lightning 2 adapter, and a Lightning 2 to Lightning 3 (USBC) adapter.

The parts should be here next week. If the setup doesn't work with three adapters between the scanner and the computer, I'll write here again.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #16
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Seems like only yesterday people were lamenting the loss of SCSI when Firewire was developed.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muser53 View Post
Don't panic. Buy a few of these. They work!
https://express.google.com/product/1...FUSTZAodOpgA_w
I'm using one of those to connect our Imacon 848 scanner to our Late 2015 iMac's Thunderbolt port. It works perfectly well with the 848 and Hasselblad's FlexColor scanning software.

The adapters are limited by the Thunderbolt ports ablilities and can't provide the full range of voltages that Firewire supports and are limited to 7 devices in the chain (far less that a native Firewire interface).
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Old 4 Days Ago   #18
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Off topic a little bit, I am sorry.
But, anybody knows why FireWire was abandoned? Because of the USB or the Thunderbolt?


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Old 4 Days Ago   #19
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Go to Shenzhen, take a look there, and have confidence.

The scanner itself would be long dead before they exhaust that stock.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiemchacsu View Post
Off topic a little bit, I am sorry.
But, anybody knows why FireWire was abandoned? Because of the USB or the Thunderbolt?


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I think Apple decided to replace Firewire with Thunderbolt.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
I think Apple decided to replace Firewire with Thunderbolt.


Yes obviously.
However other companies also ditched FireWire in favor of USB.
That’s what I hate about the technology Revolution. It makes products become obsolete sooner than we expected.
Imagine that you want to use a CD in current pc or laptop, difficult isn’t it?


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Old 3 Days Ago   #22
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For me nothing is "obsolete" only because of new technology that appears.

If I decide to buy a new computer itīs only me to decide what technology it should have or not.
So I have kept the ones with unique connectors until a better solution came. Thatīs individual
different but the system works for everyone

Current notebooks and PCs are way smaller than the ones with x devices for
changeable media years ago. I have a slim external drive for all these discs - from CD
to BD to connect easy everywhere I need. USB cable brings the power so no additional
cable is needed.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiemchacsu View Post
Off topic a little bit, I am sorry.
But, anybody knows why FireWire was abandoned? Because of the USB or the Thunderbolt?
k
Both.

USB 3.0(same connectors as USB/USB2) is faster than Firewire 800.

USB-C (a.k.a. Thunderbolt 3, a.k.a. USB 3.1 and 3.2) is about ten times faster than USB 3.0.

Fire wire is much faster than USB 1.0 which was common when Firewire 400 was introduced. It is also faster than USB 2.0.

Ethernet maxes out at 10/100/1000 Mbps depending on the hardware in use. Since USB 3.1 and 3.2 max out at 10 0r 20 Gbps respectively, it is tempting to speculate USB 3.1/3.2 will be around for a long time. This is probably a silly prediction.

BTW, the maximum ethernet CAT6 cable run (100 meters) is about four times longer than USB-C.

Of course the real-life speed comparisons are highly dependent on driver hardware/firmware, OS software and file size.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiemchacsu View Post
Off topic a little bit, I am sorry.
But, anybody knows why FireWire was abandoned? Because of the USB or the Thunderbolt?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
I think Apple decided to replace Firewire with Thunderbolt.
FireWire was developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Apple, and later became a standard interface protocol defined by IEEE 1394. They developed and promoted it for a long time, but today's data volumes and vast capacity storage devices, never mind the speed, called for something new. In this class of data transfer, they decided to adopt USB, due to its broad use across the industry, and develop Thunderbolt for even higher speed/higher volume IO requirements.

Quick summary of speeds:
40Gb/s – Thunderbolt 3
20Gb/s – Thunderbolt 2
10Gb/s – USB 3.1 (USB-C)
5Gb/s – USB 3
800Mb/s – FireWire 800
400Mb/s – FireWire 400
280Mb/s – USB 2
1.5Mb/s-12Mb/s – USB 1 "low" and "high" speed
128Kb/s – RS232 serial (although 256 and even 512 Kb/s were possible in some cases)
Nearly thirty years in today's fast paced hardware development is eons in Time.

The limitations of Thunderbolt to FireWire adapters is the amount of power (amperage) that the protocols are designed to supply, with FireWire being designed to handle more than double the amperage of Thunderbolt, and the number of peripherals on a single controller. (When storage devices were smaller, you needed to put more of them on line to build up to the capacity you needed. Nowadays you rarely see storage chains with more than two or three devices in them both because the devices are so much larger in capacity, and because there are timing and speed issues to optimize data transfer at play.)

Thunderbolt and USB-C (USB-3.1) are the current hardware protocol milieu to build against. Plenty of adaptations are already in the field for older devices, and the older device designs' production is long since aged out.


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Old 3 Days Ago   #25
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And Apples precedessor to FireWire for fast peripherial devices was the SCSI bus.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiemchacsu View Post
Yes obviously.
However other companies also ditched FireWire in favor of USB.
That’s what I hate about the technology Revolution. It makes products become obsolete sooner than we expected.
Imagine that you want to use a CD in current pc or laptop, difficult isn’t it?


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See below. Several years ago I bought a netbook that had no CD player, so I bought an external CD/DVD player/writer. Actually, I had to buy a second as the first was dropped by a co-worker of mine. They may need a 2nd USB connection for better power. Or you could get a powered USB hub. I also have to use it at work sometimes we all now have laptops without CD/DVD drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axel100 View Post
For me nothing is "obsolete" only because of new technology that appears.

If I decide to buy a new computer itīs only me to decide what technology it should have or not.
So I have kept the ones with unique connectors until a better solution came. Thatīs individual
different but the system works for everyone

Current notebooks and PCs are way smaller than the ones with x devices for
changeable media years ago. I have a slim external drive for all these discs - from CD
to BD to connect easy everywhere I need. USB cable brings the power so no additional
cable is needed.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiemchacsu View Post
...
Imagine that you want to use a CD in current pc or laptop, difficult isn’t it?
...
With Windows or macOS, and I assume most Linus distros, it is extremely easy. Simply acquire (beg, steal, borrow, or buy) an external USB DVD-r drive and plug it in. They're actually rather inexpensive these days. Anything reasonably recent will be recognized by the OS without you having to track down special drivers.

Personally, I'd rather use an external with any notebook as I use them only rarely and prefer not to have the notebook be larger and heavier due to having one built in. In my case, in addition to having an external on the shelf, my big desktop has one built in that is shared on my home network. This way, my Windows tablet has easy access as does my wife's two Windows notebooks.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #28
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Here are test results with a Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 and a Nikon Super Coolscan 9000 connected to an iMac at a USB-C port. Starting with a Firewire 400 to 800 cable plugged into a scanner, then an Apple Firewire 800 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, then an Apple Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) adapter that is plugged into the computer, the connection works like a charm. This is while using VueScan to run the scanners.

That is four generations of connectors to get the two pieces of equipment to communicate. But, it works!
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