Apple's omission of a FireWire port on the new Aluminum (Late 2008) MacBooks is stirring discontent among MacFIxIt readers and on Apple's discussion boards.
As written by one MacFixIt reader:
"What is Apple thinking? Where is the FireWire port? How are we going to do target firewire mode?"
Indeed, the elimination of FireWire target disk mode leaves a huge troubleshooting gap. Many users utilize FireWire target disk mode to diagnose issues, retrieve files from otherwise defunct computers, run disk repairs while booted from another drive in lieu of a Mac OS X startup disc and perform other procedures.
Apple is now removing threads on its own discussion boards that mention the lack of FireWire connectivity on the new MacBooks. MacFixIt reader Scott Rose writes:
"Apparently, Apple doesn't want anybody talking about the lack of FireWire ports on the new MacBooks, because they keep deleting every thread that people are posting about the lack of FireWire ports on the New MacBooks! I was participating in 3 different threads on the Apple Discussion Boards regarding the lack of FireWire from the new MacBooks, and Apple has removed every single thread regarding this topic. There are no threads left on the Apple Discussion Boards regarding this issue!"
The elimination of FireWire also spells trouble for iMovie users, who will no longer be able to directly connect cameras that use the protocol. The new MacBooks still ship with iMovie, but Apple apparently expects users to work with a USB-capable camera or import data to another system first.
An Apple employee posting on the company's discussion boards says that "USB is the preferred interface for iMovie '08."
There are limited USB-to-FireWire converters, but most don't provide power or 6-pin connectivity.