Firewire Hard Disks
Firewire is a technogy for transferring data between computers or their periphial devices like external hard disk drives. In the early 1990’s Apple developed the technology that became Firewire. Its technical name is IEEE 1394, and there are a few updates that have improved transfer rates. The original was capable of about 100-400 Mb/s on a cable up to 14 feet in length.
Firewire made its debut on the PowerMac G3 and has since spread to many other products and computers. Its popularity was due to its simplicity and its great speed. USB was the closest competitor and it only claimed data transfer rates of about 12 Mb/s. The only problem was that USB had originally been made for all personal computers, not just Apple, and it had been out first so it was already in use. Firewire was widely used in the entertainment business and actually won 2001 Primetime Emmy Engineering Award in 2001 for the impact that it had.
Using Firewire for an external hard disk is a great application of the technology. The cord is relatively small so that portability can be maximized. Now, more than ever, we are sharing information and that means we need ways to carry it. A Firewire drive also offers an easy expansion to your current computer. Hard disks’ failure rate goes up extensively when they are filled with data beyond 70% of their capacity. A problem with these types of disk drives is that you do need to supply the power. This adds another plug to your already cluttered power strip and the cord needs to be carried with it if you would like to use it on a remote computer.