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FireWire finally comes home

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1 Author(s)
C. Severance ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI, USA

The article discusses the IEEE 1394 networking standard, otherwise known as FireWire. FireWire was designed to link personal computers, digital cameras, televisions, DVD players, printers, and other home electronics equipment. At the time FireWire seemed like a perfect idea whose time had come, but there was one small problem: a competing technology, called Universal Serial Bus (USB), promised to do nearly the same thing. Like FireWire, USB can connect multiple peripherals to a single port on the back of our computers. But USB is designed to be a simpler, slower interface that is less expensive to manufacture. Because both technologies arrived at about the same time, hardware and software vendors had to make a choice as to which technology to develop and support. USB got the nod in the Wintel world-with Windows driver support for USB peripherals as early as October 1996-but it wasn't until Windows 98 that consumers got full OS support for USB. Early support on the Wintel platform, however, could account for the large number of USB components that have been popping up over the past two years, such as speakers, joysticks, printers, video cameras, and the like, all of which have made it to market much more quickly than FireWire based technologies. The prospect of the increasing use of FireWire is discussed

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 11 )