View Full Version : January 17, 1999: Firewire Introduced

Jan 17, 2007, 10:34 AM
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Category: History
Link: January 17, 1999: Firewire Introduced (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20070117113430)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

Jan 17, 2007, 01:29 PM

Jan 17, 2007, 02:22 PM
USB 2.0 achieved close to the same speeds as the original incarnation of FireWire and, thanks to the backing of Intel, became much more accepted.
The interesting thing is that USB (starting from 1.0) was available on PCs for a year or two before the introduction of the iMac, but nobody seemed to care. Windows support was minimal and there were very few devices.

When the iMac came out (in mid-1998), without a floppy drive, without ADB ports, without serial ports, and without the Mac-standard SCSI port, customers were forced to buy USB devices. USB-based printers, floppy drives, Zip drives, keyboards, mice, scanners, etc. all came out after the iMac.

Windows support for USB arrived in Win98, but good support (with generic drivers) didn't really arrive for two more years (in Win2K and WinMe).

Maybe USB would've taken off without the iMac - we have no way of knowing this, but from where I'm sitting, it definitely seems that Apple transformed USB from a waste of silicon to an indispensable port, which people never seem to have enough of.

For some reason, FireWire never caught on in the PC world. I'm not sure why. Maybe because Intel wasn't bundling it for free with their chipsets and motherboard, maybe because of licensing fees, or maybe something else. Even today, most people agree that it is superior to USB 2.0, but it is only commonplace with respect to video.