In This Chapter
Using FireWire under Mac OS X
Using USB under Mac OS X
Adding a USB or FireWire hub
Troubleshooting FireWire and USB connections
Adding and updating drivers
Apple's list of successes continues to grow over the years — hardware, applications, and (of course) Mac OS X — but the FireWire standard for connecting computers to all sorts of different devices is in a class by itself. That's because FireWire has been the port of choice for all sorts of digital devices that need a high-speed connection. Even Windows owners have grudgingly admitted that the latest version, FireWire 800, just plain rocks. Ya gotta love it.
In this chapter, I discuss the importance of FireWire to the digital hub that I discuss in Book III, and I compare it with both version 1.1 and version 2.0 of Intel's Universal Serial Bus (USB) connection technology. I also talk troubleshooting and expansion using a hub.
So what's so special about FireWire, anyway? Why does Apple stuff at least one FireWire port in almost all of its current Macintosh models? (The MacBook Air is an exception.) Heck, even the iPod (Apple's MP3 player, which you can read more about in Book III, Chapter 2) originally used only a FireWire connection. (Its official name is IEEE 1394, but even the Cupertino crew doesn't call it that — at least not very often.)
First things first. As countless racing fans will tell you, it's all about the speed ...