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2.1. FireWire

Apart from boosting magazine sales, there's never been much value in sitting in front of the computer, waiting for large files to copy onto external drives and other add-ons. In the eternal search for faster data-transfer speeds, Apple developed a new high-speed cable called FireWire in the mid–1990s. It's easy to use, it's hot swappable (you don't have to turn off anything before plugging or unplugging the cable), and—unlike SCSI cables, which came before it—it doesn't force you to go through configuration acrobatics to get multiple devices to all work properly.

Dozens of other companies, including Windows PC makers, eventually picked up FireWire. Some gave it other names along the way: IEEE 1394 (its official moniker from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, an industry standards group) and i.LINK, used primarily by Sony. But whatever the name, it's still the same speedy connection underneath.


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