Apple’ is to be commended for its decision to provide a FireWire-Thunderbolt adapter (US$29) for Macs such as its revamped MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines — which lack FireWire ports.
Apple’s new, great love — and understandably so — is Thunderbolt. Still, a lot of folks have big bucks invested in FireWire products. The FireWire-Thunderbolt adapter allows those products to be used with the latest Macs.
At its June 11 Worldwide Developers Conference Apple introduced a new FireWire adapter, or cable, for use on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac minis. It can be used with the Thunderbolt links included on the new models, and also can be used on similarly equipped 2011 Macs. The cable adds a wired interface to the MacBook Airs now in use.
Alas, the new systems won’t natively use FireWire target disk mode. I’m not sure if you could put a Thunderbolt-only system into FireWire target disk mode using the FireWire-Thunderbolt adapter, but it should be possible to read an older FireWire system in target disk mode via Thunderbolt with such an adapter.
Also, The adapters also bring FireWire 800, which runs at 800 Megabits/second, firmly into the Windows PC market for users who want that kind of speed and bandwidth.
— Dennis Sellers