[opendtv] Re: The tragedy of FireWire: Collaborative tech torpedoed by corporations
- From: Craig Birkmaier <brewmastercraig@xxxxxxxxxx>
- To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2017 07:07:57 -0400
On Jun 23, 2017, at 9:48 PM, Manfredi, Albert E
Early days of any era are full of competing standards that are essentially
unnecessary. The word "tragedy," applied to FireWire, sounds ridiculous. What
next? The ATM tragedy? Token Ring? FDDI? 100VG? SCI? SCSI? MCA?
FireWire was VERY necessary Bert. It provided the digital interface needed to
make "desktop video" a reality, and it evolved to keep up with end user needs
for Moore than a decade.
I do agree that the ultimate demise of FireWire was not a tragedy - just life
in a rapidly evolving industry. On the other hand, the article did point out
how Wintel kept FireWire from being widely deployed on the dominant PC platform.
Another similar unnecessary "standard" is Thunderbolt. Some companies
actually prefer to use non-standard interfaces, even while pretending they're
Wrong again. Thunderbolt is being used extensively for many of the same tasks
that FireWire once supported. While Apple pioneered the use of this standard,
the PC industry is now getting on board. The reason it took awhile for PCs to
adopt this standard is simple - the vast majority of PCs are not used for
applications that require high bandwidth to storage for data intensive
applications like editing video.
With Thunderbolt 3 this port, and docking devices that provide support for
legacy standards are starting to sell well.
Here are some Thunderbolt docking station from Dell:
The important point here is that laptops have become extremely powerful, but
keep shrinking in size, making a proliferation of ports nearly impossible. The
ability to dock a laptop with a single cable and connect to multiple monitors,
high speed storage, and the traditional ports like USB is why Thunderbolt
Meanwhile Microsoft Surface Books don't have support for Thunderbolt OR USB-C.
But then over time, it's those that exist in large numbers that win. Because,
just like Ethernet, PCI, HDMI, and USB, they don't just remain frozen in
time. Even if there's something out there marginally better, the technology
that's more widespread is bound to be improved, it is frequently improved in
a backward-compatible way, and then all the hype of years gone by sounds
Best not get overly dogmatic about these things.
Yup. This is exactly what happened with FireWire, and what is happening now
with the third iteration of Thunderbolt (3).
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