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Apple's PowerBook G3 is FireWire friendly

Just make sure you get the right installer, report Register readers

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Apple's latest PowerBook G3 models are compatible with the company's FireWire software after all According to Register readers, a report from troubleshooting Web site Bug.Net, that Apple's laptops don't like FireWire, is just plain wrong. "Apple's FireWire on the G3 PowerBook works -- and well, I might add," wrote one reader. Bug.Net tried to run the installer that would upgrade their test PowerBook to version 2.1 of the FireWire software. Instead, the installer reported back that "this program cannot run on your computer". However, Register readers report that you can install the software, if you use the correct installer -- one provided by Apple for the new PowerBook G3 models. "The FireWire installer will not install on a PowerBook, so in a sense you are correct that FireWire will not work on a PowerBook, since you cannot install the correct drivers," said Newer Technologies product manager Jeff Chasick. However, "there is a set of installers created specifically for the PowerBook and FireWire 2.1 that will ship with the Newer Technologies FireWire 2 Go card, and they do work", he added. Other readers report successful installations based on software shipped with other FireWire cards, including one from Ratoc, and ProMax's FireMax-P card. Indeed, the 'fault' here appears to be the supplier of Bug.Net's FireWire card. Apple's line on this is that "FireWire 2.1 enables the use of FireWire CardBus cards with the Macintosh PowerBook G3. However, this extension is not included in this Web download. Third-party FireWire CardBus kits will include the FireWire 2.1 CardBus extension on their software CDs". So the relevant third-party clearly isn't shipping the software. Though why Apple's doesn't provide it itself, is a very moot point. If it's so keen Mac users should embrace FireWire, maybe it's time it started supporting it properly -- ie. supplied users with all the software they need. ®

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