Which is better? OSX or Ubuntu?

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at gmail.com
Wed Jan 25 12:26:20 UTC 2006

On 1/24/06, Bob Nielsen <nielsen at oz.net> wrote:
> On Jan 22, 2006, at 7:33 PM, Terry Parker wrote:
> >> 2. Your machine has USB 1.1, NOT 2.0. This means that your 120 GB HD
> >> will transfer files at a glacial pace (about 1 MB/sec MAX)
> >> compared to
> >> USB 2.0 or Firewire. If you can use Firewire (IEEE 1391) do so --
> >> it's
> >> faster than USB 2.0 in real world situations (technically USB 2.0 is
> >> 480 Mbps and Firewire is 400 Mbps but Firewire is a more robust
> >> protocol, better able to sustain data transfers).
> >>
> >>
> > I like USB 2.0 better, I suppose just personal preference. It gives me
> > better results.
> >
> > ----
> >
> > While the former statement is true, 1394 (1391 sic), will almost
> > always
> > provide better throughput and has more flexible powering options
> > (though USB
> > 2.0 is catching up), what I really wonder about is Apple's
> > commitment to
> > 1394/firewire.  My brand spanking new $400 60GB Ipod comes with USB
> > 2.0
> > connectors only and actually if you try to use a firewire/usb
> > bridge to
> > charge it, they are saying you can damage the battery and lower its
> > life
> > expectancy.  I'd say this is a sign that the point is moot and that
> > USB 2.x
> > won out.
> While a Mac can boot from a firewire drive, it cannot do so from a
> USB drive (I found this out the hard way, of course).  I suspect that
> Apple will support both for quite a while (400 firewire, at least).

I think Firewire or IEEE 1394 isn't about to go away because it is the
superior interface for highspeed transfers. The interface gets a boost
by being included with every single Mac, but, you've got to remember
that there are probably more IBM PC-clones out there with IEEE 1394
(and, whatever Sony calls their variant) than Macs ;-). Plus,
virtually all digital camcorders come with a Firewire/IEEE 1394
interface and only a handful with USB 2.0.

The advantage that USB 2.0 has is that it can do double-duty as a
el-cheapo, low-speed peripheral interface. But, that's also where its
weakness comes in -- those cheap peripherals and the necessity to
support them can cause USB 2.0 devices problems.

And, of course Firewire is now up to 800 Mbps. Not as fast as gigabit
ethernet, but, pretty good for external devices that are by-and-large
unable to saturate that much bandwidth.

It'll be interesting to see where the interfaces go in the next few
years. I would prefer Firewire because I find it a lot less
problematic than USB 2.0, but, that's the beauty of PCI cards ;-)
(and, if Apple ever dropped Firewire, I'm sure someone with a bit of
ingenuity would devise a USB 2.0 <> Firewire adapter)


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