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[filmscanners] Re: Slightly, somewhat OT

>I just want to make sure I understand Firewire correctly as it pertains to
>getting a back up drive.  I have a FireWire card installed and working with
>my Polaroid SS 4000+.  It has 2 ports.
>Do all devices that function with Firewire have an In and an Out port so they
>can be
>put in a chain?

No, but all disks that I have seen do have two ports. My Nikon scanner
does not.

>If put in a chain do all the devices in the chain need to be
>turned on ?

Not sure.

>Is there any downside to putting them in a chain?.


1) There is a limit to the number of drives. I don't know what it is, but
it is very annoying when a drive won't mount and you can't figure out
why. My experience comes from older Macs which had early generation FW
ports. Things are better now, but I still don't build long chains, so I
don't know the limits.

2) When you want to unplug a drive from the middle of the chain, you need
to unmount all drives from that drive to the end of the chain. (You
shouldn't unplug a mounted disk as it may be inconsistent at the time of
unplugging). Then move the drive out of the chain, and replug.

3) There are powered and unpowered FW devices. You can only have one
unpowered FW device per chain.

My recommendation: get a FW Hub, and get some of 6" Firewire cables.
These cables really reduce clutter on the desktop. I got mine at Other
World Computing <www.macsales.com>.

>Finally, if I were to only use the external drive infrequently for back
up and
>used the second port for a different peripheral, can I unplug the peripheral
>and plug the hard drive to that port and use it or is a specific port somehow
>dedicated to a specific peripheral?

Yes and No, respectively.

Finally, I find the easiest way to keep backups is to buy two FW drives
of the same size, and mirror one onto the other. This allows an on-site
and off-site backup (at the cost of moving disks around alot).

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