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An important message from System 7 Today founder Dan Palka
 Topic: Some Exciting FireWire Stuff (Page 1 of 4)
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  dpaanlka (Profile)
  1024 MB
Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:14 pm
So I tracked down and bought an original Apple FireWire Kit, Apple's early 1998 FireWire solution for Beige G3 Macs. Basically it's a FireWire PCI card manufactured by a third party, and bundled with Apple software and a test utility, and some really old FireWire cables.

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From what I have researched, I could not find any actual system requirements for this card in any of the read me files or anything. Only the printed manual in the box says requires a G3 and Mac OS 8.1. But why would they leave this out in the Read Me files?

I had already tried one of my Sonnet FireWire cards in the past, as some of you may remember, with the Apple FireWire drivers form Mac OS 8.6. It didn't work.

But I have a hunch this early Apple FireWire card might. It was developed and released less than a year since the introduction of Mac OS 8, and barely a month after the discontinuation of the 9600.

I found one, never used, with all the original packaging and materials on the LEM Swaplist, and bought it. It came in today, and I installed it. The installer program runs just fine, doesn't complain that I'm not on a G3 nor have Mac OS 8.1, and installs everything into their correct locations. No need for TomeViewer or ResEdit here.

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Rebooted, and ran the included tester utility (I wish all PCI cards came with testing utilities). This was my result:

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This looks promising!

Adobe Premiere 5.1 was the first DV version of Premiere, and it also runs fine on 7.6.1. Now, if only I had a DV camcorder here at school with me to test it. I anxiously await getting it from home...
  dpaanlka (Profile)
  1024 MB
Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:34 pm
So much to update today. I went home and got my DV camera and came back to school for some testing. Here are my observations thus far:

FireWire video capture, audio capture, and device control works perfectly. I have no trouble importing video into Premiere 5.1c, nor do I have any trouble controlling my camera from within Premiere. Even scrubbing back and forth works smoothly. Very awesome!

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The Apple FireWire Kit card ships with four system extensions, DV Enabler 1.0, DV Support 1.0, FireWire Enabler 1.0, and FireWire Support 1.0.1. I set out to find later versions of these extensions that will still work. After replacing these four extensions with the ones included in my Mac OS 8.6 install CD, everything still worked. Those are versions 1.0.2, 1.0.2, 2.0, and 2.0 respectively. Replacing them with the drivers found in a Mac OS 9.0.4 CD broke everything. I will be packaging the Mac OS 8.6 FireWire extensions as well as the FireWire test utility for distribution on System 7 Today.

Because of this, I see no reason why any other card that would normally work with these versions of the extensions wouldn't work in System 7. This may mean it was not necessary for me to hunt down the earliest FireWire PCI card I could find (the Apple one). I can, however, verify that I have this card and it does not work... which would make sense since it requires Mac OS 9.x.

My external FireWire hard drive does not seem to work. I'm not sure if I'm missing some sort of extension, or if it just plain won't work. I also haven't tried printing video directly back to my camera, as I can't figure out how to tell Premiere to do this over FireWire.

Here is the first video I imported, edited, and compressed entirely within Mac OS 7.6.1. I would imagine this is the first time any such thing has been posted to the internet. The quality is low because it's extremely compressed (the best that QuickTime 5 can do). It is full DV quality on my Power Mac 8600.

Finally, below is a nifty screenshot. You can see the full 1680 x 1050 size version here.

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I am going to begin working on a "FireWire" page for the Help Center, which will have more pictures and details about the specific card. I'm also going to try to figure out how low this will go (7.5.x, etc)... and hopefully can figure out this external hard drive situation.

Please post any comments, questions, or suggestions you may have to help this project along!
  wall (Profile)
  256 MB
Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:14 pm
Very Happy
  wove (Profile)
Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:48 pm
I don't know anything about Firewire, but in the case of USB, there is a mass storage device extension that is added to the system to support drives.

In the case of the first release of USB, that extension was not part of the install and was added later. And in the case of USB the mass storage extension from the second release still works with the first USB software release.

  MacTCP (Profile)
  16 MB
Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:57 pm
This is great!
  dpaanlka (Profile)
  1024 MB
Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 2:50 pm
Some more testing... I tracked down the final FireWire update available to Mac OS 8.6 users, which is version 2.3.3. Installed those extensions, and everything stops working. So as of now, the latest versions of FireWire extensions that work are versions 2.0, which were on my Mac OS 8.6 install CD. Again, I'll be packaging those up along with other stuff for a FireWire download to be posted soon here at System 7 Today.
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