Yesterday's discussion post about the exclusion of FireWire from the newest MacBooks generated a tremendous amount of reader feedback and discussion. We decided to take an unscientific straw Twitter poll which generated a large response, underscoring that for the Mac community, FireWire is a big deal.
The responses to the blog post were largely in support of my thesis: that losing FireWire from the MacBook is a big deal and a potential (or actual) deal-breaker for many, many users. This was to be expected, as people who are upset about FireWire's disappearance are more likely to respond to an article sharing that sentiment. On Twitter, however, when we just asked, "Is the lack of FireWire on the new unibody MacBook a deal-breaker for you, yes or no?" the data was less skewed.
A majority of the Twitter users that responded to our poll said "no, it is not a deal-breaker." Many commented that the loss is disappointing, but ultimately it won't prevent them from buying a new MacBook. Still, more than one third of the responses were "yes, this is a deal-breaker." Many users are considering putting off upgrading altogether; others expressed discomfort with being forced to buy a MacBook Pro (either the new units, or the now heavily-discounted older units).
A note to concerned future MacBook Pro users: you can get an inexpensive cable with FW400 on one end and FW800 on the other -- no adapter needed, just a new cord for your camera or audio device. Be warned, however, that the presence of a FW400 device in the chain will drop the speed of any FW800 devices to the older standard.
Reader David sent Steve Jobs (or firstname.lastname@example.org) an e-mail, expressing his disappointment by the lack of FireWire on new MacBooks. The response (which David forwarded and we verified had the correct mail-header information), is pretty interesting...