123Macmini.com
FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   GalleryPhoto Gallery   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

LaCie Unveils Drive for Mac Mini [Updated]
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... , 9, 10, 11  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    123Macmini.com - Forums Forum Index -> 123Macmini.com News and Reviews
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Susurrus
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 1303
Location: Providence, Rhode Island

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not side ports right next to the front and on the bottom. A FW one on one side and a USB one on the other. They could both be passthroughs, also, so cost would be cheap. It'd be nice to move the back ports to the front. Of course, now you wouldn't have a FW port on the back, just one USB if you hooked up the drive and USB passthrough.
_________________
Computer Engineer
Junior, Brown University
15" NC8430 HP Laptop
1.42Ghz PPC Mac Mini, 1Gb RAM, 1st Gen
40GB G4 iPod
2GB Black iPod Nano
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
greg
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 01 May 2005
Posts: 613

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 4:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Some thoughts on built-in hubs Reply with quote

M2inOR wrote:
existing hub implementations have hard-to-access connections

The latter point is not really apparant until you actually try to use the extra ports built in to the other units on the market. There really is not that much room on the back panel, so easy connect/disconnect is not practical on the rear.


Maybe I'm oversimplifying here but I just took a couple short cables (1 firewire and 1 usb), plugged them into my miniStack and then wrapped them back underneath the unit (its elevated on some adhesive-backed feet) so that the connectors are available from the front. I use them with my digicam, DSLR, iRiver, etc. Maybe its not elegant but it works just fine and I don't find myself messing with connections on the back of the Mini or MiniStack.

While I do agree that a couple ports in the front would be nice it doesn't seem like an accessibily issue that a couple cables can't solve.
_________________
2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB RAM
miniStack 500GB
Dell 1905FP
Logitech Wave Cordless Desktop
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bandit Bill
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 5963
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like your thinking Greg. There are so many ways to add a hub and cables that I find absolutely no need for them to be integrated into an external hard drive.

The LaCie mini may not be for everyone, but I like it just the way it is. I would not change a thing. All of these thoughts and recommendations already went by the design team and this is what they decided on.

Buy a hub, Cinema Display or an Apple wired keyboard (USB1.1 ugh) if you want more ports. There are so many options.

I would not want to increase the cost of the LaCie mini or complicate the design. It is already more expensive than competing products. Adding ports would put it even further out of most peoples price range.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
resuna
Member
Member


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Some thoughts on built-in hubs Reply with quote

M2inOR wrote:
The latter point is not really apparant until you actually try to use the extra ports built in to the other units on the market. There really is not that much room on the back panel, so easy connect/disconnect is not practical on the rear.

How often do you connect/disconnect from the back?

Given the power problems on the USB ports on the mini, I need at least one powered hub for things like docks and drives that are permanently connected, and I don't want that stuff snaking over my desktop anyway. So I need two hubs anyway: one by the mini for permanent connections, and one by my monitor for plugging USB keys and things.

I've ordered the Belkin mini FW/USB hub, but I'd actually prefer it if it had kept all the ports on the back so I didn't have my FW vidcam snaking out the front, but I suppse that'll make it easier to reposition stuff.
Quote:

We feel it best to add a separate dedicated hub device for the few people who need more convenient expansion.

That's just it. For USB anyway, a hell of a lot of people need a powered hub for inconvenient expansion.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
M2inOR
Junior Member
Junior Member


Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resuna,

Good points.

Typical frequent connect is camcorder, digital camera, or iPod.

With ports on the back, you'll quickly appreciate the value of hub or other device with front ports.

Otherwise, you will have permanently attached cables bring connections to the front; i.e. an extension cable for USB or FireWire.

I agree, with ports on the rear, this will be fine for devices you do not need frequent connect/disconnect cycles. In this case, you will probably want a hub or other expansion device with more than 1 or 2 ports.

Mike
_________________
Mike
Beaverton, OR
------------------------------------
We live in interesting times
------------------------------------
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
resuna
Member
Member


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

M2inOR wrote:
Typical frequent connect is camcorder, digital camera, or iPod.


Um, I already talked about these.

The iPod and many digital cameras have docks. I tend to leave those kinds of things plugged in all the time. And they don't actually live on the desk itself anyway, they're on a bookshelf where they're out of my way and easy to get to. A small secondary hub works fine for ones that don't, AND I'm not forced to fumble around at desk level plugging something in to the front ports.

I have front ports on my IBM desktop at work. When I plug my USB dongles in, I walk around to the back because the ports don't have enough clearance. I'll get my Belkin mini hub tomorrow, I'll see how that works... but from the picture I suspect the ports are all too low for most dongles.

Now... my digicam doesn't have a dock, but it uses a standard mini-USB connector, and so does my portable USB hard drive, so I have one cable on the desk that would be either on my desk or getting lost in a drawer anyway.

Basically, whether you need front ports or not, with the mini there's more who need a extra powered rear ports, and a separate unpowered hub or extension cable is really really cheap... and if that's not enough, you need more than one front port anyway.
Quote:
With ports on the back, you'll quickly appreciate the value of hub or other device with front ports.

I do. It's called a hub. It's nowhere near the computer.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
anthonymoody
Member
Member


Joined: 07 Jul 2005
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

resuna,

You're making the mistaken assumption that your situation and "solution" would be sufficient for everyone when clearly they are not. There are those of us who would greatly benefit from, and therefore value, front ports, whether singular or plural [and somewhat as an aside, a singular front port would, by definition, generally work for items frequently connected and disconnected since by definition (again) they're not left plugged in].

Please don't continue to attempt to tell us that because you've found ways to live without them that we all could or should.

Given a choice b/t a minimate type device with a fw and usb port on the front and one without, I would choose the one with the port. i'd also choose the one with the port over your "solution" as I'm sure others would based on comments here and the obvious usefulness of such a feature.

Sheesh.

TM
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
resuna
Member
Member


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anthonymoody wrote:
You're making the mistaken assumption that your situation and "solution" would be sufficient for everyone when clearly they are not.

Um, no, that's exactly what I'm not doing.

The original poster, presumably someone from LaCie, stated that the reason they didn't put ports in was because very few people would have a use for rear ports, and so since they couldn't put in front ports they didn't put in any.

Which implies that LaCie's only alternatives were to put in no hub, or to put in a hub with rear ports only. I can see why front ports would be difficult... the drive would take up most of the available space and leave no room for electronics and jacks in front of the drive.

Think about what I wrote in that context.

My response, then, is that the Mac mini in particular has a real need for more ports and in particular for powered ports. Not there's no point to front ports, but that while front ports are attractive to many people, powered ports are essential. I mean, look, the USB ports in the Mac mini are horribly underpowered... they can't even charge an iPod Shuffle!

It's the guy from LaCie who is making the mistaken assumption that their situation was universal. Since there are a number of good alternatives for front ports, so if the only alternatives are no ports or rear ports... it's still worth it to make them available.

Yes, you can put an extra powered hub back there. But that adds an extra box and at the very least two additional cables behind the Mini just to hook the bits together... a power cable plus a USB cable, or a USB cable plus a firewire cable, depending on which kind you get. Running a port to the front requires one additional cable and no additional boxes.
Quote:
There are those of us who would greatly benefit from, and therefore value, front ports

Please don't continue to attempt to tell us that because you've found ways to live without them that we all could or should.

I am not and I have not attempted to tell you that. You are making the mistaken assumption that front ports are an option. Accordingto LaCie they were not.

If there's room to fit them in, fit them in. If there's not room to fit them in, though, can't you see how silly it is to say "if you can't have front ports, you're not going to have any"?

On top of that, the particular points you're objecting to were a response to the implication that I had not run into the problems that required front ports. That I'd change my tune if I had. No: I have, and I don't... front ports may be useful, but a powered hub is essential.
Quote:
Given a choice b/t a minimate type device with a fw and usb port on the front and one without, I would choose the one with the port.

But that's not the choice LaCie gives us. The choice is between a minimate type device without front ports, and a device that's just a drive case. And their point is that front ports are so important that rear ports are irrelevant.
Quote:
Sheesh.

Sheesh.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
M2inOR
Junior Member
Junior Member


Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resuna,

This is a rather long thread, and it has many twists and turns.

My comments were specifically to why we did not include extra ports or a hub. We only included an extra FireWire port on the rear of the drive to permit attachment of additional devices if you have more than one FireWire device.

At no time did I say hubs were bad or not useful. Instead, I offered information as to why LaCie implemented the mini drive without the USB/FireWire hubs that others provided in their offering.

Just an observation that while a built-in hub is possible, and useful, placing it on the rear leads to connection issues if you frequently need to connect and disconnect devices.

By excluding the hub from the LaCie offering, we deliver cost savings to the user.

It is a big market - room for the many innovations we have all seen so far.

As the other posters comment, there is no absolute right product. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Mike
_________________
Mike
Beaverton, OR
------------------------------------
We live in interesting times
------------------------------------
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
resuna
Member
Member


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M2inOR wrote:
At no time did I say hubs were bad or not useful. Instead, I offered information as to why LaCie implemented the mini drive without the USB/FireWire hubs that others provided in their offering.

I understand where you're coming from, I just think this part of the reason unconvincing.
Quote:
Just an observation that while a built-in hub is possible, and useful, placing it on the rear leads to connection issues if you frequently need to connect and disconnect devices.

And how does not having it at all change that? The ports are still on the back of the mini, except there's fewer of them and they don't have enough power.

How about, "LaCie already makes a number of external cases, so it was easiest and most cost effective to mount one of our existing controllers in a new case than design a new controller"? Wouldn't that be a reasonable description of the business case?

That makes a lot more sense than some story about how putting the ports on the back is such a bad idea. It's a good and sufficient explanation.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
anthonymoody
Member
Member


Joined: 07 Jul 2005
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

resuna,

The defense you're mounting now does not jibe with the comments you made or the context in which you made them, sorry.

Not to say I disagree with you re: LaCie's logic as to why they left out a hub entirely...

TM
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
M2inOR
Junior Member
Junior Member


Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resuna,

Let's just say that we agree to disagree.

The bridge design inside the mini casing is not the same as what we use inside our other chassis.

We simply have a different idea of what the customer wants, and are willing to forgo the sales that other vednors are getting with their casings that have hubs built-in.

Again, the market is large enough for many different configurations.

Mike
_________________
Mike
Beaverton, OR
------------------------------------
We live in interesting times
------------------------------------
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
resuna
Member
Member


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anthonymoody wrote:
The defense you're mounting now does not jibe with the comments you made or the context in which you made them, sorry.

Mike implied that I'd sing a different tune if I had to deal with having all my ports in the back. I have all the ports in the back, as I think I made abundantly clear, and I'm still saying that the powered ports are the critical shortcoming of the mini in particular... there's lots of computers that don't have front ports, but I have never run into one, not even a laptop, that couldn't even charge an iPod Shuffle!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
M2inOR
Junior Member
Junior Member


Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resuna,

Here is some info that may explain the ability or inability of some ports to NOT power external devices:

--- USB ports come in 3 flavours when it comes to power:
- unpowered ports, which are required to provide at least 50ma for low powered devices such as mice and keyboards
- powered ports, which must provide minimum of 500ma; some of these are current limited, preventing some devices from working correctly dues to initial surge current which may lock out the port
- powered ports that provide more than the minimum 500ma required; though these ports report only that 500ma is available, typically more is available, to handle initial power surge of some connected devices, or to handle higher power requirements

There is nothing in the official USB specification which permits the interface to communicate that it hass more than 500ma available for connected devices

--- FireWire ports also come in several flavours:
- 4-pin ports; only signal connections. No provision for supplying power to external devices
- 6-pin (FW400) and 9-pin (FW800); provisions for supplying power on dedicated power pins, but...
----- no minimum power is specified
----- only possible voltage range is spec'ed, as well as how to provide current limiting if power is supplied
----- so, some implementations of FireWire bus power provide no power at all. Macs supply 5watts to 16 watts, depending on the Mac model, thru either a 9-pin or 6-pin connector
----- some PCs provide bus power thru 6-pin or 9-pin connection; some do not; some add-on PCI cards have provision to connect to +12v supply thru internal 4-pin disk drive power supply connection

So...I agree, that most built-in USB ports of computers should be considered powered; and typically provide the 500ma spec'ed. However, many inexpensive unpowered hubs, when connecting to these ports do not supply anything except nominal power that may not even charge an iPod. For example, the USB ports built-in to the Apple Keyboards will not charge an iPod, nor will they power most USB memory sticks.

Mike
_________________
Mike
Beaverton, OR
------------------------------------
We live in interesting times
------------------------------------
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
resuna
Member
Member


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't say the Mac mini didn't meet the minimum power requirements.

I said that it is underpowered.

A Trabant or a Yugo may be street-legal, but they are still underpowered.

I hate like hell to compare my pretty little mini with a Trabi, but Apple really pulled out all the stops cramming it into that tiny little case... and they went a wee bit to far on the power.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    123Macmini.com - Forums Forum Index -> 123Macmini.com News and Reviews All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... , 9, 10, 11  Next
Page 10 of 11

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum



      

Shop:  Apple Store  |  Refurbished Macs  |  Refurbished iPads  |  MacConnection  |  Mac Mini Vault  |  Other World Computing

MK 1 Studio Mac mini Racks  |  Crucial Mac Memory  |  Top Free Mac Apps  |  Top Paid Mac Apps



123Macmini.com is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or approved by Apple Computer, Inc.
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owners.
Copyright © 2011 123Macmini.com. All Rights Reserved.