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computer stuff, Firewire etc. (was multiple threads)


thanks for pointing out that sentence:
"I wouldn't assume things like peripheral chipsets will be the same
from one year to the next, or that laptop quality is an indicator of
desktop quality."

True. Wisened up by my most-recent experience (it seemed that in the
past I have been blessed by a combination of unholy luck and wise
system configuration in those cases where I was able to customize
(read: tower computers)), I started to check out which kind of chipset
is used by various laptop manufacturers (note that I did check the
ExpressCard interface also for those which don't have a built-in
IEEE1394 - see also below).
Acer is relatively easy to browse - while they don't mention it in the
spec sheets, you can go to the driver download page and there they
state which manufacturer the device in question comes from.
So, checking out no less than 60 different models, it seems their
chipsets come from seven different manufacturers...way to go. So
 * TI, which seems to work all the time
 * JMicron, which a lot of people have complained about
 * Ricoh, which never works
 * O2, which I have in one of my business computers and which seems to 
work ok
 * three others I don't know anything about.

As a sidenote, the issue with the Dell Studio thingie I mentioned
seems to be a design problem independently or in addition to the Ricoh

However, there's another thing:
"As you mentioned before you could also just buy Firewire card from 

As I understand (have been reading up a little, sometimes from people
who have at least a little bit of IEEE1394 aura, like the engineering
staff at RME), the problem is like this: even if you buy a IEEE1394
card with a TI chipset, you're still out of luck if your computer uses
a Ricoh (or other "bad") chipset to interface with that card.

So I'm still not sure which computer to get...well, perhaps I just
return to my eight-year old Toshiba. Works fine and has built-in TI
IEEE1394 (no USB2.0, though...)