O'Reilly logo

Macintosh Troubleshooting Pocket Guide for Mac OS by Tekserve Corporation, Aaron Freimark, David Lerner

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

SCSI, FireWire, and USB

Macs don't come with SCSI drives anymore—do I still have to worry about this stuff? [9 & X]

Ultra-ATA (also called EIDE or IDE) drives have improved dramatically in the last five years, and performance differences between ATA and SCSI are much smaller than they used to be. But the price differences are still quite large. These days, we recommend SCSI drives (or disk arrays) only for certain audio, video, and server applications with very high data rates. If you don't have any SCSI peripherals and don't do multimedia, you don't have to worry about SCSI. If you do have SCSI devices, we can help you decide how to connect them (or replace them) when you buy a new Mac. For much more information on SCSI, you can check old versions of the Tekserve FAQ at http://www.Tekserve.com.

If my computer has both USB and FireWire, which type of external drive or CD burner should I get? [9 & X]

FireWire is much faster and is the preferred interface for these devices. Some hard drives and CD burners come with both interfaces, so you can use them with older computers that might lack FireWire. There are new versions of FireWire and USB in the pipeline, and USB2 seems to match some of the features of the current FireWire, but we still think that FireWire is a superior interface, even compared to USB2.

When I add a new device to my computer, like a USB Zip drive, should I install the software that came with it? [9 & X]

As Apple has upgraded the OS, ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required