Giga Culpa

I was so excited writing about gigabit Ethernet and IP-over-FireWire in my Seattle Times column on Macs today that I forgot to doublecheck a new bit of information. I incorrectly stated that eMacs have gigabit Ethernet now, even though I checked every other models' support for the 1,000 Mbps standard. Actually, eMacs have AirPort Extreme, the first consumer model to have the 54 Mbps-raw-draft-standard 802.11g networking.However, my points in the article are still valid: the 15-inch and 17-inch PowerBooks, all Power Macs, and the Xserve have gigabit Ethernet support and you can use an Asante PCI adapter for older Power Macs. (However, G3 Power Macs don't seem to be able to send more than 90 Mbps on a 1,000 Mbps pipe.) Part of the interest with gigabit Ethernet and IP-over-FireWire is that it provides a multiplicity of options for transferring lots of data really fast between peers, via switches, or across clusters. No other computer systems outside serious Unix/Linux boxes offer such built-in, no-configuration support for this scale of data transfer. You have to install a separate software package from the Apple Developer site to use IP-over-FireWire, but once you've installed it, FireWire is just another networking option in System Preferences, not yet-another-pane-in-the-system to manage. (Yes, that's a pun.)