Title: OrangeLink FireWire (IEEE-1394)

Manufacturer: OrangeMicro®, Inc.

Price: $99


Port Expansion

Note: These images have been reduced in size to fit into this area. In their original form, the quality was greater.

The PCI card.

Talk about user friendly! Click for a bigger image.

The OrangeLink PCI FireWire card made by OrangeMicro is a standard FireWire card that fits into any PCI card slot to give you instant FireWire capability on your Mac or PC!
I tested this card in my trusty PowerMac and am happy to say that this is a perfect product.

The packaging was good, and included a 6-foot, 6-pin to 4-pin cable for connecting to digital video devices. I think we should all thank OrangeMicro for including this cable, which can cost up to $35!
After taking the card out of its antistatic bag, I put it in, booted up, installed the software, and rebooted. It worked perfectly. It didn’t work with the Apple FireWire drivers, but I’m not sure if ANY FireWire card is supposed to. My USB card worked by just putting it in, and I was hoping the FireWire card would do the same. However, it's no big deal that it didn't.

Included Software
For the Mac, Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.05, QuickTime 4.1, and Adobe Premiere 5.1 Limited Edition is included. It had a registration application, a series brochure, and an excellent PDF reference manual. The manual on the CD not only covers the installation of the FireWire card, but how to capture video into Adobe Premiere, and to export it to a digital video camera once you are finished editing. For users of Adobe Premiere 5.5, the Premiere project settings are already included for FireWire, but for users of 5.1 and below, they are a life saver. You don’t need to go through the hassle of configuring the project settings. You just capture and edit!
Since I tested this on the Mac, I didn’t get to try the Ulead VideoStudio 4.0 (made for Win98 SE or Win2K). But I’m not testing the software, I’m testing the card, and am happy to know that Mac or PC, you can immediately get started with DV (digital video) when you get this card.

FireWire Devices
FireWire is a bit like USB. You can attach a hub to add more ports, use it to connect hard drives, cameras, and printers, but it’s much faster. You can actually get 400Mbps, or 50MBps of data through the ports. Because of the speed, slower devices such as printers and digital still cameras use the USB port rather than the firewire port. Remember that FireWire can be used for things other than digital video editing. FireWire hard drives are sometimes expensive, but compliment digital video very well because of their speed and ability to capture full screen video at high resolution.

Similar products
OrangeMicro has a FireWire/USB combo card, and other FireWire combo cards with various versions of SCSI for a higher price, so if you’re short of PCI slots, you might want to consider those.

Want FireWire? Get this card. Wow, that was easy.


10/10 10/10

This review was written by me, Colin B. Colby. Please send comments, suggestions, and questions to: Colin_Colby@milton.edu

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