FireWire is Apple's high speed serial connectivity solution. It is most often used with mass storage and DV video devices. Mac OS 7.6.1 works with FireWire 2.0 extensions and, presumeably, any FireWire PCI card that would normally work with those extensions. Since these are the drivers that were included in Mac OS 8.6, this might mean many FireWire PCI cards that list Mac OS 8.6 as their minimum requirements will work.

I have successfully tested the Solectron 1394 PCILynx Card that comes as part of the original Apple FireWire Kit. Moving up to version 2.3.3 of the Apple FireWire extensions breaks everything, however. Version 2.0 appears to be the highest compatible version. I would much appreciate if people with other cards try them out and let us know if they work.

Download Apple FireWire 2.0

DV Video - Working
DV Video editing stuff seems to work just fine. Using Adobe Premiere 5, I can import video, scrub back and forth and control the camera completely. Video imports smoothly and the whole system is overall very stable. I haven't yet tried printing to video, but I presume that works as well.

FireWire Mass Storage - Not Yet Working
I have not yet been able to get Mac OS 7 to recognize external hard drives. It isn't a matter of HFS or HFS+ - the system isn't even aware a drive is there in the first place. Drive Setup 1.7.3 doesn't help anything. I'm still working on this and will update this page if I figure it out. If you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know. There are two options there. Either Mac OS 8.6 and above have some sort of "built in" abilty to recognize FireWire drives, in which case there is nothing we can do, or there is some sort of extension I am missing, in which case we can try it out.

Card Model # of Ports Working?
Solectron 1394 PCILynx* 3 Yes
Sonnet Allegro FW400 4 No

* This card is included in the original Apple FireWire Kit, circa 1998.

More Information
You can read more about the Mac OS 7 FireWire project and it's progress by viewing the related thread in the System 7 Today Forum. There you'll find some more pictures and even a sample movie.

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