Friday, November 04, 2005

I/O, Lets Go

The world of USB is rather amazing. Practically every other device comes with a USB interface. In fact to cope with this

Distributing your Bus

Most magazines will mention to utilise the different buses as much as possible, which is part of my current quests. However the last article I read in Mac Addict didn't mention anything about controlling the number of USB devices to each USB bus. Well, I haven't actually ran into any USB problems with my ibook, but i've actually at one stage ran out of USB resouces on my AMD desktop. The logitech webcam was actually the killer which now resides on my ibook instead.

As a matter of fact, you can actually take a look at how much juice each usb device is taking up so that you dont kill each USB host controller.

In windows XP (I use the classic layout), Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager > Universal Serial Bus Controllers.

Look for the entry that ends with controller. Click on the "Advanced" tab and it will show you how much bandwidth the device takes up. Of course, when idle it uses less. If you have a USB soundcard like I do. Make sure that that has its own controller. When you stick a usb midi controller on the same bus, you dont get a kaboom, but after a while, you will get rather cross when you realise that your audio is doing funny things and dropouts start occuring.

USB vs Firewire

Naturally Firewire being the prefered interface solely for stability and data transfer reliability, but USB should not be neglected especially when you use each for the strengths of certain devices.

Things I would have done over

I would have gotten a firewire audio interface instead, but those things were really expensive back then and tascam was pretty much the leader in DAW technology working with frontier to develop the us-428. Its a great tool, except its rumoured that the components in there are cheap. Channel 1 is lost its gain, so I'm inclined to believe it.

The Future

Raid 0 SATA disk for audio. I used to have a 10K rpm SCSI disk on a P3 667, before it died. It was a bit crazy on the price, but definately worth it. I actually heard complains from people about hold long rendering audio took on their machines which actually had a higher CPU spec than mine, but I've always normalised audio, etc really quick. I've come to believe that it was the SCSI disk. It will definately be missed :(

Unfortunately, I will not be looking at a full upgrade although, the dual processor G5 machines look sweet. Its all vanity there.

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