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Firewire DV Cameras: COLD Swap only

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I don't know what brand of camera your correspondent was using, but Panasonic goes OUT OF THEIR WAY to tell you that BOTH the Camera and the Computer have to be turned off to guarantee a safe hook up of Firewire. This is mentioned MULTIPLE times in the manual and in a separate "Caution!" document.


They even give an order of connection BESIDES THAT.


--Connect the FW/DV cable to the computer first

--Connect the FW/DV cable to the Camera second.

--Turn on the computer BEFORE turning on the camera

--Finally, turn on the camera.


(For PC's the same precautions apply when connecting via USB 2.0 to the Panasonic supplied software)


They also say not to DISconnect the DV cable until the camera is turned off.


So hope that's useful info, but it leads to MY question:


Turning the camera on and off is no biggie, but rebooting is a pain. So if you can find out if putting the computer into sleep mode (e.g., by closing my iBook's lid) is AS SAFE AS actually turning it off in terms of this issue, I'd be most appreciative.


Keep up the good work. You're a public service to Mac Users.


Jim K.


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I'm not an expert on Panasonic's equipment, but I'll give you an idea of what happens when you hot swap a device that is not meant to be hot swapped.


Back in the day, I was a Mac guy working on a PC (yeah, I know... it sucked) and I was replacing a printer (parallel port)... most of you can see where I'm going with this. I hot-swapped the cable and pow... I blew the motherboard. The reason for this is the fundamental basics of the parallel port. It has information flow in two directions (in and out). THIS makes it HOT. Plugging it in HOT will over-power the motherboard nine times out of ten.


Based on alternative technology, the USB, PS/2 and Firewire GENERALLLY can be all hot-swapped. However, if they go out of their way to tell you NOT to do it, I'd listen to them... considering that they built the camera.


- MT

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