FireWire Head Scratcher

Even though I spend a fair chunk of my week helping others when their Macs go wrong, I still occasionally run up against computer-related brain-benders of my own. Such was the case this past week when I plugged an iPod into my Power Mac G4 and, inexplicably, it appeared on the desktop of my Power Mac G5.

One of the first rules of troubleshooting is to check your cable connections and this I did. The iPod really was connected to the G4 and the FireWire cable attached to the G4’s other FireWire port did not lead to the back of the G5. After checking various network and sharing preferences and coming up with nothing, I again traced that FireWire cable on the G4.

Oops.

It seems that although it wasn’t connected to the back of the G5, it was attached to my fancy new Apple monitor which—I had forgotten—carries a FireWire port. After slapping my head a time or two I disconnected the FireWire cable and the iPod behaved as it should.

Lesson learned? Double-check your assumptions (and cables). Other lessons? If, for some reason I can’t currently come up with, you need to troubleshoot, update, or otherwise muck with an iPod connected to another Mac, this Mac-to-Mac FireWire connection is an option.

  
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