With rapid advances in technology, today’s traveling consultants are expected to be more productive than ever and to travel with a fully loaded office stored on their laptops.

One way to fortify your traveling arsenal is to invest in a storage device that utilizes the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) 1394 standard interface for connecting storage, digital video, and other devices to your computer. Many peripherals helpful to the traveling type are now available in 1394-compliant versions, such as removable drives and printers. If you’re unfamiliar with the technology, we’ve gathered some TechRepublic and Web resources to bring you up to speed on the capabilities this new protocol can offer.

A technology by any other name…
According to About.com, the technology behind the 1394 standard was developed by Apple and was first trademarked with the name FireWire. IEEE 1394 offers data bandwidth up to 40 MB/second, and with the help of one or more IEEE 1394 hubs, one IEEE 1394 port can support up to 63 peripheral devices. In addition to “FireWire,” this protocol is also known as “i.link” and “Lynx.”

Resources from TechRepublic
Here are a few TechRepublic articles regarding the 1394 standard (and related peripherals) that you can use to educate yourself about this technology:

Resources from the Web
A plethora of commercial sites sell a variety of 1394-compliant peripherals, but the sites listed below focus on information about the protocol itself as well as news about its products and manufacturers:

  • Papers on IEEE 1394 Technology
    Skipstone Inc., a division of Adaptec, Inc., offers a variety of white papers and links to articles about IEEE 1394 technology.
  • AllFireWire
    This site features a news library, product index, company index, FireWire book list, reviews, and links to information about FireWire products manufacturers.
  • 1394 Trade Association
    The site states: “The 1394 Trade Association was founded in 1994 to support the development of computer and consumer electronics systems that can be easily connected with each other via a single serial multimedia link.” Here, you can find information that the association provides for its member companies, who develop and sell FireWire products.

Are you using a 1394-compatible device? What is it, how is it working, and would you recommend it to your consulting peers and TechRepublic members? Send us an e-mail about your experience or post your comments below.