@ Tony Smith @Firewire grumblers - Pardon?
- When the later Powerbook G3s dropped SCSI they had PCMCIA, you could easily keep on using your SCSI hardware. Back in the day, my own G3 was blessed with both USB and WLAN this way.
- When ADB was dropped, there instantly were USB-Adaptors. They work. Still. Perfectly. So does my Extended II which is why I bought one in the first place. It's the best Mac keyboard ever and I have no plans to give it up.
- Your average portable Mac tended to have a modem built-in for a good while before they were removed — as there was truly little need for them left, and a plethora of other options available (Bluetooth, WLAN, USB, Ethernet...). Also, a modem is a commodity item and no high$ specialized hardware in the three-digits.
The point is that there is no adaptor and no "better value" replacement (such as USB over ADB or Firewire over SCSI) present on this Macbook, there is no adaptor, and simply no way you will hook up a Firewire device to it. It simply lacks the port.
You also need to realize that since the sad disappearance of the 12" Powerbook, pros with a) a small wallet (do exist, plenty, think young video/audio artists) or b) a faible for small and light notebooks (think photographer/videographer who has enough to lug already or someone who just needs no 15" on the go) have been buying the "consumer" model. These people have investments in costly Firewire devices. I am not even getting started on how Firewire400 is superior to USB2 for a number of tasks that apply to both pros and consumers. These have been named already.
It is not that Apple had no choice. They could have taken away the ethernet port, as on the Macbook Air. Macbooks have wireless, CONSUMERS LOVE WIRELESS, and most of all, they so have a USB->Ethernet adaptor available. They took away the Firewire to state "this is not a pro model" and furthermore "go buy the bigger, heavier, even more expensive computer". They are essentially giving the finger to a good chunk of the real-world target group for this computer.
Yes, in the grander scheme of things it is a minor issue. But yes, this is a Mac needlessly crippled for no good reason other than Apple's books, and hell we have every right to be mighty miffed about that.