I didn't realise that I was so stone age. I brought my laptop to Thailand with me as I had given away my PC last time I left, I forgot however that I needed a fire-wire port for my old video camera which still uses mini Digital tapes and only has a fire-wire port for transferring media to a PC.
I will buy a new more modern video camera in the coming weeks but does anyone know of a gadget I can get which will perhaps plug into one of my laptop's USB 2 ports which would allow me to download my existing stuff onto my laptop for editing.
They don't but I will look and see if I can find Radio Shack which is here and see if they have anything like what has been suggested. It is the little things like this that you tend to forget about. Thanks everyone for your help.
I think you'll have a problem. With video it's not as simple as a cable between Firewire and USB2. You may see cables that say they can do it, but don't assume anything; you'll almost certainly end up with degraded footage quality.
As far as I'm aware there is no such thing as a Firewire to USB cable that can do a straightforward data transfer (which is what you want) as opposed to a file conversion, which is what you don't want.
Your could do the job if you had a PC with an Express card slot, but you're working with a laptop that doesn't have a Firewire port, and I fear you're going to be disappointed.
This thread doesn't really belong in Speakers Corner, but it's a little late to move it now.