Netscape 6 Arrives on Wobbly Legs -- With Netscape 6, Netscape Communications has released the most significant version of its Internet software since Netscape Communicator 4.5, though not without some difficulties. Netscape 6 features a customizable interface using downloadable skins; a collapsible field in the Web browser, called My Sidebar, for accessing search engines, AOL buddy lists, news, and other information; and several quick links to areas of Netscape's Web site, such as shopping, travel information, etc. More significant is the new Netscape Gecko rendering engine, which promises improved support for Cascading Style Sheets, HTML 4, XML, and more. Unfortunately, Netscape 6's release has proved shaky; we've seen reports of problems with Netscape 6's installer, or crashes on launch after installation - and these reports almost pale in comparison to problems we've experienced ourselves. On the upside, unlike recent releases of Netscape Communicator 4.x, this new package seems to include up-to-date versions of accompanying software such as AOL Instant Messenger. The Netscape 6 installer is a free 265K download, which then downloads the components you choose; a bare-bones installation averages around 10 MB, and a full installation is 29 MB. [JLC]
Improve Apple Services with AirPort Base Stations
You can make iChat file transfers, iDisk, and Back to My Mac work better by turning on a setting with Apple AirPort base stations released starting in 2003. Launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, click Manual Setup, choose the Internet view, and click the NAT tab. Check the Enable NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) box, and click Update. NAT-PMP lets your Mac OS X computer give Apple information to connect back into a network that's otherwise unreachable from the rest of the Internet. This speeds updates and makes connections work better for services run by Apple.
- Netscape 6.1 Released (20 Aug 01)
- Netscape Releases Communicator 4.77 (09 Apr 01)
- Netscape Communicator 4.74 (24 Jul 00)
- Expansive Communicator 4.5 Limited to PowerPC Only (26 Oct 98)