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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean



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DNS on Macintosh Heats Up

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DNS on Macintosh Heats Up -- Apple has released version 1.0.2 of MacDNS (its DNS server software) for free. (DNS software maps the names of Internet machines to their IP addresses; before Macs had DNS capabilities, they were forced to rely on other platforms for DNS service.) MacDNS is included in Apple's Internet Server Solution package, and while it seems to function relatively well, it has been criticized for not providing recursive or secondary name service.


Not to be out-done, Men & Mice of Reykjavik, Iceland, released the results of performance comparisons between MacDNS, Unix BIND, and their QuickDNS Pro product. Though QuickDNS Pro costs about $300, it does provide recursive and secondary name service, and appears to out-perform other DNS options significantly. Men & Mice has also made their test methodology available.


Glenn Anderson's free DNS server for the Mac, MIND, has been useful for a number of Mac Internet sites, but it suffers from a set of known problems and, according to Ric Ford's MacInTouch, no further development of MIND is currently planned. [GD]



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