Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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How Loud Are Your Mac's Fans?

When they get hot, Macs turn on various internal fans to keep components cool. The noise can be annoying, but just how loud is it? If you have an iOS device with a built-in microphone, you can download one of many free sound meter apps (search on decibel in the App Store) and see if you're subjecting your ears to a truly unreasonable noise level.

 
 

Answers to Questions about Updated Apple Base Stations

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Readers had many questions about Apple latest hardware revisions to the AirPort Extreme Base Station and Time Capsule, which we wrote about in "AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule: Like Two Base Stations in One" (2009-03-03). Apple provided a few answers to me, and I have a few clarifications. [Editor's note: We've now merged these details into the article linked above as well.]

  • Can 2007-and-later base stations be updated to support simultaneous dual-band networking? No. The change is in hardware. Apple added a second radio. All previous 802.11n models have a single radio that can be switched to use either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.
  • Will MobileMe remote access work with older base stations? Yes. The change is in the firmware, and Apple told me that all 802.11n base stations will gain MobileMe remote access through an upcoming firmware update; however, the AirPort Express doesn't support plugging in hard drives, so it won't gain this feature. (All 2007-and-later AirPort Extremes and Time Capsules can share files; all older 802.11n models can be remotely configured via AirPort Utility, too!) A system with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and a MobileMe account is required. The same account must be logged in at the base station and on the computer from which you're trying to access the base station.
  • Can the guest network be separately configured with different network names for 2.4 and 5 GHz? No. The guest network must have the same name for both bands.
  • Will older base station gain the guest networking feature? No.
  • Can I still use WDS (Wireless Distribution System) to extend my AirPort network without using Ethernet? Yes. Details to follow shortly after I've gotten my hands on a shipping unit.

 

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