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

 

 

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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.

 
 

Calepin Redux: Minimalist Blogging Platform Goes Open Source

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Back in January, I wrote about the Dropbox-based blogging service Calepin (see “Calepin: Simple, Minimalist Blogging with a Twist,” 5 January 2012). Since then, I have used the Calepin platform to publish various short essays and to share fragments of family trees with members of my extended family.

However, Jökull Sólberg Auðunsson, the man behind Calepin, has been unable to keep up with the demands of running the service. In a recent letter to subscribers, he wrote: “I work full time as an interactive director at an advertising agency, so it is hard for me to develop Calepin into a business.”

In response to his lack of time, Jökull has decided to release Calepin as open source, hosted on github. This means that anyone who wishes can run a Calepin server, assuming sufficient technical skills and an available server.

Jökull will continue to support those people who wish to run their own servers, but the future of the original Calepin server is unclear. 60 days ago, he tweeted that the service would be shutting down in 90 days.

While I am saddened to see the Calepin service go away, its forthcoming demise drives home one of the points I made in my original article: If the service disappears, for whatever reason, I will have lost only the public face of my blog, not the actual data that I posted there. All of my articles live on my laptop, in my Dropbox folder. I don’t have to worry about “getting my data out” of Calepin, because Calepin was hosting only a copy of my original data. Compare that, if you will, to people who scrambled to get their data off of MobileMe before the 30 June 2012 cutoff date.

For those who are looking for a Calepin replacement, check out Scriptogr.am, which looks and works much like Calepin and which can probably take over for Calepin in a matter of minutes. For those who want to host their own Dropbox-driven blogging service but can’t figure out how install Calepin, there’s also Ian Landsman’s Kudos, which may be easier to install and maintain.


 

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