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.

 
 

LaunchBar 5.4.2

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Objective Development has released LaunchBar 5.4.2 with improvements in indexing actions, services, and applications for the keyboard-based launcher. In addition to an overall performance boost to LaunchBar’s indexing engine, the update now recognizes executable shell scripts more reliably (even if they have filename extensions), ignores iOS apps when indexing applications, and improves 1Password indexing (especially on systems with multiple installed versions of 1Password). The release also replaces the previously used generic category icons in iTunes (Albums, Genres, Playlists, etc.) with dedicated icons, and it fixes a problem with the Play from Album option that started playing from the beginning of the album rather than the selected track. Finally, LaunchBar 5.4.2 fixes a bug with determining the originator of a copy operation when triggered with a mouse click (instead of pressing Command-C), an issue with sending a labeled email address via Instant Send, and the appearance of double quotes in conjunction with Instant Send or Clipboard History. ($35 new with a 20-percent discount for TidBITS members, free update, 2.5 MB, release notes)

 

New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as “Tx” for “TextExpander”. With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <http://smle.us/tetouch3-tb>