QuickDraw GX Printer Drivers -- It will take time before all printers and fax modems have GX drivers, but Andy Ihlenfeldt <firstname.lastname@example.org> passed on some encouraging thoughts. "Through my job, I've been interested in GX printing and have had various development versions for almost two years. I have developed printer drivers under GX and would like to pass on a few comments about Apple's GX efforts. Developing a non-GX print driver is rather difficult, and I don't believe that a bug-free driver can be developed (I have a DeskWriter and am continuously annoyed by problems despite Hewlett-Packard having spent dozens of person-years on driver development). Under GX, the rasterization of the image by the print driver is all handled automatically by GX. Additionally, GX can produce output rivalling that of PostScript. As a result, good and consistent output should be common on printers from many different manufacturers. Finally, it is trivial for an experienced Mac developer to produce a printer driver for certain classes of printers. Producing a driver for a brand-X dot-matrix printer can be done in a matter of days to weeks. Perhaps the barrier preventing low-cost PC printers from being used by Macs will finally fall. The support provided by the GX team to driver developers is extensive. The GX printing team seemed interested in helping when I was working with them. I think they (and Apple in general) should be commended for their support in this area." [TJE]
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.