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

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
Smarter Parental Controls

If you've been using the parental controls options in Mac OS X to lock your child out of using a particular computer late at night, but would like to employ a more clever technique to limit Internet access, turn to MAC address filtering on an Apple base station.

To do this, launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, and click Manual Setup. In the Access Control view, choose Time Access to turn on MAC filtering. You'll need to enter the MAC address of the particular computer, which (in 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard) you can find in the Network System Preferences pane: click AirPort in the adapter list, and click Advanced. The AirPort ID is the MAC address.

 
 

FoxPro/Mac Rumors

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Pythaeus writes that long after buying Fox Software, Microsoft may finally release FoxPro for Macintosh, probably at Macworld Expo in San Francisco for $495. Here then are some details about cross-platform development work with FoxPro, which is rumored to be the fastest Mac database when it ships.

FoxPro/Mac is cross-platform, so applications that you build can be somewhat easily transported to DOS and Windows, and perhaps next summer, to Unix too. Once you transport and adjust applications for each platform, the code for both platforms exists in the same file. In other words, you can have a Windows, a DOS, and a Mac client all using the same program and data files on your server.

Current FoxBASE+/Mac users will be far behind if they haven't already started using FoxPro for Windows, since commands for dealing with screens, menus, and so on have all changed dramatically. Microsoft includes an application that attempts to update your code from FoxBASE+/Mac, and it's fairly successful. However, you lose the benefits of FoxPro/Mac's excellent screen and menu generation facilities.

FoxPro's methods for handling platform differences are both useful and disturbing, but understandable considering that Microsoft is the developer. For example, pathnames can either be Mac style, "HD:Foxpro:My Program:Program.prg" or DOS style, "HD:\Foxpro\MyProgrm\Program.prg". However, all of FoxPro's functions return only DOS-style pathnames. The trick here is to avoid backslashes in your Mac filenames.

For developers who must ship their programs the day that Microsoft releases FoxPro/Mac, consider moving your code to FoxPro for Windows today to simplify porting back to the Mac and to possibly increase market share. Be careful of font differences, and note that FoxPro/Mac supports basic Apple event scripting (using the doScript event to call FoxPro functions), but not DDE, Microsoft's proprietary method of data sharing between applications in Windows.

 

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