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.

 
 

Pixel Anxiety

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We've been hearing more griping about the number of pixels that are either dead or void on the PowerBook 170 active matrix screens. Dead pixels don't make anybody happy, but given the low manufacturing yields, they seem to be an unfortunate reality. Prices would certainly be higher if Apple guaranteed that all screens had no defects.

We'd like to see Apple sell machines having a few defective pixels at a slightly lower price. That would allow them to continue using the slightly defective screens and would enable more people to buy into active matrix who would otherwise be unable to afford it. Heck, at the right price I'd like a factory-second 170.

Of course, the best factory seconds are in Vermont, where you can buy factory seconds of Ben & Jerry's ice cream that has failed the stringent controls so that the chocolate chips are too big, for instance. Horrors!

 

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