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.

 
 

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As the ides of March approach, so does the deadline for my next book. It's unlike any other Internet book that I've seen in that it's non-technical and provides a look at Internet life in order to show and not tell what the Internet is all about. The entire book is written in dialogue form with my good friend Bill Dickson, and doesn't attempt to tell you how to do much of anything.

Bill: Hi folks! But if you pay attention, you might pick up a surprising amount of information.

Adam: We want to convey the concept, the Zeitgeist if you will, of the Internet, without bogging the book down with technical jargon. I enjoy reading James Herriot's books about being a veterinarian in Great Britain, but I have no desire to be a vet - I just want to vicariously live the conceit of Herriot's world.

Bill: The Internet is our world, and we come at it from different viewpoints. I like to wander aimlessly in the World-Wide Web, whereas Adam searches WAIS and Veronica. I've spent plenty of time in IRC and various MUDs -

Adam: And I have a life.

Bill: Hey!

Adam: The point is that we want the book to be enjoyable, personable, and the answer to the question we hear so frequently, "So what do you really do on the Internet anyway?"

Bill: In any event, since our deadline draws near, if you can avoid sending unnecessary email to Adam, that would be great. He spends a lot of time replying to email these days.

Adam: Yes, thanks, and just so you know the kind of hours we're putting in at the moment, Tonya is also finishing a book for the end of February. The book is the ultimate guide to Microsoft Word (it explains how to actually make Word do something for you rather than cheerfully documenting each and every menu item in gory detail). Busy is not the word for it, but we don't foresee any problems putting out TidBITS thanks to people like Mark Anbinder and our other contributors. So please bear with us until the middle of March (the books should be out a month or two later), and then all should return to normal.

Bill: I'm not even going to touch that one.

 

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>