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

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
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.

 
 

Cable Whiplash

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Cable Whiplash -- Kate Binder <nsnoise@tiac.net> complains that her cable modem connection isn't nearly what it's cracked up to be. Although we have no specific suggestions to pass along to Kate, if anyone out there has some ideas, please send them to Kate directly.

I noticed that you'll be covering cable modem issues next week. I hope you can address the fact that some Mac users - including me - are having tremendous trouble getting decent speeds.
In the nine days since a cable modem was installed on my husband's Performa 5200CD via Ethernet, we have yet to achieve anything more than 30 Kbps download speeds consistently, despite the fact that other users of our service (MediaOne in Massachusetts) see speeds in the range of 120 to 150 Kbps. After four visits from tech people and several phone calls, we've established that the problem isn't the line or the modem, it's probably something in the Mac's system software, probably Open Transport. Open Transport Advanced Tuner hasn't helped, although I'm continuing to work with it, and neither has switching back to OT 1.1.2 and then to 1.1.1 and then downgrading my system to 7.5 from 8.0. The next step is to try the 8.1 update.
I'm nearly at my wits' end and would appreciate any suggestions. I know I'm not the only frustrated Mac user out here, because the MediaOne guy who spent four hours here yesterday trying to fix the problem said many other MediaOne Mac subscribers have just accepted that they won't get the advertised speeds and learned to live with it.

 

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