Directionally impaired Mac users will be relieved to learn of the release of GPSy 3.0, Karen Nakamura's software for working with data from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. With a GPS receiver, a Macintosh, and GPSy, you can pinpoint your location to within 100 meters anywhere on Earth (the GPS system is capable tracking to one sixteenth of an inch, but that capability is reserved for use by the U.S. military; see Karen's article "Feeling Lost? An Overview of Global Positioning Systems," and a review, "Driving Through Trees: Using GPSy," in TidBITS 388). In addition to numerous protocol additions for working with a wide variety of GPS units, GPSy 3.0 adds the ability to view your position using information from several Internet map servers, such as the U.S. Census TIGER Mapping Service and Geocities. GPSy is $50 and available as a 1 MB download.
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.
- Driving Through Trees: Using GPSy (14 Jul 97)
- Feeling Lost? An Overview of Global Positioning Systems (14 Jul 97)