AirPort 1.2 Update Available -- Apple Computer has released AirPort 1.2, the latest version of its wireless networking software for configuring AirPort Base Stations and enabling any AirPort-equipped Mac to act as a software base station. AirPort 1.2's base station software ships with a default configuration that disables AirPort-to-Ethernet bridging, does not assign DHCP addresses, or share a single IP address on an Ethernet network via Network Address Translation (NAT), but all these services can still be enabled from the AirPort Admin utility. We know that's a mouthful: in a nutshell, these changes make it easier to introduce AirPort base stations into existing networks without disrupting services. AirPort 1.2 also supports closed networks in which the name of the AirPort network is hidden; this provides an additional level of obscurity in that users must know the exact name of the AirPort network to connect to it. Apple also says the AirPort 1.2 software improves stability and performance. The software is a 4.5 MB download and requires at least Mac OS 8.6 or higher (with Mac OS 9.0.4 recommended). Apple has also released a PDF document called Designing AirPort Networks and is conducting an online survey of AirPort Base Station users so Apple can prioritize future development. [GD]
Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.
Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.
In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.
Other articles in the series Get Unwired!
- Apple Ups the AirPort Ante (19 Nov 01)
- Fast and Loose with Wireless Networking (10 Sep 01)
- Wireless Fishbowls (13 Aug 01)
- Flying into Other AirPorts (30 Apr 01)
- AirPort 1.3 Adds PPPoE Support (12 Mar 01)
- Farallon Ships 11 Mbps Wireless SkyLINE Card (22 May 00)
- Going to the AirPort (12 Feb 01)
- Macworld SF 2001 Trend: Go Wireless, Young Mac (29 Jan 01)
- iBook: An iMac to Go (26 Jul 99)