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.


Big Discounts on Macs at Best Buy This Week

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We don't generally write about individual retailers and their limited-time Mac deals, but this week's sale at U.S. chain Best Buy, offering $50-150 off purchases of Apple computer hardware, seemed worth sharing. The discounts range from $50 off a Mac mini to $150 off some MacBook models and the Mac Pro desktop.

Many U.S. retailers offer sharp discounts on Black Friday, the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday that's considered the start of the holiday shopping season. Best Buy's offer is taking a different approach; their discount is available through Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.

The discounted prices are available on the Best Buy Web site as well as in Best Buy's stores that stock Apple hardware. (You can check availability at your local store online.) The company's "No interest for 18 months" credit promotion even applies.


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