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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.

 
 

MacBook, Pro, Air EFI and SMC Firmware Updates

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If you're using the recently released unibody models of the MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air, there are a number of firmware updates now available from Apple.

The EFI Firmware Update improves stability for each of the models and, at least for the MacBook, addresses problems with sleep-wake, USB, and device compatibility. I say, "at least for the MacBook" because Software Update on my Mac added that last bit; the descriptions on Apple's site restrict themselves to grunting "Update make Mac better." The updates are available via Software Update or as separate downloads for the MacBook (1.8 MB), MacBook Pro (1.9 MB), and MacBook Air (2.4 MB) at Apple's Support Downloads site.

The SMC Firmware Update for each of the three models improves the sensing and accuracy of the MagSafe Power Adapter light. For the MacBook and MacBook Pro, it also improves the sensing and accuracy of the battery charge indicator lights. Find the 550K updates for the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air at Apple's Support Downloads site or via Software Update.

These being firmware updates, be careful when installing. Apple has separate help articles for installing the EFI Firmware Update and SMC Firmware Updates.

 

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