 Apple Fans Since 1982

Apple Bytes 5/2008

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New iMacs

Out of the blue, Apple released a nice update of the popular iMac series. 20" and 24" models. Processor speeds run up to just over 3 GHZ. Pricing from just under $1200 to just under $2200. Overall a price increase on the high end model but includes significant value and performance over the entire line. It looks to be an overall improvement of the iMac series. Randy's eMail review covered the release quite well.

This week included some new revelations about our old favorite – Disk Warrior. I continue to be amazed with its built-in capabilities. More about that at the meeting.

I apologize for having a limited version of this newsletter but this past week has been extremely busy and very demanding. Simply too much to do and not enough time to do it in. Hopefully it will get better next month.


Adventures with the Aiport Extreme 802.11n
By Bob Shayler

Just this week, all the old "flyingsaucer" Airports at my school are being replaced. A few of the old ones date from very early in this decade and are no longer compatible with the new MacBooks and Windows laptops. They are cranky as ever, requiring a power off restart every day or two and they seem slow. So— in with the new and out with the old!

The boxes with the new Airports arrived and now what to do with them? We have no on-site technical support other than three on-site-support folks, including me. So I bravely obtained one of the new devices and decided to install it this day. After all, I have one at home so it should be a snap. It took me about forty minutes to complete the installation (for one Airport) and here is my abbreviated story. 

Prior to anything else, I used the enclosed CD and installed the Airport Utility software. It is not the same application as was used with the old flying saucer. Use the Airport Utility to obtain and record the old Airport's IPaddress, router address and DNS addresses in case they may be needed in the install.

Then, following the docs and my own experience with virgin Airports, I connected the new Airport to my laptop via Ethernet. The initial setup is not to be done wirelessly, in part to avoid frustrations due to numerous required restarts of the device during the install. After the new Airport is connected by Ethernet to the computer, open the Airport Utility application. It will likely indicate that a firmware update is available. Install it and restart the Airport.

One can use the auto-install feature or the manual install feature of Airport Utility. In either case, set the IP to the same as for the old Airport. If it was set for DHCP, select that setting; if not, set the IP address manually to the same address as for the old Airport. In my case, the Airport is not being used as a router, so it had to be set for "bridge" mode.

After using an auto setup, I went to manual mode and selected the "Base Station" menu. I set the Airport name (this is not the name that appears in the Network preference, it is the name of the device as it appears in Airport Utility). Then I set the password that will be used to access the Airport settings with Airport Utility (this is not the access password that may be used to connect to the wireless network with the Network preference). Keep this password secure, if you set it, because anyone can connect to your wireless network if they know that password and the Network name. Set the time for automatic checking and the time zone for US/Pacific. Do not advertise the settings "globally." Under the "Options" button, click the "check for updates" option and select how often you want the check to be made – I suggest weekly.

Now select the "Wireless" menu. Give your network a name. This is the name that you will select when connecting to your wireless network with a computer using the Network preference. For "Radio mode" select 802.11n (b/g compatible) unless all the wireless computers on your network are capable of 802.11n. In that case select 802.11n as your connection will be substantially faster. Set the Channel for "Automatic." If you are going to connect to your wireless network by selecting network name from the Airport icon in the Menu bar, select a password to use.

If you are going have a mix of Windows and OS X computers connecting wirelessly to your network, I do not recommend this setting as many Windows computers have issues with password settings requirements (a Windows only issue). Instead, I recommend no password be used. That does not mean no security. If you decide on no password, click the "Wireless Options" button and then click the option for "Create a closed network." This means the user will have to know the exact name of the wireless network as it will not appear in the Airport icon in the Menu bar. To connect to your closed wireless network, you will need to select "Join other network" from this icon and type in the exact name of your closed wireless network.

The best easy to setup security is to have a closed network and a WPA2 password required.

The absolute best security, to avoid unauthorized persons from accessing your network, is to have a closed network, with a password and enable MAC Address Access Control found under the "Access" menu in the Airport Utility. That is a subject for another article or discussion.

Have fun!


Meeting Minutes

Bob Shayler, SLMUG President, called the meeting to order at 7:55 PM on Thursday, April 3.

1. Bob handed out a reprint of an article published in Computer World on twenty-five overlooked and underrated features in Leopard. The article can be found online at: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9071258/Opinion_The_top_25_overlooked_and_underrated_features_in_Leopard.
We had a hands-on demonstration of iCHAT Theater, discussed on the first page of the article.
Terry demonstrated PhotoBooth while Kathy and Dayle audio-chatted.

2. Bob's challenge: since Bob updated his lap to 10.5.2, it has  after logging into an account, issues. Text edit opens a mystery file without being told to. The file is an alias unknown to Bob. He cannot find 'Finder' until he quits TextEditor. The mystery file does not show up on the Loggin file. It is also unaccessible. It does appear on Finder " Recent File" list. Opening the file shows its location in an application which cannot be found on his computer. Ed has heard of this but couldn't delete the mystery file because he (Ed) couldn't find the file in the case he was investigating.

SLMUG investigates:
Look for Invisible files? Showing hidden files found the Suspect file is a root level file in the HP communications folder, and when Bob attempted to 'save as' he did not have the proper super user password.

Any ideas, anyone? Uninstaller? AppZapper? TinkerTool allows you to show hidden files AND allows you to go back to your file settup as it was before you messed with it. Maybe this mystery file is not Leopard compatable? Cannot move to trash because it is running . . . . . activity monitor stopped it and Bob moved it to trash. Restarted. Well, that didn't work, it came back.

Ah hah . . . . . . Apple Support found HP communicator update for Leopard . . .IT TAKES A VILLIAGE.

3. Finding support for your Apple
SLMUG Newsletters are archived on the website and are up to date.
SLMUG: http://www.slmug.org

Look at Claire Rottenberg's website (competing with TidBITS), a MAC USER GROUP PARTNER
Claire J Rottenberg: http://homepage.mac.com/cjrtools/ebooks/ [website no longer exists ~mario]

Stan Kline updates MAC features and welcomes comments.
Stan Kline: http://stanslist.net/ [website no longer exists ~mario]

TidBITS (discussed in detail at March's SLMUG meeting. Minutes of that meeting available at SLMUG http://www.slmug.org)
TidBITS: http://tidbits.com

MacFixit detailed forums available.
MacFIXIT: http://macfixit.com

Apple support pages
Apple Support: http://www.apple.com/support/

John Mitchell said Apple wants to buy Motorola's IRIDIUM, a network of satellites in low earth orbit, with 66 active communication satellites as old as 12 years. Probably needs some replacing. IRIDIUM's system is a world wide mobile service allowing calls to be made or received with personal, portable units similar to cellular telephones which communicate directly to the satellites.

Ed Matlock announced that 2007 Disks of the Month will not be available on site after this evening.

Bob adjourned the meeting at 9:25 PM.

Kathy Roth
SLMUG Secretary


May 1st meeting features…
We'll discuss recent Apple happenings and announcements. Let's talk about your issues, likes and dislikes, (if any) that you might have about Leopard or perhaps any of the programs you use. Does anyone want to talk about Iridium??? As usual Ed will have a new CDom of the month.


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