Useful Team Fusion Blog Publishes Excerpts of Ebook
The Team Fusion blog, part of the VMware Web site, has just begun running a series of short excerpts from Take Control of VMware Fusion, by Joe Kissell. If you’re a fan of Fusion and want to learn some tips (including handling driverless printing not working after applying a recent Apple security update), I recommend the blog.
AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule Gain New Features
Apple today released significantly revised models of the AirPort Extreme Base Station and Time Capsule. The new hardware features two radios, allowing a base station to operate networks simultaneously in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands. This allows older hardware (and an iPhone or iPod touch) that doesn’t have 802.11n built in to access a slower network in 2.4 GHz, and newer hardware to zoom along in the faster, less-used 5 GHz range. Users of existing base stations can’t upgrade their units, as the change is in hardware, not software.
Also in this update is the addition of guest networking, which lets you set up a separate network with a separate password that visitors can use without giving them your main network password, or full access to the resources on your main network. The new base stations generate two distinct network names: One for your main network, and another for the guest network. Guests can’t access the devices on your main network or even sniff the data passing over it.
Apple also added remote file sharing for drives inside of or attached to either base station model. Using a method identical to file sharing in Back to My Mac, Apple uses MobileMe as a way to register a base station centrally. Any Leopard system also registered to the same MobileMe account and with Back to My Mac activated in the MobileMe system preference pane will see base stations as yet another server choice in the Finder’s sidebar, under the Shared label. This new feature will be added to the original Time Machine model and to older 802.11n AirPort Extremes via a firmware update.
MobileMe Accounts for iChat No Longer Indefinitely Available
I was just made aware that the tip on page 12 of this book about obtaining a free iChat account via MobileMe is out of date. When Apple converted its .Mac service into MobileMe, it also eliminated a long-standing policy of allowing a trial subscriber to retain a .Mac account for use with iChat even if the trial user didn’t sign up. That’s still true for any old mac.com account you may be using in this fashion. However, with MobileMe, your account is active for only 45 days after the end of a trial or after the account expires. Then the account is disabled, and the account’s name may be used by another subscriber if they request it. There’s a way around this, though, as Apple still offers free .Mac accounts if you know where to sign up for them. TidBITS editor Jeff Carlson explains how to create such an account with in iChat in Get a Free, Non-Expiring .Mac Address for iChat.
Earlier this month, Apple announced a new iDisk sharing feature. Working on the www.me.com Web site, a user can select a file stored on their iDisk, and then just fill in a few simple options to send an email message containing a download link for that file and a custom message. All the recipient need do is click the link in the received email message. You can read more about it, and get directions, in Joe Kissell’s TidBITS article Apple Adds iDisk Sharing Feature to MobileMe.
Dropbox is a new option that
might appeal for sharing files among multiple computers you own and
among work groups of varying people. It’s an Internet-hosted offering
that provides 2 GB of storage for free, and 50 GB for $9.99 per month
or $99 per year.
To use Dropbox, you install a small program under Mac OS X or
Windows, as well as several flavors of Linux. The program creates a
folder where you tell it to that looks just like a regular folder or
directory. However, any items placed into, removed from, or modified
within that directory are immediately and automatically securely
synchronized with all other copies.
For an individual trying to keep certain files up to date among
multiple computers, Dropbox is a simple way to avoid having to set up
archives. While iDisk within MobileMe ($99 per year for all MobileMe
services) can achieve this, it’s not a good option for non-Mac users,
and it has delays in synchronizing. It’s also, frankly, not very
clever about how it performs updates.
Dropbox also shines for workgroups. You can, via the service’s Web
interface, take any folder and share it to a group of people you
select. On accepting an invitation to share the folder (via email
notification and then the Web site), the folder appears in their
Dropbox folder and, again, works like any other folder.
p>Dropbox also archives files as you modify them, allowing you to
download older revisions via their Web site. It also hosts simple
photo galleries, and more. You can read more about Dropbox at
TidBITS in Dropbox: A Collaborator’s Dream.
Ted Talks about Second Edition of iPhone Ebook, Jailbreaking
Get to know Ted better in this interview conducted by MacNotables host Chuck Joiner. Find out more about the development and goals for this ebook and hear Ted’s take on when (or if) jailbreaking your iPhone makes sense.
Wondering what author Joe Kissell is like in real life? Joe gave 11 presentations at Macworld Expo last month, so some of you surely met him in person then, but if you didn’t, or for whatever reason, you can see him now on MacVoicesTV. Chuck Joiner from MacVoices caught up with Joe at Macworld Expo. You can watch (or listen) to their conversation, and learn about the types of Windows users that Joe encountered at the Expo. You can also learn Joe’s age, and what hardware caught his eye at the Expo.
“Take Control of Your iPhone, Second Edition” Offers Key Advice
It’s been a while since we’ve announced a new ebook, but we’ve been hard at work and are pleased to let you know that Ted Landau’s Take Control of Your iPhone, Second Edition is now available, and it is up-to-date for the latest iPhone 2.2.1 software release. Ted’s a writing machine, and he has pumped out a 183-page compendium (plus additional online resources) of the most useful information about the iPhone, with a particular focus on helping you work more effectively, avoid trouble, and fix any existing problems. The book normally costs $15, but as a limited time introductory discount, you can get it for $10 with the link above (follow the link, click the Buy Ebook button, and your discount should appear in the first screen of the shopping cart).
Taking the Murphy’s Law approach that if something can go wrong, it probably will, Ted explains how your iPhone figures out where in the world it is, how it connects to the Internet and cellular data networks, and how it communicates with your Mac. You’ll learn key details of syncing with iTunes and via MobileMe, how to manage your apps, and ways you can share files with your Mac. The ebook helps you get the most life from your iPhone battery and connect a Bluetooth headset, and it provides tricks for typing more quickly and accurately. You’ll find a cornucopia of advice for making the most of the main built-in iPhone apps, including iPod, Phone, Mail, Maps, and Safari. But that’s not all - extensive problem-solving sections help you solve network problems, resolve sync conflicts, avoid crashes, and, if necessary, restore an ailing iPhone from backup.
The ebook covers the iPhone from a Macintosh point of view, though most of the information is useful even if you connect your iPhone to a Windows PC. The ebook also covers the iPod touch; we just couldn’t figure out a clever way to work “iPod touch” into the title.
p>For those who have the preview version of the second edition “Take Control of Your iPhone,” click the Check for Updates button on the cover to access your free update. And if you own the first edition of the ebook, also use Check for Updates to look for a 50%-off discount on the upgrade. We’ve also sent email to these groups with details.
New Macworld Superguides Cover Mac Security and Mobile Computing
Keeping up with our own Take Control authors is hard enough, but with our friends at Macworld putting together Superguides too, well, we fell behind in the end-of-year crunch in 2008. We now have Macworld’s two most recent Superguides in our catalog. The Macworld Mac Security Superguide is particularly interesting, thanks to its real-world advice to help you maintain your privacy online, protect your sensitive data, and keep your Mac safe from both malicious software and intruders. The ebook also helps you lock down your home wireless network, set up a firewall, and secure your data when computing in public. $9.99
And for those who are ditching the desk chair for a coffeehouse-based office for the first time, taking that first laptop to college, or switching to a job that requires tons of travel, the Macworld Mobile Mac Superguide helps you pick the best laptop for your needs, find Internet connectivity wherever you go, share files with your Macs at home, keep your data backed up while on the road, and work through common problems when you can’t easily call anyone for help. $9.99
The author lists for these ebooks again include numerous TidBITS and Take Control contributors - yes, it’s a small industry, and we work with the best.