Q. I really like the weight and features of the new MacBook Air. Would you recommend it as replacement for my PC?
A. First of all you should ask yourself what services do you need. If you want a computer for access to the Internet and Email, there is no longer a compelling reason why you wouldnâ€™t simply use a Mac. Macs are not susceptible to viruses and spyware, which detract from an enjoyable Internet experience. Macintosh web browsers are all 3.0 web browsers whether you use Safari or Firefox (I recommend you use both) and you can use Appleâ€™s Mail application, Mozillaâ€™s Thunderbird or Microsoftâ€™s Entourage, which is included with Office 2008.
If you want to play games then get a gaming console. Gaming systems include Internet access, HD and Blue Ray players and gaming controllers. So why burden your PC with the increased need for hardware resources, incompatible software drivers and, Oh ya, viruses and spy ware?
If your serious about a MacBook Air, you should keep in mind that it is part of a new paradigm. Appleâ€™s push is towards wireless computing. In the US, you can rent movies through iTunes. Move files around wirlessly between your iMac, Apple TV, iPod Touch and iPhone. The MacBook Air with the thinnest and lightest laptop with a fullsized keyboard and screen which can be used independently but lacks ports other than a single USB 2 port. So it is intended for a true didgtal nomad. If you need access to a network or vast amounts of memory then the MacBook Air may be a better choice as a second computer. You could use an iMac as your desktop computer.
Let us know if you’d like to see a MacBook Air. We have a demo unit.
Q. I recently upgraded my Macs to version 10.5 Leopard and I cannot figure out how to connect to my computers for File Sharing. When I connect I only see a â€œDrop Boxâ€. How can I access other files on the shared Macs?
A. The answer is simple â€“ Apple has simplified File Sharing. Youâ€™re being confused by the simplicityâ€¦ read on.
The latest incarnation of Mac OS X 10.5 aka Leopard has changed a few things about how we can connect and collaborate with other computers. Before Mac OS X, there was a way to connect to another Macs and access â€œshared fodersâ€ â€“ which until recently was only possible by using a File Server, installing a third party application such as â€œShare Pointsâ€ or by modifying the folder permissions on the remote Mac and possibly creating further problems. File permissions are set to protect our data from other users and ultimately from ourselves.
Mac OS X Leopard combines UNIX (POSIX) permissions and Access Control Lists (ACLs) in way that has made it easy for almost anyone to manage â€“ you donâ€™t even have to understand this sentence. Leopard makes it possible to quickly and easily connect to our neighboring Macs. In one step, you open the â€œSharingâ€ pane in â€œSystem Preferencesâ€ and put a checkmark next to â€œFile Sharingâ€. Other Leopard Macs will immediately be able to see you in the â€œSide Barâ€ on any Finder window. They simply click on your Macâ€™s icon and they are connected as â€œGuestâ€ and have instant access to the â€œPublicâ€ folder in your home folder.
To connect as a specific user and access more files, they can press â€œConnect Asâ€ and they will get the familiar login prompt â€“ where you enter a username and password. Then depending on the permissions they have access to virtual any files and folders on your Mac. A new feature is that from the File Sharing pane you can create a â€œShare Pointâ€, by clicking the â€œ+â€ and choosing a folder and set the sharing permissions.
If you have connected and opened a folder on a remote Mac as â€œGuestâ€ and you want to access as another user. Press the eject icon in the side bar, then click on the icon and choose â€œConnect Asâ€ to get back to the login prompt.
Another cool feature is that you can also use â€œScreen Sharingâ€ where another user can control your Macâ€™s screen with a remote computer. You can instantly collaborate or have someone manage your computer for training or support.