Bridging Base Stations
I have two snow AirPort Base Stations and can’t find a way to bridge them. Someone told me you can’t do it. Any thoughts?
No can do, at least using the built-in capabilities of the AirPort Base Station. Bridging is a feature of the AirPort Extreme stations. —Eric Blair
While most of the information in this article is sound, there’s one fatal flaw: red, yellow, and blue do not constitute a set of primary colors, in spite of what our grade school art teachers tell us. This is why mixing primary colors to get secondary colors never worked so well in grade school. It’s not because of “student grade” materials as the author suggests; it’s because we weren’t using primary colors in the first place!
The primary colors of light are red, green, and blue. This is why the phosphors in CRT screens are those colors. If you have a white wall in a dark room, you can shine red, green, and blue lights onto the wall at various intensities to produce different colors. Shining all three colors onto the same spot at the same intensity produces a white spot. (You can try this experiment yourself with three flashlights and some colored cellophane.)
The primary colors of pigment are cyan, magenta, and yellow. This is why inkjet printer ink comes in those colors. You can mix these three colors of ink in different proportions onto a white page to produce various printed colors. Mixing all three produces black. Magenta, yellow, and cyan are close enough to red, yellow, and blue that art teachers can convincingly claim the latter to be the primary colors of pigment.
Note that the primary colors of light are the secondary colors of pigment, and vice-versa. So the color wheel for light and the color wheel for pigment are complementary.
—Karl von Laudermann
Mr. von Laudermann is correct in his descriptions of color from the viewpoint of color based on scientific principles.
Scientifically, additive color mixing is when red, green, and blue are mixed from light sources to create color. Red, green, and blue (RGB) are the primary colors of light. The secondary colors of light are yellow (green + red), cyan (green + blue), and magenta (red + blue). Subtractive color mixing is the color we see around us on a daily basis, the color reflected off of objects (described as reflective color in the article). The CMYK process, commonly used for printing and print reproduction, uses cyan, magenta, and yellow as the primary colors. As mentioned in the article and by Mr. von Laudermann, CMYK is the color process used by color printers.
When applied to art and design, color usage is not as objective as the scientific principles. Human reaction to color is subjective and there are multiple methods for applying color principles. The article presents color not from the purely scientific viewpoint, but from the perspective of art foundation theory as has been taught and successfully used for many years. Color theory as applied to the visual arts is more than just how the cones in the human retina react to light. Artists and designers in traditional media have been using the information presented in this article for many generations and with great success and the color principles presented in this article are still taught to art and design students. —Andrew Kator
Why I Unsubscribed
I’ve been a Macintosh user since 1995, and an Apple IIGS user for eight years previous to that. Loved ’em all.
I changed jobs during the year that Apple went to Mac OS X. (I teach in the public schools.) The new school where I work uses Windows exclusively. I was unable to carry the majority of my work to school and then back home, and still use the same platform in both places.
I was either going to have to buy a new Mac (in order to use OS X), or buy a Windows machine (to match up with the workplace). The latter won out over the former, as it probably does in many cases. Now I have two Macs at home, still in use. One uses Mac OS 8 and the other uses OS 9. I don’t feel the need to switch to OS X now. We now also have a Windows machine, purchased for job compatibility, which slowly gains our usage time at the expense of the Macs. Shortly, we’ll cut back to one Mac, and I suppose in time, switch altogether to the Windows platform.
I think there are a lot of OS 9 users out there who “got off the train” rather than go to OS X. I’m one of them. But I’m not mad or anything; my usage has just gone in a different direction.
I enjoyed ATPM for several years, and recommend it to my Mac-using friends, even now. No hard feelings, just went another direction with my computer use, that’s all.
Maybe someday you’ll be back. —Michael Tsai
Thanks for the article! For the first time ever, an article about “handy tools” identified a real need I have (though I wasn’t fully aware of it), and presented a tool I immediately wanted. MacJournal looked good too, so one or the other will be on my machine tomorrow.
I honestly don’t see the point in wireless LAN/WANs. I mean, why spend $100/computer and $120/router for that when one can just buy a zillion foot reel of cabling, some connectors, and a crimper for $40?
I know that most people these days like using LANs just for broadband sharing, but have any of you tried transferring a sizable multimedia file at 10Base-T or even 100Base-T speeds? I have, and it ain’t pretty. I’ll take my gigabit Ethernet, thanks.
About the only thing even vaguely resembling AirPort that I’d want is a built-in cellular modem—something like Nokia’s Wintel-only Cardphone II (which features two GSM modems in one Type II PCMCIA card for dual-line use). This Bluetooth thing is idiocy.
As for this garbage about “Wi-Fi,” I honestly don’t see why people are wasting time and money building access points for it, since there’s already coaxial TV cable strewn about everywhere.
The problem with cable Internet today has nothing to do with inherent limitations of cable’s bandwidth; TV coax’s bandwidth is well over 20Gbps total. That’s enough for every backbone connection to support 2,000 users at 10,000Kbps each. The only reason cable Internet is so sucky is because the cable companies are too stingy with their backbone connections.
It’s like if you have a 1000Base-T LAN hooked up to a 56K modem supporting 100 users. The network is capable of much more, but you, the administrator, are being a stingy little twerp. That is what the cable companies are doing.
I’d suggest the government strong-arm them into using fatter pipes to the backbone.
I do understand what you’re getting at, so don’t take this as a “you idiot” type of message. That’s not my purpose. From my point of view, however, your logic is slightly flawed.
First of all, your prices for equipment are completely off tilt. Yes, AirPort cards are $99, but deals can be found. I got mine for $49. Also, most PowerBooks come with a wireless card pre-installed anyway, so your cost is perceived as $0. (Note: I said perceived—not literal.) Plus, the Wi-Fi phenomenon is growing just as strong in the Wintel market as it is for Macs, and wireless cards for PCs can be had for far less than $100. Wireless routers have been available for well under $100 for almost a year. I bought a Netgear MR814 for $60 after rebate.
As for the physical wire, you can’t overlay your lifestyle on someone else’s. You may not mind running a cable from your den to the living room when you haul out your laptop, but other people do. My brother, for example, was itching to get himself a Wi-Fi router so that his cats would no longer have a bright blue string running down the hallway inviting them to pick it apart. Additionally, you obviously haven’t experienced the immense pleasure of sitting on a back porch enjoying the cool autumn breezes while accessing the Internet without cables stretching across your lap. You have to accept that there are just some scenarios where a wireless connection is a far better solution.
I agree with you about the bandwidth, which is why I’d never recommend Wi-Fi to someone who transfers large files between computers on a regular basis. I keep an Ethernet cable attached to my router that I can temporarily connect to my laptop for this very purpose. But the majority of people who would benefit from Wi-Fi are only using it for Internet functions, and even 802.11b’s bandwidth far exceeds the bandwidth of most broadband connections these days (cable companies throttling available bandwidth notwithstanding).
Sure, Wi-Fi may be largely worthless for you, but your logic can’t be applied to everyone. It’d be like me saying I have no good use for an automobile because they pollute, scads of people die in them in accidents, and I can just walk to work, so they must be worthless to everyone else, too. —Lee Bennett
I wanted to thank you for your great article: Mac OS X 10.2—First Impressions. I have been trying to upgrade my PowerBook G3 (8.6) up to a G4 (OS X) and have found that the fonts were too blurry to read. I also noticed the colored artifacts. I explained this to the folks at the Apple retail store—they looked at me like I was crazy! They said they couldn’t see what my problem was, and that the text looked great to them! Your article with text samples at different smoothing levels helped me to feel that I wasn’t insane after all!
I do lots of writing work, and the blurry fonts make my eyes crazy. I am not sure what to do about upgrading—except to upgrade to the G4 and use Mac OS 9.2.
Are your eyes doing OK with 10.2 and the font smoothing turned off? Do you know if Apple is doing anything to correct this in future versions of OSX?
Thanks again for a great article!
I actually don’t turn off smoothing in OS X. Some applications don’t obey the switch, and I didn’t like the inconsistency. Also, I found that the system font is thin and indistinct against the striped backgrounds. So I let it smooth the system font in menus and controls, and I use applications that let me choose the font and turn off smoothing for larger chunks of text: Path Finder, Safari, BBEdit, Mailsmith.
Although OS X has trouble drawing most fonts, it can make Verdana, Monaco, and ProFont crisp and readable, so I use those fonts as much as possible. —Michael Tsai
I appreciate all the excellent articles on this Web site. I recently purchased a Dell Windows XP laptop after using Macs. I did so because the only high speed Internet available at my house is Direcway satellite and they cater to Windows machines. The satellite system is on order and now I want to know if I there is some way to use the Internet connection created through this PC (just for e-mail, really) with my G3 laptop which runs OS X 10.1.5 at the moment. I don’t have an AirPort card (yet), but the Dell has a wireless card. Any guidance about required software, hardware, etc. would be deeply appreciated. I realize that I may have to say goodbye to my Mac, but want to hang on if possible. I know of these wireless things only by reputation, but am looking forward to sitting outside on my laptop away from the nest of cables.
OK…you can use a PC to route the satellite connection via wireless to your Mac. That will work. But be forewarned, it is likely to be very, very slow.
Satellites use USB modems that require Windows drivers so you cannot plug them into a Mac, or even a PC running Linux, etc. Also, because they are USB- and not Ethernet-based, you cannot use a hardware router as you can for cable/DSL, etc.
So you must use a PC—you can either use Windows Internet Connection Sharing, or a third party solution. ICS is quick and easy to set up but quite slow. It is also not optimized for satellite use. There are some other third party solutions that are, and will yield better (at least faster) results.
Vicom Internet Gateway and similar solutions do not work because they bypass the Windows TCP stack to improve performance (successfully I might add), but in doing so they cannot talk to proprietary gizmos like the Direcway satellite modem (because the drivers patch into the TCP stack).
But you can use something like Sat Serv, which I have used. It does a nice job. There is a hardware solution. Actually there are two. Assuming you are using DirecWay, you can get this gizmo called the DW4020 from Hughes.
The DW4020 is basically a USB->Ethernet router for the DirecWay system. It provides four client Ethernet ports. You cannot use more than four client PC’s on it (there is actually a user limit, not just a port limit). It is the most trouble-free, maintenance-free solution because there is really no software to configure or PC to worry about rebooting, etc. It is also compact and has the same footprint as the DirecWay modem, etc.
However, of course, it’s not quite so simple. Very few installers actually know that the DW4020 even exists, and even fewer actually know how to install one if they are aware of its existence. So if you have already ordered service and contracted installation, you are probably not going to be able to go with the DW4020. Call and ask your provider/installer if they can do it. But most major ones cannot…EarthLink, for example, cannot. Optistreams, however, can. They are quite pleasant to work with. In the past I have had good experiences with them. They will find an installer who knows what a DW4020 is and can install it for you. The DW4020 cannot be retrofitted to an existing installation of DirecWay. This is unfortunate, but I have tried doing this in the past and Hughes insists it is simply not possible. It must be installed when your service is first connected.
If you either need to retrofit, or require more than four users, the only industrial strength solution I have discovered also comes from Optistreams and is the OSR/G. This is basically a headless Windows box that has Optistreams proprietary software installed for routing, caching, and other services. Connect it to the USB modem for the DirecWay system, and connect it to an Ethernet hub/switch, and poof you’re in business. It is fast and flexible, and Optistreams has great support.
I am not, in general, a big fan of satellite Internet access. Satellite Internet access should be regarded as an absolute last resort. It is not a good way to go if you have anything other than dialup available. (I might actually encourage ISDN in favor of satellite in certain circumstances.) But if your alternative is dialup, it beats that in most of the ways broadband usually does: always on, faster, doesn’t tie up a phone line, etc.
The problem, aside from the above described complexity of sharing the connection, is the major latency problem which makes Web browsing slow. Also upstream speeds are very slow which is problematic because even just sending data upstream to query a Web DNS (i.e. when you type www.atpm.com and your browser requests the IP translation) can be surprisingly lethargic. Conversely if you download a large file, speeds can be awesome. You can get 200 KB/s easily. But it’s the seat of the pants speed that’s missing. Sure you can suck down large files quickly but when you are browsing a Web site or FTP site, the experience is sluggish because of latency and because there is this upstream bottleneck that just puts the brakes on most interactive Internet experiences. Also because of the latency when you browse a Web site, all those little images take a long time to show up. If the entire site were one large image, that would be no problem. The latency issue really screws everything up.
You can resolve a lot of this using a proxy server (Direcway provides their own, and many third party solutions such as the Optistreams server provide a second layer of proxy on top of the Direcway to further speed Web browsing) to help resolve the latency issue. Internal caching, caching of DNS translations, etc. can help to make things somewhat zippier. But this is not cable or DSL. As I mentioned you can enjoy very high download speeds but I’d still take 256kbps DSL over satellite any day of the week.
I don’t mean to rain on your parade. I just feel that you should be an informed consumer. Satellite is great if it’s your only broadband option. But a lot of people think it’s going to be just like cable or DSL and it really isn’t. I’ve installed many satellite systems now for friends, customers, etc., and while things have improved steadily (it used to be that DirecWay was downstream only and you needed to use a modem and a phone line for upstream!) the technology still has a long way to go. —Evan Trent