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Apple Mac OS X tips and tweaks

Date: 19th August 2011

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OS X Lion: Networking and printing changes

There are over 250 new features in OS X Lion for the Apple mac. If you have upgraded to this new operating system, how many can you find? Some are really obvious, but there are many little tweaks hear and there that are easily missed. Here are a couple of networking changes and a printing tweak. If you have a MacBook and you travel with it using Wi-Fi hotspots you may have noticed that it automatically displays the login page at some (but not all) places. You can custmise this behaviour, turning it on or off, and setting auto-disconnect in System Preferences.

Go to the Apple menu in the top left corner and select System Preferences. Click Network and you will see new option: Automatically join this network. It's a simple tick box and it is up to you whether you enable it or not. The advantage of enabling it is that the login page of some Wi-Fi hotspots automatically appears and you don't have to start Safari or keep a Safari window or tab open. The disadvantage is that there is no way to log out (that I have found) because the login window disappears. If it is free then it doesn't matter because the hotspot will time out or detect when you have left anyway, but if you pay for Wi-Fi then you need to log out to avoid unnecessary charges. Clear the tick to go back to the old way of connecting.

Click the Advanced button and the AirPort tab has been renamed Wi-Fi. There used to be an option to disconnect from the wireless network when logging out, but this has been removed. Apparently it is unnecessary now.

Another small change in Lion is to the default printer. Go to System Preferences, Print & Fax and at the bottom is the default printer. This is now set as the last printer used. You can change it back to your favourite printer though.

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