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December 8, 2003

"Mac OS X Unwired": A Guide to Going Wireless at Home, in the Office, or on the Road

Sebastopol, CA--Remember the first time you held a wireless phone and realized you were no longer tied to the wall by a cord? Or the first time you drove off in your car with a cell phone and realized you could keep talking? Each step of freedom makes you wonder how you ever survived being wired. But going unwired is more than just a heady experience. In more situations than not, it just makes sense. And fortunately, dramatic improvements in wireless technology in the past few years, coupled with the growing affordability of wireless equipment, make going "unwired" all the more attractive. With Mac OS X--now primed to take advantage of the many different wireless technologies--it gets even better. Mac OS X Unwired (O'Reilly, US $24.95) by Tom Negrino and Dori Smith shows Mac users how to make use of their operating system's unparalleled support for going wireless.

"Mac users can connect to the Net whenever their iBook or PowerBook is in range of a Wi-Fi network," Negrino and Smith explain. "That could be at home, at school, at conferences, or even public hotspots such as an airport, local Starbucks, or Borders Books and Music. Or, with a laptop and a Bluetooth phone, you don't even need the Wi-Fi network."

But wireless technologies aren't just for Internet access, Negrino and Smith advise. "You can also use your Mac to communicate wirelessly with peripherals such as mice and keyboards, to connect to your cell phone or PDA, or to share files and use iChat with other computers."

Mac OS X Unwired introduces readers to the basics of wireless computing, from the reasons why they'd want to go wireless in the first place, to setting up a wireless network or accessing wireless services on the road. The book provides a complete introduction to all the wireless technologies supported by Mac OS X, including AirPort and AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth, and Infrared, as well as related wireless technologies such as CDMA and GPRS. Readers will learn how to set up their first wireless network and how use the Mac OS X software that supports wireless, such as iSync, iChat, and Rendezvous. They'll also get a good understanding of the limitations and liabilities of each wireless technology.

Other topics covered in the book include:

  • Connecting to wireless hotspots
  • Cellular data plans compatible with Macs
  • Using Rendezvous with wireless networks
  • Wireless Security
  • Wirelessly synchronizing with a Palm or cellular phone
  • Sending SMS messages from a Mac
  • 802.1X authentication on wireless networks
  • Mac OS X Unwired is a one-stop wireless information source for technically savvy Mac users of all levels. Anyone who has considered wireless as an alternative to cable and DSL, or using wireless to network computers in a home or office, will benefit from the book's full-spectrum view of wireless capabilities of Mac OS X, and how to get the most out of them.

    Additional Resources:

    Mac OS X Unwired
    Tom Negrino and Dori Smith
    ISBN 0-596-00508-3, 207 pages, $24.95 US, $38.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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