Turn your Mac into an Internet lifeline for those unwired systems around you.
I recently found myself at a meeting utterly surrounded by iBooks and PowerBooks, all connected by an invisible thread of 802.11b WiFi access. No Ethernet cables to trip over, no hubs taped to the tables, and no Internet access for the couple of poor souls running older Macs and Thinkpads without wireless access. In a valiant run at fairness, people started pitching in for a couple of WiFi PCMCIA cards and the group leader put on his heavy coat for the dash down the road to the local computer store.
Unfortunately, as such stories always go, one of the two disabled laptops didn’t even have a PCMCIA card slot. There were mumblings about USB WiFi dongles and even one vote for buying an Ethernet hub; we had the cables.
Thank goodness all this scurrying was for nought. There were already at least 10 Ethernet hubs cum wireless bridges right beneath our very noses. Everyone had plumb forgotten about the Jaguar’s ability to share Internet access.
Dongles and cables produced from various backpacks were used to plug each of the unfortunate laptops into a nearby iBook, and a few moments later everyone was wired — and happy.
As with all the coolest of features in Mac OS X, Internet Sharing is just a matter of clicking a Start button. Open the System Preferences → Sharing pane and click the Internet tab (see Figure 6-2). If it’s not already on, click the Start button ...