Apple Air Drop

The machines have been on a scattered assortment of 10.x OS’s, some because of hardware limitations, some because its a lot of trouble to upgrade when you’re busy with other things.  But, the older machines are starting to be used seldom, and the newer machines are 10.7 or later now.  Transferring files with the USB memory stick seems so floppy-disk now.  Bluetooth transfers are OK, but you need to turn on bluetooth which you may not be using.   Copying over Wi-Fi is a hassle if you aren’t on the same network, haven’t enabled guest access, and have firewalls turned on.  A very pleasant surprise is “Air Drop“, a feature which seems to be (I’m too lazy to look it up) a combination of Wi-Fi and Bonjour to make a simple file transfer between two computers.

Obviously, if you’re on the same network you can just peer-to-peer through normal networking shares.  But, this is very useful if you aren’t on the same network.  My example; you have a very complicated WiFi encryption key, too long and random to hand type without frequent mistakes.  But, paste it into a file, send it through AirDrop, open the file on the second computer and paste it into the WiFi password prompt.  Now, both computers are on the network with little hassle and very quickly.

A nice replacement for any sneaker net, provided everyone is running OS X at a high enough revision.