Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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Option-Click AirPort Menu for Network Details

If you hold down the Option key while clicking the AirPort menu in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, you'll see not just the names of nearby Wi-Fi networks, but additional details about the selected network. Details include the MAC address of the network, the channel used by the base station, the signal strength (a negative number; the closer to zero it is, the stronger the signal), and the transmit rate in megabits per second showing actual network throughput. If you hover the cursor over the name of a network to which you're not connected, a little yellow pop-up shows the signal strength and type of encryption.

 
 

New "Take Control of Mac OS X Backups" Explains Smart Backups

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Backup options for Mac users have changed radically over the last year, and author Joe Kissell explains the entire field thoroughly in the just-updated "Take Control of Mac OS X Backups, Fourth Edition." Whether you want to make backups more easily, at a lower cost, or with more security, Joe has advice that takes you far beyond the false security of simply turning on Time Machine or copying a few files to CD.

The ebook helps you to pick the best backup strategy for your needs, complete with an at-a-glance comparison of different backup strategies (low-cost, easy, safest), along with advice for backing up digital photos and other media. Although the 196-page ebook is organized so you can start backing up without reading every page, the full ebook will teach you to:

  • Talk like an expert. You'll understand terms like: rolling backup, versioned backup, push backup, pull backup, duplicate, server, client, incremental, differential, hard link, media spanning, metadata, mirrored, multisession, and snapshot.
  • Shop for hardware. You'll discover the pros and cons of different backup media options: USB hard drives, FireWire hard drives, eSATA hard drives, flash drives, Iomega devices, tape drives, camcorders, full-disk encryption, RAIDs, Drobos, CDs and DVDs, Time Capsules, and third-party network storage devices.
  • Choose backup software. You'll learn about 14 key features and find overviews of 11 noteworthy backup products (an online appendix covers the other 90 or so options). You'll also get Joe's recommendations, just in case your head starts spinning in this section.
  • Make backups. No matter what backup software you decide to use, Joe provides a conceptual walk-through of the entire process, offering basic information for people who've never made a backup before and savvy, real-world suggestions for optimal ease of use. He also provides specific steps for working with Time Machine.
  • Use your backup to recover lost data successfully in the event of a hard disk crash or other calamity.

The ebook also includes an appendix aimed at people who want to create their own backups using Unix on the Mac command line, explains how to back up your Windows volume if you run Windows on your Mac, and comes with coupons that let you save $30 on Data Backup and 10 percent on CrashPlan.

We had originally hoped to have this ebook out in August, but Snow Leopard's earlier-than-expected release date delayed our plans. Fortunately, that made it possible for Joe and editor Jeff Carlson to add Snow Leopard details to the ebook, while retaining specific information about Leopard and Tiger.

The ebook does cover the much-asked-about Retrospect 8, and to help everyone understand Joe's take on Retrospect's pros and cons, we've excerpted the main Retrospect section.

If you own a previous edition of this ebook, click Check for Updates on page 1 of your PDF to access an upgrade discount.

 

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