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Viewing Wi-Fi Details in Snow Leopard

In Snow Leopard, hold down the Option key before clicking the AirPort menu. Doing so reveals additional technical details including which standards, speeds, and frequencies you're using to connect, as well as what's in use by other networks. With the Option key held down and with a network already joined, the AirPort menu reveals seven pieces of information: the PHY Mode, the MAC (Media Access Control) address, the channel and band in use, the security method that's in use, the RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) measurement, the transmit rate, and the MCS Index. In Leopard, some, but not all, of these details are revealed by Option-clicking the AirPort menu.

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Doug McLean


Retrospect 8.2

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Cross-platform backup software Roxio Retrospect (recently purchased by Roxio's parent company; see "Retrospect Backup Software Acquired by Sonic Solutions," 27 May 2010) has been upgraded to version 8.2. Beyond interface enhancements designed to make the software simpler to use, the upgrade makes network backup performance up to three times faster than before. The new version also adds support for 64-bit memory utilization, which can handle backups for volumes with "tens of millions of files," the company says. Additionally, the upgrade reintroduces the capability to restore from backups made using the older Retrospect 6 (those backups are treated as read-only). In the Retrospect 8.2 Read Me, Roxio recommends that you run Retrospect servers on Intel-based Macs, and warns that the software performs more slowly on PowerPC-based Macs. The company also notes that Internet/FTP backups are not yet supported, and optical device support has been deactivated in this release (though you can enable it manually if you don't mind dedicating the drive to Retrospect). Full release notes are available. ($129 new for up to three users, free update, free trial available, 258 MB)


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