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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.

 
 

TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 28 November 2011

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Nisus Writer Pro 2.0.2 and Nisus Writer Express 3.4.1 -- Nisus Software has released Nisus Writer Pro 2.0.2 and Nisus Writer Express 3.4.1, updates to the company’s word processors. Both feature a similar set of improvements, including a Brazilian Portuguese localization and the capability (in Nisus Writer Pro) to change the active TOC style in the table of contents navigator pane. More of the effort was focused on bug fixes; along with elimination of crashes and a number of tweaky changes, Nisus Writer Express users using Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger can now import Microsoft Word documents, while the WordPerfect import facilities in Nisus Writer Pro have been improved. (Free updates; for Nisus Writer Pro: 146 MB, release notes; for Nisus Writer Express: 42 MB, release notes)

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VMware Fusion 4.1.1 -- VMware has released VMware Fusion 4.1.1, which brings a couple of new features and a brief spate of controversy to its popular virtualization package. The most interesting change is one that was introduced in version 4.1 but quickly rolled back in 4.1.1: virtualization support for both the desktop and server versions of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Apple’s End-User License Agreement allows virtualization of Snow Leopard Server, but not the desktop version; virtual copies of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion can be run legally. Initially, this was welcome news to those who need Snow Leopard because of its support for Rosetta, which was dropped by Apple with the introduction of Lion (see “Preparing for Lion: Find Your PowerPC Applications,” 6 May 2011). However, in a tech note published shortly after version 4.1 became available, VMware notes that Fusion 4.1.1 update reinstates the version check and will not launch virtual machines using the desktop version of Snow Leopard. Additional changes in version 4.1 include “smart” support for Lion’s full-screen mode, as well as a number of bug fixes and performance improvements, particularly when it comes to graphics, animations, and startup times. ($79.99 new, on sale for $49.99, free update, 181 MB, release notes)

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SpamSieve 2.8.8 -- C-Command Software has released SpamSieve 2.8.8, which gives the company’s popular spam-filtering software support for Postbox 3.0 and Growl 1.3. The app also improves compatibility with Apple Mail by providing better resilience to permission errors, and comes with an improved filter that is better able to detect unwanted email messages. Tweaks to the French localization and several bug fixes round out the update. ($30 new, free update, 8.8 MB, release notes)

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MacBook Pro Video Update 1.0 (Snow Leopard) -- Several weeks ago, Apple released the MacBook Pro Video Update 1.0 to address problems that could cause the 15-inch MacBook Pro (Mid 2010) to freeze or stop displaying video (see “Apple Releases Multiple Hardware-Related Updates,” 27 October 2011). Oddly, that update was available only for people running Mac OS X 10.7.2 Lion, and those running 10.6 Snow Leopard were referred to a support article suggesting that hardware service might be necessary. Now Apple has released the same MacBook Pro Video Update 1.0 for Snow Leopard users; presumably Software Update will do the right thing in providing it to Macs that need it. (Free, 51.45 MB)

Read/post comments about MacBook Pro Video Update 1.0 (Snow Leopard).

 

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