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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

 
 

OS X 10.8.1 Targets Bugs, Improved Battery Life

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Apple has released the first update to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion with fixes for a variety of specific issues that have been reported by users since the big cat was released in July. However, the release notes for 10.8.1 fail to mention perhaps the biggest tweak in the update — a substantial improvement in battery life for Mac laptops.

Shortly after Mountain Lion was released, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro owners reported on Apple’s support forums that running 10.8 caused significant battery drainage issues, with some complaining that battery life was reduced to almost half the normal amount. Ars Technica then ran what they called “real world” tests on a MacBook Pro with Retina Display (which, according to Apple, should have an 8-hour battery life on a full charge), and their testing results never yielded much over 5 hours of run time. Then, earlier this week, a Softpedia article quoted an unnamed developer running the 10.8.1 developer seed who said that the update has fixed the battery drainage issues and should return battery life to normal.

In the 10.8.1 release notes, Apple states that the update squashes a bug that prevented iMessages from being sent, improves Mail’s connection to Microsoft Exchange servers, addresses an issue with playing audio through a Thunderbolt display, improves stability with Migration Assistant, and improves 802.1X authentication with Active Directory credentials. The update also fixes problems with connecting to SMB servers that have long names, Safari’s inability to launch when using a Proxy Automatic Configuration (PAC) file, and Pinyin input (used for typing Chinese characters) making the system become unresponsive.

The OS X 10.8.1 update is small: just over 7 MB via the Mac App Store or 24.2 MB via direct download from Apple’s Web site. There is currently no corresponding update for OS X Server, which is now a separate purchase from the Mac App Store.

Check out the Take Control ebooks that expand on the topic in this article:

Make the move to Mountain Lion with Joe Kissell’s expert advice! Sort out compatibility issues, deal with Apple IDs, make a suitable backup, and pick your upgrade plan — including a clean install. You’ll also learn about key post-upgrade tasks, what to do if something goes terribly wrong, and how to “upgrade” to Mountain Lion while moving from an older Mac or Windows PC.
Join Mac expert Matt Neuburg as you make the most of Mountain Lion's major new features, including Notifications, Documents in the Cloud, and improved Auto Save/Versions. Plus, learn to customize Mountain Lion and get help with finding files, launching apps, managing windows, handling user accounts, and more.

 

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Comments about OS X 10.8.1 Targets Bugs, Improved Battery Life
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Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-08-27 16:10
We also have one report that 10.8.1 improved graphic processing performance on a 2011 MacBook Air. Not sure what others will see, but I wanted to mention it.