Duplicating a fix provided by the recently released Firmware Update 1.6 (see “SMC Firmware Updates for MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air,” 31 January 2013), Apple has released MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.7 to target a range of specific models — both 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models released in mid-2010 and early 2011. Like the previous update, this one addresses a “rare issue” that caused laptops with a battery that had accumulated more than 1,000 charge cycles to shut down and possibly fail to boot back up again. As always with firmware updates, we recommend relying on Software Update or the App Store app to ensure you get the firmware update for your MacBook Pro, and being careful not to interrupt the update process. (Free, 1 MB)
View Extra Audio Details in Snow Leopard
In Snow Leopard, Option-clicking the Volume icon in the menu bar displays a list of sound input and output devices. Choose one to switch to it; it's much easier than using the Sound preference pane. Also, hold Shift and click the icon to set the system volume, which is separate from the general output volume.