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)
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.