Apple has released three System Management Controller (SMC) firmware updates for its MacBook lineup: MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.8 (703 KB; mid-2012 models), MacBook Pro Retina SMC Firmware Update 1.2 (712 KB; mid-2012 models), and MacBook Air SMC Update 1.9 (1.09 MB; mid-2012 and mid-2013 models). All three address battery-related issues, where your system could hang or the battery could stop functioning altogether if the battery level goes below 1 percent. The MacBook Air SMC Update also throws in a solution for the possible problem of the system not recognizing the battery when it goes below 1 percent. 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 specific model, and be careful not to interrupt the update process. (Free)
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.
- MacBook Air SMC Firmware Update 2.0 (10 Jun 14)
- TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 07 October 2013 (07 Oct 13)
SMC Firmware Updates for MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro Retina, and MacBook Air
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