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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.

 
 

Yet Another System Update

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The dust still hasn't settled from the recent releases of the Hardware System Update 2.0 and the Software Utility Update 1.0, but Apple last week released a new collection of patches and utilities dubbed "System Update 2.0.1." This collection incorporates enhancements from the two previous versions of Hardware System Update (1.0 and 2.0) and some further enhancements. The new update is for users of System 7.1 and System 7 Pro.

Key in the new collection is Apple HD SC Setup version 7.2.2, which gives more flexibility for formatting large Apple hard disks between 1 GB and 2 GB and provides "significant bug fixes to previous HD drivers." Apple also included Disk First Aid 7.2, the same version released with the Software Utility Update several weeks ago.

A new PowerBook Control Panel (version 7.1.3) and Express Modem software version 1.1.2 enables PowerBook users to use their Express Modem with communications software that lacks Communications Toolbox (CTB) support. AutoRemounter 1.2, which attempts to remount previously mounted network volumes (for PowerBooks other than the 100, 140, 145, and 170), significantly reduces network traffic compared to version 1.0.

The collection also improves the way fonts use memory and includes System Enabler 131 (version 1.0.3) for the PowerBook 160, 165, 165c, and 180 to support 12" monitors and improve reliability.

The software is available on disk for a $10 shipping and handling charge to U.S. customers who call 800/769-2775, extension 6717. It will be included with System 7 Pro upgrade kits and on the hard drives of Macintoshes assembled after this week, and Apple says the software will be available for download from America Online, CompuServe, and AppleLink. It is currently available on <ftp.apple.com> in the directory:

/dts/mac/sys.soft/7.system.updates

 

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