Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
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.

 
 

Lemmings!

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This game started on the Amiga, moved to the PC, and eventually found its way to the Mac. It was well worth the wait. Full 256-color graphics (plays in any depth, though), multi-voiced music, and all-around cuteness make it a winner.

Your goal is to save lemmings from their doom. Simple, but there's a catch (always is...). They obey your commands, but you can only issue a limited number of commands. Each screen is a puzzle, starting with an entrance and ending with an exit. The bottom of the screen displays a list of actions at your disposal. You can create lemmings that build, dig, tunnel, climb, parachute, block, or explode. There's usually a limit to how many of each you can make, though, and half the fun is finding alternate ways to pass an obstacle. You use these special lemmings to create a path that the rest can follow before time runs out. You're faced with 120 different screens (30 each on FUN, TRICKY, TAXING, and MAYHEM), each with a percentage of lemmings to be saved and a time to save them in.

Lemmings are cute. Each can die in so many interesting ways that it's fun just killing them off...

There's a warning on the box to the effect that the company is not responsible for lost sleep. They're right. Don't buy this game if you have something important to do within the next week. You can't get to the next level within each difficulty rating without completing the level before, and it is easy to want to solve just one more level... and when you complete these, be ready for "Oh No! More Lemmings!" (more levels) and "Lemmings II" (same premise, different actions and ideas), coming soon. If you like a combination of fast reflexes and puzzle solving, this is for you.

Available in stores and mail order houses.
Company: Psygnosis
Price: $29 mail order
Overall: 5
Repeat Playability: 3, once solved
Value: 5

 

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