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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.

 
 

Learning ClarisWorks

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ClarisWorks has a fantastic and easy-to-use overall feel. However, the basic frames and links concepts and a number of details require study before you can use them effectively. Here's an overview of ClarisWorks's help tools.

The online help can be found by typing command-?, looking under the Apple menu, or in balloon help under System 7. The online help is OK, and emphasizes examples over exhaustive reference. Its context-guessing feature is nicely implemented. I found myself referring to it far more frequently than any other source of help.

HyperTour - this stack is a good starting point, and allows limited trials of some features. It's far too simple-minded to be of serious help to anyone but a novice user.

Documentation - There are three manuals - but no reference manual. "Getting Started" is an excellent tutorial linked to sample documents included in the ClarisWorks distribution disks. The "ClarisWorks Handbook" is a user's guide to each tool, with task-oriented directions about integrating the tools. The "Communications Handbook" is a separate user's guide for the communications tool and the Apple Comm Toolbox.

 

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