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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.

 
 

No More Solutions

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Solutions, the publisher of BackFax, SmartScrap, Glue, and other Macintosh software, is no longer in business. A recorded message listing phone numbers of companies now handling their software can be reached at 802/865-9220. The person who recorded the announcement speaks very rapidly; I had to call twice to get just the number of the people now supporting BackFax.

BackFax users may call Delrina Software in Toronto at 416/441-3676. I spoke to a technician there who said that Delrina had purchased the unfinished version 2.0 of BackFax, and that they were working on completing it. It is still going to support "orphan" modems such as the Apple FaxModem.

Delrina is adding names of people who call them to a mailing list. It might be a good idea for BackFax users to call to ensure that they'll be notified of the upgrade when it is ready.

BackFax incompatibility -- BackFax 1.5.1 has a minor incompatibility with AutoDoubler, the well-known compression utility. When BackFax is set to turn on at boot time, it inhibits AutoDoubler from starting to compress. A workaround that I have discovered is to turn sending and receiving off and then back on again from within the BackFax application. After this, AutoDoubler works normally. There is no need to restart the Mac. I have tried this only on a Mac II, so I have no idea if it applies to other hardware setups.

Delrina Software -- 416/441-3676

 

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