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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.

 
 

Code 252 Virus

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Sigh. Trouble comes in threes, and this is the third virus in the last few months. Once again, the estimable virus team has done its work well, and most of the anti-virus tools should be up to date by the time you read this. As usual, I recommend that you snag the latest version of Disinfectant, 2.8 this time, from your favorite purveyor of freeware software.

The CODE 252 virus does not appear to damage any files and does not even spread all that quickly, due in part to the fact that it can only spread from one application to another in System 6 Finder (and it can spread to the System and Finder as well). If you use MultiFinder under System 6, applications are safe, but the System file and the MultiFinder file will be infected, and if you use System 7, only the System file can be infected. Unfortunately, an error in the virus can corrupt your System file or cause crashes if it has infected a System 7 System file.

The virus will trigger if an infected application or system starts up between June 6th and December 31st of any year. All it appears to do is display a childish message about how it is erasing all your disks with a lot of juvenile giggling. It does not actually erase any files or folders, although it is possible that it could damage some directory structures if you restarted the system immediately upon seeing the message. Between January 1st and June 5th of any year, the virus simply tries to spread itself, although not terribly successfully given its limitations.

There's not much more I can say about this or any other virus, except that you should get Disinfectant 2.8 (or another anti-virus utility) and check your disks. Sigh.

Information from:
Gene Spafford -- spaf@cs.purdue.edu

 

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