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Viewing Wi-Fi Details in Snow Leopard

In Snow Leopard, hold down the Option key before clicking the AirPort menu. Doing so reveals additional technical details including which standards, speeds, and frequencies you're using to connect, as well as what's in use by other networks. With the Option key held down and with a network already joined, the AirPort menu reveals seven pieces of information: the PHY Mode, the MAC (Media Access Control) address, the channel and band in use, the security method that's in use, the RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) measurement, the transmit rate, and the MCS Index. In Leopard, some, but not all, of these details are revealed by Option-clicking the AirPort menu.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 

 

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TenBITS/14-May-01

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Mac OS X 10.0.3 Released -- Just days after the release of Mac OS X 10.0.2 (see "TenBITS/07-May-01" in TidBITS-579), Apple has offered an update to version 10.0.3. Apple says the Mac OS X 10.0.3 update fixes a problem in the Mac OS X Finder in which folders containing unusually large numbers of items don't display all their contents. Installing Mac OS X 10.0.3 on a Mac running 10.0.1 also provides all of 10.0.2's fixes, including CD burning, better stability, and a newer FTP server. You can use the Software Update control panel in System Preferences to download the update (automatic checks aren't working for a number of people; if this is true for you, just click the Software Update control panel's Update Now button). If a firewall or other situation prevents you from using Software Update, you can also download and manually install a 14.9 MB updater disk image. The manual approach requires that you already have 10.0.1 or later installed; otherwise, you'll first need to install the Mac OS X 10.0.1 updater (available at the last URL, below). [MHA]

<http://db.tidbits.com/article/06421>
<http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/ n75134>
<http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/ n75125>

Kensington MouseWorks 1.0 for Mac OS X -- Kensington has released the first full version of its MouseWorks software supporting Kensington mice and trackballs under Mac OS X. Although mice with two buttons or scroll wheels work on their own under Mac OS X, MouseWorks 1.0 for Mac OS X enables Kensington device owners to customize button actions. There are a few caveats with this 1.0 release: one-button mice and TurboMouse 1.0 to 4.0 products (the older, two-button versions) are not supported, and some functionality of MouseWorks under Mac OS 9 isn't available, such as button chording, Application Sets, and Rest Reminders. Still, as someone who relies on using my right mouse button to double-click items, I'm happy to see that the basics are in place. Kensington MouseWorks 1.0 for Mac OS X is a free 3.3 MB download. [JLC]

<http://www.kensington.com/support/sup_1283.html>

UpdateAgent X Preview -- The number of Mac OS X-compatible applications is rising all time. Major applications tend to get the most coverage, but what about smaller but no less essential utilities? Insider Software has released a preview version of UpdateAgent X, which scans your hard disk and automatically downloads available updates to your programs. Although this release is a little rough around the edges (most noticeable is the Classic-style black outline surrounding default buttons instead of Mac OS X's pulsing color effect), UpdateAgent X delivers what it promises. A free demo that can download only Mac OS updates from Apple is available as a 2.5 MB download; the demo also lists but does not download other applications from its database of 5,000 programs. The full version costs $50 per year. Currently, UpdateAgent updates Classic and Carbon applications; support for Cocoa programs will be provided in a free update. [JLC]

<http://www.insidersoftware.com/updateagent/mac/>
<http://www.insidersoftware.com/updateagent/mac/ demoinfo.html>

Mac OS X Janitorial Staff -- One of the ways that Unix achieves its vaunted reliability is by way of a scheduling tool called cron, which runs scripts that clean up the mess left by normal operating system usage. Mac OS X is no different than other forms of Unix in this respect, and it has daily, weekly, and monthly scripts that reset log files, back up internal databases, and perform other necessary tasks, often between 3 AM and 5 AM. However, typical usage of Mac OS X differs from other Unix systems in that Macs are often turned off or sleeping when they're not being used, whereas other Unix machines tend to run constantly. Although powerful and flexible, cron has one major issue in this area - it doesn't catch up on tasks scheduled for when the Mac was off or asleep. Brian Hill has addressed this limitation with a free utility called MacJanitor that lets you manually start Mac OS X's daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance scripts. You must remember to launch MacJanitor, but as long as you do it every so often, it shouldn't matter as much if you regularly leave your Mac sleeping or turned off during the period when it would like to be sweeping the floors. [ACE]

<http://personalpages.tds.net/~brian_hill/ macjanitor.html>

Setext Viewing on Mac OS X -- Since 1992, email issues of TidBITS have been formatted using the structure-enhanced text (setext, pronounced "see text") format that I helped Ian Feldman develop during 1991. It's an implicit markup language, so most people never even realize they're reading it, but it is possible to write programs that can interpret the sections and style markup within setext - for instance, the text editors BBEdit and Alpha automatically detect the structure of setext documents. The canonical program for viewing setext documents is Akif Eyler's Easy View 2.6.2, but some years ago Akif announced he had no plans to work on it further and released the source code. It still works (at least under Mac OS 9.1), but is undoubtedly living on borrowed time. A recent resurgence in interest in setext has resulted in Sascha Bigalke's SmartView 2.0, which runs under Mac OS 9 and in Classic mode in Mac OS X, and Samizdat Software's SetextView 0.3, which runs only in Mac OS X. Both are obviously still works in progress, with only rudimentary support for the kind of multiple file browsing Easy View provides, but if you're interested in setext, they're worth a look. [ACE]

<ftp://ftp.tidbits.com/info-mac/text/smart-view -20.hqx>
<http://homepage.mac.com/samizdat/>

 

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