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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.

 

 

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Apple Releases Mac OS X 10.2.8 Update

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Apple has released Mac OS X 10.2.8 via Software Update, as a standalone installer for Mac OS X 10.2.6 and 10.2.7, and as a standalone combo updater which will update any version of Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar to Mac OS X 10.2.8. The update is not needed for Apple's new Power Mac G5 systems, but can be installed on any G3- or G4-based system which supports Mac OS X. The Mac OS X 10.2 Update weighs in at about 40.6 MB; the combo installer is a whopping 97 MB.

Mac OS X 10.2.8 includes a number of Bluetooth improvements (possibly to enable support for Apple's new wireless keyboard and mouse) as well as unspecified enhancements to Apple's Web browser Safari. It also includes security updates for the Unix applications sendmail and OpenSSH's sshd. Mac OS X 10.2.8 also includes support for USB 2.0 devices (even if you add USB 2.0 ports to a Mac using a PCI card or PC Card), and fixes a problem mounting external FireWire drives.

Fair warning: we've received numerous reports of problems from people upgrading to Mac OS X 10.2.8, ranging from it losing track of which of two monitors should have the menu bar to kernel panics at boot. We have verified Mac OS X 10.2.8 is incompatible with some drivers for external FireWire audio devices: if you have a FireWire audio device (other than an iPod) for recording or producing audio, check with your device's manufacturer before updating to Mac OS X 10.2.8 to see if compatible drivers have been released. Also remember that a Safe Boot (holding down the Shift key as the Mac boots) disables all non-Apple kernel extensions and drivers. We strongly encourage everyone to make a full backup before installing Mac OS X 10.2.8, and if you don't feel the need to be on the cutting edge, you might want to wait for this update to settle out before upgrading.

 

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