Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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Enter Dashboard, Expose, or Spaces Temporarily

Hold down F9, F10, F11, or F12 (or whatever you've set for the Expose and Spaces keyboard shortcuts) for a few seconds, and then release the key to enter and leave the appropriate mode without having to press the key again. This is particularly useful for Dashboard, in which you can check the contents of a widget and then return to your work with only a single key press.

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Stumbling across Bluetooth (and Wi-Fi)

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Stumbling across Bluetooth (and Wi-Fi) -- Alf Watt has released iStumbler 90, a Mac OS X tool that scans for Wi-Fi (AirPort and AirPort Extreme) and now Bluetooth and Rendezvous networks. Scanning for Bluetooth networks is a new hobby among those who want to find other similarly minded people and, sometimes, mess with their minds by sending them strange messages or even taking over certain devices when a user is unwise enough to accept a Bluetooth-sent attachment. The Rendezvous or multicast DNS (mDNS) scanning is also useful given how widely Apple has deployed the technology. iStumbler lets you browse for mDNS services and connect to them through a single interface instead of needing to use different programs, such as a Web browser and the Finder, to attach to different kinds of services.

<http://www.istumbler.net/>

This version also improves the scanning and display of Wi-Fi networks, which system administrators will find useful when trying to pinpoint signal problems or glitches, including a Widget-like transparent window showing signal strength on a time-based chart for any one network you choose. iStumbler is free and open source, but the developer is soliciting small donations to continue his work. [GF]

 

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