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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.

 
 

Microsoft Releases Messenger for Mac 6.0

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Instant messaging from Microsoft received a significant Mac-centric upgrade last week with the release of Messenger for Mac 6.0. The latest version is a universal binary, offers Spotlight searching of transcripts, and interoperates with Yahoo's Messenger service. Microsoft Messenger is a free 8.6 MB download and has no fees for its use.

The latest version offers a custom status message showing the currently playing track in iTunes. It also handles custom and animated emoticons, a feature that doesn't exactly thrill us, but it's nice that the Mac version is in parity with Windows on this front.

iChat and AOL Instant Messenger users can't be reached with the single-user version of the Microsoft product, but corporate users with a Microsoft Office Live Communications Server can connect with AIM, iChat, and Yahoo IM users.

 

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