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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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MacTech Creates Archive CD

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Now here's an interesting project. MacTech Magazine has created a $50 CD containing the entire archives of the magazine (over 2,800 articles from 1984 through September 2006), all 29 issues of Apple's programming journal develop, all 21 issues of FrameWorks (the newsletter of the Software FrameWorks Associate, previously the MacApp Developers Association), and more than 100 MB of royalty free source code from all three publications. It's all presented in a custom viewer application that provides simple browsing and quick Spotlight-based searching. What I find most interesting is that MacTech has apparently had the largest ever pre-order backlog for this CD - greater than for any other CD they've produced, despite the fact that most, if not all, of this information is available on MacTech's Web site for free. Clearly, there's something appealing about having so much information in a single place, accessible even without an Internet connection and in an interface that's dedicated for quick browsing and searching. Hmmm... perhaps we'll have to do a CD of the last 16 years of TidBITS content.

 

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