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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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Mark/Space Adds BlackBerry Sync

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A few months ago, Glenn Fleishman and I wrote a feature article for Macworld about using smartphones with the Mac (see "Get in Sync" in the January 2007 issue). When we tested BlackBerry devices, PocketMac for BlackBerry, which TidBITS also covered a year ago in "Putting BlackBerries in Your PocketMac" (2006-02-06), was the only method of synchronizing data between RIM's smartphones and the Mac.

Recently, a new contender has emerged. Mark/Space is currently offering a fully functional public preview of The Missing Sync for BlackBerry as a 9.2 MB download. Like other versions of The Missing Sync, this one uses Mac OS X's Sync Services to synchronize data between the BlackBerry and Address Book, iCal, or other programs that also use Sync Services. It also features photo and music transfers from iPhoto and iTunes on the BlackBerry Pearl. Remember that this is still beta software; Mark/Space has posted a list of known issues. It requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later, and a BlackBerry device running version 4.0 or later of the operating system. The completed version of the program is expected to ship by the end of this quarter; pricing has not been announced.

 

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