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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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First Look at MacTech Conference 2013

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What are you doing in November? I know it’s hard to think past the summer, and for those of us with kids, the start of school, but I’ve been pondering the first week in November, when Tonya and I are planning to attend MacTech Conference 2013 in Los Angeles. Last year’s conference was my first, but it left me regretting that I hadn’t made the time to attend in previous years (see “MacTech Conference 2012 Opens Mental Doors,” 22 October 2012). While I organized a successful “Working with the Press” panel discussion last year, Tonya and I are working on bigger plans for the 2013 installment of the conference, connected with the tenth anniversary of Take Control Books.

I can’t share details of those plans yet (and the description on the site is a bit of a placeholder), but let’s just say that they’ll be a lot of fun. What I can say is that MacTech Conference 2013 will also have an expanded 3-day schedule from November 6th through 8th with more sessions, more labs, new pre-conference workshops on November 5th, both Apple and Microsoft certification exams, new vendor forums, and a keynote from Jacqui Cheng, Editor at Large at Ars Technica.

Keep in mind that MacTech Conference isn’t a general-purpose conference; it’s targeted at Apple developers and IT professionals, with a pair of tracks focused on each audience. Developer sessions will include presentations on making great user interfaces, automating the operations of an indie business, and adding Passbook support to an app. On the IT professional side, talks will look at Xsan and the future of storage, iOS deployment and management strategies, building virtual Mac environments with VMware Fusion, the impact of IPv6, and Python for the system administrator.

MacTech Conference 2013 costs $1,399 for on-site registration, but if you register before 15 August 2013, it’s only $899. The full-day workshops are similarly discounted for early registration. The venue has also changed, to the Manhattan Beach Marriott, which is much closer to the airport, and is a bit cheaper than last year, with rooms starting at $179 per night (and $149 per night if you come early or stay later).

 

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