I need help beating my dad

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by App Downloader, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2011
    The other day my dad (PC User) asked me where the network strength was shown on my mac, and I pointed to the airport icon on that bar thing i forgot what is was called. So he clicked it looked at it for a minute and he says that my mac can't even say Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor for the networks strength.

    Do you guys know if there is a way to display that or is there a way to say my mac is better than his pc?
  2. macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Nope. I actually prefer Windows 7 to OS X. Just tell him your laptop gets 7 hours of battery life, that's usually better than a PC.
  3. macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2011
    strenght of wi-fi signal in MBA

    dude, in MBA, the strenght is measured by the number of bars showing in the qurter circular loop.

    i don think it says good, bad , excelent etc.

    enjoy it while it lasts
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Exactly. For saying your Mac is bette than his PC, just show him expose', spaces, boot-up time... the OS is the true reason why Macs are better than PCs, although especially with the MacBook Air, your hardware is superior as well in most cases (with the only exception being the C2D processor).
  5. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Hold on, your wifi signal should show how many "bars" you have, so what's the difference? In Windows, they just throw an arbitrary name around how many "bars" you have. Really Excellent/Good/etc. doesn't truly mean anything. I could easily say if I have 4 "bars" that that is "Excellent", but again that doesn't really mean anything. Strength really should be stated in dbm (http://wlanbook.com/mac-os-x-wireless-signal-strength/). The reason I sate that "bars" or verbal versions of strength mean nothing, is because it is all about what range of dbm someone chooses to associate. Let's say the range is 0 to -174, the programmer then has to decide what each "bar" represents. The first bar could be 0 to -100 and then bar two could be -101 to -150 and bar three could be -151 to -171 and bar 4 could be -172 to -174. In this case, you probably would still have a terrible connection at showing even with 3 bars (since it could go all the way to -150) just because of the way each bar was "programmed".

    What I am trying to state, is that it is all arbitrary. Unless you use actual measured numbers, everything else is just someone's interpretation of your current wireless connection and means nothing.

    P.S. I am no wifi expert. The above is simply an example of how something could be designated. I am simply using it as example of why designating anything with "bars" or subjective terms like "excellent" mean absolutely nothing.
  6. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I really don't think a computer that shows the wifi signal strength as "good, excellant, etc" qualifies as "better" than a mac. There are so many other reasons a windows machine can be better than a mac and vice versa. Quite frankly, ask him to take you to a place with free wifi, take your laptops and sit. Tell him you two can leave when one person's battery is dead. See what happens. I mean, if he insists on qualifying a computer as better because some "word" on a screen supposedly tells him his wifi strength is good then he needs another hobby.

    Better yet, go to speedtest.net and see if you can show him that graphic icon or text, the speeds tell the story.
  7. macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Hold down option when you click on the airport icon and show him the RSSI and Transmit Rate.
  8. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    Odd "contest." Anyway, the indicator on the top menu bar measures strength.

    If you really want to, install Windows 7 on your Mac and ask if he can install OS X on his PC. :apple:
  9. KPOM, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011

    macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    Note that a lot of little things are different between Windows and the Mac. The command vs. ctrl key, for instance, and Windows' heavy use of the right mouse button. Thus, someone who has only used one will often encounter some difficulties when using the other. These differences don't necessarily make one OS better than the other, but someone not being able to find something in one OS that they know where to find in the other OS might come to that conclusion.
  10. macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Smack him upside the head with his superior Windows laptop. Wait, what?
  11. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    NEAT! I never knew that. All that info blows the whole EXCELLENT thing out of the water. Which btw, I don't consider some adjective as the be all end all in wifi strength on my windows pc.
  12. macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2007
    Strength of wireless signal means little. A more sensitive radio would read the same level of signal as "less strong" than another; a less robust wireless software stack might not be able to do as much with a low signal as a more robust one. Messing with "interference robustness" might change this tune a bit, as well, especially if you've microwaves and cellular phones in the house.

    The best wireless vs. wireless test would be a file copy test. Plus a wired file server into your shared base station, and move a large file from the server to each laptop. Test at multiple distances.

    Note: you probably won't see any difference at all. Wireless networking is ubiquitous, every chip is good enough, which leads to antenna design being the determining factor for signal strength. Apple's philosophy on antenna design is a balanced one: they won't sacrifice superficial beauty for the best wireless signal, not when they can have one that's good enough. And it is much easier to beam radiation through a plastic bezel than an aluminum one. At the same time, unix is renowned for its efficient IP software stack. Windows is generally a hodge podge of first and third party drivers.
  13. macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Tell him "My reception goes up to eleven. Most stop at 10. Well, it's one stronger, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be computing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your computer. Where can you go from there? Where? "
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2007
    Austin, TX
    The only way this could be better is telling him that your MacBook measures WiFi signal in base 11 :D
  15. macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    x2, two laptops connected to the same access point, sitting the same distance away from the access point, and run the speedtest.net test. that is an excellent measure of which machine has the stronger connection.
  16. macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    The visual-bars are more multi-lingal friendly than English words. :p
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2009
    This. However the fact that you and your dad even care about such a trival thing is a tad... interesting.

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