The first part of this book was all about setting up your home network: buying and installing routers and network adapters, getting all your Macs onto the Internet, and generally learning how to bask in the glory of being a home network maestro. Now that your Macs can communicate with the world at large, it's time to learn how to get them talking to each other. This chapter walks you through how to configure your Macs so that you can copy files from one machine to another (just as you'd drag files between folders on your own Mac), store your own files on any Mac in the house (while preventing others from gaining access to your stuff), and share printers among all your computers.
In Mac OS X, you can even connect to Windows machines without having to buy any additional software. To learn about that trick, see Chapter 7.
Best of all, the software you need to make this happen is built into Mac OS X (and, in some cases, Mac OS 9). Getting your Macs ready to go requires three main steps:
Naming the Macs and people on your network. Every computer needs a name. And, in many cases, you'll want to create user accounts for everyone on each Mac you want them to access. You'll learn more about about computer names and user accounts in this chapter, but user accounts in particular are a great way to keep everyone's stuff private and looking the way they want it to look.
Designating what you want to share with others. The second part of ...