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Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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File Sharing

When you're done wiring (or not wiring, as the case may be), your network is ready. Your Mac should "see" any Ethernet or shared USB printers, in readiness to print (Chapter 14). You can now play network games or use a network calendar. And you can now turn on File Sharing, one of the most useful features of the Mac OS.

In File Sharing, you can summon the icon for a folder or disk attached to another computer on the network, whether it's a Mac or a Windows PC. It shows up in a Finder window, as shown in Figure 13-3.

At this point, you can drag files back and forth, exactly as though the other computer's folder or disk is a hard drive connected to your own machine.

The thing is, it's not easy being Apple. You have to write one operating system that's supposed to please everyone, from the self-employed first-time computer owner to the network administrator for NASA. You have to design a networking system simple enough for the laptop owner who just wants to copy things to a desktop Mac when returning from a trip, yet secure and flexible enough for the network designer at a large corporation.

Clearly, different people have different attitudes toward the need for security and flexibility.

That's why Leopard offers two ways to share files —a simple and limited way, and a more complicated and flexible way:

  • The simple way: the Public folder. Every account holder has a Public folder. It's free for anyone else on the network to access. Like a grocery store bulletin board, there's no ...

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