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Like previous versions of Mac OS X, Lion has an easy way to share files between computers on a local network and it's called File Sharing. We are going to take a look at that now. So I will go to System Preferences > Sharing, and I make sure that File Sharing is not only selected, but also the little checkmark appears next to it. You can tell it's on by the green button here, indicating it's switched on. Now the way this works by default is that you will have one folder on your computer that's shared. This is called your Public folder and I'll show you where that is.
So I will go to Finder window > Public and inside there is something called the Drop Box. The Drop Box is a folder that people can copy files to, but can't see the contents of nor can they pull files out of it. So it's a way for people to transfer files to you without seeing what else is in there, which is helpful because let's say you are in a work environment and lots and lots of people are throwing files your way in your Drop Box. You don't necessarily want everybody to see what else is in that Drop Box. So that's for your eyes only. Now you can add shared folders if you like and to do that, create a folder first, I am going to call this For Ian, click the Plus button, and then navigate to that folder.
You can see it's here. If I actually wanted to drag that in for the navigation, I could drag it here and it would take us there. I will click on the Add button and now we have a folder that's ready for sharing. Now I just have to assign people who can access this folder, so I click on the Plus button and I can assign anybody that has an account on this computer or, and this is pretty slick, click Address Book and then assign the folder to someone who you have in your Address Book. So in this case, this Fleming character, click on Select and then prompted for a password which I will provide to that person and then Create Account.
They are added to the list of people who now can access this folder. All I have to do now is assign privileges to them. Currently, it's set at read only, so they can see what's in the folder, but they can't do anything else with it. If I give them read and write privileges however, they can not only read files that are in there, but they can add files to the folder as well and we are going to leave it at that setting. Now it happens that Ian has set up a folder for me on his computer. So we are just connecting to that folder and here's that folder for Chris and I can see that file that's in there.
If I like to, I can just drag it to my computer and now I've moved it to my Mac by File Sharing. If I want to write something to that folder, however, I have to connect as a user. So I enter a username and password and it's the name of the account on Ian's computer that I'm logging into. Now again, I can see the contents of the folder, but because I am logged in I can also copy contents to it. So I will take this for Ian folder, plus sign indicates that I can copy items to that folder and that's what I have done.
I can also see any other public folders he has on there and because I'm logged in as a user, I can also get into his Ian office folder if I like. And if I want to log off, all I have to do is click Disconnect and that removes the Ian Office folder. However, I can still see those folders that are being shared, but again, I can't write to them until I log into that account. So, I am going to clean up my Desktop a little bit. And that is File Sharing under Lion.
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