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It's easy to jump online and be productive with Mac OS X, but it's also easy to stop there. Many users haven't explored the depth and richness of this powerful operating system and the applications that come with it. In Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Beyond the Basics, Chris Breen helps those who are already comfortable with Mac OS X discover new features in everyday applications like Mail, iCal, and Safari. He also explores the often overlooked "power user" tools, including Terminal, Disk Utility, and Automator, and provides troubleshooting and maintenance tips.
The Sharing System Preference is the gateway to opening your Mac to access from other computers both on local networks as well as across the Internet and it breaks out this way. At the very top of the window, you are going to see computer name. You can change your computer name and this is a good idea because people often leave the default name something like Joe Blow's computer and this name appears in such seemingly innocent sharing setups as iTunes and iPhoto sharing. And these are situations where you want to be a little bit anonymous so people aren't aware of the fact that you listen to a lot of Barry Manilow for example when you are in a coffee shop and you are trying to talk to other people.
If you press the Edit button, you have the opportunity to change your Mac's local name. This is a name that shows up when you're using Bonjour which is the 0 configuration networking protocol that Apple supports. So, if people want an easy way to get into your computer, you can add a very simple name something like the Kitchen Mac or Downstairs Mac for example. Now, let's look at the various services that are offered. DVD or CD Sharing, this is a feature introduced with OS X 10.5.2.
It lets you share the media drive in your computer with another computer, say a Macbook Air that doesn't have a media drive built in for example. Then, there is Screen Sharing. This is a new feature in Leopard. In the past looking at another Mac screen and controlling that Mac required special software. It's now built into OS X. This is really helpful feature. For example, let's say I am downstairs, my daughter is upstairs and she is having a problem with her computer. In the past, I would have to go upstairs, I go into her room and I try to fiddle with her computer to figure out what's wrong.
Now, all I have to do is she can call me on the phone or she can IM me or something like that and say "Dad, my computer is not working. Could you check it out?" If she has Screen Sharing set up on her computer and I have as well, I can look directly in her screen, I can do things with her computer and control it for her. Very easy way to troubleshoot things locally as well as across the Internet, if we use something like iChat, which also has Screen Sharing built into it. This is a very convenient feature.
It's something that you can do locally or you can do in iChat and this is something that I covered in the Leopard Essential Training title. With File Sharing on, others can move files over the network to and from your Mac. You can set up Shared Folders and grant access to other users across the network or web. To add a Shared Folder, all you have to do is click the + button below that pane and decide where you want that Shared Folder to be. Also, you can add users.
I click the + button and then I can grab access either to people in my Address Book or within users in group. So for example, let's say I want to grant access to all administrators who have access to my computer. They happen to have my login name and administrator's password, then they can get in and they can share files with me. Now, let's click the Options button. You have three sharing protocols. The first is AFP, which stands for Apple Filing Protocol.
If you have Apple Filing Protocol switched on for both computers and this option enabled, your shared files will be seen by people using Apple Filing Protocol. This is good for Mac but it's not good for PCs because they don't support Apple Filing Protocol. The FTP option allows others to gain access to your files via the File Transfer Protocol. This is unsecured but does allow people in who aren't using a Mac. So for example, somebody has a PC. They have an FTP client.
They want to be able to get to your Mac, they can do so by entering the FTP address here under the Shared Files and Folders using FTP option. You just give them that address, they can then get into your Mac if you have their protocol and File Sharing enabled. And finally, there is shared files and folders using SMB. SMB stands for Server Message Block and that's a protocol used by Windows. If you want to share files with Windows users and have those files easily found by Windows PCs, this is the protocol you want to use.
And below, you can decide who can log on and use file sharing with these protocols. And now to Printer Sharing. As the name suggests, this lets you share printers that are connected to your Mac. We have covered a little bit of this in the Print and Fax System Preference. You can turn it on here as well in order to share printers that are connected to your Mac. Web Sharing up next, you can easily host a website on your Mac using Web Sharing.
Just use an HTML Editor to create your site and put the site's files in the Sites folder within your User folder. Enable this option and people can view your site using the addresses provided in this area of the window here in the main area of the window. Remote login, as I said, FTP is not secure. Nefarious folks can see the information in unencrypted form as it passes across the network. A more secure connection is SSH which stands for Secure Shell.
The Sharing System Preference hides the confusing gobbledygook that is part of SSH and simply calls this Remote Login. With this on, someone with an SSH client or an FTP client that supports SFTP for instance can log into your computer and access its files if they have its address and again that address appears below the Remote Login On option. And here is the Remote Management Service. Besides Screen Sharing, someone using Apple Remote Desktop can see your computer screen and control it.
Turning on Remote Management lets this happen. Again having your IP address is key. Once you enable this, you can decide what people are going to be allowed to do. For example, they can observe, they can also control, which means not only can they see what is going on on your screen but they can control what's happening on the screen. They can generate ports, open or quit applications, change settings, do all kinds of wonderful things remotely that we can now do with Screen Sharing but perhaps someone has an older Mac and so they'd have to use that instead.
Remote Apple Events. This is something that lets Apple events, things like AppleScripts running on another computer, gain access to your computer and do things. This is great for people who need to configure a Mac from a far and do it via AppleScript. Most normal users are not going to have to touch this but if somebody is configuring your computer from a distant location or on a local network, they may want to use Apple events to do that and so this option needs to be on. And then, there is Xgrid Sharing. The idea here is you can take a group of Macintoshes and you can devote them all to a singular task so that they behave like a single computer, and how is this useful? Well, suppose you have to render a bunch of video files, you have to apply effects to things, if you have lots of computers or even just a couple of computers, you can devote all that energy to these very complex tasks and then achieve them more quickly.
And now to one of my favorite sharing services, which is Internet Sharing. This is a great one when you are staying in a hotel and your buddy is next door. When you turn this on, your Mac becomes a router distributing broadband to anything that's connected to it, so we will figure it out. We are going to share our Ethernet connection and we are going to share to people using AirPort. I am going to click the AirPort options to show you what's there. First thing you can do is change the network name. You may want to do this rather than saying Chris Breen's Computer for example to just anonymous 7th floor Computer.
That way, when the hotel detector comes by with his laptop says ah, Chris computer, he is staying in 707. I am going to get him for sharing our network and boot him out of here on his ear. So, change the name and then enable encryption because you don't really want everybody in the entire hotel or at least within range sharing your broadband. This is just for the guy next door, the gal next door who works for you and you want to be generous and not pay those exorbitant fees for both of you. And once you do that, you can click OK to get out of there.
You switch it on and yes, indeed, you want to do this. And what happens at this point is now your Mac becomes essentially a wireless router. Your buddy next door can see it, enter a password and then they have access to that broadband connection. So you are sharing just as if you would set up an AirPort Base Station in your room, wonderful option. Turn that off and the last option is Bluetooth Sharing. As it hints, this is an option for sharing files across a Bluetooth connection from Mac to Mac for example, and all you have to do to make this work is you turn it on and you have another Mac.
Let's say it's that buddy next door again. He wants to send a file to you. Instead of doing it over an AirPort connection, we are going to do it over Bluetooth. When you have this on, you have a few options that you can configure. For example, when receiving items, ask what to do. This is not a bad idea because Bluetooth is a very slow protocol. So let's suppose for example the guy next door, your buddy next door, he has broken into the mini bar, he has had a vodka or two and he is "Ah, I am going to send Chris that great photo I took today." It just happens to be it's a RAW image, it's about jillion megabytes big and he decides he is going to send it you over Bluetooth.
A little dialog box will show up and say "hey, so and so would like to send you this file, it's 240 MB. Do you really want to accept this?" And you say "No, I don't want to tie my Mac for that long," so you can decline that. Or if it's a smaller file or actually whatever size it is, you can accept it as you like. You can decide where it's going to go, so it's going go in downloads where you can choose another folder and when other device is browsed, again, you can allow them if you want always allow or you can have them ask you "so and so is going to browse your Mac, is that okay with you?" Yes, it's fine, I can accept that or honestly, it's not okay so you can decline that as well.
And then you can grant access to what they can browse, can they browse your Public folder or you can grant them access to other kinds of folders. And there you have it, this is the essentials of sharing under Leopard.
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