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Take Control of Sharing Files in Snow Leopard
Configure file sharing to be fast, effective, and secure with networking guru Glenn Fleishman!
This detail-packed book makes file sharing easy, whether it's between two Macs on a local network, among a mixed-platform office workgroup, or between far-flung computers on the Internet. You'll learn how to select and configure the right hardware and software for your needs and budget, consider the pros and cons of different file-sharing options, find set-up steps for each of the core Mac OS X file-sharing services—AFP, SMB, and FTP—(with tips to help you avoid problems and security risks), and learn how to connect to Mac file servers from a variety of major operating systems. The ebook discusses Snow Leopard's Wake on Demand feature and the quirky Snow Leopard firewall, as well as how to share files from iPhoto '09 and iTunes 9.
Compatibility info: This ebook is for users of 10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.5 Leopard.
Read this book to learn the answers to questions like:
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About the Author
Glenn Fleishman is a tech journalist based in Seattle, where he lives with his wife and two sons, both of whom are adept at accidentally pressing the power button on his laptop. He’s a contributing editor at TidBITS, responsible for much of their Web infrastructure; a columnist for the Seattle Times; a regular contributor to the Economist's Babbage blog; a senior contributor at Macworld; a regular voice on BoingBoing; and a Jeopardy winner. He appears regularly on public radio programs.
Reviews of Previous Editions
Table of Contents
Read Me First
This book helps you share documents among computers and over the Internet safely, using the file-sharing options available in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. This book was written by Glenn Fleishman, edited by Tonya Engst, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
In the late 1980s, when only a few million academics and governmental types had easy access to a very slow Internet and even most business users couldn’t afford pricey Ethernet gear, we hoi polloi had two ways to share files: sneakernet and snail mail. The algorithm for sneakernet was to insert a floppy disk, copy files to the floppy, eject the floppy, walk (in sneakers) across the room, insert the floppy, and copy files from the floppy. A little tedious, but it got the job done.
For distances beyond the reach of sneakernet, the algorithm changed. Instead of walking across the room, you inserted the floppy in a padded envelope and walked it to the post office or called FedEx.
Even today, sneakernet and snail mail are useful for transferring huge quantities of data—imagine the speed by which you “transmit” when you send a 2 terabyte hard drive by overnight mail or walk a USB memory drive across a room—but most people share files through multiple accounts on the same computer, over local area networks comprised of wired Ethernet and wireless Wi-Fi links, or over the Internet using broadband connections.
In Take Control of Sharing Files in Snow Leopard, I help you identify the right computer setup for exchanging files among users in your situation, with an emphasis on users working on networked computers. I focus on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard as the hub of these activities, but the principles are the same on all platforms. Snow Leopard is nearly identical in function to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and many specifics are identical or quite similar in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.
I also explain how to connect to a Mac running Snow Leopard from Windows XP and Vista and from Mac OS X 10.2 through 10.6.
This book contains many details, not all of which may be relevant to your situation. You do not need to read every word before sharing files, but you should be familiar with the overall process first.
Snow Leopard is a minor interface update and a major behind-the-scenes overhaul of Leopard. The Mac OS X-related changes in this book from the previous edition are small, but significant. This edition also includes changes relating to iTunes 9, iPhoto ’09, and third-party file-sharing services.
Here’s a summary of the most important changes:
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June 6, 2011 -- We do not plan to create a Take Control title that will reincarnate this ebook in a Lion edition. We've had a lovely, long run with this particular title, all the way back to Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, but times have changed, as have reader interests. We'll still be looking at the timeless question—"how do I share my stuff?"—in various Take Control titles, but we are taking a break from this particular manuscript in Lion.
June 28, 2011 --
As iCloud rolls in, MobileMe is rolling away, and taking iDisk with it. Read on for more about this change in service.
—Michael E. Cohen
June 8, 2011 --
On June 6, 2011, Apple announced a new service called iCloud that will appear at some point later in 2011 ("fall" in the northern hemisphere), and will replace MobileMe from Apple's perspective. Until then, MobileMe continues unchanged, except that Apple is no longer selling subscriptions or charging for renewals; all current members automatically have their accounts extended through the end of June 2012.
When iCloud becomes available, existing MobileMe members will be able to migrate to the new service, which will be free (albeit with optional paid features, such as iTunes Match and additional storage). So far, Apple hasn't released details about the fate of iDisk (including file sharing and iWeb publishing); MobileMe Gallery; Back to My Mac; the Backup application; Web-based access to Mail, Contacts, and Calendars; or Mac-to-Mac syncing of things like preferences and keychains.
In the meantime, you can learn more about iCloud and what it might mean for MobileMe users in the following places:
November 24, 2010 --
Apple has made a minor revision in the MobileMe preference pane's Back to My Mac tab in Mac OS X 10.6.5. Previously, that tab showed a status dot in red, yellow, or green, along with an explanatory text message, to indicate whether MobileMe was active and communicating correctly with Apple's servers. In this revision, two additional status dots and text messages are added for File Sharing and Screen Sharing. A green dot indicates the service is on; red, off. Putting status about those two items in this tab means you don't have to switch to the Sharing pane to check whether either of those services is active.
November 2, 2009 --
Apple has publicly acknowledged a rare but nasty data-destroying bug related to using the Guest account in Snow Leopard. The bug appears to be associated with having a Guest account already set up before you upgrade to Snow Leopard. While there is currently no fix available, we hope to see one in 10.6.2. To learn more, check out my TidBITS article, Apple Acknowledges Guest Account Data Loss Bug.
October 28, 2009 --
My favorite FTP server software and management package, PureFTPd Manager, has been released in version 1.8 with Snow Leopard compatibility. This version works with 10.4 and 10.5 as well. I didn't include details about using PureFTPd in the last couple editions of Take Control of Sharing Files because most readers apparently haven't been using FTP servers. However, if you're one of the folks who need the account-based folder-restriction along with other limitations you can impose via FTP, turn immediately to PureFTPd Manager.
I wrote in some depth about how to configure the best encrypted FTP service option using PureFTPd Manager in the TidBITS article PureFTPd Manager Updated for Snow Leopard.
October 22, 2009 --
If you have Snow Leopard-related questions about accounts, the Take Control series now has the answers in the form of "Take Control of Users & Accounts in Snow Leopard," by Kirk McElhearn, and "Take Control of Sharing Files in Snow Leopard," by Glenn Fleishman.
Take Control of Users & Accounts in Snow Leopard -- Read this ebook to learn how to manage all the accounts on your Mac like a pro, even if you are the only person who regularly logs in. You'll learn how to create the right types of accounts for the different people who use your Mac, why you likely need at least two accounts, and what you can do with the many options in the parental controls. Kirk shows you how to set up a troubleshooting account to solve problems, use Fast User Switching, share files between users, manage login and startup items, and more. Kirk even reveals tricks for sharing music and photos among multiple users on your Mac using iTunes and iPhoto. For those who want still more parental control options than those offered in Snow Leopard, the last page of the ebook includes a coupon worth 25% off on Intego's ContentBarrier X5. 102 pages, $10.
Take Control of Sharing Files in Snow Leopard -- Read along with Glenn as he takes you on a tour of all the nitty-gritty details you need to know to configure file sharing to be fast, effective, and secure. You'll learn how to select and configure the right hardware and software for your needs and budget, consider the pros and cons of different file sharing options, find set-up steps for each of the core Mac OS X file-sharing services - AFP, SMB, and FTP (with tips to help you avoid problems and security risks), get the details on setting up accounts, and learn how to log in to Mac file servers from a variety of major operating systems. The ebook specifically discusses the new Snow Leopard Wake on Demand feature and the quirky Snow Leopard firewall, as well as how to share files from iPhoto '09 and iTunes 9. 109 pages, $10.
October 20, 2009 --
Get to know author Glenn Fleishman in his October 20th interview with MacVoices host Chuck Joiner, which focuses on topics covered in the Take Control of Sharing Files in Snow Leopard ebook. Glenn talks about the ins and outs of the new Wake on Demand feature in Snow Leopard, the loss of AppleTalk, iTunes 9, and more.
October 16, 2009 --
Home Sharing, a new feature in iTunes 9, makes it possible to easily share media among family members (or any group where everyone is authorized on the same iTunes Store account). While the feature is a clear win for sharing iPhone apps, several Take Control authors have been perplexed by Home Sharing, either because the feature didn't perform as they'd expected, or because it's difficult to concisely explain the differences between it and the old iTunes Sharing feature. Thankfully, Take Control author Ted Landau's recent Mac Observer article tackles the subject with detail. If you're interested in gaining a deeper understanding of how to share media in iTunes, check it out!
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