Networking Vista to a Mac
If your home is one of those households that own both Windows and Apple computers, you'll love this part of the chapter. I'm going to show you how to network your Mac with your Vista PC.
Lots of people hang both Mac and Windows machines off the same home network. I do. Admittedly, I am not a huge Mac user—and I am known for being a bit brutal about the Mac users, with their weird cult-like devotion to Steve Jobs and his turtleneck sweaters. Still, Macs are nicely engineered pieces of computer hardware, even if they are digital candy floss. And besides, my G5 iMac makes a great stereo.
So, let me show you how to share files between an OS X-powered Mac and a Vista computer on the same network. In what follows, I use Mac OS X Tiger version 10.4.8.
To get started, let's change some Mac settings first.
Enable a Password on the Mac's User Account
Let's first add a password to the administrator user account.
Log in to the account you want to password protect. Preferably use an administrator account.
- Go to Finder and click on the Apple icon (top left of the screen). On the drop-down menu, choose System Preferences. System Preferences on Mac OS X is the equivalent of Control Panel on Windows.
- In the System Preferences window, under System click the Accounts icon (see Figure 11.21). This is where you make changes to existing user accounts on your Mac.
Figure 11.21 Click the Accounts icon in the System area of the System Preferences window.
- You might need to unlock this feature. If so, click once on the padlock icon in the lower left-hand corner of the Accounts window to unlock it.
- An authentication window launches, prompting for an administrator username and password to allow user account system changes to take place. (Look familiar? It's kind of like UAC isn't it?) Enter your admin password and click OK.
- Select the account you want to assign a password to. Click on the Change Password button.
- Leave the Old Password field empty if you have not previously assigned a password to this user account.
- Next type in your password in the New Password field; then verify it by typing it a second time in the Verify box. Also enter the password hint if you want.
- To finish, click the Change Password button. You have just set a password for your user account on the Mac.
Enable Windows File Sharing on the Mac
Next, you'll have to enable Windows file sharing. Here's how:
- Click the Apple icon on the Finder (top left); then click System Preferences.
- In System Preferences, locate the Internet & Network section and click on the Sharing icon. When the Sharing window appears, click the Services tab if it is not selected already.
- In the Computer Name field, type a name for the computer if what's there isn't appropriate. I call mine "G5 iMac."
- In the list on the left, check the Windows Sharing box. This starts Samba (also known as Windows networking in some geek circles). By enabling Windows Sharing, you are activating a communications protocol to allow Vista to connect to your Mac.
- You can also check off Personal File Sharing (also known as Apple Share) if you want to share files more easily with other Mac machines on your network.
- Next, click again on the Windows Sharing item so it is selected and look for the Accounts button (see Figure 11.22) to appear on the right.
Figure 11.22 Click Windows Sharing and watch for the Accounts button to appear.
- Click Accounts and check the account(s) you want to share.
That's all you have to do on your Mac. Now switch over to your Vista computer.
Set Up Vista to Access Your Mac
Now let's set up your Vista machine so you can access the Mac. First, we'll need to check whether network discovery is turned on:
- Click the Windows button, type Network and Sharing, and open the Network and Sharing Center when it appears in the Start menu.
- Under Sharing and Discovery, make sure that Network Discovery is set to on. If it's not, click the down arrow next to it and select Turn Network Discovery On and click Apply.
- Continue in the UAC warning window when it appears.
- Close out that window and then click the Windows button again, and this time, click Network on the right side of the Start menu.
- You should see an icon that has the name of your Mac (that you specified earlier). For example, mine says "G5-IMAC."
- Double-click it, and a login window appears, asking for a username and password to access the Mac. Be sure to type in the username and password for the user account you enabled on the Mac.
Figure 11.23 Type the Short Name as the username when you log on to your Mac from your Vista across your network.
- You also have the option to have Vista remember the password. I lean toward convenience, so I use the feature, but if you want to be more secure, don't use it, and type it in each time.
You should now be able to access the files on your Mac.