Chapter 7. Mixing Macintosh and Windows Computers

Family relations aren’t always easy, especially if you’ve got political divisions percolating inside your house. For example, maybe the computers on your network are a mixture of Windows and Macintosh machines, all linked in an uneasy, fragile alliance? Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of both Apple and Microsoft, all your hardware (if not your humans) now stand a much better chance of getting along.

Starting with Mac OS X 10.3, Apple began a new chapter in Mac–Windows relations: with the newest versions of the Mac OS, Macs, and Windows PCs can see each other on the network, with no special software (or talent) required. Now, instead of operating-system isolationism, your computers can find common ground and speak the same language.


If you’ve got Mac OS X 10.2 or earlier, you’ll still be able to communicate with Windows PCs, but just not in quite as many ways. See the note on Section 7.1 about using the Connect to Server tool.

If you’ve got Mac OS 9, your Mac isn’t quite advanced enough to talk to Windows without a translator, but you’ve got one in your good friend, DAVE. DAVE is software designed to bridge the communications gap between Mac OS 9 and Windows, and you’ll read more about it later in this chapter.

Windows is no slouch in the works-and-plays-well-with-other-operating-systems department either: since the days of Windows 95, Windows PCs have been able to get along quite well with their Mac brothers and sisters.

As you’ll ...

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