Sharing Files Between Mac and Windows PCs

Apple has incorporated technologies into Mac OS X that allow easy file sharing across platforms.

Mac users often have to share files with Windows machines, both at work and at home. Occasionally, using portable media such as a ZIP disk or USB portable storage does the job nicely, but for daily use a cross-platform network is more robust. Apple has incorporated technologies into Mac OS X that allow easy file sharing among platforms. And with the release of Mac OS X 10.2, networking became even easier.

In this hack, we’ll discuss how you can share files between your Mac and Windows machines. All the examples have been tested with Mac OS X 10.2.1.

Systems Configuration

I have an eMac and a Pentium 4 PC (an HP notebook). I used an Ethernet cable to connect the two machines directly. The nice thing here is that I can use a straight cable to connect both machines, and my eMac is able to automatically detect that it is connecting to a PC. There is no need for a cross cable here.

Viewing PC Files from a Mac

The first thing I want to try after connecting my two machines is to enable file sharing. On my PC, I create a folder and share it using the name Macshare. On my Mac, I want to be able to access that folder. To connect to the shared folder, select Go from the Finder menu and click Connect to Server.

You should be able to see the PC name displayed, as shown in Figure 6-21. Select the PC and click Connect.

Figure 6-21. Connecting to a server ...

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