In today’s computing environment, no machine is an island. In many homes, having two or more computers is the norm, and it’s virtually impossible to find a business of any size that doesn’t rely on a network—or at least the Internet—every day. Luckily for you, Mac OS X is the most connectable version of the operating system that Apple has ever produced. You can easily connect your Mac to a wide variety of networks, from simple two-machine hookups to the largest Windows Server environments.
While networking can seldom be described as simple, Mac OS X makes it about as painless as possible. These hints will demonstrate how to be even more productive when networking your machine.
When it comes to making connections to other individual computers (as opposed to, say, Web sites), Mac OS X offers two different connection methods: a humble little rectangle in the Connect to Server dialog box and the Network icon in the Finder’s sidebar. For beginners, having two different connecting options can make networking twice as confusing.
In previous Mac OS X releases, the Connect to Server dialog box was the only connection method, but the Network icon in the sidebar of all Finder windows has now taken over most of those duties. Selecting this globe-like icon reveals the icons and names of all other available computers—Windows PCs, Macs, and so on. Double-click one to bring its login window to your screen. After logging in, the server’s icon appears on your ...