Q. I recently upgraded my Macs to version 10.5 Leopard and I cannot figure out how to connect to my computers for File Sharing. When I connect I only see a â€œDrop Boxâ€. How can I access other files on the shared Macs?
A. The answer is simple â€“ Apple has simplified File Sharing. Youâ€™re being confused by the simplicityâ€¦ read on.
The latest incarnation of Mac OS X 10.5 aka Leopard has changed a few things about how we can connect and collaborate with other computers. Before Mac OS X, there was a way to connect to another Macs and access â€œshared fodersâ€ â€“ which until recently was only possible by using a File Server, installing a third party application such as â€œShare Pointsâ€ or by modifying the folder permissions on the remote Mac and possibly creating further problems. File permissions are set to protect our data from other users and ultimately from ourselves.
Mac OS X Leopard combines UNIX (POSIX) permissions and Access Control Lists (ACLs) in way that has made it easy for almost anyone to manage â€“ you donâ€™t even have to understand this sentence. Leopard makes it possible to quickly and easily connect to our neighboring Macs. In one step, you open the â€œSharingâ€ pane in â€œSystem Preferencesâ€ and put a checkmark next to â€œFile Sharingâ€. Other Leopard Macs will immediately be able to see you in the â€œSide Barâ€ on any Finder window. They simply click on your Macâ€™s icon and they are connected as â€œGuestâ€ and have instant access to the â€œPublicâ€ folder in your home folder.
To connect as a specific user and access more files, they can press â€œConnect Asâ€ and they will get the familiar login prompt â€“ where you enter a username and password. Then depending on the permissions they have access to virtual any files and folders on your Mac. A new feature is that from the File Sharing pane you can create a â€œShare Pointâ€, by clicking the â€œ+â€ and choosing a folder and set the sharing permissions.
If you have connected and opened a folder on a remote Mac as â€œGuestâ€ and you want to access as another user. Press the eject icon in the side bar, then click on the icon and choose â€œConnect Asâ€ to get back to the login prompt.
Another cool feature is that you can also use â€œScreen Sharingâ€ where another user can control your Macâ€™s screen with a remote computer. You can instantly collaborate or have someone manage your computer for training or support.