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Home > Apple Frequently Asked Questions > File-sharing between two Macs
File-sharing between two Macs

File-sharing between two Macs

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File-Sharing Between Two Macs

Step 1.

First install any Ethernet card (Comm Slot I or II or PDS)

You will need to get access to the motherboard, which is actually quite easy (For full instructions, including pictures, you need to consult the User's Guide which came with the computer)

Make sure you shut down the computer before installing any new parts

Remove the back bezel, unscrew the security screws from the vertical metal plate and slide the motherboard out, now determine which Ethernet card you will install

Step 2.

In terms of what Ethernet card to install, a few to choose from include: PCI, LC/PDS, NU-BUS, COM Slot I or COM Slot II ( If you are not sure which your machine takes use the Wizard here

Step 3.

Once you have chosen the correct Ethernet card and installed it and your network is wired up you may proceed

Step 4.

With only two Computers in this network you can use a 10Base-T crossover cable and obviate the need for a hub, although I'd recommend a hub myself: 5-port 10Base-T hubs are inexpensive these days and they make setting up a small Ethernet LAN a lot less problematic) you need to get the two machines talking to each other. The instructions which follow are based on using Mac OS 8.6. -9.2.2

The Set Up:

The first step is to set both machines up so that they are talking AppleTalk over the Ethernet cabling.To do this take the following steps:

Select the AppleTalk control panel from the Control Panels sub-menu of the Apple menu.

The Apple menu is reached via the old six-colour Apple logo next to the File menu on the extreme left of the menu bar

From the Connect via pop-up menu in the resultant window choose the appropriate Ethernet option

The appropriate option on the G4 will almost certainly be 'Ethernet built-in.' Depending on the particular Ethernet card you put into the Performa you should see something along the lines of 'Comm Slot Ethernet' or 'Ethernet PDS.' It should be pretty obvious from the available options which is the correct choice

Click the Options... button towards the bottom right of the AppleTalk window

If you don't see an Options... button do the following:

Choose User Mode... from the Edit menu

In the User Mode dialogue box which appears, click the Advanced radio button and click OK.

When the User Mode dialogue box closes you should see several new bells and whistles appear in the AppleTalk window, including an Options... button

In the AppleTalk Options dialogue box which appears, click the Active radio button and click OK

Click the AppleTalk window close box (in the top left-hand corner of the window) or choose either Close or Quit from the File menu

An alert box will appear asking if you want to:

Save changes to the current configuration?

Click the Save button.

Do these steps on both machines

Now that both machines are talking AppleTalk on the same wiring the next step is to get File Sharing going on one machine. Since the primary purpose of this process is to move files from the old Performa to the new G4 we'll use the Performa as our file server (so to speak). To turn File Sharing on do the following:

Select the File Sharing control panel from the Control Panels sub-menu of the Apple menu.

In the Network Identity section of the resultant window enter appropriate values for the Owner Name, Owner Password and Computer Name

For example I'd probably choose '[your dad's first name and surname]' for the Owner Name and something like 'The old warhorse' or 'Performa 6300' for the Computer Name.

BTW, these values are probably of more use on a larger LAN. Let's say you were setting File Sharing up on a corporate LAN so as to share a particular project folder with the workgroup associated with said project. Once things were setup as you wished the members of the workgroup will have access to the folder you've shared. If you are up two floors, however, and suddenly realise you need access to a file that is outside the folder you've allowed others to access, you can simply sit down at another computer and connect to your machine using your owner name and password and, voila, you'll be able to see the entire computer, not just the shared folder

Of course, this is a pretty spectacular security hole if you are actually in such an environment and you choose an easy to workout password

FWIW, I'd recommend giving some thought to having an effective password even on this small two-node LAN if only to get into the habit

Click the Start button in the File Sharing off section

The Status sub-section will change to say 'File Sharing starting up' for some time (up to five minutes depending on how large an HD the Performa)

When File Sharing is finished starting up the section title will change to File Sharing on and the Status sub-section will change to read 'Click Stop to turn off file sharing. This prevents others users from accessing shared folders.'

Strictly speaking, this next step isn't necessary. At this point you can, if you wish, jump to the section on sharing the Performa's hard drive on the G4 with only the owner of a machine having remote access. The following section, however, covers setting up the machine for guest access, which will make getting to the Performa's HD from the G4 just a tiny bit simpler

Select the Users & Groups control panel from the Control Panels sub-menu of the Apple menu

A window will appear consisting of a short list on the left and a series of buttons on the right. The list will have two columns, Name and Kind and there should be at least two entries: an owner entry (which name should be the Owner Name you set in the Network Identity section of the File Sharing control panel above) and a guest user entry with the name Guest

Double-click on the Guest entry in the list or click once on the entry to select it and then click the Open button to the right.

A window titled Guest will open showing a pop-up menu labelled Show which will be set to Identity. The only info in the area below this pop-up menu should be the following:

Name: Guest.

From the Show pop-up menu select the Sharing option. The area below the pop-up menu will change to present two File Sharing options associated with the Guest user: 'Allow guests to connect to this computer' and 'Allow guests to link to programs on this computer.'

Click the check box next to 'Allow guests to connect to this computer' to turn guest access on.

Close the Guest window and close the Users & Groups window

Now we come to the final step on the Performa; setting up the HD for shared access

Click once on the Performa's HD icon (towards the top-right of the screen, just below the Applications or Process menu) to select it

From the File menu choose Get Info and then choose Sharing from the subsequent sub-menu

A window will appear and in the bottom half of this window will be a section headed 'Share this item and its contents.' Click the check box next to this text

The pop-up menus underneath the words 'Name' and 'Privilege' will now become active

The Owner pop-up menu should already be set to the Owner Name you set in the File Sharing control panel above. To give the Owner complete access to the entire hard drive remotely set the Privilege pop-up menu next to the Owner pop-up menu to 'Read & Write' (it will likely be set such by default). If you close the Info window at this point, you will be able to connect to and have complete access to the entire Performa HD from the new G4 if you enter the Owner Name and Password at the appropriate point in the login process

If you've setup the Performa to allow Guest access (deciding that entering passwords is too much of a pain given the circumstances) so your Dad can mount the Performa's HD at will, set the privileges for 'Everyone' to 'Read & Write.'

Close the Info window

Our last step is to wander over to the G4 and connect to and mount the Performa's hard drive. To wit:

Launch the Network Browser application. There should be an alias to it on the desktop

In a second or two a Network window should open and there should be one entry in the list underneath the various icons. This entry should be whatever name you set in the Computer Name of the Performa's File Sharing control panel.

Double-click this entry. A dialogue box will appear asking you to 'Connect to the file server '[name of server]' as:'

If you've decided to allow Guest access on the Performa the Guest radio button will be active. Simply click this button and click the Connect button.

If you've decided to not setup Guest access on the Performa, the Guest radio button will be inactive and the Registered User button will be selected by default. You will need to enter the Owner Name and Password you setup for the Performa and then click the Connect button to gain access to the Performa's HD over the LAN

A hint for easier access if you've taken the 'Owner-only' route. Open the G4's File Sharing control panel before logging in to the Performa for the first time and set the Owner Name (and Password if you like) to the same value as that on the Performa.

By default, the Mac OS places the Owner Name of the computer you are sitting at in the Name field of the 'Connect to' dialogue box.

Therefore, if you've set the G4 to the same Owner Name as the Performa, your Dad won't need to re-enter this name each time he goes to mount the Performa's HD on his G4

Once you've hit the Connect button (and assuming Guest access works or you've entered a working name and password pair) the Network window should change to show you all the shared items on the Performa

There is only one such item in this particular case: the entire Performa HD

Remember, however, that it is possible to create multiple shared folders or HDs using File Sharing, each with a different set of users allowed access

Double-click on the Performa HD in the Network window

An icon for the Performa HD will appear below the G4's HD icon (and below any other icons lined up underneath the G4's HD icon, eg a mounted CD or Zip disk or the like) and its window will open on the desktop

It's worth noting that, because you've shared the whole HD rather than a folder on said HD, you will see two folders listed on the mounted Performa HD that you won't see when you sit in front of the Performa itself and open the HD window: a Trash and a Desktop Folder. Both folders will also be marked will little locked icons. I'm happy to explain the basis and cause of these folders but suffice to say they are both perfectly normal in this circumstance. Moreover, if your Dad has been storing anything on his Performa's desktop that he needs to copy over to the G4, he'll find those items within the Desktop Folder of the Performa HD mounted on his G4 desktop

That's about it. From this point you can copy stuff from the Performa's HD to the G4's HD just by dragging it from the Performa HD's window to the G4 HD's window or icon. To dismount a remote volume such as the Performa HD simply drag its icon to the Trash or select it and choose Put Away from the File menu

One useful trick, if your Dad plans to continue getting access to the Performa HD over time. He can avoid the Network Browser shuffle by making an alias of the Performa HD and putting said alias somewhere convenient

If you just select the mounted HD icon and choose Make Alias from the File menu you'll get an alias (called '[name of mounted volume] alias') on the G4's desktop

An alternative approach (and one I routinely use) is to do as follows:

Open the G4's HD

Open the System Folder within said HD (BTW if you hold the Option key down as you double-click a folder you'll close the enclosing window in turn, which reduces visual clutter considerably)

Open the Apple Menu Items folder within the System Folder

While holding down the Command and Option keys, drag the icon for the mounted Performa HD to the Apple Menu Items window. (The Command key is between the Option key and the Space-bar and is marked with the Apple icon and a cloverleaf.)

When a pale blue highlight ring appears around the edges of the Apple Menu Items window let go the mouse button

An alias to the Performa HD should now appear within the Apple Menu Items window. More importantly, this alias will appear in the Apple menu where you have access to it from any application

Wherever you choose to put this alias, to mount the Performa's HD in the future simply double-click the alias (or select it from the Apple menu). If you've set the Performa up for Guest access, choosing or double-clicking the alias will cause the HD to mount. If you've set things to require the Owner Name and Password a 'Connect to' dialogue will appear. Simply enter the appropriate values and the HD will mount

Just to connect the graphics to the task you will face: the G4 comes with a 10/100Base-T Ethernet port. To connect it to either a 10Base-T or 100Base-T LAN you simply plug the RJ-45 cable straight in to said port (which is auto-negotiating and will detect the nature of the LAN all by itself)

As noted above the Performa 62xx- and 63xx-series machines don't have built-in Ethernet, although cards aren't hard to acquire. You can get AAUI cards if you want, but 10Base-T cards are no more expensive and save you the further expense of getting an AAUI-to-10Base-T transceiver

Finally, I can't resist passing along this little tip that adds a very cool touch to using the Mac OS on the Internet

Launch the Network Browser application

Click the Shortcuts button/menu (the icon with the hand pointing to the right) and select Connect to Server... from the resultant menu

Enter the following IP address in the text box that appears: '' (without the quotes)

Click the Connect button

A 'Connect to' dialogue box will appear, essentially identical to the one described above with regards connecting to the Performa from the G4 except you are being asked to connect to the file server 'Open Door Shareware.'

Click the Guest radio button and then click Connect

The list section of the Network Browser window should now list two accessible volumes, Info-Mac and OpenDoorPublic. Double-click the Info-Mac volume to have it appear as a mounted volume just like the Performa HD above and its top level window open on the desktop

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