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Mac OS 8 & 9: Sharing Files With Windows

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Introduction to pre-OSX Mac - PC File Sharing

There are several ways to share files between computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems and those using Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9.

You can use the following methods to share files between computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems and those using Mac OS 8 and 9. Which method you choose depends on whether you have a server product and from which direction the connection originates (from the Mac or from the Windows machine). You will have to use two or more of these techniques for true bidirectional sharing.

For information on third-party software mentioned, see VersionTracker http://www.versiontracker.com or the Macintosh Products Guide http://guide.apple.com

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Web Sharing

Windows computers can connect to your Mac via Web browsers (HTTP) when you have turned on the Web Sharing feature in the Web Sharing control panel. Choose Mac Help from the Finder's Help menu and search on "Web Sharing" for a variety of topics on this subject. Any computer, not just those using Windows or Mac OS, that can make a standard HTTP connection should be able to get files from your computer via Web Sharing.

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Connect from Mac OS to a Microsoft Windows server product via AFP

If you have a Windows NT or Windows 2000 server, you can turn on Apple File Protocol (AFP). AFP is the native Macintosh file sharing protocol. With AFP enabled, Macs will be able to see the server after selecting the AppleShare icon in the Chooser. For information on enabling AFP on a Windows NT or Windows 2000 server, check the online help on the server, or other documentation that came with it.

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Connect from Mac OS to non-server Microsoft Windows products via SMB

When a Windows product like Windows 95 or Windows 98 does not offer AFP, you can install software on the Macintosh that allows it to connect to SMB, the native Windows file sharing protocol. Some examples of software that allow this are Dave by Thursby software or DoubleTalk by Connectix. This can be particularly advantageous when you have a mixed Windows and Mac OS environment, and the majority of computers use Windows products that do not offer AFP.

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Connect from Windows to Apple server products via SMB

If you have an AppleShare IP 6 or Mac OS X 10.0.3 or later server, you can offer SMB service to which Windows clients can connect. See AppleShare IP and Mac OS X Server Help files and included documentation for more information on setting up this service.

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Connect from Windows to non-server Apple products via AFP

When a Mac OS product does not offer SMB as a service, you can install software on the Windows-based computer that allows it to connect to AFP service. Some examples include Miramar's PC Mac LAN and Thursby's TSTalk. This can be particularly advantageous when you have a mixed Windows and Mac OS environment, and the majority of computers are Macs that do not offer SMB.

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Other Solutions

Other third-party software, including that distributed under Shareware and Freeware license, may offer a solution that works for your environment or budget. Third-party software installed on Mac OS 8 or Mac OS 9 can add the ability to serve via FTP, for example, a popular cross-platform protocol. You may also find client and server software for other popular cross-platform sharing protocols. When searching for software, try key words like: file, server, ftp, sharing, Internet, networking, and cross-platform.

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