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How to Make Mac OS X Do Windows

Mac OS X comes with a Windows file-sharing client, Active Directory integration and support for classic Mac applications. Users of System 7 Macs can get some cross-platform functionality by using Thursby Software Systems' DAVE (

The main areas of Mac-Windows integration are file sharing, printing, authentication, remote administration and support for Windows applications.

File and Print

Mac OS X users can connect to a Windows share using the built-in Samba client. Samba uses the native Windows file-sharing protocol SMB (Server Message Block), which lets the Mac connect via IP using a Windows-native protocol. That's a big improvement. In the past, the only way to connect was via AppleTalk, and you had to run "File Services for Mac" on the Windows box first, or buy a third-party add-on, such as DAVE.

We've used the Samba client for connecting to both Windows NT and 2000 servers in our Syracuse University Real-World Labs®. The Mac user selects "Connect to Server" from the Go menu, types in an IP address or server name, and authenticates. He or she also can specify a workgroup or domain. From there, the user can mount a shared volume, and the Windows server needs no modifications. The user can also store his or her home directory on a Windows file server, though Apple recommends using an AFP (Apple File Protocol) or NFS server.

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