Networking the two platforms is pretty simple. Especially with OS X. Mac OS X has some software called Samba built into it which allows it to understand PC networking using the SMB protocol (Linux and Unix often use Samba as well for their networking). If you select "Connect to Server..." from the "Go" menu in the Finder, then you can browse your network. If you have Windows machines on the network that have been set to share files, then those computers should show up in the list.
If the Windows machines don't show up, then look in your "Utilities" folder, inside your "Applications" folder, and open the program called "Directory Access". This program allows you to configure several different directory services. At the bottom of the list you should see SMB. First just make sure that the check box next to SMB is checked, indicating that it is turned on. Then select SMB and click the "Configure" button. In the dialog box that pops up you should make sure the name of the workgroup you have selected is the same as the workgroup on your Windows machines. The default is usualy called WORKGROUP. At the Science Center we have several different workgroups, so using this utility I was able to select the one I wanted to join.
If you are using an older version of Mac OS X that doesn't support browsing Windows networks (I think that's anything pre 10.2) or if you want to connect to a machine that for some reason isn't showing up (perhaps it's on a different workgroup), then you can also just type the computers address directly into the conect to dialog. Just enter "smb://" followed by the IP address of your Windows computer (for instance, smb://192.168.1.102).
I usualy share files by mounting the PC on my Mac, but it is also possible to go the other way as well. It is off by default for security reasons, but if you look in the Sharing pane of your system preferences you'll see a check box for Windows Sharing. Just turn it on and you should be good to go.
If you want to connect a Mac running OS 9 to Windows machines then it's still possible, but you'll need an extra application. I use a program called Dave, from Thursby Systems, which lets Macs and PCs see each other over the network. The latest version of Dave works in OS X as well, and it's supposed to have even better Windows file and printer sharing support than what's built into the operating system, but I haven't played with that myself.
I hope this helps. If any of it doesn't make sense just let me know.
Senior Graphic Artist
California Science Center
[log in to unmask]
From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- on behalf of Jeremy Swan
Sent: Sat 5/15/2004 10:17 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Networking Macs and PCs
> ³You could even network the two computers together without much trouble. That
> way they could both be online at the same time, and they could each see the
> other's hard drive to copy files back and forth. I've done this at home with
> three computers (including a PC) and a printer, all networked together.²
> Jeremy Stoller
> Excellent points, as echoed in my last email, but whatıs the best way to do
> the networking and sharing files cross platform? Is there a program to do it?
> I imagine itıs probably not an easy explanation. I have a wireless hub with a
> mac g-4 and a G-3 ibook (both os 10.2) and a PC with windows 98 first edition
> that Iıd like to network in (all three wireless). The PC is my father in
> laws, and heıs too cheap to buy a new machine. If itıs too complicated, donıt
> sweat it, I really just want to know what works best for you.
> Thanks Jeremy,