File Sharing over the network

Years ago, I could easily share files on a Mac using Appletalk. It wasn’t fast, but it worked. It took about 20 seconds to set up. That was two decades ago. Fast forward to today. I had to transfer tiles to a Windows Vista PC over the network because my last PC formatted drive decided to die this afternoon.

I wanted to share from a Mac running Mac OS 10.5.7 dual booting with Windows 7 RC 1. While I could get Windows Vista to see the Mac, and vice versa, it did not share files. The two computers were attached to the same switching hub. Nothing I set or did seem to make file sharing possible. I have done the same between a Mac and a Windows XP machine many times before, and it worked.  It was not a firewall issue. I even followed the steps on this page, which say to set it up only takes 30 minutes. It still did not work, even though the quoted time was 90 times longer than what was needed two decades ago.

As such, I have decided I will not buy Windows 7 or a computer running it. Microsoft can’t even make a very basic network function work correctly in the age of the Internet. Is it no wonder people turn to bittorrent to share files? I was only able to share the files by setting up web sharing on the Mac and navigating to the page in a web browser. The files downloaded on a gigabit network with no other computers on it at about 700KB/second. Or 1/182nd of the potential speed of the network.

I have to give Apple an F- here as well, since the instructions for file sharing say to tell the PC user to connect to smb://{IP address} . The PC said that it did not understand the URL. That URL is only proper for a computer running Mac OS X or Linux.

Conclusion: Have a USB key that is regularly checked with antivirus software on it if you want to reliably transfer files.

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