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Learn and Teach, Mac
Share files between Windows and Mac OS X

Overview

To share files between any two machines they will need to be on the same network. The easiest way of doing this is connecting both machines to a common hub, switch, or router. A crossover cable can suffice as well, but it isn’t typically recommended as it has many limitations. Once the machines are connected under the same network, you can use either the Mac or the PC as the host. Using Windows as the host 1. File sharing first needs to be enabled on the Windows machine. This process is different depending on the version of Windows.
  • Windows XP: Go to Control Panel, double click and run through the Network Setup Wizard.
  • Windows Vista: Go to Control Panel, Network and Sharing Center. Expand the File Sharing drop down and click Finally click “Turn on File and Printer Sharing”
  • Windows 7: Go to Control Panel, Network and Sharing Center. Go to Choose Homegroup and Sharing options, Change Advanced Sharing Settings. Finally click “Turn on File and Printer Sharing”.
2. Next, we need to connect to the windows machine from the Mac. You can do this in one of two ways:
  • Automatically: Open up a finder window, and on the left pane you will see shared machines under the “Shared” heading. Find the name of the windows machine you wish to share with. Clicking it will bring up a folder view where you can drag and drop files to/from the shared folder.
  • Manually: Select finder, and click Go > Connect to Server (Shortcut for this is Command+K). Type in the prefix smb:// followed by the ip address or hostname of the windows machine. For example: smb://192.168.1.102 or smb://MyPC
Using Mac OS X as the host
  1. File sharing first needs to be enabled on the Mac machine. To do this, go to System Preferences, and click on the Sharing category. OSX has a multitude of ways to serve files, but right now we are just concerned with sharing for windows. Click the check box next to “File Sharing”. Then, click the options button, and check the box next to “Share files and folders using SMB (Windows)”
  2. Next, make note of the address (IP or hostname) of the Mac. It will be listed at the top of the sharing window.
  3. Finally, we need to connect to the Mac machine from windows. Go to Start > Run (in Windows XP), or use the Quick Search bar (in Vista/Windows 7), and type in \\ followed by the address of the Mac. For example: \\192.168.1.102 or \\MyMac
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Learn and Teach, Mac
Lock or Sleep Your Screen in Mac OS X Locking your Mac’s display (or “sleeping” the display) can be a great security measure when paired with a user account password. While it won’t prevent the outright theft of your Mac, it can be a quick and easy way to prevent nosy family members or coworkers from getting access to your data.   In order for a Mac lock screen command to be effective, you’ll first need to configure System Preferences to require your user account password when unlocking or waking up. To do this, head to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General. Check the box next to “Require Password” and set an interval that meets your workflow. If you want the highest level of security, set it to “immediately.” If you often find yourself accidentally locking your screen, set it to 5 seconds so that you can quickly unlock the display without having to enter your password. Lock Screen Shortcut Mac Next, you’ll need to decide on the exact functionality you want: lock (sleep) the display only, or sleep the entire system. Locking or sleeping the display will shut the display off but keep the Mac running in the background. If you performed the steps above to require a password, users will need to enter the correct account password in order to unlock the display.

Lock or Sleep Only Your Mac’s Screen

To lock your Mac’s screen, simultaneously press the following keys: Control + Shift + Eject. If you have a newer Mac that doesn’t have an optical drive (and thus has no eject key on the keyboard, such as the Retina MacBook Pro), the command is Control + Shift + Power. In both cases, you’ll see your Mac’s display shut off immediately, while the system continues to run in the background. Related: Once your screen is locked, learn how to set a custom lock screen message. Performing a lock or display sleep command is useful for situations in which you’ll only be gone for a few minutes, as it allows you to jump immediately back to work. It’s also a good idea to use if you want to lock your Mac but have applications running in the background, such as a rendering operation or an encryption sequence. The Mac will still chug away at its task; the only difference is that anyone without the password won’t be able to access it.

Sleep Your Entire Mac

The second option is to sleep the Mac entirely. MacBook owners are familiar with sleep; it occurs every time they shut their computer’s lid, or automatically after a user-defined period of time. But users can also trigger an immediate sleep state with a simple keyboard command: Command + Option + Eject. Optical drive-less Mac owners can repeat the substitution discussed above and replace the Eject key with the Power key, resulting in a command for Retina MacBook Pro owners, et al. of Command + Option + Power. Your Mac will immediately go to sleep, shutting down all functions and requiring a password to resume. Users running on battery power who need to step away from their Macs may prefer this option over a locked screen. The practical effect is the same (preventing others from accessing your Mac), but this latter option saves battery power while the user is away. On the other hand, this will stop all background tasks, discussed above, and may not be ideal for users who want their Macs to keep working while they grab a coffee or stop for a bathroom break. Also, it takes longer to wake up from a sleep state than from a display lock state, although on modern Macs with fast SSD storage the time difference between the two options has shrunk considerably. It’s recommended that users experiment with both options to find the one that suits them best. It’s also likely that users, especially those “on the go” with MacBooks, will find occasion to use both frequently. Regardless, having a strong user account password and taking a moment to ensure that your Mac is locked while you are away are both crucial steps to protecting your data. Want news and tips from TekRevue delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for the TekRevue Weekly Digest using the box below. Get tips, reviews, news, and giveaways reserved exclusively for subscribers.  
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Learn and Teach, Mac

Set custom Lock Screen Msg in Mac OS X

Set custom Lock Screen Msg in Mac OS X

How to Set a Custom Lock Screen Message in Mac OS X

Mac users, especially those with portable Macs, will want to take steps to protect their hardware and data in the event of loss or theft. But not everyone who finds a lost Mac is a thief, and it would be nice to provide these good samaritans with the information they need to return your Mac to you. Many traveling businesspeople choose to tape business cards to their laptops, but we don’t want such an inelegant solution to mar your Mac’s hardware, so we’ll use OS X’s built-in lock screen message feature instead. To set a Mac lock screen message, head to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General. Click the padlock icon in the lower-left section of the screen and authenticate as an administrative user. Mac Lock Screen Message System Preferences Find and check the box “Show a message when the screen is locked” and then click Set Lock Message. setlockmsg In the text box that appears, type any information you wish to help return your Mac to you, such as a phone number, address, or email address. We’ve also found that the lock screen message is a handy way to quickly identify identical hardware. At TekRevue, for example, we have two 15-inch MacBook Pros that look the same but run different software. We use the Mac lock screen message to label the first system “Alpha” and the second “Beta,” so that we can quickly tell which system we’ve got in hand. You can enter as much text as you want in the Lock Message box. On the Mac lock screen, OS X will display the top three lines by default, with a scroll bar to view additional text. If you wish to enter line breaks, press Control-Enter. Otherwise, the text will format as a single paragraph. Once you’ve set your message, log out of your user account or lock your screen to see it.    
While our screenshots demonstrated this process using OS X Mavericks, users can set lock screen messages in any version of OS X starting with 10.7 Lion. To disable your Mac’s lock screen message, head back to the Security & Privacy preference pane and uncheck the box referenced above.
   
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