Monday's Mac Gadget
by John F. Braun
Need Full Control When Sharing Your Files? Try SharePoints!
One of the great features about Mac OS X is the ability to share your files with others, both over your local network, or, if your firewall allows it, to anyone else on the Internet. Plus, unlike some other operating systems, Mac OS X includes native support for sharing via a variety of protocols, including AppleShare (AFS) Windows (SMB/CIFS) and even FTP. Unfortunately, the Sharing feature defaults to sharing the Public folder in your home directory. If only there was a way to share other folders...
SharePoints is a package that allows you to share any directory using either the AFS protocol, SMB/CIFS, or both. The package can be utilized in one of two ways. You can either use it as a stand-alone application, or install it as a preferences pane so that it is available from your System Preferences. Once you are running SharePoints, you can select from a wide variety of sharing options. The first allows you to set up a "Normal" share. This share can be any directory on your hard drive. You can use the built-in "Browse" button to select the directory, or enter the directory manually if it is one that isn't normally browsable, such as some of the more interesting UNIX directories like /bin.
The "AFS Properties" allows you to fine-tune the behavior of the AFS sharing on your Mac. You can specify a custom greeting which will be displayed when an AFS users connects to your machine. You can also specify idle timeout properties, useful for disconnecting users who aren't actively using a share. There's also an option to allow logging of AFS connections, for those who want to know the gory details of what's happening when these users connect. You can also specify a non-standard TCP port to perform AFS, if you're into that sort of thing.
There are also options for how SMB sharing behaves under the "SMB Props" category. You can set a NetBios and Workgroup names, specify a WINS server, update the Server Info String, and more. Finally, the "Users & Public Shares" option allows you to tweak the behavior of how the aforementioned default sharing behavior works, and the "Groups" option lets you select, what, if any groups each user is part of.
So take full control of the file sharing abilities of Mac OS X, and try SharePoints!
Have any other Gadgets that let you fine-tune Mac OS X behavior? Send an e-mail to John, and he'll think about considering about working on checking it out.
Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.
John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at
You can also Post Your Comments below.
Current Monday's Mac Gadget
- Want to Supercharge Your Dock? Check Out Todos! - August 21st
- Worried About Your Mac Getting Jacked? Get JackSMS - June 12th
- Want iChat with Tabs? Try Chax! - April 3rd
Visit Monday's Mac Gadget Archives for more great Mac Gadgets!
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