Hands On: Dave 3.1
by Alan Zisman (c) 2002
First published online by Low
End Mac.com, January 7, 2002 Mac2Windows series
Many Mac users need to either run the occasional PC
program or connect
Windows network to share files or printers. But when they
to OS X,
they were out of luck -- popular programs that provided these
functions (such as
Connectix's Virtual PC and Thursby's Dave) simply did not work
under OS X.
This winter, new versions of both Virtual PC and
Dave have been
providing support for both classic Mac OS's and OS X in the same
We looked at VPC last Friday and examine Dave in
While emulators like Virtual PC let you actually
run PC operating
programs on your Mac, many of us have needs that are less
simply need to connect our Mac to a Windows network so we can
share files and
printers on the network.
With both Macs and Windows systems using the
would seem simple, but it isn't. Macs and Windows speak different
dialogues: AppleTalk and Client for Microsoft Networking
on networking Macs and Windows, see Living in a Windows World)
Dave, from Thursby Software, has long been the
leader at letting
a Mac join an
existing Windows network. (If you've got an existing Mac network
and want to
add a PC or two, take a look at Miramar System's PC MacLAN).
Versions up through 2.5 let Mac users log into a
PC network and
access the PC's
shared folders and shared Postscript printers. Moreover, unlike
Connectix's DoubleTalk (and Thursby's lower-cost MacSoho),
also access folders and Postscript printers on the Mac(s).
Dave 2.5 integrated itself into the classic Mac
appearing in the
Chooser and also adding Apple Menu and Control Strip icons. Dave
2.5 users who
upgraded to OS X were out of luck, however. None of those
under the new operating system.
So Thursby went right to work on Dave: The Next
designed to work under OS X as well as classic OS 8.6 or above.
But as other
developers found, Apple's OS X 10.1 upgrade broke everything
forcing them to start over.
Moreover, as Steve Jobs demonstrated at Macworld
New York in July
2001, OS X
10.1 included built-in Samba (a.k.a. SMB) support, an open source
connecting to Windows networks.
Thursby tossed the unreleased 3.0 version,
replacing it with 3.1
this winter, with
simultaneous support for OS X 10.1 and classic OS 8.6 and above.
these are two completely separate programs.
Dave 3.1 for classic Mac operating systems is a
to version 2.5.
As with previous versions, it integrates nicely into the classic
Mac way of
working, making working with files and Postscript printers shared
systems appear as if they were native Mac drives, folders, files,
Select a printer in the Chooser using Dave, and it appears as
a desktop printer.
Similarly, Windows users can access files and Postscript printers
set as sharable
on the Mac -- without having to know that they're really
to a very
different computer system.
The improvements over version 2.5 are subtle: an
system extensions (with all options accessible from a single
support, large file support, and Unicode International Character
support. If you're
staying in the classic Mac environment, you may see little need
to spend US$90
on this upgrade (US$150 for new purchasers).
The big news, obviously, is support for OS X.
It's not a simple matter to move a system-level
add-in like Dave
to Apple's new
operating system. It's not just a question of recompiling the
OS 9 version. OS X
has no Chooser, for example. Networking is built on a totally
It would be easy to recommend Dave 3.x if we
were still talking
Dave to 10.0. It is possible to add Unix-style SMB networking
support to OS X
10.0, but it's not for the faint-of-heart (or the typical Mac
Mac OS 10.1, however, promises built-in SMB
support. Apple's website
"We've also added support to natively connect to Windows NT,
and Unix-based SAMBA file servers with the built-in SMB client.
appear right in the Finder like any other file server."
The built-in support is just a step up from a
raw Terminal command
line. Click on
the OS X's Finder's Go menu, then on Connect to Server. In the
type something like SMB://server_name/share_name, and the shared
folder will appear
on the Desktop. You don't know the server's name? The share name?
you won't get any hints from the operating system.
You want to put icons for more than one shared
folder on the Desktop
same time? Sorry -- no can do.
You want to share files or printers on your Mac?
Well, maybe you
can learn how
to do it using open source SMB add-ons, configuring them in the
again, this is not for the faint of heart.
Just as the classic version of Dave uses
standard operating system
tools like the
Chooser and Control Strip, Thursby made the OS X version
operating system's System Preferences and Finder. With Dave
previously unfriendly Connect to Server dialogue gets a new Dave
-- choose it, and it starts opening up like the Finder's new
showing network servers and shared folders, making it much easier
to use than
Apple's bare-bones version.
Moreover, OS X users of Dave can choose to have
their Mac share
Windows users, and (new to this version, and in OS X only), many
inkjet printers connected to the Mac can be shared across the
Unlike the classic OS version, however, OS X
users cannot access
Windows printers. Many users may find this a major
As well, there are a number of rough edges to
the OS X version.
For instance, on
both Macs that I tried it on, installing both the classic and
OS X version resulted
in an error message shutting down, restarting, or logging off
OS X -- there was a
complaint about the Dave Shutdown item installed by the classic
Booting to OS 9 and using the Extensions Manager control panel
to turn that off
Thursby's email tech support was very helpful
and hinted that
the company is
hard at work trying to bring the OS X version's printing support
up to the level of
the classic OS version.
If you're not sure if it's for you, the company
has fully functional
evaluation versions of both the classic and OS X versions
from their website.