Hey, you got Mac in my PC network!-- YAU PC

by Alan Zisman (c) 1999. First published in Vancouver Computes, May 1999

Roy wrote:

I'm interested in networking a Mac into my PC network.  The Mac in question is a Performa 6400.

Alan replied:

Two ways to network Macs + PCs:

-- to include a PC into a Mac-centric network (i.e. using AppleTalk), the commercial MacLan product works well... it installs itself on the W95/NT PC, adding AppleTalk protocols. (www.miramarsys.com)

-- to include a Mac into a PC-centric network, a good product is the oddly-named Dave, from Thursby Software (www.thursby.com). There?s a try-out version on their website.

It installs onto your Mac, and works with TCP/IP. With it installed and running, your Mac can see your shared PC drives and printers, access files, etc. You can store Mac files on your PC's zip drive, for instance, and print using a postscript printer connected to the PC.
Equally, the PC can see the Mac's drives and files, via network neighborhood.

The problem doing this on the Mac (as opposed to the PC) is that if you're also using TCP/IP to access the Internet, you need to have separate TCP/IP settings... and unlike the PC, you can only use one at a time, and need to re-start the Mac to switch.

The way around that is to keep the modem connected to the PC, and use proxy server software (like WinGate) on that machine-- then (after setting Netscape or IE on the Mac to connect via the proxy server (a simple configuration setting), opening the browser on the Mac causes the PC's Dial Up Networking to connect to the Internet. Pretty neat!

Michael Monasteri  wondered:

I?m setting up a home office with 3-5 computers. I have a network interface card for each computer and a hub. I haven?t decided on the cable connection yet ( which do you suggest). But I?d like to know once I set up the network do I have to assign any kind of IP address to each computer?

I was planning on using: Netbeui, Client for Microsoft Networks, and file and print sharing. Do I also have to use TCP/IP?

Alan responded:

1) If you have a hub, you're typically using 10baseT cabling, which is probably a better choice then coax cabling, since if you have problems with one cable it won?t take down the rest of the network, and it?s less likely to get accidentally unplugged.

2) No, use of TCP/IP is a choice... using it allows you to use a proxy server to share a single Internet connection across your network (additional software such as Wingate or WebEtc required).

Otherwise, Netbeui works fine, with no addressing required. It?s simpler to set up than TCP/IP. all you need is to properly identify each computer with a unique machine name, and as members of the same workgroup.

Johnny Bowen queried:

Is there any Win9x software out there that will let someone type in authentic Spanish with accent marks, tildes, etc?

Alan answered:

Most Windows fonts include accented characters (etc)... accessing them is not particularly intuitive... it takes knowing a code number, and holding down the ALT key while pressing the code number on the numeric keypad.

Windows includes an accessory: Character Map (Charmap.exe), which shows all the characters in a font, and shows the keycodes used to get them. (Or it can be used to copy individual characters to the clipboard-- but it's faster to use the keycodes). Charmap is not installed in a default installation, but can be added using Control Panel/Add-Remove Programs/Windows Setup/Accessories.

When you find the characters you want to use, copy their codes onto a PostIt Note (tm) and stick it onto the corner of your monitor. Low tech but effective.

Alternatively, install a second keyboard setup, using Control Panel/Keyboard/Language/Add... there are several Spanish options. This gives you a little keyboard icon in the toolbar. When using one of the International options, pressing a key combination gives you accented characters-- i.e. a then ' for an accented a. If you mostly type in English but want to add accented characters, you?ll find an International English keyboard setup that?s a nice compromise?if you mostly type in Spanish, you may prefer to choose one of the dedicated Spanish choices.

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Alan Zisman is a Vancouver educator, writer, and computer specialist. He can be reached at E-mail Alan