your Mac to talk PC?
by Alan Zisman (c) 2002
First published in The
Paper, March 2002
From: Thursby Software
Requires: Mac OS 8.6- 9.2 or 10.1
Estimated price: $225, $140 (upgrade)
If you have a mix of Mac and Windows computers at home
or at work, there
are a lot of advantages to being able to connect them with a network,
files and printers.
Where PC MacLAN lets Windows systems connect to an
existing Mac Appletalk
network, Thursby Software?s Dave takes the opposite tack. It gives Macs
the ability to take full part in a Windows network.
As such, it doesn?t require any changes to your
Windows systems; all
software is added to the Macs. Assuming you already have a Windows
in place, a quick installation and answering a few questions in a setup
wizard is all it takes to enable your Mac to join the club.
After restarting, any Windows PC with file or printer
will show up in the Mac Chooser, just like a native-Mac Appleshare
Double-clicking the server name lets you select a shared printer or
which will appear on the Apple Desktop, ready to use.
(Shared Windows systems do not appear in OS 9?s
Network Browser, but
can be accessed from a Dave icon that is installed in the Apple
Unlike similar-sounding products like Connectix?s
DoubleTalk and Thursby?s
own MacSoHo, Dave gives Mac owners the option to allow their Mac to
its files and printers across the Windows network. With this option
the Mac appears in the Windows systems? Network Neighborhoods, just as
if it was another Windows computer.
The new Dave 3.1 adds native OS 10.1 support?older
versions do not work
with OS X at all, not even in that operating system?s Classic mode. OS
10.1 includes basic SMB (Samba) networking support, allowing Macs to
to Windows networking, but that support is pretty bareboned; users need
to type in a command-line like ?smb://server_name/share_name? in the OS
X Finder?s Connect To Server dialogue box?assuming they know the server
name and share name.
Dave simplifies this by letting OS X users browse the
As well, unlike the basic OS X capability, they can connect to more
one Windows share at a time. As with the OS 9 version, Dave users can
set their Macs to share files and printers with the Windows
Unlike the OS 9 version, the OS X version of Dave
cannot connect to
Windows PostScript printers (Thursby claims to be working to add this
OS X users, however, can share select inkjet printers connected to
Mac across the network.
Bottom-line: If you?re adding a single PC to an
existing Mac network,
PC MacLAN is the way to go. But if you?re adding a single Mac to a
network, Dave is your best bet. There?s a trial version available for
at the company?s Web site.