Well, I actually managed to do something technical and new this week. A friend of mine is a total Mac guy, who has worked on Windows machines, but doesn’t know anything about networking them together. He’s out of work and has been trying to beef up his skills on Dreamweaver for the PC, but has most of his graphics stuff on his Mac. He asked me for help and I couldn’t refuse. Besides, I had a spare hub and network cards, not to mention the spare time.
So, we’ve actually been trying to get this to work for some time now, but finally figured out that we needed more “stuff” than the standard networking junk that comes with Windows XP and Mac OS 8. After hunting around, we settled on PC MacLan, by Mirramar Systems. Quite frankly, we were told that it wasn’t the best solution, but it was what we could afford, so we made it work. Basically, what it does is install AppleTalk on Windows XP and then translates the data back and forth between Mac and Windows. We got the little eight port hub set up and the CAT5 cables snaked behind the furniture with no problems. Then, after a bit of a false start, we got it going in short order. We shared out several directories on his Mac and made shortcuts for them in My Network Places on his WindowsXP machine. But, that wasn’t good enough for us. No way! We weren’t satisfied until we could get the HP DeskJet 960C hooked up to the PC and were able to print from the Mac as well as Windows. So, we horsed the printer around to a place where the USB cable would reach the Windows PC and I ran the PC MacLAN print server wizard. It was really pretty easy, but there were some odd quirks. Mainly, it gives new warnings every time a new “session” is started and there’s no way to set it permanently. And, the printing is pretty slow from the Mac, but it does work. Besides, there are some extra steps going on. After all, technically, it is network printing.
It might not be Netware, but at least the stuff I learned while working on my CNE came in handy! Now, I need to really buckle down and work on my CCNA Certification. There have been several jobs that I’m pretty sure I would have had, if only I’d been Cisco Certified already. *sigh* Well, back to the old grindstone.
Oh, by the way, that friend of mine is still out of work. He’s a User Interface designer, but he’s worked in print, too. His name is Patrick McGee and you can find him at Pmcgee.net.