We found feng shui by adding a Mac to our combination Ethernet/ Wi-Fi home network, which consisted of two desktops, a notebook, a network laser printer, and a personal inkjet. Our Power Mac G5 joined the party via an internal Apple wireless AirPort Extreme card. Computers on the network were running Windows 98, Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2, and Mac OS X 10.3.7.
- A Mac desktop or laptop
- An Airport Extreme wireless card
- A wireless router
They may be a little pricey compared to their Windows counterparts, but Macs have been enchanting consumers with their high style, ease of use, and raw power for more than 20 years.
EDITORS' FIRST CHOICE:
Apple Power Mac G5 (dual 2.7GHz)
Apple upgraded the Power Mac G5 with Mac OS 10.4 Tiger and faster parts, but our complaints about limited expandability still apply.
Read Apple Power Mac G5 review
The latest Wi-Fi access points provide a fast, easy, and affordable way to set up a home network.
EDITORS' FIRST CHOICE:
Belkin Wireless Pre-N router
If you want to grace a large area with wireless coverage and you're concerned about range, Belkin's new MIMO-enabled router is a good alternative to a router/repeater solution.
Read Belkin Wireless Pre-N router review
|Before you begin, you'll need to change your Mac's workgroup name to match that of your existing workgroup.
Our Mac will use its built-in wireless AirPort card to communicate with the network's SMC router.
Next, from the Apple menu, open the System Preferences option. In the Internet & Network row, double-click the Network icon. Click the Location box's drop-down arrow, select New Location, and give your Mac a network name.
If you're using a wired connection, select Built-in Ethernet in the Show box. For a wireless network, select AirPort, choose the name of your network, and enter a password, if required.
To give the Mac a distinctive name, reopen the Apple menu and select System Preferences. In the Internet & Network row, double-click the Sharing icon and enter a name. Then click the Services button to review the list of services. Highlight any one to view a brief description. If you're uncertain about which option to choose, check the four Sharing options and clear the others.
- Select My Network Places from the Windows XP Start menu.
- In the Network Tasks column, select "Add a network place." This opens the Add Network Place wizard.
- Click Next, select "Choose another network location," and click Next again.
- Open the drop-down menu and select \\192.168.2.xxx\.username as the username, ("xxx" is your PC's ID and "username" is the name you've used on the Mac).
- Click Next, type a distinctive name, click Next again, and click Finish.
- Open the Mac's Go menu.
- Select the Network option and double-click the Network icon in the left frame of the Network window.
- You'll see a few icons in the right frame, one of which is the name of your workgroup. Double-click it, and you should see an icon for each PC currently running.
If one of the PCs on your network is running Windows 98, you'll either have to buy special software to enable it to find your Mac or upgrade it to Windows XP. If you decide on the former, we recommend Computer Associates' PC MacLan for Windows 95/98.
Step 6: Share a printer between PC and Mac
To allow the Mac to use a printer physically connected to a port on a networked PC, you'll need to configure both the Mac and the PC.
Configuring your PC to share a printer
Note: Chances are you've already done this if other PCs on your network have been using this printer.
- On the PC that has the printer connected, open the Control Panel.
- Double-click the Printers And Faxes applet and right-click the appropriate printer.
- Select the Sharing tab. Make sure the Share This Printer radio button is enabled.
- Choose a Share name and click Apply, then the OK button.
Configuring your Mac to share a printer
- Open the Mac's Apple menu and select System Preferences.
- In the Hardware row, double-click the Print & Fax icon. Click the Set Up Printers button, then double-click the Add icon.
- Choose Windows Printing in the first drop-down box. Choose Network Neighborhood in the second drop-down box.
- Double-click the name of your workgroup, then the name of the PC to which the printer is connected.
- Enter the username and password, or just click the OK button if neither is required.
- Highlight the name of the printer and select the appropriate settings via the Printer Model box at the bottom of the Printer List window.
- Cick the Add button.
If you have more than one printer on the network, highlight the new printer, click the Show Info button, and enter a distinctive name to distinguish this printer from the others.
On our test system, a network card in our LaserJet printer was connected via cable to our router. If you have a similar setup, you'll need to know the printer's IP address, which will be in the form 192.168.2.xxx, where "xxx" is a three-digit number.
Although each network computer usually gets its own address dynamically, the printer address may be staticthat is, it doesn't change as your computers are powered on and off. This means an address conflict could occur if one of the computers on your network picks up the same IP address as your printer.
To avoid such grief, make sure the printer address is set to a number greater than the number of computers on your network. In other words, if four computers are 101 through 104, set the printer to 105 or greater. You may need to play a certain amount of button roulette at the printer panel to discover the current address and change it if necessary. Consult your printer manualeach printer does things a little bit differently.
Once you have the number down, here's how to configure your network printer.
- Open the Mac's Apple menu and select the System Preferences option.
- In the Hardware row, double-click Print & Fax.
- Click the Set Up Printers button and double-click Add.
- The entries in the two boxes at the top of the window will depend on your particular printer type. If in doubt, try IP Printing, and select Internet Printing Protocol as the Printer Type.
- Enter the printer address in the box with that name, and select the appropriate printer via the Printer Model box at the bottom of the window.
For a quick check, follow these steps.
- Double-click the Macintosh HD icon and open the Applications folder.
- Open the TextEdit applet and type a few test lines.
- Open the File menu, select Print, and make sure the right printer is listed.
If all goes well, your Mac and PCs should now be getting along just fine, bringing a touch of harmony to your Windows-driven world.