Mac iBook and Networking with Vista

by Terry 5/25/2008 11:08:00 AM

Michael and Conny have two laptops, an older iBook with OS X and a new Toshiba laptop with Vista. Some time back I gave them my spare Linksys router for network and Wi-Fi access. They were never able to get the Mac to use the network properly, so I played with the Mac until it relented and connected to the network.

I am not a big Mac user, but I do like OS X. As Jerry Pournelle has written before, a task on a Mac is either easy or impossible. I did not take detailed notes, as I did not plan on doing any computer work at all while I was there, so I did not record dialogs and steps taken to get the successful results. However I did note two things that flat out irritated me about the Mac.

Configuring the network settings in one chain of dialogs gave me no way to cancel the operation. I eventually found the Force-Quit menu option, but this was anything but obvious to me. I will chock that up to being primarily a Windows user. I am sure what I was trying to do was obvious to any experienced Mac user.

I used the Mac Finder, with Help, to successfully connect to the Vista laptop on the network; having already configured a share on the laptop for the Mac to see. What was irritating was how the Mac behaved after I shutdown the Vista laptop. The Mac really did not like not finding the configured share. After several long delays to attempt to connect the Mac would repeatedly display a dialog that it could not connect to the share and I should consider disconnecting the share from Finder or I will be most unhappy, thank you. This is Michael’s laptop, and he is definitely not a power-user. It will take some training for him to reconnect the share when he needs it and leaving the connection defined will cause more headaches. This is not an optimum condition for a typical scenario. One day I will have a Mac and if this condition still exists, it will drive me to a minor fury.

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About Terry Losansky

Terry Dee Losansky

I am a software architect, actively practice and teach martial arts and live in Snoqualmie, Washington. I have an amazing daughter who is the jewel of my life.

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