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  Porting Files Across Platforms Using FTP:
Part One
  Note: This tutorial is only a very brief description of a sample network. Networking is a complex subject, but the newer operating systems make it a lot easier than in the past. Nevertheless, you should be prepared to make a tech support call or two if you've never setup a network. Also, take care in purchasing networking components to ensure compatibility.

Porting files across platforms using FTP is another way to use a network to share files between the Macintosh® and Windows® operating systems. The previous tutorials showed how to setup a Mac®-Win network with PC MACLAN. In that setup, files can be ported back and forth using the Finder on the Mac. This tutorial describes an alternative method.

In some situations you won't be sharing files on a continuing basis as with PC MACLAN. You may only need to share files infrequently or port a few files at a time or port a batch of files at one time. In this case, you can use FTP (File Transfer Protocol).

The Basic Way This Works

The basic idea behind using FTP to port files across platforms is simple. Both computers must be setup on a network using the TCP/IP protocol and cabled together with an Ethernet hub. This setup will work on Mac OS 8.5 or higher and on a PC running Windows 98 Second Edition. Windows® 98 Second Edition includes Internet Connection Sharing (ICS). With ICS The PC is the host for the Internet connection for the other (client) computers on the network. ICS uses DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). This basically means that it assigns an IP address (Internet Protocol address) to each client computer on the network - including the Macintosh®.

TCP/IP Configuration

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) provides a means for computers with different hardware and operating systems to communicate with each other across the Internet. It uses a scheme whereby each computer has a unique address that is recognized by the network. In order for the Mac to be recognized by the network it has to be assigned an IP address by the PC which functions as the DHCP server. In the TCP/IP Control Panel on the Mac, choose "Configure:" "Using DHCP Server". This setting will cause the PC to assign the Mac an IP address and allow it to be recognized on the network. On the PC click Start > Run and enter "winipcfg" (without the quotes) in the "Open:" drop-down box. This will display the IP address of the PC. It will be a number like Write down this number. You will need it later when using the FTP client program on the Mac.

Always Use The Mac as The Client

In this setup, as with all Mac-Win networking, always use the Mac as the Client and the PC as the host (server). This is covered more thoroughly here: pcmaclan1.htm. This means that the PC needs an FTP server program and the Mac needs an FTP client program.

Where To Obtain FTP Software

There are plenty of shareware programs available online to install. In this example I use Anarchie 3.7 as the FTP client for the Mac. This is available from http://www.stairways.com/. On the PC I used the Microsoft® Personal Web Server (included on the Microsoft FrontPage 98 CD). I used the Microsoft Personal Web Server (PWS) in this tutorial mainly because my PC was already setup with it. The PWS includes an FTP service which is adequate for the task. If you don't have PWS you can download the shareware version of FTP Serv-U from http://www.Serv-U.com. This will work equally well, if not better.

The Basic Setup

The basic hardware and software setup is shown below. If the PC doesn't already have an Ethernet NIC (Network Interface Card) installed, you'll have to obtain and install one. Newer Macintosh computers come with an Ethernet port already installed. The two computers are cabled together using an Ethernet hub and category 5 cable.

Running The FTP Server on The PC

1. If the Web Server isn't already running, open the Control Panel and double-click the Personal Web Server icon to display the Personal Web Server Properties. In the "Services" tab it will show that the FTP service is not running ("Stopped").

2. In the "Services" section of the property sheet click the FTP service line, then click "Start".

3. If you want the FTP service to startup when the PWS starts, click the "Properties" button while the FTP service is selected. You will see a section entitled "Startup Options". In this section choose "Automatic (FTP service starts up automatically)".

4. When you install the PWS, it will startup automatically by default. This can be changed. In the Control Panel right-click and drag the Personal Web Server icon onto the desktop to create a shortcut. You can start the PWS manually by double-clicking this shortcut. Then, in the "Startup" tab, un-check "Run the Web server automatically at startup".

5. The default FTP root folder is C:\Webshare\Ftproot. This also can be changed. In the "Administration" tab of the Web Server properties, click the Administration button.

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