What you might see when you connect.
One of the things that threw me for a loop when I started using Leopard on my computers was the way Leopard identified folders on shared disks when a shared computer is set up to synchronize with an iDisk. Here are two examples.
In this first example, I’ve connected to my PowerBook, which happens to be running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. (As I explain here, although my 12-in Powerbook met the minimum requirements for running Leopard, it didn’t run it as well as I liked, so I downgraded it back to Tiger.) The PowerBook’s hard drive is a bit too small for me to turn on iDisk syncing, which basically copies the contents of your iDisk to your hard disk. So iDisk synching is disabled on this computer.
Note that connecting to the computer using my user account on that computer offers only two options: mlanger (my home folder) and On the Go (the computer’s hard disk). Because I’m logged in with my regular user account on that computer, I have full access to the entire hard disk.
If I connect to that same computer as a guest, I get only one option: mlanger. Selecting that folder offers access to just the public folder on my Home folder on that computer, with a Drop Box for incoming files. This is the default guest setup on a computer running Mac OS X Tiger.
In this next example, I’ve connected to my iMac computer, which is running Leopard and has two user accounts: mlanger (or Maria Langer) and captvideo (or Capt Video). iDisk synching is enabled, so a network volume icon containing the contents of my iDisk appears on my iMac’s desktop.
When I’m connected to the computer with my regular user account, I have access to numerous items:
- Capt Video’s Pubic Folder and Maria Langer’s Public Folder are the public folders for the two accounts on the computer. Selecting one of these would display the contents of the appropriate public folder, along with the Drop Box folder within it. In addition, if I logged in as a guest, only these two folders would be listed for the shared computer.
- mlanger is my iDisk. Unfortunately, my .Mac account name is the same as the account name on my computer — and yes, the passwords are different — so there’s a bit of confusion there sometimes.
- mlanger_HomeDir is my home folder on the iMac. You can see the contents in the screenshot here; I’ve added a few folders to customize it a bit.
- Thinking Big is my hard disk on the iMac.
Of course, the more user accounts or shared items there are on a shared computer, the more items will be listed. Your access to items is limited based on your privileges set up on the computer on which they reside.
You can learn more about related topics in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: Visual QuickStart Guide:
- Networking and File Sharing, Chapter 20
- Multiple Users, Chapter 21