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Ask Max: Can you help with P2P file sharing for Macs?

Asked on 06/24/2009:


I am trying P2P file share a desktop folder so that when I update the file on my computer, it is updated on the folder on the other desktop. (My boss) has wanted the "Active Clients" folder on his desktop. This is a file that I update regularly. However, when I update the file on my computer, it does not update the file on his desktop. I have to delete the file on his desktop and drag the updated version to his desktop. I am sure that there is a way that when I update my file, it will automatically update the file on his desktop. Please advise.

Thank you,




This should not be a problem as long as you both have computers that are always on the same network. The first thing to do is relocate that "Active Clients" folder to a good location on your hard drive for sharing. The "Shared" folder in your Macintosh HD/Users/ folder is a good choice. Now we need to enable network access for that Shared folder. Go to your computer's System Preferences and select Sharing. Mark the check box next to the File Sharing option. Now with Mac OS X 10.5 you have many file sharing features that will let you specifically select the folders you want to share and who has access to them. If you have that version of the Mac OS you can Select the shared folder and add a access account for your Boss With the [+] button �

under users.

If you are using Mac OS 10.4, then you can just move over to your Boss' computer and click on the Desktop. Then mouse over to the Go menu and down to "Connect To server." The Server Address will be afp://'s.IP.address and you can find your computers IP address from the Network section of your computer's System Preferences (it will look like After you have entered the server address, click on the [Connect] button. You will be prompted for a Username and password. Enter your computer's user name and login password or if you setup a account for your Boss, enter it there.

Before you click the [Connect] button again, mark the checkbox for "Remember this password in my keychain. You will be asked what Volume you want to mount, Select the "Shared" folder if it is presented or select your hard drive. Once you have a connection to your computer from your Boss' computer, you will then want to make a shortcut to the �"Active Clients" folder. Navigate to where the folder is located. Control click on it and Select "Make Alias." Then drag the alias to the desktop of your Boss' computer.

Back at your computer, go the the Shared folder and move the alias for the "Active Clients" folder to your desktop. Now you both have an alias on your desktop for the same folder. If all that looked Like a big mess of convoluted steps, there is a shareware program that will save you some headache. Look at SlingShot 2.0 to keep your folder in sync, without the networking hoops to jump �

through. There is a free trial so at least give it a look.

- Jacob

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