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Ask Max: Connecting it all

Asked on 05/26/2006:

I recently purchased an iMac G5 2.1 GHz from PowerMax, which I plan to use along side of my Powerbook 667 G4. In addition, I have an airport extreme base station and airport express set up to my audio system. What would be the best way to share both computers with my Ethernet laser printer, FireWire External hard drives/DVD burner as well as two USB printers connected to a Belkin hub.


It sounds like you are putting together quite the computer setup and the good news is that you already have the equipment you will need to connect it all. Your computers should be connected to the network wirelessly through your Airport Extreme Base Station. Your Ethernet printer should then connect to the Base Station via the open Ethernet port that's located next to the Broadband Ethernet Port. One of your USB printers should then connect to the USB port on your Base Station. You may need to turn on support for USB network printing from the AirPort Admin Utility.

For your second USB printer, you have two options. You can connect it to the USB port on your Airport Express if it's in a good place for a printer, or you can connect it to your iMac. If you connect it to the iMac, you will need to turn on "Printer Sharing" from the Sharing System Preference pane. Since you have the Sharing Preference pane open you should also activate "Personal File Sharing" because you're going to want to share the external hard drives from your iMac as well as the printer. When you're connecting to the iMac from the PowerBook, you will want to log on with the user name and password of the iMac's Administrator account. That way you will be able to mount any Mac formatted drive connected to the iMac; standard users can only mount their home folders. As for your DVD burner, you may no longer need it. The iMac has a SuperDrive for all your DVD burning needs. You may just want to keep it around for DVD backup of your PowerBook.

I think that will get everything you wanted talking to each other.

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