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Navigating the Network

Connecting your Mini to other computers is pretty straightforward. My Mini didn't come with any of the wireless options, so I haven't been able to check out that functionality. I have connected it to my DSL router and successfully transferred files to my other PC systems.

Setting up a networked printer is about the same as you would expect on a Windows-based machine. When I had the Mini connected to the DSL router, I was able to enter the IP address of my Windows server and connect to the HP Laserjet with no problems (see Figure 3).

Figure 3

Figure 3 The Printer Browser works a lot like you would expect on a Windows machine.

I also use the Firewire port to connect the Mini to my Acer laptop. You'll need to configure the IP address for the IEEE 1394 port to match up with the PC. In my case, I used for the Mini and for the Acer. I did have a little trouble with getting the Firewire port on the Acer to talk TCP/IP; this required a few reboots, but it eventually worked.

Now that I have the two machines connected, I use VNC to connect to the Mini from the Acer laptop. To access the Mini remotely, you have to enable Remote Desktop in the System Preferences panel (see Figure 4). I use the free RealNC client program on the Windows side, and it works quite well.

Figure 4

Figure 4 Enabling the remote desktop is a simple process using the Sharing dialog box from the System Preferences panel.

Be aware that when you connect your Mac to a PC file system, you might see some strange filenames showing up, depending on your settings. One of these files, the .DS_Store file, holds information such as the sort order you selected in Finder.

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