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Using iDisk

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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Connecting to Your iDisk

If you're using Mac OS X, there are a few different ways of connecting to your iDisk, depending on what version of Mac OS X you're running. If you're using Mac OS 9, you'll need additional software to connect to your iDisk (see the sidebar "When David Met Goliath," later in this chapter). Your iDisk uses a network protocol called WebDAV, which simply means that it uses some of the same kinds of connections you'd use to load a Web page in a browser. Since WebDAV is a cross-platform protocol, you can connect to your iDisk using a Mac running Mac OS X and Mac OS 9, as well as a Windows machine running Windows XP, Windows 2000, or Windows 98.

Mac OS 9 doesn't have WebDAV built in, so it can't by itself connect to an iDisk. Fortunately, there's a handy bit of Mac OS 9 software, called Goliath, that does the trick. Found at DAV & Goliath (, this utility makes connecting to your iDisk a breeze.

Windows XP uses an Apple-created utility to connect to an iDisk; you can download it from your .Mac account. The utility is somewhat similar to Goliath, except that it requires more work to install. Windows 2000, however, has built-in support for connecting to WebDAV-based online storage accounts (much like Mac OS X), and it does not need Goliath to do the job.

To connect to iDisk using Mac OS X 10.3 or later

  1. From the Go menu, choose iDisk > My iDisk (Command-Shift-I) ( Figure 3.2 ).

    Figure 3.2 Since iDisk access is built into recent versions of Mac OS X, connecting to your iDisk is as easy as choosing Go > iDisk > My iDisk (Command-Shift-I).

    The Connect To iDisk dialog opens, asking for your .Mac member name and password (unless you've already entered that information in System Preferences, in which case your iDisk mounts automatically on your Desktop) ( Figure 3.3 ).

    Figure 3.3 To connect to your iDisk (if you haven't entered your iDisk information in System Preferences), enter your .Mac member name and password, and click Connect.

  2. Enter your .Mac member name and password, and click Connect. Your iDisk, which looks like a small globe with your .Mac member name underneath it, mounts on your Desktop, and you can use it like any other volume ( Figure 3.4 ). The connection to your iDisk is maintained until you disconnect it or shut down your computer.

    Figure 3.4 Once you've connected to your iDisk, you can use it as you would any other network volume. It shows up in the sidebar and on the Desktop, and you can browse it using any view—list, icon, or column.

To connect to iDisk using Windows XP

  1. Using a Web browser, go to Apple's Download iDisk Utility page ( and download the iDisk Utility for Windows XP (iDiskUtility_ ( Figure 3.12 ).

    Figure 3.12 The iDisk Utility for Windows is available for download from the .Mac Web site.

    The file downloads to your hard drive, but it's compressed, so you'll need to decompress it before you can install it.
  2. Unzip the iDisk Utility ( Figure 3.13 ).

    Figure 3.13 Once downloaded, the iDisk Utility for Windows appears in its compressed form.

    The iDisk Utility installer is decompressed, and a folder that contains it appears in the location where you normally download files, ready for installation ( Figure 3.14 ).

    Figure 3.14 The iDisk Utility for Windows, once uncompressed, resides in its own folder.

  3. Install iDisk Utility for Windows by double-clicking the iDisk Utility installer icon. The welcome pane opens.
  4. Read the welcome message and copyright warning, and then click Next ( Figure 3.15 ).

    Figure 3.15 The first step when installing the iDisk Utility for Windows XP is to read the welcome and copyright warning message.

    The license agreement opens.
  5. After reading the license agreement, click the I Agree radio button and then click Next ( Figure 3.16 ).

    Figure 3.16 To proceed with the installation, read the license agreement and click the I Agree radio button.

  6. If the default installation location is acceptable, click Next ( Figure 3.17 ).

    Figure 3.17 When installing the iDisk Utility for Windows, you're given a default installation location and the option to install it for everyone who uses the computer, or just for yourself. The default settings are fine for most people; feel free to change them if you need to.

    The Confirm Installation pane opens.
  7. To begin the installation, click Next ( Figure 3.18 ).

    Figure 3.18 Click Next in the Confirm Installation pane to install the iDisk Utility for Windows XP.

    The Installing iDisk Utility for Windows pane opens, and a progress bar shows the installation of the software. It only takes a short time—under a minute—and you don't have to do anything during the process.
  8. When the Installation Complete pane appears, click the Close button. The iDisk Utility for Windows XP has been installed and is ready to use.
  9. From the Start menu, choose All Programs > .Mac Utilities > iDisk Utility for Windows > iDisk Utility for Windows ( Figure 3.19 ).

    Figure 3.19 Choose Start > All Programs > .Mac Utilities > iDisk Utility for Windows > iDisk Utilty for Windows.

    The iDisk Utility opens, and the iDisk Utility for XP login dialog opens ( Figure 3.20 ).

    Figure 3.20 To connect to an iDisk using the iDisk Utility for Windows XP, you'll need to enter your .Mac member name in the "iDisk account" field, enter your password in the Password field, and choose the drive to which your iDisk gets mounted.

  10. In the "iDisk account" field, enter your .Mac member name.
  11. In the Password field, enter your .Mac password.
  12. Click the iDisk radio button to select it.
  13. From the Drive pop-up menu, choose a drive to which your iDisk gets mounted.
  14. Click the Mount iDisk button. Your iDisk is mounted as a network volume ( Figure 3.21 ).

    Figure 3.21 Once mounted, your iDisk appears like any other network drive in your My Computer window.

To connect using Windows 2000

  1. Double-click the My Computer icon. The My Computer window opens ( Figure 3.22 ).

    Figure 3.22 In Windows 2000, you'll need to open a new window to access the Tools menu. Here, we've chosen to do this from the My Computer window, but it can be done from just about any window, such as the My Documents window.

  2. From the Tools menu, choose Map Network Drive ( Figure 3.23 ).

    Figure 3.23 From the Tools menu in Windows 2000, choose Map Network Drive to connect to your iDisk.

    The Map Network Drive dialog opens.
  3. At the bottom of the dialog, click "Create a shortcut to a Web folder or FTP site" ( Figure 3.24 ).

    Figure 3.24 Near the bottom of the Map Network Drive dialog, click "Create a shortcut to a Web folder or FTP site."

    The Add Network Place Wizard dialog opens ( Figure 3.25 ).

    Figure 3.25 In the only field in this dialog, type your iDisk URL (which looks like, replacing yourmembername with your .Mac member name).

  4. In the field labeled "Type the location of the Network Place," type (replacing yourmembername with your .Mac member name) and click Next ( Figure 3.26 ).

    Figure 3.26 This is what a properly formed iDisk URL should look like. This one, of course, is the one I use to connect to my iDisk, so it won't work so well for you…

    The Enter Network Password dialog opens.
  5. In the "User name" and Password fields, enter your .Mac member name and password, and click OK ( Figure 3.27 ).

    Figure 3.27 To set up the connection to your iDisk, you need to provide your .Mac member name and password in the "User name" and Password fields, respectively.

    The Add Network Place Wizard dialog opens, asking you to name your new Network Place ( Figure 3.28 )—Windows fills this in for you.

    Figure 3.28 The final thing you need to do when creating your iDisk connection is to give it a name. This is the name that will appear under the icon in your My Network Places folder.

  6. If you don't like the Network Place name that Windows provided, type a new name for your Network Place (such as "My iDisk"), and click Finish. Your iDisk opens in a new window ( Figure 3.29 ).

    Figure 3.29 When you open your iDisk in Windows, it looks very much like any other storage device, complete with files and folders.

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