Using the Public Folder
Using your iDisk's Public folder, you can share files and folders with just about anyone who has Internet access. This Public folder is a special folder on your iDisk that others can connect to without having to use your login and password. The settings for controlling it are built into Mac OS X.
Using your System Preferences, you can set access to the Public folder to allow people to see and download files from it, but not upload to it, or to both upload and download files from it. Setting your Public folder to only allow people to download items from it, however, protects you from having someone upload objectionable material or fill up the folder with stuff you don't want or need.
You upload files to this folder as you would any folder on your iDisk. The folder is special, however, in that items inside it can easily be downloaded by anyone who has access to your .Mac member name. If you're sensitive about who can access your iDisk's Public folder, you can give it a password so that only those who know the password can access it.
To set access to your Public folder
- From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences (
Figure 3.36 From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences to open the—you guessed it—System Preferences application.
- In the Internet & Network section, click the .Mac icon (
Figure 3.37 Some of your .Mac preferences are built into Mac OS X, and you can click the .Mac icon in the main System Preferences window to access them.
Figure 3.38 The .Mac preferences pane defaults to the Account pane, which contains your .Mac member name and password, and it tells you how long you have until you need to re-subscribe.
- Click the iDisk tab.
The iDisk preferences pane opens (
Figure 3.39 The iDisk preferences pane contains good at-a-glance information about your iDisk, including how much storage you have (and have used), whether you have iDisk synchronization turned on, and whether you allow others to upload items to your Public folder (and whether that folder is password protected).
- In the Your Public Folder section, do one of the following:
- To allow users to see and download files from your Public folder but not upload to it, click the Read Only radio button.
- To allow users to upload and download files to and from your Public folder, click the "Read & write" radio button.
To password-protect your Public folder
- From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences. The System Preferences window opens.
- In the Internet & Network section, click the .Mac icon. The .Mac preferences pane opens.
- Click the iDisk tab. The iDisk preferences pane opens.
- In the Your Public folder section, check the "Password protect your Public Folder" check box (
Figure 3.40 Check this box to require guests to enter a password before accessing your Public folder.
Figure 3.41 When setting a password for your Public folder, you have to type it twice—that's to ensure you have the proper spelling for the password.
- In the Password field, type the password you want to use for your Public folder. The text of the password will not appear, but you will see a bullet for each character you type.
- In the Confirm field, type the password a second time. This ensures that you spelled the password properly.
- Click OK. Your Public Folder is password-protected and you are returned to the iDisk preferences pane.
To connect to someone else's Public folder using Mac OS X 10.3 or later
- From the Go menu, choose iDisk > Other User's Public Folder (
Figure 3.42 To connect to someone else's Public folder, choose Go > iDisk > Other User's Public Folder.
- In the "Member name" field, enter the .Mac member name for the Public folder to which you're connecting (
Figure 3.43 Enter the member name of the Public folder to which you want to connect in the Connect To iDisk Public Folder dialog.
- If prompted for a password, enter one (
Figure 3.44 iDisk shows its WebDAV roots when you connect to a password-protected iDisk. Here, enter the password for the Public folder to which you want to connect (the name "public" is already filled in for you).
To connect to someone else's Public folder using Windows XP
- Download and install iDisk Utility for Windows as described in steps 1–10 in "To connect to iDisk using Windows XP," earlier in this chapter.
The iDisk Utility for XP dialog opens (
Figure 3.46 The iDisk Utility for Windows XP lets you connect to Public folders as well as iDisks.
- Click the Public Folder radio button.
- In the "iDisk account" field, enter the member name for the Public folder you want to use (
Figure 3.47 Click the Public Folder radio button, and in the "iDisk account" field, type in the .Mac member name for the Public folder to which you want to connect.
Figure 3.48 The "Public login" dialog opens if the Public folder has a password.
To connect to someone else's Public folder using Windows 2000
- Double-click the My Computer icon. The My Computer window opens.
- From the Tools menu, choose Map Network Drive (
Figure 3.49 To begin creating a connection to a .Mac Public folder in Windows 2000, choose Map Network Drive from the Tools menu.
- At the bottom of the dialog, click "Create a shortcut to a Web folder or FTP site" (
Figure 3.50 Click "Create a shortcut to a Web folder or FTP site," which will take you to a dialog where you can type in the URL for the Public folder.
- In the field marked "Type the location of the Network Place," type http://idisk.mac.com/membername-Public? (replacing membername with the .Mac member name for the Public folder you're accessing) (
Figure 3.51 To connect to a Public folder using Windows 2000, you have to type in the member name for the Public folder, and then follow that with Public? for the complete location. An example for my Public folder is shown here.
- Click Next. If the Public folder has a password set, the Enter Network Password dialog opens.
- In the "User name" field, enter public (
Figure 3.52 Once you've entered a location for the Public folder, you'll be asked for the password—if one was set.
- In the Password field, enter the password for that Public folder.
- Click OK. The Add Network Place Wizard opens, asking you to name your new Network Place.
- In the Network Place name field, type a name for your Network Place (such as Bill's Public Folder) (
Figure 3.53 When completing the Public folder setup, you'll be asked for a name for the connection. A suggested name is already entered for you—often, that's descriptive enough for most purposes and you can just click Finish.
- Click Finish.
iDisk opens in a new window (
Figure 3.54 Once you've finished your Public folder's connection setup, a new window opens for it, showing you its contents.