I am having some trouble creating a personal network at home. I don't have internet access (shocking I know) and I am unfortunately not very IT-savvy (my bad). Perhaps someone can help me...

I have a macbook with OS X, a laptop with Windows Vista and a lovely pink ethernet cable (with 8 pins methinks) that I bought at uni to connect to the LAN network. I suppose it's called a LAN cable.

What I want to do is to connect the two machines, through this cable so I can exchange files between them rather than swithching to the external hardrive all the time. I also wish to eventually synchronise a music program (Reason) that I have on both machines.

However, when the cable is connected, the mac sees the PC, and the PC can see the mac. The little corresponding icons are there. When I try to connect from the Mac, it says error connection message and when I try to connect from the PC, it keeps asking me for a user name and password.

Now, I don't remember ever setting a name and password. I nonetheless tried every name and password I have ever invented for computers, I tried the name of the registered user to the computer, the name of the computer, my name, the other computers name, etc. but that of course didn't work.

So, what in the name of I.T. is going on? I also tried making a wireless network from the mac but the PC would not connect. Tried bluetooth, but same problem.

Can anyone help me? Thank you for reading this dissertation (which is probably not very technically correct, sorry) !

Usually your computers can see each other, but accessing files on one from the other requires some form of authentication. This is why Windows is giving you the login prompt. I can't remember the details of how to get things working and I don't have a Mac handy to try (I used to live with a guy who had one though, and we struggled with this a couple times).

[edit:] Just remembered - if you have a USB thumbdrive (or even an external hard drive) and if it's formatted to FAT32, both systems will be able to read from it. This may or may not be a solution for what you want.

ok thank you. I wonder if maybe my mac is not formatted to FAT32. I will most certainly look into this.
I did however manage to synchronise the LAN cable through midi once both my music programs were open, but there's some sort of bug on the PC side. I must be *almost* there!

Thanks again for the tips, I'll try again tonight.

I can't remember whether your Mac requires you to set a password for your primary account, I assume it does. In any case, you can see your username and change your password in the User Accounts section of your System Preferences. You'll need to know your existing user password, though, so I don't know if I'm being much help. Good luck!

Mac defaults to something other than FAT32 (I think it uses HFS+ or something), but it supports reading and writing to FAT32 volumes. Hence the need for an intermediate device.

oki doki. I do have a username and password on my mac for when i install programs as a security, and tried that when the PC prompts me for username/password during connection. that doesn't seem to work though. I will go have a look in the user accounts section and fiddle around with that.

but i was wondering, i remember from uni, when prompted for a username, there was always something like name.local\username and then password. maybe i need to write the name of my computer\username?

well in any case thanks for your comments, I really appreciate the advice. I will persist throughout the weekend and let you know if i succeed on monday!

Well, if you're trying to access files from your Mac on a Windows computer, you're going to need to turn on Samba file sharing. It's in System Preferences->Sharing. After you enable it, enable your user account, and if you look carefully, it should tell you what to type into your address bar on your Windows computer (something like \\\user). Just type in your normal username and password that you use on your Mac (like you said, for installing software), and it should connect fine.

ok thanks john. I haven't had time to try this but I will definitely let you know whether it was successful. Thanks again!

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