Let’s look at this in a little more depth. In this series of posts, we have examined the use of SMB, FTP, HTTP and finally SSH, all as networking enablers. Can a stock Power Mac G5 support all of these seamlessly? The quick answer is “yes”.
The longer answer is that the general approach is to use the Power Mac G5 as a central file server, and allow each client machine to connect to it via whatever approach works best for it. In this role, the Power Mac G5 acts as the network’s multilingual “tower of babel” translator. Each client computer may only be able to speak its own language, and not that of some or all of the other computers, but through the multilingual common ground of the Power Mac G5, each computer can communicate with all the others.
How does this work? As a way of illuminating the answers let’s examine each of the potential networking approaches in the context of a central Power Mac G5 hub.
AFP (Apple Filing Protocol): “Wait a minute!”, you are exclaiming. We didn’t even discuss this one in the preceding posts of this series!”. You are right. We did not. This is because it is typically only used between Macintosh computers, and not between Macintoshes and Windows machines. This is not always the case, but it is most of the time. If you happen to be lucky enough to have Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Server (which I do not), this OS CAN be used to network classic Macintoshes and Windows. However, for the purposes of this post, discussion of AFP is restricted to networking Mac OS Classic to Mac OS X Tiger. We are adding a Power Mac G5 running OS X Tiger to our solution, which brings this new capability along with it, and so we will briefly digress and discuss it.
Networking between Mac OS Classic and Mac OS X via AFP is not entirely without its issues. Mac OS X Tiger cannot connect to a classic Macintosh this way, but happily, a Classic Macintosh CAN connect to a Tiger G5 using AFP. Hence, by way of a shared folder or a shared volume on the G5, files can easily be transferred between a Tiger G5 and a classic Macintosh in either direction. To enable this, simply go to Tiger’s Network control panel, select the interface you are using, and examine the details. Click the AppleTalk tab, find the checkbox labeled “Make AppleTalk Active” and click it. This enables AppleTalk for that interface.