Dave 4.0 Helps PCs and Macs Get Along

I was speaking at a conference in Louisville, Kentucky over the weekend when I mentioned Thursby Software’s latest incarnation of their utility, DAVE 4.0, which allows Macs to connect to Windows networks and share files and printers. A young man raised his hand to respond that there is no need for such a utility with Jaguar’s (OS X 10.2) file sharing capabilities. Oh, these young ones have so much to learn.

In case I’ve already lost you, let me start at the beginning. Jaguar is the latest Mac operating system. It is a major revision of the OS X operating system you’ve heard so much about over the past year. There are lots of great features in Jaguar, including the ability to print to most printers and connect to any Twain (scanner) devices without special drivers or software. Another exciting characteristic of Jaguar, is the ability to connect to Windows file servers more easily than the original Mac OS X. Now all you need to do is use the “Connect To” menu in the Finder to mount shared volumes. Then simply browse the file structure like you would any Mac server. You no longer have to enter the IP address or know the computer name to find the items you want.

When you add a Mac to a Windows-based network, your Mac can appear as any other PC on the network. That way, Windows users can connect to your Mac and use its shared folders without you needing to install any extra software. It’s called Personal File Services for Windows, or the master of disguise. Jaguar also includes support for Active Directory, so you can more easily integrate Macs into a Windows-based network. Your network administrator can use the same password authentication system that Windows people use, and can store your home directory on a remote Windows server, if that’s how your network is set up.

With so many Windows networking improvements in Mac OS X 10.2, there’s still room for DAVE. DAVE 4.0 takes advantage of Jaguar improvements and enhances Jaguar’s own SMB capabilities. In some situations, Mac users need to have access to printers and files on more than one Windows server, something Jaguar can’t accomplish by itself.

The most obvious reason DAVE is valuable to the newspaper industry is our hesitance to move to OS X. With Quark still the dominant player in pagination, few newspapers have moved to OS X. Quark has yet to offer an OS X native version of QuarkXpress, keeping most newspapers from making the switch. And for newspapers still using a previous operating system, DAVE is a near perfect solution for connecting Macs to a Windows network.

Simple to install (it took me less than five minutes), DAVE 4.0 includes configuration utilities for Macs and PCs which make it a snap to share printers and files across a network. After clicking on the installation icon, DAVE’s setup assistant asks the user a few questions about the Windows network. Once installed, you have the ability to connect to Windows-based PCs with the ease of connecting to a Mac network. Like earlier versions of DAVE, version 4.0 allows the user to drag and drop volumes or folders from the desktop to a window in the DAVE Sharing Pane. After adding the files or volumes, DAVE immediately prompts you for information about particular users who have access to your files and allows you to set security levels for each user.

Other feature available in version 4.0 include: three options for security; one-click mounting of multiple shares; sharing CDs, printers, hard drives and folders; automatic workgroup detection; and supports for Jaguar’s Classic environment.

DAVE 4.0 is available at http://www.thursby.com/products/dave.html. The single-user retail price is $149 (US) / 379 (AU) / $227 (CA). Upgrades from previous versions are available.
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