Using Appleshare and AFS Space


   File sharing is accomplished on the Macintosh by a networking protocol called "Appleshare."  Appleshare lets you write and read data files over a network as well as run applications over the network.  Appleshare is fairly flexible and will run under several different network connections:  Ethernet, Token Talk, and Local Talk.  Here at ASU, we have a fast Ethernet connection- this is the cabling that Appleshare will use to communicate with other computers.
    Appleshare organizes file servers by dividing the local network into a number of AppleTalk zones.  When you connect to a network, you designate the Appletalk zone that you have been assigned.  These zones are usually relate to physical space (i.e. building GLG PSF) but may also be organized whatever way the Network Administrator wishes.  To set your Appletalk zone on the Macintosh, open the "AppleTalk" control panel on your computer.  Try this now.  Notice that the control panel gives you two options:  Connect via ... and Current Zone.  On the H-Wing computers, the Current Zone should be set to GLG PSH (Geology H-Wing of Physical Sciences Building) and they should connect via Ethernet.

Connecting to an Appleshare File Server

    Once these settings are set properly, you can access any other AppleTalk server on the local network (the local network in this case is ASU).  It is worth mentioning that AppleTalk is a local area network communications protocol; therefore, it is not possible to connect any computer on the internet.  To access an AppleTalk server, open the Chooser (under the Apple menu) and click on the Appleshare icon.  A list of AppleTalk zones should appear below the Appleshare icon box.  In the box to the right of the Appleshare icon, a list of available servers should appear.  First, make sure you know what AppleTalk zone the server you wish to connect to is in.  Select it in the AppleTalk Zone box.  If the file server is turned on and it is sharing properly, you should see it appear in the box to the right of the Appleshare icon.  Select the file server and click OK.  Next, it will ask you for a username and password.  In order to access the server, you must have permission, so at this point, you enter your access information.  Servers will sometimes let you use a limited number of files if you log on as a Guest.  Once you have logged onto the server, the Chooser will present you with a list of shared disks that you can access.  After you select one, the disk will show up on your desktop, just as any other disk.  Once you are done using the disk, you can disconnect from the file server by throwing the disk in the Trash.
    I created a cheat sheet for using Appleshare File Servers.  This cheat sheet is located on my computer in GLG PSF, called Tejon, F477.  Log in as a guest, and you should be able to access a folder called "Public."  Connect to this disk and download the file called "GLG490--Appleshare Quick Reference" and print it out for your future reference.

AFS Space

    ASU uses a distributed file system called AFS.  Your AFS directory is your home directory when you log into any of the machines or any of the research computers.  AFS is the premier distributed file system (in my opinion) and is quite flexible.  As we will see momentarily, you can use your AFS home directory from both a UNIX machine such as general and darkwing (soon, hopefully), and a Macintosh.
    There are two Sun servers in the Computing Commons that act as translators between your AFS directory and the AppleTalk network.  These servers are located in the IT CC ATRIUM AppleTalk zone and are called "AFS Land" and "AFS Land 1."  To access your AFS home directory from your Macintosh, open the chooser, choose Appleshare, select the AppleTalk zone IT CC ATRIUM, and select either the "AFS Land" or "AFS Land 1" server.  Sometimes, only one of these servers is available so in that case, choose the one that is available.  Next, log in as a registered user.  Your username is your ASURite ID (the username that you use to log into general) and your password is the password that you use to log into general.  Once you have entered this information correctly, you will have access to a number of resources.  In order to get to your AFS home directory, select the disk that is titled your ASURite ID (for example, my disk is called "slugg").  Your AFS space should show up on your desktop, and you can drag and drop things to it as you would any other Macintosh disk.
    Using your AFS Space to transfer files to general is infinitely quicker and easier than FTPing files back and forth to general.  For example, consider the last assignment in which you had to email an attachment to two different people.  You had to FTP your files down to general and then email them using pine.  With your mounted AFS space, you just need to drag the file from the computer you are working on and drop it on your AFS home directory.  The file will then be available for mailing in pine.
    In addition to transferring files, your AFS home directory provides you with an area to store your personal files on a server.  This is convenient because you can pull up your AFS Space from any Macintosh at ASU; therefore, you don't have to worry about carrying around floppy disks or Zip disks with all of your files on them because they are always available to you on the file server.
    Two words of caution about AFS- 1) you should save more often than you usually do when using AFS.  The Sun servers often have problems and end up crashing more often than you might expect.  Therefore, it is important to save often so that your work does not go away when the system crashes.  2) Always remember to throw your AFS space in the garbage, otherwise the next person who sits down at the computer you were working at can access all of your files.

Pages maintained by
Prof. Ramón Arrowsmith

Pages last modified on Fri Sept 19 1997.