Switching from WinXP


Hi all,

I'm ready to buy a new apple computer anytime now, but just one question remain: How would i work with sharing files between windows and mac os using an External usb Hard Drive?

Would i have to format the hard drive as fat32 for compatibility or is there no way.

I heard about FileMaker that can convert formats then you can share your documents, but what about movies (avi, mpeg, etc) and music mp3s?

Because I want to get a powerbook for my personal use, but my school uses windows. so i would like to know if there is a way to share the files on both platforms

How would i work with sharing files between windows and mac os using an External usb Hard Drive?

Format the drive using either FAT16 or FAT32 from the mac by using /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility. Easy as that. :)

movies (avi, mpeg, etc) and music mp3s?

These file formats are independent of platform. An Mp3 on a Mac is the same as an Mp3 on a PC. You can do exactly the same things with them.

Because I want to get a powerbook for my personal use, but my school uses windows. so i would like to know if there is a way to share the files on both platforms

Using your USB hard drive: no problems at all.
Using network: You can setup to share files by Windows File Sharing on the Mac (Apple Menu --> System Preference --> Sharing --> Tick the box "Windows File Sharing") and can access Windows share drives easily (From the Finder choose Go --> Connect to Server and you can browse Windows shares).

Hope this sets your mind at ease. :)
subnote - if the HDD is currently in NTFS, and you need those files, MacOS can read NTFS, just not write NTFS, so it basically acts like a massive cd-rom. backup those files, then format to fat32.
Thanks for the replies guys, i feel more confident about switching now :D

i just lost alot of gb os files on my 250gb hard drive running xp, but not worth the trouble to recover them using OnTrack EasyRecovery, so i will format my other 120gb hard drive currently running Mandrake 10.1 (my full-time os), and then put xp on it.

So i can now use my 250gb hdd and buy an external drive enclosure, then i'll be all set. :)

just saving up now. i hope that by the time i actually buy a powerbook, they won't already have started production with intel processors heh

sorry about the mp3 part
what i wanted to ask was movie codecs
like divx, xvid, aac, etc etc, if it's possible to import those as well for the mac. like for linux there is a w32codecs pack available to emulate the windows video&sound codecs
Yes. I think of all the media formats out there, less than 1% don't have a codec available for mac somewhere.
Start by installing VLC, MPlayer, RealPlayer, XVid or DivX codec and MS Windows Media Player for Mac (yes, thats what its called) and you will have almost every possible format covered.
another question:
i should be able to install linux applications on mac os x right? as long as i get the ppc version of it?
i heard some will work, some won't
You cannot install Linux applications on the Mac OS X, even if they were PPC versions of the Linux software. You can, however, compile the source files on your Mac and they will work (with some tweaks, of course). It's the same reason you can't take an application that runs under Linux for x86/Intel and just run it on Windows, even though they use the same processor -- it's still two, separate, different operating systems.

A good place to start for UNIX applications is the Fink package manager, which can automatically build UNIX applications from source or download pre-compiled Mac OS X UNIX applications that someone else compiled.
Nope. Applications COMPILED for Linux won't run on OS X anymore than they will run on Windows. Even programs compiled for x86 Linux won't run on PPC Linux. Now, what you CAN do is download the source code for an application that is normally used in Linux or any other free Unix and COMPILE IT YOURSELF to work on your system. Of course, this will require you to have something like GCC installed or another open source compiler, as well as any other libraries that the development software would be dependent on.
Here's another vote for Fink package manager, and the GUI add-on Fink Commander. With that, you'll be able to automatically download the source, patch and compile a lot (currently 5426) of open-source Linux packages very quickly and easily. Much like RPM or Debian package managers, it automates the process of resolving dependencies and compiling. While it can be a bit slow, the results are well worth it.

See: http://fink.sourceforge.net/pdb/index.php?phpLang=en
Yes, Fink and FinkCommander are both great tools. Mind you, these are not Linux programs, but in fact open source programs for Unix operating systems. This is the easiest way to install open source Unix apps on Mac OS X.
wow, that's alot of great info
yea i usually ./configure and make my apps, i don't really like the rpms much

thanks everyone
Well, they're not RPMs. They are packages made for OS X using a package manager model borrowed from Debian. Similar to how Portage and DarwinPorts were based on FreeBSD's Ports installation system.

BTW, you can download the source packages through Fink and have it compile them for you. It will also resolve any dependencies that are lacking on your system as well as clean any broken packages.
There are two applications that you can run on your Windows XP machine to access a Firewire/USB HDD formatted as HFS+. Try looking up MacDisk and MacDrive. I used MacDrive when I switched from XP to Mac a couple of weeks ago. I formatted the drive first under Mac, installed MacDrive on my XP, and then plugged the HFS+ formatted drive. Voila, a Mac drive on my XP! Hope this helps you.
I'd go with FAT32, even if you have a utility for Windows that can mount HFS+ (Mac formatted) drives. Because if it's FAT32, you just haven't got to go through the hoop of installing that utility on any PC you want to use the drive with. An external FAT32 USB 2.0 drive is great. Hook it up to any linux, Mac OS X or Windows machine and it should be mountable without 3rd party software.
yea i was gonna say that. becuz if i would have to install that little utility to load the drive at school, it would be time consuming, considering i probably won't use the same computer alot, always switching, and i think there is restriction on the computer, like when you log off, all your installed apps would be gone, only the data saved to your account drive would stay.

otherwise i would chose HFS+ or if EXT3 works, i would go for that, cuz they are much more stable and secure, and don't require defragmenting. but storing data on external drives means you won't read/write the same data much, not like windows, which would trash the hard drive completely