Q. Does Windows file sharing run automatically on Leopard, or is there something else I need to do?
A. Windows file sharing is still available in Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard although it appears to be hidden. To turn on Windows file sharing, open “System Preferences” and click on the sharing icon. Next, put a checkmark beside “File Sharing” and while it’s highlighted, you should see the current shared folders and users who are able to connect to your Mac. When a user from a remote Mac or Windows machine wants to access a file, they would connect by either choosing “Connect to Server” in the finder on the Mac, or by choosing your Mac from “My Network Places.”
In previous versions of OS X, Windows file sharing was a sharing preference on its own. In Leopard, file sharing is customized as the “Options” button. From there, you can control whether users can connect by Apple Filesharing Protocol, Windows File Sharing, also known as SMB and Samba, as well as FTP. By default, only AFP is active. When you choose “Share Files and Folders with SMB,” you will also need to choose the user account that is able to access the files on your Mac, and you will also need to authenticate the access by entering your username and password.
Q. I recently got a new iPhone, and I find that entering text can be tricky. Can you suggest anything that will make typing easier?
A. If you recently switched from another handheld device, such as a Blackberry or a Palm, you’ll find that entering text on iPhone is different because of the tactile differences of using a touch screen. When entering text on your iPhone, you are presented with a QWERTY style keyboard. Numbers and punctuation are accessed by clicking the key in the lower left-hand corner.
One of the first tricks I learned while entering text on my phone was that to quickly access punctuation while entering letters, you can press and hold the punctuation key, slide your finger over to the character you want and release your finger. Then, you’ll find that the iPhone switches back to the QWERTY keyboard. This makes entering text with punctuation relatively easy because you can quickly access commonly used characters such as a comma, period, underscores and dashes.
With a device like a Blackberry or a cell phone, you have actual keys so it’s easier to find the character you want. So by using the “sliding finger trick” I mentioned on your iPhone, you can accomplish the same thing. When you press a key on the keyboard, the display shows you the keys selected. If you hold your finger over the key, you can see whether or not you chose the correct one. If you haven’t, you can slide from left or right and choose again. Of course, if you’re in the habit of the “walk-and-text,” you should always be aware of your surroundings – ideally you should stop walking while entering text to avoid any accidents!
By the way, you can also access accented keys by holding down your finger over a letter that would have special punctuation. For instance, if you hold down the letter “E,” you can access different accents, such as “grave,” “acute,” “circumflex,” “tréma,” “umlaut,” or “cedilla.”
If you make a mistake while entering text, you can hold your finger down on the entered text and a magnified view will appear. Then, you can slide your finger until the cursor goes where you want within a word. To fine tune this, you can roll your finger to accurately place the cursor where you wish.
There is also a free application in the App Store called “WritingPad,” which takes the “sliding finger” to the next level. To spell out words, you move your finger over the letters that spell the word – all without lifting your finger. The idea is to slide rather than tap.
Speaking of not lifting a finger, this article was input into Word using MacSpeech Dictate (spoken into an iMac, not typed on the keyboard!)