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SMB Access for Mac OS X Server (10.5/10.6)

Frequently, I've had issues with Windows machines accessing OS X Servers just set up with SMB sharing. It seems that the Windows client needs to allow a certain type of authentication to allow the machine to log into the OS X Server, and that setting isn't correct by default. The problem also happens for Linux servers as well, not just Mac OS X Server.

Note that by making these changes, you're making things that much less secure on the Windows side of things by allowing an older, less secure encryption method for authentication. While most of you won't care (because you're just looking for a solution for an in-house server), if you're working with a server which is publicly available (for some crazy reason), then get to know the facts before making these changes.

Here's directions on how to make that change in many of the various flavors of Windows:

Snow Leopard iCal - Adding Invitees is Slow for Large Address Book

One of our clients reported that Snow Leopard's iCal is slow to bring up matching invitees for a meeting, especially if you have thousands of Address Book Contacts. We did some research and this is what we found.

While it looks like Apple may need to address this in an update (10.6.3 is marginally faster than 10.6.2), but until then, here's a quick tip on how to deal with a slow iCal when you have a large address book:

1) Create the appointment, but don't click on the "Add Invitees..." like you normally would
2) Instead press Option-Cmd-A (or select "Address Panel") in the Window menu
3) Search for the contact in that window and drag and drop the name into the "Add Invitees..." area on the appointment

Snow Leopard Server: First Look at its Workgroup Features

No doubt that since the release of Snow Leopard a couple weeks ago, you've read a lot about the "Snow Leopard" experience. It's definitely faster, more responsive, and pretty compatible with everything out there, so it seems that Apple has a winner of an OS, especially for the consumers. Good for Apple.

So what about about what's good for us, the professional Mac admins and IT guys who help run businesses that run on Macs? Snow Leopard is great news for consumers, but it's another OS to deploy for us and that's hardly worth jumping up and down for.

What we're interested in is something to make our jobs easier, to simplify our infrastructure, and make our clients or businesses run smoother. That's why we're interested in Snow Leopard Server. Unlike the client, Snow Leopard Server has numerous significant and real improvements - not just to the UI, but also to core functionality. So let's go over it in detail and in depth.

Installation

Installation of OS X Snow Leopard is of course, more complicated than the client version, so please, for those of you untrained in OS X Server installs, don't think that we're saying that anyone can do it. No matter what level of simplicity Apple brings to the UI, a server install will always require planning, forethought, and experience. For those of you who are experienced, you'll find Snow Leopard server one of the easiest installations of OS X Server you've seen. Options for network configuration, services, and directory options are available as they are in the Leopard installation, but are more clearly laid out.

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