Computer names and HD names?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by AES, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. AES

    AES Guest

    I'd appreciate some tutoring on my two computers' "computer names"; how
    these are related to the names of the internal HDs in these computers;
    where these names are stored; how I can change or reset these names
    without messing things up; and how I can transfer files from one
    computer to the other if both of them are talking to an Airport network..

    Situation is, I maintain two essentially identical MacBooks, both
    single-user, both running 10.4.11. In fact MacBook A is my primary
    working computer; MacBook B is a "hot backup" created by doing a weekly
    SuperDuper! bootable backup of A onto B, with B in Target Disk Mode.

    Occasionally, however, I fire up B, take it somewhere, and do something
    with it, maybe because A is connected to a bunch of peripherals at my
    desk and I just don't want to unhook it. If I download or create a new
    file or two on B during one of these excursions, I want to get those
    files back onto A.

    Presently doing this "by hand" using a thumbdrive. Don't want to get
    into any complex synching process, but might like to transfer these
    files over a shared Airport network that both can talk to. What's the
    magic formula to get one computer to "see" the other? -- at least, the
    "public" folders on each of them?
    AES, Nov 1, 2008
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  2. There is no relation; they can be named independently of each other.
    For the disk, click on the disk icon and then press Return or Enter;
    this will select the name of the disk, and you can then type whatever
    name you wish. Alternatively, click on the Disk's icon, press command-i
    (or choose Get Info) from the File menu, and type the new name of the
    disk in the Info dialog.

    To change the name of the computer, open System Preferences, choose
    Sharing, and type The name of the computer in the "Computer Name" text
    Again, in the Sharing preferences, Check "File Sharing" in the list at
    the left of the window. Then in the "Shared Folders" section, click the
    plus sign, and select the folders you want to share; the "folder" can be
    the entire disk. In the Users: section, choose who gets which degree of
    Michelle Steiner, Nov 1, 2008
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  3. AES

    John Varela Guest

    How does that relate to the "Locations" in the Network preferences?
    John Varela, Nov 2, 2008
  4. AES

    David Empson Guest

    It doesn't.

    Locations choose different network configurations (all the settings on
    the Network pane of System Preferences can be changed by selecting a new
    location, either in System Preferences, or via the Location menu under
    the Apple menu).

    Changing location has no effect on the computer name, and changing the
    computer name has no effect on the network settings (or locations).
    David Empson, Nov 2, 2008
  5. How does that relate to the "Locations" in the Network preferences?[/QUOTE]

    So far as I can tell, there is no relationship. If there is, maybe
    someone else can explain it.
    Michelle Steiner, Nov 3, 2008
  6. AES

    John Varela Guest

    OK, thanks, now I get it. Since I've never used a laptop the whole
    idea of moving the computer to different locations is foreign to me.
    John Varela, Nov 3, 2008
  7. AES

    Warren Oates Guest

    I've never figured out how to use "Locations" successfully. What I want
    is a script something like

    if the en1 cable is unplugged
    ifconfig en0 up [good options go here]

    and vaguely vice-versa (en0 is Airport here). I haven't figured out how
    to sense the state of the cable in the cli yet, but I haven't actually
    tried, so no "google is your bob's uncle" flames, s'il vous plait ...
    Warren Oates, Nov 3, 2008
  8. Have you tried the "Automatic" location? I don't know how it's supposed
    to work, and can't find anything in Apple's help about it, but it's
    worth a shot.

    -- Michelle
    Michelle Steiner, Nov 3, 2008
  9. AES

    Warren Oates Guest

    Well, I've set up Locations for "Ethernet" and "Air", with the
    corresponding "network services" forced either on or off, and that
    works. Except it's up to me to select the right Location.

    Automatic wants to connect Airport to "known networks" (and get a DHCP
    lease) _and_ grab another DHCP lease from my router for the ethernet and
    that's not what I'm looking for.

    Although, hmm, yes, I can uncheck "Remember any network ..." and then
    everything will look like a "new network" (I guess). Or uncheck "Ask to
    join ..." and select the network manually. It seems a little clunky.
    Most Mac networking is easier to deal with.

    I'd like it to remember my network (for Airport) and automatically
    connect, but not set 2 services running when the wire is connected,
    which confuses my router and my hosts file among other things.
    Warren Oates, Nov 3, 2008
  10. AES

    Tom Stiller Guest

    For each Location, you can set the priority of interfaces used. For
    example, in my MacBook's "Home" location I have the built-in ethernet
    set to a higher priority than the AirPort. Normally the computer roams
    about connected via the AirPort. However, when I have large files to
    transfer, I plug in a 100Mb ethernet cable and the faster connection is
    Tom Stiller, Nov 3, 2008
  11. AES

    Warren Oates Guest

    But does the Airport connection go "down" when it sees an Ethernet
    connection? Or maybe that doesn't matter (except to my router which
    gives out a different ip address to a different MAC address).
    Warren Oates, Nov 3, 2008
  12. AES

    Tom Stiller Guest

    The AirPort is still connected to the base station, but the active TCP
    stack is switched to the ethernet interface.
    Tom Stiller, Nov 3, 2008
  13. No.

    For a while at work I ran an Airport connection that bypassed the
    company firewall (with the T director's permission) along with an
    ethernet connection that respected it.
    Dave Balderstone, Nov 3, 2008
  14. AES

    Warren Oates Guest

    That makes sense.

    I can see why the OP was having trouble with "computer name" vs
    "location" though. If I name my computer (say) "Bob" (from Ethernet) and
    reserve an ip address in my router and then enter the name and address
    in my hosts file, the whole thing goes south when Airport kicks in with
    a new MAC address that the router hasn't been advised of. Of course, I
    can call it bob.eth and bob.air and so on.

    It's interesting stuff. I've just stumbled over "bonding" but sadly the
    MacBook only has one Ethernet port; I think that's a stumblebum block.
    Warren Oates, Nov 3, 2008
  15. AES

    David Empson Guest

    TCP/IP can be active on both interfaces simultaneously. If you change
    the network interface order, all that changes is the default interface
    which will be used for outgoing traffic (governed by the routing table).

    If you have two active network interfaces, both connected to the same
    LAN, then typically the first one (in the order they appear in the list
    of network interfaces) will be used for all outgoing traffic. The
    computer will have two IP addresses on the same LAN, and may see itself
    in Bonjour sharing (for example) under its other IP address.

    If they are connected to different LANs, the order of the interfaces
    will determine which network is used for non-local traffic, unless you
    have special rules in your routing table. For example, if the first LAN
    is using 192.168.1.x and the second is using 10.x.x.x, then all traffic
    to 10.x.x.x will go out the second interface, but all other traffic will
    go out the first interface (192.168.1.x will be local, anything else
    will go to the default gateway on the first interface).
    David Empson, Nov 3, 2008
  16. AES

    Wes Groleau Guest

    I've used the concept on desktop machines to switch from one ISP to
    another, and to rearrange which computer is the gateway.

    I also had to use it when my employer provided a weirdly configured VPN.
    Wes Groleau, Nov 4, 2008
  17. AES

    AES Guest


    Maybe you can diagnose an Airport/Ethernet problem for my wife and I.

    Setup is: Residential DSL comes into our house, to a several year old
    Cayman DSL modem which has 4 Cat 5 Ethernet ports on the front (which I
    believe function as an Ethernet router, whether or not the DSL is

    Connected to two of these ports are an Airport Extreme modem and an old
    but very solid hp 6M/6MP printer, which does not have a built-in
    Ethernet card but is connected to the router through an equally old
    Farallon "EtherPrint" adaptor.

    Two MacBooks in the household (one running 10.4.11, the other 10.5) talk
    to the Internet via the Airport LAN-- and we used to be able to print to
    the hp printer through the same Airport connection, by activating
    AppleTalk in the AppleTalk tab of the Airport connection in Network

    Something happened that cut off this "print via Airport" capability.
    Now we can still use the printer if we connect Ethernet cables from the
    laptops to one or both of the 2 other ports on the Cayman, and activate
    AppleTalk in the Direct Ethernet settings in Network Prefs (which turns
    it off in the Airport settings). And, doing this leaves our Internet
    connectivity via Airport unchanged.

    But, we can't seem to get back to being able to both surf and print via
    the Airport connection only. Any advice on what might have gotten
    messed up in our configuration would be appreciated . . .
    AES, Nov 4, 2008
  18. AES

    David Empson Guest

    If the DSL is not active it is effectively just an Ethernet switch, with
    a router component which may provide services like a DHCP server, but it
    won't "route" anything because all the Ethernet ports are on the same

    If the DSL is active, then it also acts as a router between Ethernet and
    DSL (presumably using NAT).
    Modem? Base station, I assume you mean.

    My network is similar so far. I have a PC running Linux as a primary
    router off my cable modem. That goes to an Ethernet switch, and from
    there to my Airport Extreme base station.
    I assume you mean 6P/6MP. (There was no HP LaserJet 6M. There was a 5M,
    but it was a physically larger model designed for business use, whereas
    the 6P and 6MP are smaller and intended for lower volume personal use.
    The only difference between the 6P and 6MP is the presence of the
    Postscript SIMM, which also adds 1 MB of RAM.)

    I have the same printer (6MP), but mine is connected to Ethernet via an
    HP JetDirect EX (network print server, which plugs into the parallel
    port on the printer).
    Yep, same here. I have some computers connected via Ethernet, others via
    Airport. I have AppleTalk enabled on the appropriate interface and all
    can print to my HP LaserJet.

    I can also print via other protocols such as LPR, but you probably
    wouldn't be able to do that because your EtherPrint only works as an
    AppleTalk bridge between Ethernet and LocalTalk.
    That's strange. It sounds like AppleTalk doesn't want to work via your
    Airport network interface on the MacBooks, or the Airport Extreme is
    ignoring AppleTalk and not bridging it to the Ethernet.

    The only configuration options relating to AppleTalk are on the
    computers, for selecting which network interface to use, picking a zone
    (if you had an AppleTalk router, which you don't, and you don't need
    one), and optionally configuring a manual AppleTalk address (which is
    almost never needed outside of large scale AppleTalk networks).

    The Airport Extreme doesn't have any configuration options relating to
    AppleTalk. It will simply act as a bridge between the wireless network
    and LAN port(s), forwarding all AppleTalk packets.

    Aha... Light bulb time.

    Check the connections to your Airport Extreme. I'll bet you have the
    Ethernet cable connected between your Cayman DSL router and the WAN port
    on the Airport Extreme.

    If so, you probably have a configuration error in your Airport Extreme.
    This will be causing other subtle problems such as not being able to
    establish iChat audio or video connections to the outside world.

    In Airport Utility, open the manual settings for your Airport Extreme
    and go to the Internet section in the toolbar. On the Internet
    Connection tab, you should have the "Connection Sharing" mode (near the
    bottom) set to "Off (Bridge Mode)".

    I'll bet you currently have it set to "Share a public IP address" (which
    is the default). This makes your Airport Extreme act as a NAT router and
    DHCP server for anything connected to its LAN port and for the wireless

    If your DSL router is also doing NAT then you have two NAT routers in
    sequence, which can cause problems with software like iChat which wants
    to be able to open up an incoming connection through your router. If you
    have two NAT routers in sequence, it can't do this.

    There is another mode "Distribute a range of IP addresses", which turns
    off NAT but leaves the DHCP server active, and the Airport Extreme will
    still be acting as a router in this mode.

    If you use "Off (Bridge Mode)" then the Airport Extreme drops down to
    being a simple switch and wireless bridge. You will then be dependent on
    your DSL router to act as a DHCP server (and NAT router for the

    The reason this affects AppleTalk is that if your Airport Extreme is
    acting as a router, it won't forward packets between the wireless
    network and the WAN port. If it is in bridge mode, then the WAN port
    becomes part of the same network as the LAN port and wireless network,
    so the Airport Extreme will forward AppleTalk packets between wireless
    and WAN.

    You also have the option of using the LAN port instead of the WAN port,
    but you would still have to set the Airport Extreme to be in bridge mode
    to turn off its DHCP server, otherwise you will have two DHCP servers on
    the same network, which is never a good idea.
    David Empson, Nov 5, 2008
  19. AES

    AES Guest



    Thank you VERY much for long and detailed reply to my long and detailed
    query. Haven't yet had time to sit down and attempt to implement your
    suggestions, but will do so.

    However, in correcting the various minor errors and misphrasings in my
    post, you missed the first and most important one: My opening line above
    should say ". . . for my wife and ME."

    Thanks again, AES
    AES, Nov 5, 2008
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