Accessing files from Macintosh

If you are using a Macintosh you can move files back and forth from your Mac to the SAF file server. This is accomplished via the use of a common "transfer" area and two commands which must be run on the unix end to get/put files from/to that area. On the Macintosh side regular drag/drop is used. The two commands handle the conversion of the text files on the fly, so that Macintosh text files are converted to Unix text files, and vice versa, with no further manipulations required.

On the Macintosh

  1. Open Chooser
  2. Click on Appleshare
  3. Select zone Net12
  4. Select machine safserver
  5. Select Guest access
  6. It will put up a password prompt, enter SAF_XFER. Remember that the password is case sensitive.
  7. A SAF transfer area icon will appear on your desktop.
  8. Create a folder inside this with your username. Again, case sensitive. If your username is freddy then that will be the name of the folder.
  9. Drag files into/out of your folder.

On the Unix machine

  1. Establish an ssh session from your Macintosh.
  2. Move to the directory where the files are to be deposited with cd.
  3. Retrieve the files with macget. Example:
         % macget
         srcdir is /mac_transfer/freddy
         getting BINARY file: somegraphics.gif
         getting TEXT file:   text_from_mac.txt
         Files transferred: 2
  4. To send files to the Macintosh use macput with the files to send passed as command line arguments. Example:
         % macput a_unix_file.txt safgraphics.gif
         putting TEXT file:   a_unix_file.txt
         putting BINARY file: somegraphics.gif
         Files transferred: 2

Limitations, cautions, etc.

  1. Throw the transfer area into the trash on your Macintosh when you are done for the day. Leaving these open all the time wastes resources on the server.
  2. On the Macintosh side remember to save files in text form. The Unix machine will not be able to do anything useful with a sequence or other file which is stored as a Microsoft Word document!
  3. macput will not allow paths in filenames.
  4. If you want to send a large number of files use zip to create an archive and them put that archive, unpacking them on the Macintosh.
  5. A folder will be created with your name if it does not already exist.
  6. If a file already exists on the Unix system and you try to copy it (again) with macget the program will not overwrite the existing file. This is a safety measure. The warning message that will result is:
    WARNING:  text_from_mac.txt
      This file already exists in your current directory.
      The version in /mac_transfer/mathog was not copied.
      Delete text_from_mac.txt if you want /mac_transfer/freddy/text_from_mac.txt to be copied.
  7. For security reasons macget will not copy in files that begin with a ".". Unless you know what you are doing you should never touch files of this type.
  8. Do not use anything but a-z,A-Z,0-9, underscore, dash, and "." in file names.
  9. Give files meaningful names and use extensions like ".seq" for GCG DNA sequences, or ".nfa" for DNA fasta sequences.
  10. If a file already exists in the transfer area and you copy to it (again) with macput that file will be overwritten.
  11. This transfer area is not to be used for any purpose other than transferring files between your Macintosh and the SAF unix server.
  12. Files left in the transfer area will be automatically deleted after several hours.
  13. The reason this area shows up with the old fashioned icon is that it is connected via ethertalk and not ethertalk over TCP/IP.
  14. You may also upload/download files through the w2h interface.
  15. If you can find an sftp client for the Macintosh you will be able to transfer files that way too.
  16. The DAVE program from Thursby systems should allow you access to your disk area as easily as the Windows users can. This is commercial software but it isn't terribly expensive and is probably worth having if your lab has a mixture of PCs and Macs.
Updated 07/17/2001