How do you mount a network volume in Leopard?
Saturday, November 17, 2007 by Dave Winer.
I rushed through this in my piece about Leopard a couple of weeks ago, I do things other than review software, so I don't always have enough time to go into depth. And I wanted to be reasonably sure it was as bad as I thought it was. But now I am reasonably sure, but maybe I'm still missing something, if so, I bet a lot of other people are too. Here's the problem with networking under Leopard.
In the previous version of Mac OS X, you would mount a remote volume, and from then on it was as if it were one of your local disks. That's how networking has worked on Macs since the 80s, and it's the way it works on Windows (not sure when it came in there, but it was present on NT and XP). It's the way networked OSes should work, it's hard to imagine them not working this way.
Here's an example. I have three computers on my LAN that I can access from the laptop I'm writing this piece on, Bucharest, Darkstar and Illium. They are conveniently listed in the Shared section in every Finder window. This is a small improvement, in previous Macs, you had to 2click on a Network item in the same place, and choose the computer from a dialog. Now you can see the names without clicking (It's a small improvement because believe me, I've got these names memorized.)
Let's say I want to look at the disk named Ohio on the computer named Darkstar. I click on Darkstar, and a list of disks appears, among them Ohio. I double-click on Ohio and the list of disks is replaced by the files and folders in Ohio. Nothing has changed in the left pane of the window, no disk has been mounted, I can access the contents of this disk only in this window, and only as long as it stays open. If I navigate to another disk or folder, I no longer have access to this disk. This is the first major step back. (There were some minor reverses on the way here, each of the steps in this process take much longer for some reason than they did on the earlier version of the OS. I have two machines that haven't been Leopardized, so I can compare, and the delays can be really long, and yes, I've rebooted everything numerous times. The pre-Leopard machines are faster. I actually replaced one of my Mac Minis because it was too slow, now after "upgrading" it's just as slow as the one it replaced. Oy.)
I can't even go through the navigation process to locate the disk (a lot of extra steps from the old method, where I could just access it as if it were a local disk). It's not that it's hard to do, it's that you can't do it. This is a basic feature that goes back to the 80s. How do they get away with removing it, and no one calls them on it, and they don't explain it anywhere? (Or did they and I missed it. In a Steve Jobs keynote, did he say "Oh and one more thing, we removed a feature so basic you don't even realize it's there.")
Now, as I said earlier, it's possible it is there, staring me in the face, and I just can't see it. I've been using computers long enough to know that that sometimes happens. If so, show me how to do it. How do I save a file to a server volume from inside an app?
Here's a video that illustrates how the Finder doesn't let me mount a network drive in Leopard.