Connecting to various shares via the BBC Master

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Windows XP Home or Pro set up as a workgroup

To connect to one of these machines you will need to share a folder as detailed in the user manual, then connect using the command

*MOUNT \\MYPCNAME\SharedFolder username password workgroup

The default workgroup is "WORKGROUP" and the default username and password are "GUEST" so it is only necessary to specify these if your network is configured differently. By using the defaults the command simplifies to

*MOUNT \\MYPCNAME\SharedFolder

To discover which workgroup your PC is on right click on 'My Computer' and look in the 'Computer Name' tab to find out what it is.

XP workgroup
Finding the computer's current workgroup

So in this example

*MOUNT \\MOTORBOAT\BeebGames username password HOMENET

would log on to a shared folder called 'BeebGames'. Note, in Windows XP Home the guest account actually accepts any password, even incorrect ones, to set a password that is checked consult knowledge base article 555520 on how to do this.

Windows XP Pro set up as a domain

Though these machines are part of a domain the same procedure is used to share a folder as detailed in the user manual. To discover which domain your PC is on right click on 'My Computer' and look in the 'Computer Name' tab to find out what it is.

XP domain
Finding the computer's current domain

So in this example

*MOUNT \\ROCKETSHIP\BeebGames username password BIGCO

would log on to a shared folder called 'BeebGames'.

Mac OS X

Mac OS X versions Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard all include sharing software based around Samba 'smbd'. This section supplements the printed user guide for users wishing to connect to a Mac OS X based system.

Basic setup

Firstly, it is necessary to know which workgroup the Mac belongs to. Navigate to the 'Network' pane of the 'System Preferences' application and select your active network connection. Click 'Advanced' to open the advanced settings screen (if you are not an administrator a password will be required at this stage). Click the 'WINS' tab.

OS X workgroup setting
Establishing the current workgroup

Make a note of the workgroup and use it if needed as directed by the user guide, as with Windows the default workgroup is called "WORKGROUP".

Next, ensure that file sharing via Samba is enabled. Select the 'Sharing' preferences pane as shown below.

Sharing preferences pane
Selecting the sharing pane

From within the file sharing pane, highlight 'File Sharing' and ensure it is ticked, then verify that no specific user names are ticked in the 'Users' list.

Selecting file sharing
Selecting file sharing

Now click on 'Options...' and ensure that SMB is selected. Any other selections can remain as they are, it will have no impact on the Master talking to the Mac.

Enabling SMB
Setting file sharing options

Now it is necessary to select a folder to share, in this example the share is going to be called 'GAMES' (it is not necessary to use all capitals, the Master can connect to mixed case share names too).

In the File Sharing preferences pane, click on the '+' sign at the bottom of the 'Shared Folder' box. This will bring up a standard file selection dialogue, navigate to the chosen folder 'GAMES' and click 'Add'. Note that the 'LANFS' and 'Public' folders are already shared on this computer and so are shaded because, unlike in Windows, a folder cannot be shared more than once.

Selecting a new folder to share
Selecting a new folder to share

The final part of sharing a folder is to set the sharing permissions for 'Everyone'. Of the available choices in the drop down menu the only sensible ones to use are either 'Read Only' or 'Read & Write' as 'No Access' and 'Write Only' are largely futile.

Setting the permissions
Setting read/write permissions for everyone

It may now be necessary to reboot the Mac OS X system for the changed settings to take effect, or to restart 'smbd' manually. Using the above example workgroup and folder names, mounting the new share from the Master would require the command

*MOUNT \\ZOON\GAMES username password GUDDNET

A note about passwords

Within Mac OS X there are two ways for clients to connect and talk to the shares. Guest access and authenticated access. The Master uses authentication but only using plain text passwords at present.

Sadly, Apple broke support for plain text passwords late in the release cycle of 10.5 (Leopard). According to reports on the subject, support was actually non-intentional anyway and (as of 10.6.2) it has not come back. It is thought that support may be returning in 10.6.3, but this is unconfirmed.

So at present, these instructions assume that guest access is in use - this is why it is vitally important that none of the usernames are ticked in the 'User' list in the file sharing pane. In general it is assumed that most BBC Master Microcomputers will be on closed private networks anyway, where guest access is not too large a security issue!

Advanced configuration

This is an optional configuration for users who are happy modifying Mac OS X configuration files - this will need to be done as a super user anyway. Such changes will need to be reapplied on every operating system update (from 10.6.2 -> 10.6.3 for instance) when the configuration is reset.

Following the above instructions will result in any new files or folders created from the Master being marked as belonging to the user 'nobody'. It is possible to map the 'nobody' user to an actual user.

Open a command prompt using terminal and edit the file '/etc/smb.conf'.

Find the line that reads 'guest account = nobody' and change 'nobody' to the account of your choice, in this example it has been mapped to account 'mart'. Be careful though if the chosen account has administration privileges as this effectively gives guest logins full control over your Mac OS X machine.

Chainging the guest user mapping
Changing the guest user mapping

Save the file and exit, and reboot.

Windows 7 Pro set up as a workgroup

Windows 7 has deprecated the use of plain text passwords when acting as a server. In LANManFS 0.37 and later there is support for password encryption using the more secure NTLM method, and this will be used in preference automatically.

Enabling sharing

In 'Control panel' open the 'Network and sharing center' and choose 'Change advanced sharing settings'. Make sure 'File and printer sharing' is set to on as shown

Win7 domain
Enabling file and printer sharing

The remaining settings can be reviewed as follows

Save any changes and close the dialogue.

To discover which workgroup your PC is on right click on 'Computer' in explorer and choose 'Properties'. The workgroup is part way down the panel below the big round Windows logo, in this example the PC is called "jetski" and it is on the "WORKGROUP" network - but this can also be changed by clicking on the 'Change settings' button.

Win7 domain
Discovering the workgroup and PC name

Sharing a folder and subfolders

Right click on the chosen folder or drive to share, and select 'Properties'. Select the 'Sharing' tab and click on the 'Advanced sharing...' button. Tick to enable sharing, and choose permissions as desired (by default everybody has read only access, you can either selectively add more named users with specific permissions here, or just give everybody full control to read and write).

Win7 enabling sharing Win7 setting permissions
Enabling sharing and adjusting access permissions

Select 'OK' to set the permissions, and 'OK' to begin sharing, and 'Close' to dismiss the properties box. It is now possible to connect to this shared folder from the BBC Master Microcomputer using the credentials of an existing account on the PC

*MOUNT \\JETSKI\HiScores username password WORKGROUP

would log on to a shared folder called 'HiScores'. Note that the username must not contain spaces.

To save having to type the username, password, and workgroup each time these can be stored in the configuration file. This simplifies the command to


Windows 7 Pro set up as a domain

Though these machines are part of a domain the same procedure is used to share a folder as for a workgroup. To discover which domain your check your computer properties in the panel below the big Windows logo.

Win7 domain
Finding the computer's current domain

So in this example

*MOUNT \\JETSKI\HiScores username password BIGCO

would log on to a shared folder called 'HiScores'. If the domain controller is offline, the last parameter (the domain) can be substituted for the local machine name instead

*MOUNT \\JETSKI\HiScores username password JETSKI

assuming that the user called "username" had previously logged onto the machine when it was connected to the domain and hence does have an account set up locally already on the PC.

Other platforms

Linux based NAS drives are generally compatible as these use Samba in various guises.
Mac OS Lion (10.7.x) changed from using Samba to Apple's own implementation, SMBX. This is currently untested.
Windows 98 and Windows 95 both use 'share level' authentication, there are no plans to support this access method in the Master ethernet module - it is recommended to upgrade to a later version of Windows which have 'user level' authentication.
Windows 2000 is tested and working, though note that this is no longer supported by Microsoft.
For connecting to Windows Vista it is assumed that the Windows 7 instructions will be applicable, but this has not been tested.

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