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Use Appleshare for faster iDisk access in 10.1 System
Recently, Open Door Networks published a widely-reported security alert concerning Apple's implementation of WebDAV access to the iDisk in 10.1. The essence of the security hole is that your password is sent in cleartext, where it could be interecepted by anyone sniffing the network.

While I agree this is a fairly major security issue, I had other problems with iDisk in 10.1 -- speed, or the lack thereof. It seemed that, at least on my connection, webDAV access crawled. The disk would mount quickly, but copying even a modest 400K file could take minutes at times. This used to take five or ten seconds.

It turns out that the solution is posted on the advisory page at Open Door Networks. Simply use Appleshare to connect instead of WebDAV. Under the Go Finder menu, select "Connect to Server" and enter afp://idisk.mac.com. You'll get a username and password box, after which you can mount your iDisk like any other Appleshare volume.

This isn't a perfect solution -- it takes me longer to connect via Appleshare (the Finder gets the spinning rainbow disk until the connection is made), and the 15-minute time restriction comes into play again. However, it's worth it in exchage for greater security and the speed increase I get when actually transferring files.

Read the rest of the article if you'd like to know how to make Appleshare access to your iDisk just as easy as WebDAV access.

To make accessing my Appleshare iDisk as easy as the WebDAV version, here's what I did:
  1. Use Go -> Connect to Server and enter afp://idisk.mac.com in the address box.

  2. When the username and password box appears, hit the Options button and enable the "Add password to keychain" checkbox. This will store your password securely in your local keychain. The next dialog box that comes up shows your personal iDisk; just hit RETURN and it should show up in your Finder window.

  3. After the iDisk icon shows up in the Finder, make an alias to it on your local hard drive. I stored mine in an "Aliases" folder that I keep buried in my Documents folder.

  4. Remove the normal iDisk icon from the toolbar by command dragging it out. Drag your newly created iDisk shortcut to the toolbar.
That's it -- you now have the same one-disk access to your iDisk, but via Appelshare instead of WebDAV. As I noted, it's a bit slower in coming up when connecting, but much faster when actually being worked with. I'm not sure what Apple's long-range plans are, but I think they'll continue to support Appleshare access for a while -- I don't believe pre OS X systems can access the iDisk via WebDAV (someone will correct me if I'm wrong, I'm sure!).
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Use Appleshare for faster iDisk access in 10.1 | 3 comments | Create New Account
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great idea!
Authored by: mlm on Oct 23, '01 11:26:02AM

File copying the normal way is abysmally slow -- hope this helps!



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iPhoto & file privileges
Authored by: jbravo on Jan 21, '02 05:41:35PM

I like the faster file access, as well as improved security, but I ran into the following issues while playing around with iPhoto's 'HomePage' feature for publishing photos on my iTools web site...

iPhoto creates a file named 'PhotoAlbum1.html' on your iDisk, in the Sites directory, for your iTools web site. When connected via Appleshare this file is locked and I cannot edit or delete it. Files that I've put there myself don't have any problems. When I reconnect via WebDAV I don't have the issue. This is my observation on a G4 tower and a PowerBook G4, both running OS X 10.1.2, and I have not tested it extensively.

Not to worry though, the shortcut to your iDisk via WebDAV is still available in the Customize Toolbar window, or via Apple's iTools web site. You may want to keep both connection options readily available.



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The speed is GREAT
Authored by: steve williams1 on Jan 21, '02 09:49:04PM

WOW! Connected via cable, no delay the idisk is there NOW. The speed diference is unbelievable.



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