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Easily create Filesharing shares Apps
[Editor's note: This article has been updated with information about a newer version of SharePoints...]

Earlier this week, a published hint explained how to use NetInfo Manager to create shares that are visible via Apple's Filesharing. Tonight I received a submission from Michael Horn concerning a quick application he created to handle one piece of this process. The name of the new application is SharePoints, and it handles the creation of the required NetInfo entries.

It's a basic application, but it does greatly simplify the process of managing shares. Basically, you run SharePoints to add or remove the NetInfo entries, and then manually set the privileges on the folder and stop and restart filesharing. Given less than two days work and at a cost of $0, SharePoints is a great little application! If you're interested, click the above link and give it a look.

For the paranoid (myself included): If you're interested in the steps I took to protect my machine before running a program from an unknown source that requires the Admin password, read the rest of the article. My point in providing the information in the remainder of this article is not to make accusations about SharePoints, but rather to explain how I handle any program which could potentially damage my machine.

I'm quite cautious when it comes to my machine, but sometimes I go out on a limb for the site :-). Any unknown program is potentially dangerous, but SharePoints perhaps a bit more so, as it requires your Admin password to make the NetInfo entries. Here's what I do in general before installing anything from an unknown source.

Before launching SharePoints, I looked at as many of the files as I could (the plist files, the NIB, and "strings" command on the binary files), and saw nothing blatantly malicious. Still, anything malicious would be deeply hidden and probably pass my quick check.

Knowing that I was taking a mild chance locally (there could always be an "rm -rf" buried somewhere in the code, but I keep a very current backup on a removable for just such purposes), I at least wanted to make sure that my Admin password wasn't headed for the Internet. So before I launched the program, I fired up XDarwin and started Ethereal, a very slick ethernet packet analyzer (installed via Fink with one command -- I love that package!). I started capturing all packets (after quitting anything vaguely internet related) and then launched SharePoints.

I created a share and entered my Admin password, and then watched the packets in Ethereal. What'd I see? Absolutely nothing. I quit SharePoints and continued to watch ... one went by, but when I looked into it, it was headed for the MacFixIt ad server (have no idea what it was from, but it was benign).

So while I can't claim to know everything SharePoints does, I do know that my drives are fine, there's no data flowing to the net, and the program does exactly what I'd want it to do -- so I intend to keep using it :-).

Call me paranoid if you will, but I use some variation of the above steps before installing any application from an unknown source.
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Easily create Filesharing shares | 2 comments | Create New Account
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Doesn't work
Authored by: foamy on Nov 14, '01 04:11:32PM

This app doesn't work for me. The prefs.pane fails and the standalone app adds shares to config:sharepoints in netinfomanager, but only the name. It doesn't include the directory path.

I found it just as easy to do it directly in Netinfomanager.

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New version 2.0 available!
Authored by: robg on Jan 13, '02 12:55:19PM
SharePoints 2.0 is now available. Version 2.0 adds user and group management to complement the sharing management and AppleFileServer property management already present. It can be downloaded at Reviews are available on VersionTracker's website. Having used SharePoints since the earliest pre-public release, it's come an impressively long way. Version 2.0's group management features are a welcome addition.

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