When Lions Attack

Posted on November 21, 2011 by | 0 comments

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It’s been several months since the release of Mac OS X Lion and Apple is calling it “The world’s most advanced desktop operating system.”  I’m a Mac lover myself and Lion certainly has some great new bells and whistles but it isn’t without problems.

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Many Mac users out there enjoy using the scan-to-folder functionality of an MFD (Multi Function Device) and its ease of use. Since FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and SMB (Server Message Block) were introduced to the office equipment world, Windows as well as Mac users have been utilizing those protocols to setup and use scanning features. Unfortunately, Apple has removed some key components from their release of OS X Lion which is causing some challenges for those using certain methods of scan-to-folder. Apple did document all of these changes prior to Lion’s release and they were implemented in concern for better security, however most end users were not aware that such simple things like the scan-to-folder on their MFD would be affected.

So what’s the problem? Well, FTP is missing from the GUI although it can still be setup and enabled via the terminal. This isn’t really concerning since FTP was rarely used, old, and an insecure protocol that transmits passwords in clear text. The biggest change was the discontinued use of the Samba suite which provided SMB functionality to your Mac. That may not mean much to you but it’s the core technology that allowed communication from Mac to Windows as well as most MFD’s.  Apple has opted to develop its own version of SMB called SMBX which does not support earlier SMB1 communications. This means that many MFD’s, earlier versions of Windows, and other devices will have trouble communicating with Lion when attempting to use the SMB protocol. At this time there isn’t an easy way around this although it is possible to install Samba 3 in place of Apple’s rendition, not to mention install FTP for a less secure solution.

For those that are looking for an easy approach to this dilemma we recommend using other resources already built in to your MFD. Scan to email is one of them and is available in just about every new device nowadays. Scanning to the device itself is another alternative approach which allows for document retrieval via the web interface. In the case of a Canon ADVANCE Series device you can even take advantage of the “NAS” capabilities and turn it into your own storage device. I blogged about this feature in the past but when enabled, you are able to scan to the device then view the documents via a mapped network drive from your PC or Mac. The share can be published on the Canon device using WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) rather than the traditional SMB but the drives can be mapped in a similar fashion so it’s transparent to the end user.

So for those Lion users out there experiencing similar issues, please be aware that there are options. The Network Services technicians at Advance are well versed in various scanning solutions and ready to support you and your Mac.

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