Apple, somewhat belatedly, has realized the importance of interoperability with Windows computers. Before the advent of OS X, accessing shared resources on a Windows computer from a Macintosh client was a hassle at best, and it required one of the Windows Server operating systems plus additional software components.
That's no longer the case. However, the Windows and OS X environments are still very different animals, and connecting to Windows-shared resources from a Windows computer looks different than connecting from a Mac.
This is especially relevant as Microsoft Office becomes more popular on the Apple platform. (Microsoft's true monopoly, arguably, is Office, not Windows.) For example, you can work away on your PowerPoint presentation on your Windows machine and then share it out to the graphics department. They can then run the presentation on their chic silver PowerBooks.
Implementation, at least from the Windows side, is very easy: you just share out a folder as you normally would. Both SFS and classic sharing work just fine for Mac clients. Then, to access the XP share, follow these steps on the Mac:
Now you can transfer files to and from the Apple hard drive and the XP share with a mere drag-and-drop operation. The drag and drop will copy files by default.
You can do the reverse as wellyou can access files stored on a Mac from a Windows computer without major configuration changes. You just have to make sure that 1) you share out your Mac files using Windows File Sharing, and 2) there's a valid user account on the Mac for access.
This is an XP book, though, so I won't step you through the process of configuring a Mac. For full instructions, refer to the following Apple support page: