If you are either a power home user or you are in a business environment, you know the importance of machines being able to see one another. Recently I did an article about this very topic ("Sharing Files & Folders Between Linux, Mac, and Windows") which skimmed this topic, showing how simple it is to allow these different operating systems to see one another - with the help of Samba. But that article didn't dig too deeply into Samba itself. That article was more of a "let's see how we can do this quickly and easily" tutorial.
In today's world of business computing, systems must be able to communicate and interact with one another. During its years of immaturity, Linux had a very difficult time with this. And it seemed every time Linux developers made strides in getting Linux to communicate with another system, the developers of said system would change something to break that connectivity.