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It sounds like you may have a network already (see first link below), so you can use File Sharing (make sure Personal File Sharing is on in the System Preferences).
You may use option 1 or 2, depending on the number of times you need to transfer and how large the files are. If you want to transfer large files once a day or so, go with option one. If you don't mind having to put all files in the Public folder and then a slower copy, go with #2.
You can log into the remote computer as an administrator and get the same level of access you would have using the machine locally, so you don't need to mess around with public folders - see:
Unless you have gigabit ethernet on both machines, Firewire is much faster.
True, but it requires physically moving the machines next to each other and connecting them together with a FireWire cable, while you probably already have a network in place. You also have to boot one of the machines into Target Disk Mode, which may annoy the user of the target machine ;)
The FireWire method is great if you're doing a one off operation, like cloning a drive from one machine to another, or transfering a very large chunk of data. But for the everyday transfer of files between machines ethernet is generally a lot more convenient.
Horses for courses basically.
Either FW or GigE, either way you wont notice a speed difference since they're both faster then the laptop drives.
For ethernet you could use a normal ethernet patch cable; the mac ethernet ports are auto crossover sensing..
Those are not completely accurate statements. FireWire 400 (on both the iBook and Mac mini) is limited to about 50 megabytes per second. The iBook shipped with only 10/100Base-T Ethernet, which is limited to about 12.5 megabytes per second. The ATA/100 drive in the iBook is 100 megabytes per second. In practice, hard drives are faster than Ethernet. So, even if it were gigabit Ethernet (125 megabytes per second), it would most likely be slower than a hard drive connection.
A list of device bandwidths:
Basically, on Apple machines, any machine with gigabit Ethernet can use a standard patch cable:
At least Cat 5 rated cable with 4 pairs of wires is required (Cat 5e or 6 is most likely required), and everything else in-between (hubs, routers, etc.) must be gigabit rated.
In this specific instance, it depends on what equipment Lorel has, and doesn't mind buying. Because most of my clients use their laptop as a take home computer, they use the FireWire option. It worked better for them than Ethernet. And, because of the caveats with sharing more than the Public folders, I am cautious to enable that method. But, if Lorel wants to use both computers at the same time, then Ethernet it is. A third option is to use the slower Bluetooth, if both computers have Bluetooth installed:
Point is, "there is more than one way to do it" and pick the way that works best for you...