File Sharing between Mac and Windows

I use public folders to share files between my Windows machines.  I couldn’t find a public folder that my HP laptop shared while using my MacBook Pro.  Apparently you have to jump through a couple hoops to get that to work.  Fortunately, I came across a site that explains the process well.

After going through those steps, the file sharing worked.  It would be nice if it worked by default but I guess workarounds are to be expected when working with two different platforms.