Re: Would some one please explain "mapping"?

If you read through the information at that link and others that I'm sure
you found, you would have seen that mapping a drive 1) makes the computer
think it's a local drive; 2) it persists; 3) some specialty programs need a
drive to be mapped in order to run a server-side program.

No, the use of a drive letter will not make the computer think it's a local drive. Plenty of software will reject it if the software really wants to restrict use to actual local drive media. Now, whether that software is a pile of garbage, that's fodder for a different debate. This also covers situation 3. As for situation 2, a drive letter does not necessarily persist. It can, and most people would probably want that behavior but it's by no means permanent.

For an analogy in the real world, television and cable stations are all mapped. They're mapped from radio frequency numbers to more human-friendly channel numbers. You're more likely to remember a channel number instead of VHF or UHF frequency numbers. Same sort of analogy for drive letters and network paths, it's perhaps easier to remember m:\my folder\my files\ instead of \\servername\sharename\my folder\my files.