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On/Off topic ? !

Must be someone out there can give me the following information. I say
it's "On/Off topic" -- weeeell, it's about space, anyway.

I need to know the procedure for personnel moving from one space ship to
another while in space. I.e., from shuttle to MIR, Shuttle to ISS, etc. I
mean equalize pressure, open  door to airlock, shut , open next etc etc.

Are the doors opened manually? Or push buttons used? What safety checks
are made? Dual buttons? What material are doors made of?  Is there a
special "linking tunnel" between vessels? If so , where is the linking
tunnel kept when not in use? Whose air is used to equalize pressure in
the air locks and link? Are doors hinged? Are sliding doors used? If not,
could they be used in the future? How are the air seals made?

Why do I ask? I'm writing a story about living in space and want it to at
least sound plausible. Pse answer direct . tnx -- Steve W2ZBY

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