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Thread: Advice for Dad?

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Advice for Dad?

    I have been asked to come up with a way to move data from a notebook computer to a desktop computer, both Windows 9x. Once upon a time, a null modem cable could be used for this sort of thing, and then the Zip drive, but in the era of the home network, that all seems sort of antiquated. A network also would allow easier sharing of the laser printer and the scan/fax/copy/print thing that now live behind an A-B switch box. The Internet connection is AT&T@Home.

    So... Ethernet appears to be overkill. Any recommendations on where to start for HPNA or other technologies?

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    Re: Advice for Dad?

    The peer to peer network with a router for the cable connection is the best route to go. The NIC for the desktop are not to costly, but if you have to go to a PC Card slot for the lap top , it will run a lot more. The router should have a min of 4 connections for those guests that bring their computers and/or new christmas gifts from the kids.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Advice for Dad?

    Quite agree Dave, however there is one thing to make the laptop option a little cheaper. If the laptop has usb there are some reasonably priced converters that go from usb->ethernet. This saves buying an ethernet card which tend to be rather expensive.

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    Re: Advice for Dad?

    Even cheaper still are the laptops that already have the RJ-45 connection built in... if you're lucky enough to already have one that is...
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: Advice for Dad?

    If it's only for two machines, why not use a crossover patch cable? An economy 10/100 NIC can be picked up for less than the price of a good meal. Like someone said though, the PC Card could be pricey.

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    Re: Advice for Dad?

    You know... I have a PC card NIC from work I could take over there on the weekend, and I probably could pick up a cross-over cable around the corner... this is sounding pretty feasible for a one-shot file transfer. Maybe the network can wait. <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Advice for Dad?

    If you really wanted to get into the 21st century, try a wireless network! You can buy a wireless NIC with a PCI adapter for your desktop and a wireless PC card for your laptop. Provided the AT&T@Home is connected to your desktop computer, this not only gives you the ability to transfer data between the desktop and laptop, but gives your laptop Internet access from anywhere in the house! You don't have to bother with a wireless access point. If your desktop is Windows 98 or above you can use Microsoft's Internet Sharing. Otherwise, get the free (or low-priced, depending on options) Wingate Server software from Wingate. The total cost will be less than $200. With deals, it could get down to about $150.

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    Re: Advice for Dad?

    I'm glad you asked! P2P is the way to go, don't think too small (crossover cable/ 1 time use- they are great and what I used until last week) and don't think too big (wireless) A couple of weeks ago I sold a Fast Ethernet 4 port, 3- 3Com 3c905 card, SW and cable on E-Bay for $46. A great buy for the buyer and the way to go to start a home network. <img src=/S/yadda.gif border=0 alt=yadda width=15 height=15>

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Update

    This turned out not to be so bad. It was useful to have a cell phone while studying the products in the store...

    Old Set-up: ATT@Home router, wired to PC Card in notebook computer, parallel printer connected to notebook, desktop computer not doing much.

    New Set-up: ATT@Home router, wired to new NetGear RP 114 "Web Safe" switch ($100), with CAT5 to notebook, new CAT5 cable ($4) to new NetGear FA 312 NIC ($22) in desktop computer, desktop computer set up as print server.

    It took me about half an hour to get back on the Internet with the RP 114, since I was doing a good bit of guessing on the configuration, and I heard that Windows start-up song more times than I care to, but within about an hour, we had print and file sharing, the Internet, everything working just fine. Someday, I will go back and look at the firewall settings in the RP 114.

    I ended up not buying a print server device and just sharing the laser off the PC. If the multifunction machine comes back into the story, I will need to reconsider. (There was another router/switch for $130 that included a built-in print server on one port, but at least 6 of them had been returned, so I thought that was a bad sign.)

    Thanks to all for your advice. Some notes on the other options: The wireless equipment was quite pricey, and frankly, I don't think the extra radiation is justified when everything is a few feet apart. The USB-to-Ethernet was more expensive than a desktop PC NIC card, but about the same as a notebook PC Card NIC. (I was really surprised by how much those had come down, but then again, it wasn't a name brand.)

  10. #10
    ileacy
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    Re: Update

    Jefferson:

    Minor note for the future. The new cable/dsl routers (Netgear, Linksys, etc.) generally eliminate the need to purchase the @home router product/service. Just plug the cable (or DSL) modem directly into the appopriate port in the router.

    You end up losing the additional static IP addresses but the NAT IP's assigned by the routers are safer, and simpler, to manage.

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    Re: Update

    Uh-oh, I think I used the wrong terminology. What I connected the new router to must have been the "cable modem": it's the device that the coax runs in to. I probably should have consulted the user manual before writing that post. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

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