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Thread: New Network

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    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    New Network

    I should first start out by saying that I know absolutely nothing about networking. I have a small home-based business and occationally find the need to have someone come in part-time to help out with some data entry. I went to CompUSA to ask some questions, but couldn't get the guy to get off a wireless solution. The "office" is only 12' x 12' so I don't see the need. Since this is a new installation I thought I'd ask some questions here to get on the right track. Here is what I have and want to "share".


    <UL><LI>Gateway PC (new) XPhome OS
    <LI>Gateway PC (old) 98SE OS
    <LI>Sony Vaio LT (new) XPpro OS[/list]<UL><LI>HP LaserJet
    <LI>Epson InkJet
    <LI>DSL Modem[/list](I may also want to add a scanner)

    I want to have full "sharing" of all products and services. My question is: What will I need to connect all these devices (cables, routers, etc) and will I need to change the OS on any of them? The other question is; Can a complete "idiot" do this, or do I need to get a tech to install it?

    Any input greatly appreciated.
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

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    Re: New Network

    I'll let others chime in here too, as I'm no expert, but I do have a home network set up. As far as hardware, all you need is a 4 port router and some cat5e cable, and a network card for each machine. You want to connect your dsl modem to the router, and then each computer to the "other side" of the router. I have a Linksys BEFSR41, and there are others made by D-Link, etc. They are expandable as well, so you don't have to start over if you add more than 4 machines.

    Connecting the XP machines together is as easy as running the network connection wizard in xp. Connecting the 98 machine can be a little trickier, and seems to throw people for a loop at times. I suggest you search on the net for "home network" and you'll get lots of tutorials. Read up a little bit. The important thing to know is that It Can Be Done.

    You can either "share" your printers by leaving them connected to their respective computers and allowing the other computers on the network to use them, or you can install a printer server (or 2), which would allow the printer(s) to be connected to the network independently of any specific computer. You will probably do just fine by sharing the printers, and that option comes at no extra cost.

    You're right in thinking you don't need wireless. Check around for cat5 cable. I see cables at computer surplus stores all the time for like a dollar. No need to pay Retail Computer $tore prices!!! You should be able to get a 4 port router for about $50us.

    Setting up a small network like yours is really not that tough, but it's like getting a new software program (which in a way it is). You need to educate yourself on how it works, and learn the basics. I'm sure it you'll learn to appreciate the added flexibility it provides once you take the plunge, though.

    have fun!!

    kip

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    5 Star Lounger bfxtrfcmgr's Avatar
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    Re: New Network

    Kip,

    Thanks for your input, I do appreciate it. I had done some snooping around the web concerning this issue, and to be frank, it all seemed a little too easy (so much so that it frightens me). Anything put so matter-of-factly usually is fraught with "issues". I am concerned about the 98SE OS machine and am considering purchasing XP retail (ouch$!) for it and to upgrade the other PC running Home edition (I might have considered just the upgrade, but according to the previous owner, SE isn't ligit - a warning to anyone buying used hardware ). I suppose if I could get someone to turn me on to the Gateway code to write zero's to the drive I could just install Home and upgrade from there (Assuming a Home to Pro upgrade is OK).

    I also had looked at Linksys BEFSR41 router (great reviews, though a bit pricey) and will probably go that way (don't mind spending money for quality, ease of insallation, and expandability). Appreciate the cat5 cable info ( I would probably just say "I need some wire"). At startup I will propably just share the current connection for the printers and consider a print server later down the road.

    Thanks again for your input. I hope you don't mind if I check back with you once I'm ready to set it all up.
    Bryan,
    Not the smartest critter on the glacier. . .
    . . .but I'm persistent (does that count?)

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    Re: New Network

    No problem, glad to help if I can. Like I said, networking xp and 98 together DOES WORK, it is just sometimes frustrating to get it to do so. If your hardware can run xp smoothly, and you're ready to upgrade, great. You don't necessarily have to upgrade anything, though. Up to you, of course. As far as the upgrade from home to pro, I'm not sure that's necessary at all for your setup. My network (of 3 computers) runs on xp home just fine. The step up to pro is mostly for more sophisticated networking tasks, file server, exchange server, etc. Don't think you need it, but again it's up to you.

    Good luck, and check back with any questions, problems, or success stories!!!

    kip

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    Re: New Network

    Try to fins a copy of "Networking for Dummies" in a used book store it is ok.
    A GREAT book is "This Wired Home" by Microsoft Press.
    You have been given the list (NICs, Router [or a Hub or Switch] and cables [Cat 5 or cat 5e]) You can get the NICs and the cables at the local computer dollar store (at least around here) but buy an extra of each since one may be bad.
    I would use a XP Pro machine as the one to start the "Network Setup Wizard" from.
    Yes Win 98 can have problems playing with XP but the workarounds in these forums is great and does the job.

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