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Thread: Basic advice

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    Basic advice

    I'm new to this whole show, but think I get the general idea. I want to get some ideas on what I might need to buy, to get 2 PCs to run off the same cable connection, and if viable, to share printer and maybe some folders. The one currently connected runs XP Pro, the other NT4.0.

    My cable modem is Motorola SURFboard SB4200 which "Supports up to 32 users (1 via USB and up to 31 via Ethernet, or 32 users on Ethernet)"
    Motorola states "... if your computers are connected via a network, one Motorola cable modem will support up to 32 computers. Since each computer must have its own unique IP address - which you can order through your cable provider or ISP - expect to pay a little extra each month for each additional computer you tie in."

    But my ISP states "OptusNet Customer Service does not support home networks. As stated in the OptusNet Terms of Use - Optus will provide Customer Support for the connection to the OptusNet Cable or DSL Network to a single computer that meets the current Supported System Requirements. Optus will not provide Customer Support for the configuring of additional computers, networking devices or Local Area Networks for connection to the OptusNet Cable or DSL Network."
    But also "Home Networking benefits anyone who wishes to connect two or more computers to a single Internet connection. Solutions for Home Networking are available for people of any technical skill level, it's simply a matter of selecting the right solution for you." So presumably it's allowed but not supported. Does this all this mean that I do or don't need a router?

    The computers will need to be connected under the floor, with about 10m of cable. What, specifically, do I need to ask for when buying this?

    Any other newbie tips appreciated at this early stage, too.

    Alan

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    Re: Basic advice

    A router is the easiest way to go. You'll just have one IP address to the outside world. With most routers you'll get a hardware firewall that will enhance your security. Note: not a reason to uninstall the software firewall. Setting up file and printer sharing should not be difficult. There are many threads about home networking that contain helpful links.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Basic advice

    Alan

    I'm using a router with an XP Pro and an XP Home PC, the former directly-connected with 1 m of patch cable, and the other via a pair of homeplug devices which use the 220 V electrical wiring of the house as the pseudo-ethernet cable!

    You will probably find that you have Lots of Fun with directory and file permissions, but that printer sharing is surprisingly straightforward.

    I use SyncToy to keep four pairs of folders in synchronisation, IYSWIM !

    Good luck!

    John
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    Re: Basic advice

    If the running of wire to the second PC isn't easy to accomplish, you may want to consider wireless communication. Most of the big name home networking companies offer wireless routers with 4 or 5 wired ports also available on the same unit. These units are also found in home kits packaged with a USB or PCI or PCMCIA wireless network card.

    I have also seen routers with a printer server built in, which would solve your priter sharing issue. Having the printer available without a designated PC turned on at all times for printing is a very nice option. I solved this for a while by running a floppy disk linux distribution on an old Pentium 200 MMX (no hard drive, low RAM). It had just enough information to act as a dedicated print server - similar to HP's JetDirect boxes. 2 months ago I replaced this and the deskjet printer with a low cost network laser printer, now attached directly to my own router.

    As you can see, there's many options available!
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: Basic advice

    OK chaps. I've grabbed myself a TP-LINK TL-WR541G 54M Wireless LAN Router and cabled both computers. My XP Pro worked immediately, but the plot thickens with the second box. It came from a university workstation and looks like it has some sort of barebones installation of NT4.0 SP6. I know nothing about NT, but I can see that no network is set up. Since I don't have NT4 disks, is it worth persisting with this, or would I be better off to install my old 98SE?

    I've opened the box and there is a network card with ethernet socket onboard, but none of the diagnostics I've run detect the card as such. I'll obviously be needing it <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> so can anyone recommend a course of action on this?

    thanks
    Alan

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    Re: Basic advice

    From what little I know about NT, you'd have nothing but headaches if you don't have possession of the OS disk(s). Unless there's something you plan to do with this second machine that Win98SE can't handle, I'd go ahead and install Win98 since you already own it and aren't using it. At least it was better (I think) at hardware detection than I hear NT was. But, as is usually the case, you ought to try to find drivers for the network and video cards ahead of time, if you can.

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    Re: Basic advice

    Thanks Al. I'll start with a clean 98 install and take it from there.

    Aln

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    Re: Basic advice

    You could try a clean Linux install too ya know <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>.
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: Basic advice

    If you agree to supply all the training required to keep the missus happy (and quiet <img src=/S/hushmouth.gif border=0 alt=hushmouth width=16 height=16>) then I'll consider it. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Alan

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    Re: Basic advice

    It's all Open Source, so it ought to be entirely intuitive...

    John

    <small>Just like Microsoft Networking is...</small>
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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    Re: Basic advice

    Err... yeah... right. I'm fascinted by these HomePlug Ethernet Adapters though. Never come across them before, but they're rather dearer than patch cables. I guess it depends on how easy cabling is, or even if it's possible.

    Alan

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    Re: Basic advice

    I used the homeplugs in lieu of an ethernet cable that would have to go through the ceiling, along three walls across the landing and through another wall, with the alternative of going up the stairs. The ethernet cable would have been cheap, but the chap to make the holes neatly and cover the cable up in trunking would probably have been dearer.

    John
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    Re: Basic advice

    > through the ceiling, along three walls across the landing and through another wall, with the alternative of going up the stairs

    It must be tough living in those grand stately English mansions. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Alan

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    Re: Basic advice

    After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I've almost got the result I'm after. I can share the internet connection and printer, and can manage to share a folder provided my firewall (Agnitum Outpost free) is set to Disabled on the XP box. The 98 box isn't firewalled yet. As far as my blind logic can tell me, I might be able to get around this by allowing NetBOIS communication. I've set this up on the firewall for the IP address range of the router. BUT I can't bind the 98 TCP/IP protocols with NetBIOS (option greyed in attachment). I've installed the NetBEUI protocol, but that didn't seem to make a difference.

    Any ideas, or should I change trees to bark up?

    Alan

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    Re: Basic advice

    Try this, for it's easily un-done if it doesn't help. When I recently got my new Dell and moved the old PC to another room (wired network) I had trouble with file sharing. Mine are both XP. You might want to take a look at the thread starting here <post:=564,653>post 564,653</post:> for there's some good reading called out, but my comment in <post:=564,709>post 564,709</post:> about the permissions settings.

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