I currently have a PC with Windows 98 (desktop) and recently ordered a laptop (Windows XP). The laptop has been ordered with a Wireless Networking Card (internal 802.22b/g, 54Mbps). I would like to network these two machines to take advantage of accessing the Internet, and printing. All other functionality (sharing documents & applications) is not necessary, but would do it, if it were simple.

My desktop accesses the Internet via a DSL connection. I am aware that I will need to purchase a Wireless Broadband Router.

After I hook up the router, what else will I need to do to allow printing from the laptop to the desktop’s printers?

Will sharing of documents and applications be possible?

Will I need to install the firewall application (Zone Labs) on the laptop? Should I install Spybot, Adware, etc. on the laptop, too?

Questions, questions, questions. J

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Make sure that the router you purchase has an inbuilt 'Gateway' function and you won't need the software Firewall on either machine. You can use one for added safety if you like, but it's optional.

You'll need to enable 'Sharing' in the Printer properties, and will need to use the 'Add a printer' routine on the laptop to install a 'Network Printer'. (You might need the printer installation CD and navigate to the 'drivers' folder on it if Windows XP doesn't have an inbuilt driver for your printer)

Will sharing of documents and applications be possible?

Application Sharing is not going to be possible initially. You can make it work, but basically you have to re-install that particular application you want to share, from the client computer to the server computer. But then you will always need to have the server computer running. As well it gets "fun" when trying to set permissions, and even getting the install to work.

So it is up to you? :cool:

Thanks for the great advice. I understand sharing applications will be difficult, but what about documents? Will I be bale to access documents on the desktop from the laptop, and vice versa? If so, is there a specific method to enable this functionality?


Yes, it's pretty much just a question of setting the sharing properties for any folder whose contents you wish to share. The exact procedure differs a bit between XP and 98, partially because XP has more security features than 98 does. With XP you have more control over the permissions a given user (or group) has in terms of their ability to read, write, delete, etc. file and folders. The permission and security settings are all in the "Sharing and Security..." setup window, which you access by right-clicking on any folder you want to share; you should find the options fairly intuitive.

In terms of sharing documents stored directly on the desktop, it's probably better to store the actual items in a folder of their own (which you would share, of course) and make shortcuts to those items on the desktop. It isn't really a great idea to share system folders such as the folder where your desktop items are stored.

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