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Chapter 14. Setting Up and Running a Small Network

Chapter 14. Setting Up and Running a Small Network

Once upon a time, you needed an engineering degree, a shelf full of technical manuals, and a couple of voodoo dolls to connect two or more computers in a local area network (LAN). Thanks to Microsoft Windows XP, those days are history. Setting up hardware can still be a challenge, but once you get the cables and network cards sorted out properly, a wizard handles the work of configuring your network. The result is that even a moderately experienced Windows user can hook up two or more computers running Windows XP in a matter of minutes.

And once you have your network set up, you can start reaping the benefits immediately, including the convenience of sharing files and printers with other users. You can even share an Internet connection, which can save you money in the long run. You don’t have to surrender your privacy if you have a network, either—with Windows XP, you can have your own customized work space, and you can share documents that you want to make available to other users while keeping your private documents from prying eyes.


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