Thursday, February 24, 2005

Ivens: Home Networking Annoyances—Your Household IT Department


O'Reilly is fast becoming my go-to publisher for these ANNOYANCES compilations. The latest entry is Home Networking Annoyances, which covers "how to fix the most annoying things about your home network.

Maybe you don't have a home network. Chances are, however, you do have more than one computer, a printer or all-in-one output, modem(s), perhaps digital cameras and other input sources. The largest worry about linking up your home computers may be, "what happens when I run into problems?" It's not like you have a resident IT guy in the basement.

For those of us who leave the help-desk access at the office, who no longer have a teenager at home, Kathy Ivens' book is a godsend. The information is divided in a sensible manner, starting with Hardware, then covering Software, Network Access, and Maintenance Annoyances. Security issues specific to networks get a thorough examination. Finally, Shared-Access and Network Expansion problems are covered.

Some of the tips and answers are well-known to techies. For example, the 12-minute wait for a new computer to "publish" itself on a Windows system: the "browser master" (one of the computers on your network) runs the browser service task every 12 minutes. If you've added a new computer on your network, but it doesn't appear right away, the longest you need to wait is 12 minutes. Once the browser service runs, the new computer will show up in My Network Places.

Some tips are less obvious. There is a limit to simultaneous connections in a Wimdows network that can bite you when you're using one home computer as a print server. You can use Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) with broadband and cable modems.

Unlike the previous ANNOYANCES books, this one has green as the second color. It is much easier to read, yet the command lines stand out from the rest of the text.


Blogger samraat said...

4/03/2010 9:44 PM  

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