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Chapter 11: Putting Your Wireless Home Network to Work 221

Sharing other peripherals

Sharing any other peripheral is quite similar to sharing printers. You need to make sure that you’re sharing the device on the computer that it’s attached to. Then you need to install that device on another PC by using that device’s installation procedures. Obviously, we can’t be very specific about such an installation because of the widely varying processes that companies use to install devices. Most of the time — like with a printer — you need to install the drivers for the device that you’re sharing on your other computers.

Note that some of the devices that you attach to your network have integral Web servers in them. This is getting more and more common. Danny’s AudioReQuest (www.request.com) music server, for instance, is visible on his home network and is addressable by any of his PCs. Thus, he can download music to and from the AudioReQuest server and sync it to his other devices that he wants music on. Anyone else in the home can do the same — even remotely, over the Internet. We talk more about the AudioReQuest system in Chapter 13.

Danny has also set up a virtual CD server in his home to manage all the CDs that his kids have for their games. This server is shared on the home network. By using Virtual CD software from H+H Zentrum fuer Rechnerkommunikation GmbH (www.virtualcd-online.com/default_e.htm; $75 for a five-user license), Danny has loaded all his CDs onto a single machine so that the kids (he’s got four kids) can access those CDs from any of their individual PCs (he’s got four spoiled kids). Instead of looking to the local hard drive for the CD, any of the kids’ PCs looks to the server to find the CD — hence the name virtual CD. Now those stacks of CDs (and moans over a scratched CD!) are gone.

Sharing between Macs and

Windows-based PCs

We could tell you about all sorts of ways that you can get files from Macs to PCs — as well as kludgey ways to send them via FTP from computer to computer — but the simple fact of the matter is this: If you have a Mac and want to get it on a PC network, you buy a software program for the Macintosh called DAVE. If you have a non-Apple computer that you want on your Mac network, you go to Chapter 8 where we show you how to do that. If you have a Mac network on which you want to share files, printers, and other peripherals, check out the nearby sidebar, “Care for a Rendezvous?”

222 Part IV: Using a Wireless Network

Care for a Rendezvous?

One cool feature that Apple has added to its

Here’s one great feature about Rendezvous: On

newest version of Mac OS — Mac OS v. 10.2

Macs that are equipped with Apple AirPort net-

(often called Jaguar) — is a networking system

work adapter cards, it lets two (or more) Macs

called Rendezvous. Rendezvous is based on an

in range of each other (in other words, within

open Internet standard (IETF [Internet Engin-

Wi-Fi range) automatically connect to each

eering Task Force] Zeroconf) and is being

other for file sharing, Instant Messaging, and

adopted by a number of manufacturers outside

such without going through any extra steps of

of Apple.

setting up a peer-to-peer network.

Basically, Rendezvous (and Zeroconf) is a lot

Rendezvous is enabled automatically in Mac OS

like Bluetooth (which we discuss in Chapter 15)

v. 10.2 computers if you turn enable Personal

in that it allows devices on a network to dis-

Fire Sharing (found in the System Preferences;

cover each other without any user intervention

look for the Sharing Icon) or use Apple’s iChat

or special configuration. Rendezvous is being

Instant Messaging Program, Apple’s Safari Web

incorporated into many products, such as print-

browsers, or any Rendezvous-capable printer

ers, storage devices (basically, networkable

connected to your Airport network.

hard drives), and even household electronics


like TiVos (hard drive-based television personal


video recorders [PVRs]).




If you have a Mac, you’ve probably heard about DAVE from someone. Using DAVE enables you to share CDs, printers, hard drives, folders, and so on. DAVE (www.thursby.com; $149 for a single-user license) uses the fast, industry standard Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) protocol instead of AppleTalk and is designed specifically for the Apple Macintosh. It’s installed on the Macintosh, and no additional hardware or software is required on the PC. There are versions for all current versions of Mac OS, including OS X.

When you install DAVE on your Mac and launch it for the first time, the DAVE setup assistant will launch. Follow the onscreen steps — you’ll need to tell DAVE what type of Windows network you’ll be connecting to. (You need to mark a check box to specify if your Windows network uses Windows NT or Windows 2000.) You’ll also need to enter a name for your Mac as well as identify the name of the Windows network workgroup, as we discuss earlier in this chapter. DAVE will then automatically connect your Mac to the PC network, asking you whether you want to share files from your Mac with PCs in the network.

Chapter 11: Putting Your Wireless Home Network to Work 223

If you’re using the latest version of Mac OS X — Jaguar, or OS X v. 10.2 — your Mac can basically work right out of the box with any Windows network for things like file sharing. That is, if you have Mac OS X v. 10.2 (or later), you don’t need DAVE.

Thursby also sells the program MacSOHO that enables file and printer sharing between PCs and Macs. We don’t suggest you get this because it won’t work with Windows XP. Microsoft has decided to eliminate support for NetBEUI from its new release, Windows XP, and MacSOHO uses the NetBEUI protocol. Get DAVE instead.

224 Part IV: Using a Wireless Network

Chapter 12

Gaming over a Wireless Home Network

In This Chapter

Unwiring your gaming PCs: Hardware and networking requirements

Getting your gaming consoles online

Forwarding those ports

Setting up a demilitarized zone (DMZ)

In case you missed it, gaming is huge. We mean HUGE. The video gaming industry is, believe it or not, bigger than the entertainment industry gener-

ated by Hollywood. Billions of dollars per year are spent on PC game software and hardware and on gaming consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox. You probably know a bit about gaming — we bet you’ve at least played Minesweeper on your PC or Pong on an Atari when you were a kid. But what you might not know is that video gaming has moved online in a big way. And for that, you need a network.

All three of the big gaming console vendors — Sony (www.us.playstation. com), Microsoft (www.xbox.com), and Nintendo (www.gamecube.com) — have created inexpensive networking kits for their latest consoles that let you connect your console to a broadband Internet connection (such as a cable or digital subscriber line [DSL]) to play against people anywhere in the world. Online PC gaming has also become a huge phenomenon, with games such as EverQuest Online attracting millions of users.

A big challenge for anyone getting into online gaming is finding a way to get consoles and PCs in different parts of the house connected to your Internet connection. For example, if you have an Xbox, it’s probably in your living room or home theater, and we’re willing to bet that your cable or DSL modem is in the home office. Lots of folks string a Cat 5e Ethernet cable down the hall and hook it into their game machine — a great approach if you don’t mind tripping over that cable at 2 a.m. when you let the dogs out. Enter your wireless home network, a much better approach to getting these gaming devices online.

226 Part IV: Using a Wireless Network

In this chapter, we talk about some of the hardware requirements for getting a gaming PC or game console online. In the case of gaming consoles, you’ll need to pick up some extra gear because none of the current online kits contain wireless gear. We also talk about some of the steps that you need to take in order to configure your router (or the router in your access point [AP], if they’re the same box in your wireless local area network [LAN]) to get your online gaming up and running.

We’re approaching this chapter with the assumption that your wireless gaming network will be connecting to the Internet using some sort of alwayson, broadband connection such as DSL or a cable modem, using a home router (either the one built into your access point or a separate one). We have two reasons for this assumption: First, we think that online gaming works much, much better on a broadband connection; second, because with some console systems (particularly the Xbox), you are required to have a broadband connection to use online gaming.

One of the biggest things that broadband brings is speed to your gaming experience. A big part of online gaming is not so much how quickly you can kill your opponent or crossover your dribble but how quickly the central gaming host computer in the middle of it all knows that you performed a certain action (and recognizes it). How frustrating to fire a missile at a helicopter only to find out that the helicopter blew you up first because the system registered its firing before yours. The time that it takes for your gaming commands to cross the Internet — in gaming, at least — is often a matter of virtual life or death.

Get your online game on!

The biggest trend in PC gaming (besides the

If you’ve not yet checked out online gaming, you

ever-improving quality of graphics enabled by

might not realize what a big deal it is. In parts of

the newest hardware) is the development of

the world where broadband is ubiquitous — like

online gaming. Broadband Internet connectivity

South Korea, where almost every home is wired

has become widespread — about a quarter of

with DSL or cable — broadband online games

Americans use broadband at home, according to

boast tens of millions of users. Here in the United

the Pew Internet Life Survey. This has allowed

States, this trend has not quite reached those

online PC gaming to grow beyond simplistic (and

proportions, but there are still millions of users

low-speed) Java games (which still can be fun —

playing various multi-player online games. Face

check out games.yahoo.com) and move

it — it’s just plain fun to reach out and blow up

toward high-speed, graphics–intensive, multi-

your buddy’s tank from 1,000 miles away.

player games like Quake III.