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Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 03:50 PM   #1
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Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

That OAP post on his laptop reminded me I need a laptop. My main purpose will be for surfing the net upstairs, maybe working on some excel files without trekking downstairs and isolating myself.. I've never owned a laptop, so bear with me.

What type of system/program will I need to share files from my PC to my laptop? Can I transmit the files (from laptop to PC or vice versa) over wireless internet from my internet provider? Also, how does having a home PC AND wireless access in the house work? Do I need a wireless router on my PC and I just use that signal? Is it slower than regular cable?


Sorry for all the ?'s! Thanks!
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 04:45 PM   #2
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

If you have not bought your laptop already here are a couple of suggestions:
1. Buy a laptop with the wireless capability already installed.
2. Along with the laptop buy a wireless mouse, those cursor pads are useless.

As far as sharing files, Windows XP allows you to put files or folders in the Shared Folder. Just mouse START button > My Computer > and Shared Documents.

Whatever you put in there can be seen from the other computer.

Others will be along any second to answer the router questions.
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 04:57 PM   #3
 
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
If you have not bought your laptop already here are a couple of suggestions:

2. Along with the laptop buy a wireless mouse, those cursor pads are useless.
I totally disagree! - The pads are the best mouse in my opinion. Once you get used to them, most will find a mouse very cumbersome!
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 05:20 PM   #4
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed

What type of system/program will I need to share files from my PC to my laptop? Can I transmit the files (from laptop to PC or vice versa) over wireless internet from my internet provider? Also, how does having a home PC AND wireless access in the house work? Do I need a wireless router on my PC and I just use that signal? Is it slower than regular cable?
You will want to use a Wireless NAT Router. It's possible that your cable modem has one built in. They cost around $50 and you should get one with 802.11G, WPA encryption, and a few LAN (ethernet) ports. Make sure the built in wireless on the notebook supports 802.11G and WPA. Most do these days.

Then connect the Router's unlink port to the cable modem, and your PC to one of the ethernet ports.

Then you can transfer files back and forth using Windows Networking (aka File and Print Sharing, or NetBios). Windows XP Home has basic networking support. The problem is that everyone can see the shared folders on your PC. If you need more privacy because others are using the network, and the files contain sensitive/private information, you need to use Windows XP Profressional. Using XP Pro you can set it up so that you have to enter a username and password to see the files.

The speed of the wireless connection will depend on your distance from the router. If you are reasonably close you shouldn't notice a difference for web surfing (the internet connection is the bottleneck). If you need to transfer very large files between your PC and laptop you'll see faster speeds if you plug the laptop into one of the ports on the router.

Once you get everything working you should enable WPA encryption on the router and notebook PC, and disable Universal Plug and Play in the router. Make sure you change the default password in the router's administration web pages.

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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 05:37 PM   #5
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Well C-T, you must have hands the size of a three year old because my size 14 shoes and hand with 9 inch fingers don't even fit on those little teeny, tiny pads. Looks like something made for a child.
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 05:43 PM   #6
 
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
Well C-T, you must have hands the size of a three year old because my size 14 shoes and hand with 9 inch fingers don't even fit on those little teeny, tiny pads. Looks like something made for a child.
Well, I am average size - Size 14 shoes are not. - My shoes are the ones usually displayed in the shoe store window - Size 8 1/2. - I know because, if they don't have my size - I say check the ones in the window.

I have a tiny laptop with a 10.5 inch screen and I am able to get all 10 of my fingers on the laptop pad at the same time, with room to spare! - I just tried it!
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 05:48 PM   #7
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

I'm with OAP on this. I hate the cursor pad. I like to point and click, not aim, slide and enter (oops, did I just say that? ). Even worse are those little worthless nubs in the middle of the keypad.
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 06:02 PM   #8
 
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
I'm with OAP on this. I hate the cursor pad. I like to point and click, not aim, slide and enter (oops, did I just say that? ). Even worse are those little worthless nubs in the middle of the keypad.
I agree with the nubs in the middle of the keypad, but I'm totally sold on the cursor pad. No more finding room to slide your mouse around on. I'm sitting here on the couch with the laptop on my lap, and no need for a flat surface to roll a mouse around on.

I use both on a regular basis. My desktop has a mouse and my laptop has the pad. I prefer the pad. I'm guessing that the folks that don't like the pad, do not use one on a regular basis.
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 06:52 PM   #9
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by JB
You will want to use a Wireless NAT Router. It's possible that your cable modem has one built in. They cost around $50 and you should get one with 802.11G, WPA encryption, and a few LAN (ethernet) ports. Make sure the built in wireless on the notebook supports 802.11G and WPA. Most do these days.

Then connect the Router's unlink port to the cable modem, and your PC to one of the ethernet ports.

Then you can transfer files back and forth using Windows Networking (aka File and Print Sharing, or NetBios). Windows XP Home has basic networking support. The problem is that everyone can see the shared folders on your PC. If you need more privacy because others are using the network, and the files contain sensitive/private information, you need to use Windows XP Profressional. Using XP Pro you can set it up so that you have to enter a username and password to see the files.

The speed of the wireless connection will depend on your distance from the router. If you are reasonably close you shouldn't notice a difference for web surfing (the internet connection is the bottleneck). If you need to transfer very large files between your PC and laptop you'll see faster speeds if you plug the laptop into one of the ports on the router.

Once you get everything working you should enable WPA encryption on the router and notebook PC, and disable Universal Plug and Play in the router. Make sure you change the default password in the router's administration web pages.

great info! thanks

this is all it tells me about the wireless capability: "802.11b/g Wireless LAN"

nothing about WPA

Here's the laptop I'm considering...remember...90% internet, 10% excel Can get for 480 shipped, and will spend 60 on anaother 256 or 512 or ram




HP Compaq NX6110 NoteBook Intel Celeron M 360(1.4GHz) 15.0" XGA 256MB DDR333 40GB 5400rpm DVD/CD-RW Combo Intel GMA900 - Retail
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 07:00 PM   #10
 
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
great info! thanks

this is all it tells me about the wireless capability: "802.11b/g Wireless LAN"

nothing about WPA
It will probably support WPA. After you get it hooked up to your system, you can adjust the settings of the router in 'admin' mode. This will allow you to set up the security of the router (WPA) - If you have not done this before, it will be a little confusing. If you don't mind doing it yourself, be prepared for a few hours of 'banging' on the keyboard. It is not plug and play. Or if you'd rather not, find a friend that may be versed in network stuff.

If you choose to do it yourself, you'll become an 'expert' just like us. That is the only way I know of to learn something.
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 08:25 PM   #11
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
I'm with OAP on this. I hate the cursor pad. I like to point and click, not aim, slide and enter (oops, did I just say that? ). Even worse are those little worthless nubs in the middle of the keypad.
I'll third this. I totally hate touchpads. Mine has a 'drag and drop' capability that I wish I could shut off, as anytime my fingers get anywhere near the pad it clicklocks and tries to drag the entire area under the cursor with it :P

A mouse is definitely the way to go for dragging and dropping, and precision. And hand size has a lot to do with it. My wife loves the touchpad, and her dainty little hands are the reason. Mine are huge.

Touchpads have also created and exacerbated some repetitive strain problems in my right wrist and hand.

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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 08:40 PM   #12
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
I totally disagree! - The pads are the best mouse in my opinion. Once you get used to them, most will find a mouse very cumbersome!
Apparently you don't sweat either.

The touchpads are totally useless in a humid or sweaty environment. I'm sure not willing to move to your neck of the woods!
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 09:41 PM   #13
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
I totally disagree! - The pads are the best mouse in my opinion. Once you get used to them, most will find a mouse very cumbersome!
ditto x 2
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 09:43 PM   #14
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
Even worse are those little worthless nubs in the middle of the keypad.
ditto x 3
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-27-2006, 11:41 PM   #15
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute n Fuzzy Bunnay
I'll third this.* I totally hate touchpads.* Mine has a 'drag and drop' capability that I wish I could shut off, as anytime my fingers get anywhere near the pad it clicklocks and tries to drag the entire area under the cursor with it :P

A mouse is definitely the way to go for dragging and dropping, and precision.* And hand size has a lot to do with it.* My wife loves the touchpad, and her dainty little hands are the reason.* Mine are huge.

Touchpads have also created and exacerbated some repetitive strain problems in my right wrist and hand.

I'll fourth that one. If I could disassemble the dang thing, I would. Lost way too much stuff due to thumbs inadvertently touching the pad.
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-28-2006, 09:40 AM   #16
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Does anyone have input on the computer specs/price I quoted in my last post?

Seems like a deal for 500 bucks
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-28-2006, 09:53 AM   #17
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Its not bad, but you can buy a superior machine almost any day of the week for under $400, if that helps. This compaq has a bottom of the bucket processor, minimum ram, minimum hard drive, no dvd burner, baseline graphics although it surprises with a 6-cell lion battery rather than the usual 4 cell one finds in a cheap machine.

Check http://www.fatwallet.com/c/18/ and search for 'notebook' or 'laptop' for any current deals.

You can also pull a 'wab' and scrounge the dell outlet. I see a bunch of systems there in the same price range with larger hard drives, more memory and better processors. My experience with them wasnt so great, but then my experience with HP/compaq's laptops isnt too sweet either.
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-28-2006, 10:15 AM   #18
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute n Fuzzy Bunnay
Its not bad, but you can buy a superior machine almost any day of the week for under $400, if that helps. This compaq has a bottom of the bucket processor, minimum ram, minimum hard drive, no dvd burner, baseline graphics although it surprises with a 6-cell lion battery rather than the usual 4 cell one finds in a cheap machine.

Check http://www.fatwallet.com/c/18/ and search for 'notebook' or 'laptop' for any current deals.

You can also pull a 'wab' and scrounge the dell outlet. I see a bunch of systems there in the same price range with larger hard drives, more memory and better processors. My experience with them wasnt so great, but then my experience with HP/compaq's laptops isnt too sweet either.
Please find em a superioir machine for under 400...i bet you cant. If so, I will buy it!

I've searched fatwallet already to no avail.

And WTF is a WAB on dell?
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-28-2006, 10:18 AM   #19
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

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And WTF is a WAB on dell?
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN
Old 06-28-2006, 10:28 AM   #20
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Re: Laptop info needed. Never used wireless LAN

thefed,
if you live near CompUSA, they have display models for sale all the time around that price, and all kinds of specs. Mostly HP, Compaq and Sony.

I got this for $499 because it was the last one they had and it was a display. I suspect a bit of hanky-panky in the pricing. Like the manager wanted his neighbor to get it. But I arrived at the store in Chicago just as the doors were opening, grabbed it and paid. Check this site for a review of your machine.

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=2242
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