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PC Hardware Annoyances by Stephen J. Bigelow

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Chapter 7. Network Annoyances

When I started tinkering with PCs, the only way to share files between PCs was through the “sneakernet,” which involved carrying floppy disks from one PC to another. Of course networks existed long before the PC, but only in the realm of high-end mainframe installations. The broad adoption of Ethernet networking transformed the way that computers exchanged information, which in turn enabled dramatic growth in Local Area Network (LAN) sizes, while lowering the cost. Then the Internet evolved, linking individual PCs and entire LANs into the single global information resource that we can’t live without today.

Still, connecting diverse PCs to each other and the Internet is rarely a simple proposition. This chapter examines network hardware configuration and driver issues, and then looks at particular headaches related to ordinary dial-up modems and high-speed cable/DSL connections. You’ll also find solutions to common wireless problems, along with some practical remedies for resource sharing and firewall annoyances.

CONFIGURATION ANNOYANCES

FINDING DETAILED NIC INFORMATION

The Annoyance:

The Device Manager under Windows XP doesn’t tell me very much about my Network Interface Card. How do I probe deeper into this device and find its gory details?

The Fix:

Don’t give up on Device Manager so hastily. Granted, you won’t find anything other than basic identification information on the General tab or common driver version details on the Driver tab of the NIC Properties ...

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