Home networks—which can be wired, wireless or a combination—are ideal for sharing a high-speed Internet connection, using one printer with several PCs, or sharing files on multiple computers. This section offers tips on safe, hypersonic networking.
Shortcuts on your desktop are the quickest way to access computers, drives, folders, or other resources on your network. To create a shortcut, just open My Network Places, and drag each frequently used folder or item to your desktop. Voilá! XP creates a desktop shortcut for each one. If you've created mapped network drives, as described in Section 9.2.5, drag those to the desktop from Windows Explorer. Then when you want to open any of these items, just double-click them.
If you share a network with many computers—say, in a busy office—it can take a fair amount of hunting and clicking to locate a colleague's PC. Here's a quicker way to find another computer on a network—as long as you know its name or part of its name.
To start, press Ctrl+Windows key+F and conduct a search, just as you'd search for a file on your own PC. You can search for a name or even just a few letters. For example, if you search for "jus," XP finds all the computers whose names contain that string of letters (e.g., Justin, Justice, or AuJus). To connect to the computer you want, just double-click the correct one.
When you connect to ...