Take Two Tranquilizers Before You Network At Home

You need grit--and time. And many products are incompatible

I admit it: I'm a technology writer, yet I dreaded the prospect of trying out home networking. Sure, I was intrigued by the idea that I could zap files easily between my desktop and laptop computers, use one printer to print out documents from either, and surf the Net from both machines simultaneously. But I was acutely aware of how tough this would be. My biggest fear? That I would somehow damage one of my computers. After all, Windows 95 is a fragile beast, and these machines are my lifeblood--how I pay my bills, stay in touch with friends, and do my job. So I procrastinated. I watered the yard, made calls, and read the paper.

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