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February 7, 2005

"Home Networking Annoyances": Relief for the Headaches of Running a Home Network

Sebastopol, CA--The beauty of a home network is that it can make life so easy--what could be better than sharing an Internet connection so everyone can be online at the same time? You can move files from one computer to another, share resources, print to a single printer or multiple printers from any computer in the house, and IM the kids when they're holed up in their rooms. And the downside? Anyone who's ever had to troubleshoot a network glitch knows the answer to that question. The simple words, "Why can't I print?" are enough to send the home network administrator running for cover. Running a close second are: "Why can't I get on the Internet?" and "Why does my computer say 'Access Denied' today, when it worked fine yesterday?" And the concept of "network security" can keep the soundest sleeper tossing and turning all night.

More than 8 million home networks in the US--expected to jump to 37 million within five years--speak to the availability of easy-to-install home networking products. Unfortunately, there's also a glut of potential headaches that can occur after installation (and sometimes during) with no warning label on the box to advise, "This product sure to cause annoyances." But help is here. Home Networking Annoyances (O'Reilly, US $24.95) by Kathy Ivens is a must-have resource for families and small business folks looking to troubleshoot connection problems, share printers swap files, and ward off intruders.

As Ivens notes, "Installing a network is easier than most people think, but maintaining a network is almost as much work as raising children." Like most computer professionals, Ivens is constantly asked for--and doles out--help, advice, and opinions. "Every event and occasion in my life seems to produce questions about computers," she muses, "and for the past few years, the vast majority of questions were about home networks." The freebie consulting sessions occurred at dinner parties, in line at the bank, and even in an operating room: "The anesthesiologist, poising the IV above my arm, asked me to solve her wireless problem. After a satisfactory response, I was permitted to drift off," says Ivens.

Ivens's new book tackles all the common annoyances associated with running a network--whether it's wired or wireless, Mac or PC, or a combination thereof. Its friendly, off-the-cuff approach will put readers in a position of power over those home networking glitches, including file sharing, printing, cabling, security, and much more. The book offers dozens of on-target tips, workarounds, and fixes to help improve the home networking experience in every way possible. Topics covered include:

  • Hardware horror stories: Get help adding a wireless laptop, Mac, printer, or fifth PC to a network.
  • Welcome to the network neighborhood: Learn how to find, access, and troubleshoot drives, folders, and other computers on your network.
  • Batten down the hatches: Keep your sanity as you fight viruses, worms, and hackers, and struggle to keep your private files private.
  • Other miscellaneous irritations: Find answers to logon, password, ISP, instant messenger, AOL, and Windows annoyances.
  • Whether you're a mainstream business user or a home user with newly installed network hardware, you've probably had your patience tested by frustrating network maintenance issues. Take a stand against annoyances now: Home Networking Annoyances is your ticket to serenity.

    Additional Resources:

    Home Networking Annoyances
    Kathy Ivens
    ISBN: 0-596-00808-2, 209 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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