D-Link DFE-905 Network Kit - Part 3
However, the essential hardware (the adapters, cables and the hub) was still similar and I was willing to forgo the games bundle and the Quick Start Guide. I then bought the kit at a good S$260 with the hope of a trouble free installation.

I installed the adapters and software drivers on these two configured machines :

  • Intel Penium Pro 200
  • Asus P/I-P6NP5 440 FX BABY AT Motherboard
  • 64 MB PC-66 EDO RAM
  • 2 x Seagate ST 52601A Medalist Pro 2.1 GB HDD
  • Asus 40X CD-ROM Drive
  • SBLive! with LiveWare! 2.0
  • Diamond FireGL 1000Pro PCI 8MB SGRAM
  • Canopus Pure3D 4MB
  • Sony Multiscan 15sf 15" Monitor
  • Intel Pentium II-333
  • ABit BX 2.0 Motherboard
  • 128 MB PC-100 SDRAM
  • IBM Deskstar 10GP 10.1 GB HDD
  • Yamaha CRW4416E CDRW Drive
  • Asus 40X CD-ROM Drive
  • SBLive! Value with Liveware! 2.0 installed
  • Voodoo3 3000 AGP 16 MB
  • NEC Multisync V700 17" Monitor

I wasn't disappointed. It was all a matter of plugging in the NICs, powering the hub and connecting the cables. Simply Plug 'N Play. Windows 98 automatically detected the DFE-530TX adapters on both computers that I linked up and prompted me to install the drivers for the them. At this stage, I had to use the diskette provided because the driver database had no existing drivers available. You can also get the drivers from D-Link's website. In addition, the Windows 98 CD was required as well. The DFE-904 was a 4-port hub which allowed by itself, a maximum of 4 computers linked together. In order to have more machines networked, another hub has to be connected to the Uplink jack in the DFE-904. However, because the Uplink jack is part of the same circuit as the fourth jack in the hub, using it renders the fourth jack unusable. The DFE-904 is powered separately using an AC adapter.

Fig 1.5 Installing the DFE-530TX drivers in Windows 98


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Fig 1.6 Network Settings in the Control Panel after installing the protocols and services

After installing the drivers, I had to set up both systems for networking under Windows 98. Firstly, I had to install the TCP/IP protocol and NETBEUI for the adapter under the network settings in the Control Panel. In addition, I also installed File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks. After installing them, I had to restart Windows for both computers. By the next bootup, both computers were available in the Network Neighbourhood on either computer. One point to take note of was that a short period of time was required after Windows 98 starts up before both computers could be recognised in Network Neighbourhood. Thanks to Wingate 3.0 and the help of a pal of mine, both of the computers that I networked was able to share my Magix (Singapore ADSL service) connection. I'll be glad to rent one of my ADSL-enabled computers (and a room to boot as well!) to anyone willing to pay half of the bill every month. Wilfred has put up an "irresistable" offer to sleep with me and share my bed. I welcome any other takers!

After completing the network settings on both computers, it was a simple task of sharing the resources (by right clicking on the drives in "My Computer" and selecting the share option. Same goes for the printers) and voila! I transformed.

Fig 1.7 Explorer before Networking
Fig 1.8 Explorer after Networking

Needless to say, I was quite elated at having another computer for storing all my MP3s, graphics files and South Park episode clips without the hassle of Zip or diskette transfers!


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