Loading Software and Data Transfer: I have employed a number of techniques to get round the lack of a CD for loading software onto my Toshiba Libretto Laptop.
Howto Transfer Programs and Data to a Laptop
- Use of my parallel port backup tape drive. This was used to copy CD "images" on to disk drive for installation and to copy much of my downloaded software sources, configuration, dictionary etc files from a routine backup tape. Very simple and effective.
- Connection via the TranXit software provided and a serial file transfer cable. This program allows synchronization of directories etc but being a Windows 3.1 legacy program does not support long file names.
- Use of the Windows 95 Direct Cable Connection software for Dial Up Networking. It is slow over the serial link but fast enough to keep up with my 4x CD ROM drive over the parallel link. I installed over 100 Mbytes of Microsoft Office 97 including Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook from the 600 Mbyte CD in about half an hour.
Windows 95 Direct Cable Connection software
Direct Cable Connection: The software is built into Windows 95 but it will need to be installed and configured. Once the correct protocols etc are installed it works very well both for file sharing and printing over a parallel link. To install it double click on Control Panel then
double click on the Add/Remove Programs icon. Select the
Windows Setup tab then Communications and details then tick
Dial-up Networking and Direct cable Connection. The other boxes are not essential but chances are you will need Hyperterminal so tick it as well. Windows will now install from you disks
Configuring Direct Cable Connection (DCC) and Dial Up Networking (DUN) software: It is best to add the programs for the Direct Cable Connection and Dial Up Networking (DUN) for the Internet at the same time if you are going to use both. The procedures for Installing Dial up Networking are covered at length in one of my technical notes. In particular it is important to end up with a log in password when the machine boots up otherwise you can not save your passwords. You only get a single chance to give the initial password when installing DUN and I have found no way to get back with completely uninstalling and installing it again.
Additional Protocols for Direct Cable Connection: The additions over Dial Up Networking and TCP/IP I found essential for the Direct Cable Connection to work are:
The protocols above should have been installed when you installed DDC and DUN - the problems come if part of the system has already been installed on your machine. I have the primary network log-in is set to Windows Login and both Printer and File sharing are enabled. You will also need to know the name given to the computers from the Indentification tab and the Access Control tab has been set in my case to share-level access.
Adding Protocols if required Double click on the Network icon in Control panel and click on
the Configuration tab. You should find that at least TCP/IP,
Client for Microsoft Networks and Dial-up Adapter are
all already listed otherwise click the Add button to first
select an Adapter. Go down the list and select Microsoft
choose Dial-up Adapter and then click OK. Repeat for a
Client selecting Microsoft and choosing Client
for Microsoft Networks. then back by clicking OK. To add TCP/IP double click Protocol
then select Microsoft and then TCP/IP and finally click OK. To add IPX/SPX compatible protocols double click Protocol
then select Microsoft and then IPX/SPX compatible protocols and finally click OK. To add File and Printer Sharing double click Service
then select Microsoft and then File and Printer sharing for Microsoft Networks and finally click OK.
The Network box should now contain
- IPX/SPX compatible protocols,
- File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks and
- Client for Microsoft Networks (probable installed for DUN).
File and Printer Sharing: The files, drives and printers which are to be shared need to be specified and a new tab is found on their properties when Direct Cable Connection is installed. I have shared the CD read only, the Floppy read/write and the Hard Drive read only with some directories individually selected to have write access. Identical print drivers are needed on both machines after which the shared printer can be installed.
Using Direct Cable Connection: Once all this has been done it is very simple to use - connect the serial or parallel cable, run the DCC programs on both machines with the Laptop as the Guest, provide the Host computers name when requested and an Explorer like Window opens which allows all normal file activities to be carried out and programs to be run from the Host machines drives. The Host printers appear in the normal printer lists on the Guest. The first time it is run it will also ask for the link (Serial/Parallel and Ports) you will use.
- Dial-up Adapter,
- Client for Microsoft Networks,
- IPX/SPX compatible protocols,
- TCP/IP and
- File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
Mapping Drives: The use of the Host Window on the slave works well and displays all the shared folders individually. You will however find that some folders or whole drives will be used frequently and it is possible to Map these to a Drive letter on the slave machine, for example, if the CD drive on the main machine is shared then one can map it so that drive G: on the slave is the main machines CD. It can then be accessed using Windows Explorer and any program File menu. I have the main Dell machine's D: , E: and G: drives mapped to the same letters on the Libretto which only has a C: drive. One could also map a folder to a drive letter so you could map C:/Mysharedfiles to Drive J: on the slave.
The easiest way to map a to a drive is to Right Click on the required folder in the Host Window and click Map Network Drive - you just have to select the drive from those available in the dropdown box and tick Reconnect at Logon. You will now find you have a new drive in the Explorer Window etc with a little Network symbol. If the connection has not been made it will have a little red symbol and will not be accessable till you run DCC between the machines. If you are only using Mapped Drives then you can forget about entering the name of the Host computer each time and just cancel opening the Host Window when DCC starts.
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Copyright © Peter Curtis
20th November, 1999