I have an old dell GX240 desktop running W2000pro connected to an epson printer and a Packard Bell Ipower Laptop running WXP. The desktop is connected to the internet via cable and BT home hub the laptop connects to the hub wirelessly. I would like to be able to access the desktops files and the printer from the laptop, I have been reading wireless networking for dummies and the Bt hub literature and I am thoroughly confused. I would appreciate some help Can I build a network from the above? or should I ditch the dell and get a desktop with WXP? Is there a better book on how to do it?
It sounds like you are nearly there. If both computers are connected to the internet through the same router you should be able to see the other pc on the network. You must make at least one folder on each pc a shared folder (in explorer, right click on a folder, select "Properties" then select the "Sharing" tab).
There is a wizard in XP for setting up a network. This will save network settings on a floppy or USB stick to make it easier to transfer settings to other computers on the same network.