Linking two computers - Contributions sought

  zaach 14:37 30 Jan 2003

I have on hand 3 programs for linking two computers for file sharing etc.
Laplink 2000
PC Sync2
Has anyone had experience please with these programs and can guide me as to the best program to use. To use on a permanent basis it would be necessary to incur some cost in buying a USB null modem cable but I can try it out using a parallel one I already have.
I also have a spare 2.1 Gb hard drive and another possibility is to buy an external HDD case for USB and make use of that, which would be more expensive but might give better results than any of the linking programs. Expense is a consideration.
As usual with my postings any and all offerings will be given careful thought. Thanks in advance this time.

  Switcher 14:50 30 Jan 2003

I used laplink for years first the DOS version 3.0 then windows version 7.0 to transfer between my desktop and my laptop and found it first class.

However after I purchased my Digital camera about four years ago I started to use a compact flash card to transfer between PCs and find it quite convenient.

  jazzypop 15:09 30 Jan 2003

What on earth is a USB null modem cable?

If you mean using a standard A to A USB cable for networking, please don't - it is likely to damage your equipment.

See click here

If the 2 PCs are physically closer than about 300ft, the cheapest option would be to buy two network cards (about £12 each), and a length of Ethernet cable. Wire the cable as a crossover, and you have a very fast, permanent link.

  midase 15:19 30 Jan 2003

Look here as well click here Scroll down and you will see Quick Support wher you will find free step by step setup.

  midase 15:21 30 Jan 2003

Sorry try this click here

  zaach 15:46 30 Jan 2003

I have the right name don't I, that is what the parallel/serial cable was called when I bought it.
What sort of cable are Laplink supplying as what they call their Laplink USB cable? I'm getting confused totally instead of just partially as normal.

  zaach 15:51 30 Jan 2003

I just tried out a USB pocket drive from Serif, had to send it back as software wouldn't work. My digital camera with a big enough memory to be worth it (32Mb) has RAM type memory and computer won't recognise it.

  jazzypop 16:02 30 Jan 2003

Strictly speaking, a null modem cable is any cable that allows two PCs to communicate without using a modem.

It is traditionally used to describe a serial cable, wired like this - click here

There have been several posts recently where people have asked about using a standard USB cable to network 2 PCs. When you mentioned a USB null modem cable, I was concerned that you were about to do the same.

If you are going to use a proper USB cable, supplied by someone like Laplink, they will make sure that it is fit for the purpose.

My advice above still stands - if you want to network 2 PCs, use network cards and Ethernet cable. It was designed for the job, and does it very well, as opposed to parallel, serial and USB cables that can be adapted to the job (but relatively poorly).

I have just re-read my initial post, and realise that it could be seen as quite aggressive, which was not my intention at all.

I hope this clarifies things a little.

  zaach 17:04 30 Jan 2003

No offence was taken I assure you. Thank you for the explanation, I was getting somewhat confused, which is not totally unusual. Using network cards is out because I do not have any spare slots, so it has to be a method which allows external connection. Using serial or parallel connection would mean moving both machines around every time I wished to use it which, as I am disabled, would be too much of a chore, OK for a trial but not every time.

No one has yet made any comments re my HDD alternative, any reactions to that approach please.
The main use reason for transferring files would be to use the second machine really as a printer driver whilst I got on with other things and also for transferring files back for CD backup.

  Switcher 17:12 30 Jan 2003

If you fit a removable HDD carrier rack to each PC you will be able to transfer files easily using a travelling hard spare hard drive.

The carrier rack fits in to a spare 5+1/4 bay and costs £9-00 each. The hard drive fits into a cassette whch slips easily in and out of rack.

I have two of these on my PC and can swop hard drives in seconds I don't know why manufacturers don't supply cases with these as standard.

  jazzypop 17:14 30 Jan 2003

Thanks for the clarification about network cards.

The USB option will be fine - just take an IDE drive, drop it into an external USB cage, and away you go.

Depending on the size of the files that you need to transfer, you may find it easier to use a USB memory stick - they are dropping in price all the time, and 128MB sticks can be had for less than £100. Not as cheap as a USB drive cage and cable, but probably more convenient for carrying around. I seem to remember that Serif had to recall a whole batch of USB drives that were supplied to them as faulty - don't let that experience put you off.

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