but once you get involved you'll soon realise that wireless technology actually does a very simple job.
I recommend that you buy a wireless router with an ADSL modem built in - there are dozens of them out there, but if you stick to a well-known brand you won't go far wrong. Take a look at routers by Netgear, Linksys and Belkin - they all do the same job, and are all pretty easy to set up.
If your PC is sited near to where the router will be you can run it with a cable connected to the router, so you'll only need a wireless adapter for the laptop. Most modern laptops have wireless adapters built in, but if your doesn't I suggest that you buy a PCMCIA card type from any of the three companies I mentioned above. Don't worry too much about compatibility - most manufacturers' wireless adapters and routers can be mixed and matched.
You'll connect the router to your broadband phone line via the normal ADSL filter. It will be powered up by its own transformed power supply, so you'll need a spare socket nearby.
For initial setup you must then connect a computer (it doesn't matter which one) to the router with an ethernet cable - that will be supplied with the router, and it connects between any of the four network ports on the back and the computer's own LAN port.
You then launch your web browser and type an IP address into the address bar - the address will be supplied in the router manual, and connects you to the router's internal configuration pages (NOT to the internet at this stage).
Once the router is set up with your ISP login details you can disconnect the ethernet cable (if you want to) and share the connection with any computer that has a wireless adapter.
There are some steps which you should take to secure the connection so your neighbours can't surf on your connection, but you can come back for more help on those later.