Wireless Networking a Mac to a PC

I tried posting this question under Networking -->Broadband & was told to try under Mac.  Hope this is it!

A friend has a Mac networked to another Mac.  I believe it is via a wireless router.  He wants to buy a PC to take the place of the host Mac computer.  Access to the Internet is currently via Broadband Cable (Comcast).  

I have no experience with Mac computers.  Is it possible to network the proposed new laptop PC to the existing laptop Mac.  If so, how would Windows XP on the new PC handle this & would I have to make settings within the Mac's operating system?  Am I in over my head trying to do this given that I have no experience with Mac computers?
The goal is to share the Broadband Internet connection.

Thanks for any help.
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moduloConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Closed, no 125 points refunded.

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Hi heat doctor,
The PC laptop should see the wireless router without even noticing the Macs. You would not need to make any changes to the Macs--just set up the PC as though they weren't even there.

The tricky part will be getting the PC and Mac to pay attention to each other.


heat_doctorAuthor Commented:
"The tricky part will be getting the PC and Mac to pay attention to each other."

OK.  And how do I go about doing that?  Do I have to work with the Mac's OS (which I have found out is OS 10) or can I do it working with only the PC's Windows XP?  Thanks.

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heat doctor,
I generally followed the steps in this web page to get the Mac and PC talking to each other: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107083     The tricky part was making sure to check the box for SMP when adding a New share. Once this was done, I could log onto the PC from the Mac and onto the Mac from the PC. In my case, it was Windows XP Professional and OS 10.3 on the Mac side.

The PC appears in the Mshome workgroup on the Macintosh. The Mac appears in the Mshome workgroup on the PC. I don't know if it matters, but my laptop PC also belongs to a company workgroup when I am at work--the Mshome workgroup appears when my laptop PC is in my home network.

Note: you will need to log into the Mac from the PC (and vice-versa) before you can inspect the directories and exchange files.
I have been able to network easily between macs and PCs on a network, using different workgroups.  In mac OS X, its called "Rendezvous" though you won't see it on a menu item anywhere.  

From the mac you can "connect to server" from the "Go" menu and put in "smb://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx" if you know the IP address, or you can browse the network, in which case workgroups show up as folders.  From the mac you can share files via the sharing preference panel (e.g. control panel), allowing sharing with windows computers or by FTP access.  

On the Windows side, if you're using XP just know that the "Home" version if very simplistic, and you can't restrict folders as easily - its more of an all-or-none phenomenon.  Not a problem as long as no one can access your network, you'll want to make SURE you protect your wireless network (password and WEP) to keep the cooties out.  

As you get down to specifics, feel free to post follow-up questions.  OS X makes networking "painless" - most of the pain was on the PC-side, but not too bad.  Have fun!  Printer sharing can be worthwhile too.
Peter LoobuyckCommented:
As stated before, you can connect to windows shares by smb, you can connect the other way around by turning on windows file sharing on your macs.. then look for htem in network neighbourhood.
heat_doctorAuthor Commented:
I was not interested in file sharing.  As I pointed out in my post, I was only interested in sharing a broadband internet connection.  

In any case, the client has disappeared so it seems I will not be doing his set-up.  Thanks for the feedback.  Since I will not be working with the client, I have no idea what would have worked.  Thanks for your comments.  I will request that this question be deleted.
I think there were good comments offered long before heat_doctor lost interest in the question. It may be true that heat_doctor never got a chance to test the suggestions, but they did work on my mixed Mac & PC network using a D-Link 514 router/wireless access point. And I suspect that pedidoc's and PeterLbk's comments were equally based on their real-world experience with mixed networks.

I think there is value in the question, and recommend it be saved. And since several good comments were posted before heat_doctor lost interest, I recommend that no points be refunded.
heat_doctorAuthor Commented:
That is fine with me.
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