vista to windows 7 file sharing - some basic questions

I'm trying to share files between a vista (V6sp2) machine and a Windows 7 machine (can't find the version)

I can setup an ad-hoc network, can connect the machines in network settings, but I can't see from one machine to ther other.  can't get either to appear in file structures.  

Win7 appears to want a homegroup setting, Vista appears to want new vista users.  

I suspect this is a very basic issue, but the more I read, the less I know.

simply put - how can I connect one machine to the other and share files across them?
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Firstly right click properties on My computer on both computers. Make sure the Workgroup is the same name on both ie. "MSHOME" or "WORKGROUP". Then go to the network adapter settings, in the list find "TCPIP" go to properties and enter consecutive IP addresses (i.e desktop, laptop) set gateway equal to a different number (same on both pc's) and finaly set DNS to another number same on both pc's

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DRL83Author Commented:
Required reading 3 additional articles, but these two sent me on the right path.  

I still can't fathom Microsoft logic.  It's infuriating to see attempts to make life 'easier' by creating 'My everything' and 'Homegroups/Workgroups' sections that have similar functionality but different names and locations, and have no version-to-version consistency.
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