to get it on a PC network, you buy a software program for the Macintosh
called DAVE. If you have a non-Apple computer that you want on your Mac
network, you go to Chapter 8 where we show you how to do that. If you have
a Mac network on which you want to share files, printers, and other peripher-
als, check out the nearby sidebar, â€śCare for a Rendezvous?â€ť
222 Part IV: Using a Wireless Network
Care for a Rendezvous?
One cool feature that Apple has added to its Hereâ€™s one great feature about Rendezvous: On
newest version of Mac OS â€” Mac OS v. 10.2 Macs that are equipped with Apple AirPort net-
(often called Jaguar) â€” is a networking system work adapter cards, it lets two (or more) Macs
called Rendezvous. Rendezvous is based on an in range of each other (in other words, within
open Internet standard (IETF [Internet Engin- Wi-Fi range) automatically connect to each
eering Task Force] Zeroconf) and is being other for file sharing, Instant Messaging, and
adopted by a number of manufacturers outside such without going through any extra steps of
of Apple. setting up a peer-to-peer network.
Basically, Rendezvous (and Zeroconf) is a lot Rendezvous is enabled automatically in Mac OS
like Bluetooth (which we discuss in Chapter 15) v. 10.2 computers if you turn enable Personal
in that it allows devices on a network to dis- Fire Sharing (found in the System Preferences;
cover each other without any user intervention look for the Sharing Icon) or use Appleâ€™s iChat
or special configuration. Rendezvous is being Instant Messaging Program, Appleâ€™s Safari Web
incorporated into many products, such as print- browsers, or any Rendezvous-capable printer
ers, storage devices (basically, networkable connected to your Airport network.
hard drives), and even household electronics
like TiVos (hard drive-based television personal
video recorders [PVRs]).
If you have a Mac, youâ€™ve probably heard about DAVE from someone. Using
DAVE enables you to share CDs, printers, hard drives, folders, and so on.
DAVE (www.thursby.com; $149 for a single-user license) uses the fast, indus-
try standard Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) proto-
col instead of AppleTalk and is designed specifically for the Apple Macintosh.
Itâ€™s installed on the Macintosh, and no additional hardware or software is
required on the PC. There are versions for all current versions of Mac OS,
including OS X.
When you install DAVE on your Mac and launch it for the first time, the DAVE
setup assistant will launch. Follow the onscreen steps â€” youâ€™ll need to tell
DAVE what type of Windows network youâ€™ll be connecting to. (You need to
mark a check box to specify if your Windows network uses Windows NT or
Windows 2000.) Youâ€™ll also need to enter a name for your Mac as well as iden-
tify the name of the Windows network workgroup, as we discuss earlier in
this chapter. DAVE will then automatically connect your Mac to the PC net-
work, asking you whether you want to share files from your Mac with PCs in
Chapter 11: Putting Your Wireless Home Network to Work
If youâ€™re using the latest version of Mac OS X â€” Jaguar, or OS X v. 10.2 â€” your
Mac can basically work right out of the box with any Windows network for
things like file sharing. That is, if you have Mac OS X v. 10.2 (or later), you
donâ€™t need DAVE.
Thursby also sells the program MacSOHO that enables file and printer shar-
ing between PCs and Macs. We donâ€™t suggest you get this because it wonâ€™t
work with Windows XP. Microsoft has decided to eliminate support for
NetBEUI from its new release, Windows XP, and MacSOHO uses the NetBEUI
protocol. Get DAVE instead.
224 Part IV: Using a Wireless Network
Gaming over a Wireless Home
In This Chapter
Unwiring your gaming PCs: Hardware and networking requirements
Getting your gaming consoles online
Forwarding those ports
Setting up a demilitarized zone (DMZ)
I n case you missed it, gaming is huge. We mean HUGE. The video gaming
industry is, believe it or not, bigger than the entertainment industry gener-
ated by Hollywood. Billions of dollars per year are spent on PC game software
and hardware and on gaming consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox. You
probably know a bit about gaming â€” we bet youâ€™ve at least played Mine-
sweeper on your PC or Pong on an Atari when you were a kid. But what you
might not know is that video gaming has moved online in a big way. And for
that, you need a network.
All three of the big gaming console vendors â€” Sony (www.us.playstation.
com), Microsoft (www.xbox.com), and Nintendo (www.gamecube.com) â€” have
created inexpensive networking kits for their latest consoles that let you con-
nect your console to a broadband Internet connection (such as a cable or
digital subscriber line [DSL]) to play against people anywhere in the world.
Online PC gaming has also become a huge phenomenon, with games such as
EverQuest Online attracting millions of users.
A big challenge for anyone getting into online gaming is finding a way to get
consoles and PCs in different parts of the house connected to your Internet
connection. For example, if you have an Xbox, itâ€™s probably in your living
room or home theater, and weâ€™re willing to bet that your cable or DSL modem
is in the home office. Lots of folks string a Cat 5e Ethernet cable down the
hall and hook it into their game machine â€” a great approach if you donâ€™t
mind tripping over that cable at 2 a.m. when you let the dogs out. Enter your
wireless home network, a much better approach to getting these gaming
226 Part IV: Using a Wireless Network
In this chapter, we talk about some of the hardware requirements for getting
a gaming PC or game console online. In the case of gaming consoles, youâ€™ll
need to pick up some extra gear because none of the current online kits con-
tain wireless gear. We also talk about some of the steps that you need to take
in order to configure your router (or the router in your access point [AP], if
theyâ€™re the same box in your wireless local area network [LAN]) to get your
online gaming up and running.
Weâ€™re approaching this chapter with the assumption that your wireless
gaming network will be connecting to the Internet using some sort of always-
on, broadband connection such as DSL or a cable modem, using a home
router (either the one built into your access point or a separate one). We
have two reasons for this assumption: First, we think that online gaming
works much, much better on a broadband connection; second, because with
some console systems (particularly the Xbox), you are required to have a
broadband connection to use online gaming.
One of the biggest things that broadband brings is speed to your gaming
experience. A big part of online gaming is not so much how quickly you can
kill your opponent or crossover your dribble but how quickly the central
gaming host computer in the middle of it all knows that you performed a cer-
tain action (and recognizes it). How frustrating to fire a missile at a helicopter
only to find out that the helicopter blew you up first because the system reg-
istered its firing before yours. The time that it takes for your gaming com-
mands to cross the Internet â€” in gaming, at least â€” is often a matter of
virtual life or death.
Get your online game on!
The biggest trend in PC gaming (besides the If youâ€™ve not yet checked out online gaming, you
ever-improving quality of graphics enabled by might not realize what a big deal it is. In parts of
the newest hardware) is the development of the world where broadband is ubiquitous â€” like
online gaming. Broadband Internet connectivity South Korea, where almost every home is wired
has become widespread â€” about a quarter of with DSL or cable â€” broadband online games
Americans use broadband at home, according to boast tens of millions of users. Here in the United
the Pew Internet Life Survey. This has allowed States, this trend has not quite reached those
online PC gaming to grow beyond simplistic (and proportions, but there are still millions of users
low-speed) Java games (which still can be fun â€” playing various multi-player online games. Face
check out games.yahoo.com) and move it â€” itâ€™s just plain fun to reach out and blow up
toward high-speed, graphicsâ€“intensive, multi- your buddyâ€™s tank from 1,000 miles away.
player games like Quake III.
Chapter 12: Gaming over a Wireless Home Network
You can find out how fast your connection is by pinging the other machines
or the central server. (Pinging is a process where you use an application on
your computer â€” usually just called ping, accessible from the DOS or CMD
window â€” to send a signal to another computer and see how long it takes to
get there and back, like a sonar beam on a submarine pinging another sub.)
PC Gaming Hardware Requirements
We should preface this section of the book by saying that this book is not
entitled Gaming PCs For Dummies. Thus, weâ€™re not going to spend any time
talking about PC gaming hardware requirements in any kind of detail. Our
gamer pals will probably be aghast at our brief coverage here, but we really
just want to give you a taste of what you might want to think about if you
decide to really outfit a PC for online gaming. In fact, if youâ€™re buying a PC for
this purpose, check out the classes of computers called gaming PCs opti-
mized just for this application. Throughout this chapter, we use the term
gaming PC generically to mean any PC in your home that youâ€™re using for
gaming â€” not just special-purpose gaming PCs.
Your best resource, we think, is to check out an online gaming Web site that
has a team of experts who review and torture-test all the latest hardware for
a living. We like CNETâ€™s www.gamespot.com and www.gamespy.com.
At the most basic level, you really just need any modern multimedia PC (or
Macintosh for that matter) to get started with PC gaming. Just about any PC
or Mac purchased since 2002 or so will have a fast processor and a decent
graphics or video card. (Youâ€™ll hear both terms used.) If you start getting into
online gaming, start thinking about upgrading your PC with high-end gaming
hardware or even consider building a dedicated gaming machine. Some of the
key hardware components to keep in mind are the following:
Fast processor: A lot of the hard work in gaming is done by the video
card, but a fast Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon (or PowerPC G4, for Macs) cen-
tral processing unit (CPU) is always a nice thing to have.
Powerful video card: The latest cards from ATI and nVIDIA
(www.nvidia.com) contain incredibly sophisticated computer chips
that are dedicated to cranking out the video part of your games. If you
get to the point where you know what frames per second (fps) is all
about and you start worrying that yours are too low, itâ€™s time to start
investigating faster video cards.
Weâ€™re big fans of the ATI (www.ati.com) All-In-Wonder 9700 PRO, but
then, weâ€™re suckers for fast hardware that can crank out the polygons
(the building blocks of your game video) at mind-boggling speeds.
228 Part IV: Using a Wireless Network
Fancy gaming controllers: Many games can be played by using a stan-
dard mouse and keyboard, but you might want to look into some cool
specialized game controllers that connect through your PCâ€™s Universal
Serial Bus (USB) ports. For example, you can get a joystick for flying
games or a steering wheel for driving games. Check out Creative
Technologies (www.creative.com) for some cool options.
Quality sound card: Many games include a Surround sound soundtrack,
just like DVDs provide in your home theater. If youâ€™ve got the appropri-
ate number of speakers and the right sound card, youâ€™ll hear the bad guys
creeping up behind you before you see them on the screen. TrĂ¨s fun.
Networking Requirements for PC Gaming
Gaming PCs might (but donâ€™t have to) have some different innards than regu-
lar PCs, but their networking requirements donâ€™t differ in any appreciable
way from the PC that you use for Web browsing, e-mail, or anything else. So
you shouldnâ€™t be surprised to hear that connecting a gaming PC to your wire-
less network is no different than connecting any PC.
Youâ€™ll need some sort of wireless network adapter connected to your gaming
PC to get it up and running on your home network (just like you need a wire-
less network adapter connected to any PC running on your network, as we
discuss in Chapter 5). These adapters can fit in the PC Card slot (of a laptop
computer, for example) or connect to a USB or Ethernet port of a desktop
computer. If you have a Mac that youâ€™re using for gaming, youâ€™ll probably use
one of the Apple AirPort or AirPort Extreme cards (which we discuss in
Chapter 8). Thereâ€™s nothing special that you need to do, hardware-wise, with
a gaming PC.
When it comes to actually playing online games, you might need to do some
tweaking to your home networkâ€™s router â€” which might be a standalone
device or might be part of your access point. In the upcoming sections
â€śDealing with Router Configurationsâ€ť and â€śSetting Up a Demilitarized Zone
(DMZ),â€ť we discuss these steps in further detail.
Depending upon which games youâ€™re playing, you might not need to do any
special configuring at all. Some games play just fine without any special
router configurations â€” particularly if your PC isnâ€™t acting as the server
(meaning that other people arenâ€™t connecting to your PC from remote loca-
tions on the Internet).
Chapter 12: Gaming over a Wireless Home Network
Getting Your Gaming Console on
Your Wireless Home Network
Although PC gaming can be really cool, we find that many people prefer to
use a dedicated game console device â€” such as a PlayStation 2 (PS2) or an
Xbox â€” to do their gaming. And although hard-core gamers might lean
toward PC platforms for their gaming (often spending thousands of dollars on
ultra high-end gaming PCs with the latest video cards, fastest processor and
memory, and the like), we think that for regular gamers, consoles offer some
Theyâ€™re inexpensive. Price points are always dropping, but as we write,
you could buy a PS2 or Xbox for $199 or a Nintendo GameCube for even
less ($149). Even if you dedicate an inexpensive PC for gaming, youâ€™ll
probably spend closer to $1,000 â€” and even more if you buy the fancy
video cards and other equipment that gives the PC the same gaming
performance as a console.
Theyâ€™re simple to set up. Although itâ€™s not all that hard to get games
running on a PC, you are dealing with a more complicated operating
system on a PC. You have to install games and get them up and running.
On a game console, you simply shove a disc into the drawer and youâ€™re
Theyâ€™re in the right room. Most folks donâ€™t want a PC in their living
room or home theater, although some really cool models are designed
just for that purpose. A game console, on the other hand, is relatively
small and inconspicuous and can fit neatly on a shelf next to your TV.
They work with your biggest screen. Of course, you could connect a PC
to a big-screen TV system (using a special video card), and itâ€™s getting