« on: September 17, 2005, 01:18 PM »
I'm about to overhaul the small network in the office I work in. I probably know enough to do this, but I'm going to have to supplement as I go along by reading up on particular subjects. So my first question is: does anybody know a good introduction to networking?
The network we have was set up long before I arrived into the office, and it does some very strange things. One thing that happens quite regularly to some (but not all of us) is that when we send documents from Word, there's a long delay and it looks like Word has frozen - other programs work fine - then eventually (this can literally take 5 minutes), you get a message saying something like "MS Word has been unable to connect to the printer; it might be possible to print anyway. Click yes if you want to continue waiting, or no to try print now" - it's roughly that, but I'm writing this from home so I don't have the exact wording in front of me. Nothing at all happens if you choose not to wait; if you wait, it continues to look as if Word is frozen, and then a minute or two later it gives the same dialogue again. This repeats a few times, and then eventually the printer fires up and it all works smoothly from then on. I don't work so often in the office anymore, but it used to be that my first print-job of the day was tortuously slow, but thereafter it was quicker - I think it's now slow every time.
As I said, this happens to some of the computers on the network: two of the three machines running XP, and one of the Win 98 boxes. To tell the truth, the Win 98 ones are not that important. What's really weird is that it doesn't happen on the third XP machine, which is a laptop that is only occasionally plugged into the network, one or two days each week. The other two XP machines are the important ones, and my colleagues are going out of their minds. Has anyone seen anything like this before?