Linksys Etherfast Router easily forms high-speed network
The Linksys Etherfast Cable/DSL Router with a 4 Port Switch ($100) for both Macs and PCs (Windows 98 or later) is an easy-to-install solution if you want several computers to use a single cable or DSL modem for high-speed Internet connections.
To use the Internet and network your computers, you will need Ethernet cards in each computer and cables to connect to the router. Networking your Windows computers so that they share files and printers might require extra work on your part with the Windows OS. I found Windows XP to be a little daunting but called Microsoft technicians who were great help.
The router itself comes with four ports for computers and one port for your modem to plug into. Within minutes of powering off all of my equipment, plugging in the cables and then powering up again, I had both my laptop and desktop computers using the same cable Internet connection.
Configuring my computer for the router to work properly took about 30 seconds with a simple interface that used my browser window. (Note: If you're using Windows XP, use the instructions for Windows 2000.)
While I initially had trouble getting help from Linksys technical support (the company recently contracted its technical support, leading to confusion), Linksys finally did help me figure out that a poorly configured software firewall on my laptop was keeping my computers from sharing files.
Once the firewall was removed, I had no further problems.
Information: 800-546-5797 or www.linksys.com.
- Kevin Washington
ViewSonic 36-inch monitor provides high resolution
While the big companies fiddle with display technology and the promise of high-definition television, along comes a niche player called ViewSonic with a knockout screen, the VX3600 High-Resolution Monitor ($7,000).
Attribute the clarity and detail of this wide-screen, high-definition-ready 36-inch monitor to its LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) imager, a technology that effectively eliminates "pixel gaps" and produces a seamless image with exceptional brightness and clarity.
With connectors galore (VGA, USB, FireWire, even DVI), a flat screen and reasonable dimensions (18 inches deep, about 93 pounds), the VX3600 works as a PC monitor or in a home theater.
Information: 800-688-6688 or www.viewsonic.com.