In Part 3 of this series ( Preparing the Network Card and Terminal Server Client ), I explained how to download all the components necessary for converting your PDA (personal digital assistant) into a wireless network management device. Now, it's time to make all of those components work together.
Preparing the Network Connection
As I mentioned in Part 3, your PDA must be configured to run TCP/IP before your terminal server client will work. Therefore, the first thing that you must do is to prepare your network connection. To do so, follow these steps:
- Insert the network card into the PCMCIA slot and turn on your PDA.
- When the device comes online, open the Control Panel and double-click on the Network icon to open the Network Configuration properties sheet.
- The default tab is the Adapters tab, which lists the network cards for which the device has drivers. Select the 3Com Air Connect Wireless LAN PC Card driver from the list and click the Properties button. The wireless network card's properties sheet will open.
The property sheet's default tab provides you with a place for entering an IP address. You can either have your PDA obtain an IP address from a DHCP server or you can enter the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway manually. In my particular environment, I chose to manually enter an IP address, because I had trouble getting DHCP to work correctly.
- When you've entered the IP address, switch to the Name Servers tab and enter the IP address of your WINS and/or DNS servers.
- Click OK to close the network card's properties sheet. When you do, you'll see a message indicating that the changes you've made won't take effect until you remove and reinsert the network card.
- You'll be returned to the Network Configuration properties sheet. Select the Identification tab and enter a user name, password, and domain name. (Entering these credentials prevents you from having to enter the information using that tiny keyboard every time you log in. If you're concerned about security, you can configure your handheld PC to require a power-on password.) Click OK to close the Network Configuration properties sheet.
The final step in connecting your PDA to your network is to enter a computer name. To do so, return to the Control Panel and double-click on the Communications icon. When you do, you'll see the Device Name tab of the Communications Properties sheet. Enter a name for the device in the Device Name field. As with a PC, you can also enter an optional device description. When you're done, click OK to close the properties sheet.
Testing the Connection
Now, it's time to test your network connection. Remember that Windows CE is a primitive operating systemit won't be blatantly obvious that you're connected to the network. In fact, there isn't even a Network Neighborhood icon. To test your network connection, double-click on the Internet Explorer icon. When Internet Explorer starts, try connecting to a server on your network by entering a UNC in the Address bar. For example, I have a server called TAZ that has a share point called C. Therefore, I entered "\\TAZ\C". Upon doing so, Windows CE displays the contents of the share point, thereby validating your network connection. When you're sure that your network connection is working, it's time to configure the terminal server client.