Logging On to the Network
Logging On to the Network
To use network resources, you must connect your computer to the network, and you must go through the supersecret process of logging on. The purpose of
is to let the network know who you are so that it can decide whether you're one of the good guys.
Logging on is a little bit like cashing a check-the process requires two forms of identification:
by which the network
Your username is usually some variation of your real name, like Beav for the Beaver. Everyone who uses the network must have a username.
A secret word that only you and the network know. If you type the correct password, the network believes that you are who you say you are.
has a different password, and the password should be a secret.
In the early days of computer networking, you had to type a logon command at a stark MS-DOS prompt and then supply your user ID and password. Nowadays, the
of Windows is that you get to log on to the network through a special network logon dialog box that appears when you start your computer. Figure 2-1 shows the Windows XP version of this dialog box.
You have to enter your user ID and password to access the network.
Here are some more logon points to ponder:
are sometimes used instead of
They mean the same thing.
As long as we're talking about words that mean the same thing,
mean the same thing, as do (respectively)
as ways of saying, "I'm outta here." Although you see both out there in the world, this book uses
throughout-and if there's any exception, the book says why and grouses about it a bit.
As far as the network's
, you and your computer aren't the same thing. Your username refers to you, not to your computer. That's why you have a username, and your computer has a computer name. You can log on to the network by using your username from any computer that's attached to the network. Other users can log on at your computer by using their own usernames.
When others log on at your computer by using their own usernames, they can't access any of your network files that are protected by your password. However, they
access any local files that you haven't protected. Be careful which people you allow to use your computer.
Windows XP and Vista have a cool feature that displays icons for each of the users registered on your computer. When this feature is enabled, you can log on by clicking your name's icon and then typing your password.
If you're logging on to a domain network, the Windows XP Logon dialog box has a field in which you can enter the domain name you want to log on to. Normally, a suitable default value appears for the domain name, so you can safely ignore this field. If not, your network administrator will be happy to tell you how to enter this information.
Windows Vista doesn't include a field in which you can enter the domain name. Instead, you must type the domain name before your username, separated from it by a backslash. For example:
Here, the domain name is
, and the username is
Your computer may be set up so that it logs you on automatically whenever you
it on. In that case, you don't have to type your username and password. This setup makes the task of logging on more
but takes the sport out of it. And, it's a terrible idea if you're the least bit worried about bad guys getting into your network or personal files.
Guard your password with your life. I'd tell you mine, but then I'd have to shoot you.