I have only two machines. These are for my wifes new business.
One is in her private office and the other is at the front desk.
Right now I running an ethernet cable from each PC to a Linksys BEFSR81 EtherFast® Cable/DSL Router with 8-Port Switch. From there to my DSL modem.
Right now both PC's automatically have access to the Net but I'd like to take it a step further.
The Pvt. Office PC should have acces to files on the front office PC but NOT the other way around.
what OS are you running? Enable file and print sharing on both machines (will make sure the protocols are the same), but only share the resources (drives/printers) you want to use (on the front office pc)
Since you have a hardware firewall you dont need to use the winxp firewall. on the front desk machine open "my computer" right click on the drive(s) you want to share. click the sharing and security. click the link that you understand the risk of sharing the root of the drive, or share specific folders. on the next page check box share this on a network, then check enable users to change files.
Depending on your file system.. you may want to add the user names of the laptop into the user list on the front desk machine
That should do a one way connection, or set up an administrator account with password on the desk machine and enable remote desktop connection