I have a windows desktop and a linux ubuntu 5.04 laptop. How do I network the two? I have no idea!
Do you already have a LAN (local area network with cables, switch or router) or do you just want to know how you can handle your existing LAN with your Operating Systems (e.g. configuration, access, etc.)? Please write more in detail what you want to know.
I don't have a LAN. All i have at the moment is my desktop windows xp, linux ubuntu laptop, connected with cat 5 cables into a hub.
I have run the windows networking wizard, but it didn't help at all. at one stage i could ping each computer but i didn't know what to do with this information.
If you can ping your computers, that means your hardware settings should be alright and your computers can "talk" to each other.
I guess your Hub doesn't support DHCP. DHCP means, that the hub gives every computer an IP address automatically. IP addresses are needed for communication and are similar to a postal address, so that the computer knows where to send information.
So you most probably have to configure IP addresses manually. Give one of your computers 192.168.1.1 with subnet mask 255.255.255.0, and the other one 192.168.1.2 with the same subnet mask. Every computer needs a different IP address! The default gateway should be the IP address of the computer or router which has access to the internet (e.g. 192.168.1.1).
That should work. If you have further questions, just ask...