Copying Files to Another Computer
Of course, you're not limited to copying and moving files from one location to another on a single PC. You can also copy files to other PCs via either a network connection or some sort of portable disk drive.
Copying Files Over a Network
We talk more about network operations in Chapter 9, "Setting Up a Home Network." For now, it's important to know that if your PC is connected to a network and has file sharing activated, you can copy and move files from one network computer to another just as you can within folders on a single computer.
In Windows Vista, you access the other computers on your network by opening the Start menu and selecting Network. As you can see in Figure 7.5, each computer on your network is displayed in this window; double-click a PC's icon to view the public (sharable) folders on this computer. You can then copy files to or from any public folder on your network.
Figure 7.5 Viewing all the PCs on your home network in Windows Vista.
In Windows XP, all the publicly accessible folders on your network are displayed in the My Network Places window, shown in Figure 7.6. You open this window by clicking the My Network Places icon on the Start menu. Double-click any network place to copy files to or from that location.
Figure 7.6 Use My Network Places to access public folders in Windows XP.
Copying Files with a Portable Drive
If you're not on a network, you can use a portable drive to transport files from one computer to another. The most popular type of portable drive today is the USB drive, such as the one shown in Figure 7.7, which stores computer data in flash memory. The drive itself is small enough to fit on a keychain, hence the nickname of "keychain drive." (Some people also called them "thumb drives.") You can find USB drives with capacities up to 4GB—more than big enough to hold even your biggest files.
Figure 7.7 Use a USB drive to transport files from one computer to another.
To use a USB drive, simply insert the device into an open USB port on your computer. Once inserted, the drive appears as a new drive in the Computer Explorer (My Computer in Windows XP). Double-click the USB drive icon to view the contents of the drive; you can then copy and paste files from your hard drive to the USB drive and vice versa. When you're finished copying files, just remove the USB device. It's that simple.
Copying Files Via Email
Another popular way to send files from one computer to another is via email. You can send any file as an email attachment; a file is literally attached to an email message. When the message is sent, the recipient can open or save the attached file when reading the message.
To learn how to send files as email attachments, turn to Chapter 20, "Sending and Receiving Email."