If u r using VB means, u have to use 2 tier architecture where an RDBMS like access/oracle /sql server or whatever this…. works as background database. The story is too big to tell here, just supply a brief and try to clear ur concept !
1. Set up XP computer and it includes installing and setting up the operating system.
2. Install the resources i.e. SW and other drivers like printers etc. that must be shared
3. Configure the computer as server as per resources.
4. Connect the client to the server (here is XP) . Plug one network jack in the client computer and the hub. Plug the second network jack into the hub and the XP computer.
5. Configure the client to access the resources.
I did earlier the same set up (using VB 6.0, Sql Server 2005 on XP, later replaced Sql Server with MySql) when necessary to run a VB applications where XP worked like as a server (though XP is not a server, rather a Desktop OS) and other computers worked as client and till date it runs smoothly and recently just changed the server as Linux server and clients as XP / linux desktop to reduce the cost. Even u can use ur old computers also for this purpose. This kind of networking is called peer to peer connection. It is very low cost and less trouble, but there r no of limitations. It is better if u have to consider a server version like Windows Server 2000 / 2003 / 2008. In this case, just require only one licensed Server and make the other computers as client with XP. Here is <a href=”http://support.microsoft.com/kb/161837″>Microsoft’s Suggestions</a>
Hope it helps u !