Thank you Slartarama :) I will bookmark these pages and try tomorrow, as I've just got back from watching Blyth Spartans play Blackburn and have to be up at 4.45 am for work and I've been here before :D ended up not even getting to bed thanks to starting something that looked simple and ended up getting personal between me and the equipment involved.
The strange thing is, it used to work better than it does now! I'm sure I had two way networking at the beginning and I definitely know the laptop was picked up by the mac's wireless connection. Could I be causing problem having both the ethernet and wireless networking active on the mac?
Another thing I could try is boot into the other OS, Windows XP and see if that works both ways - in fact I don't know why I haven't done that before :)
Many thanks for your continued help and I'll let you know how I get on tomorrow night.
Hi, sorry I have neglected this thread for a while, but I've had a heap of urgent personal stuff to take care of plus I'm currently off work sick with an eye ulcer so I've had to keep computer monitor viewing to a more moderate number of hours so it doesn't aggravate my eye.
I did boot into the XP partition on the mac. And guess what? Networking is no problem in either direction! The XP partition can see both the laptop and the PC here. The only difference I can think of is I have the mac connecting both wirelessly and by ethernet - it does so by default. I tried turning one off then the other, but it makes no difference at all. I wonder if letting DHCP set the IP address would help? I just don't want it taking one of the static internal addresses I reserve for particular PCs for the purpose of port forwarding. Like, if the laptop was switched off, I don't want the mac to grab 10.0.0.8, plus I don't see why the mac should mind having a manual configuration - the Windows XP partition does, and that networks perfectly.
I haven't tried adding a network printer to the Windows PCs while in the XP partition to see if I can get the Canon to share .... that would be something to try, but I believe it is a compatibility problem with this particular printer and mac. Just seems strange that a newer model of printer should raise an issue with imacs that didn't exist on the previous model.
Anyway, I will now try Slartarama's links and see how I get on. Thanks again.