Thanks for your reply. First, the CD drive seems to show up regularly now. Past three or four boots in a row. The system has placed an incon for the CD drive on the desktop, and it will label it "audio disc" or "blank disc" if there is media present. Nice.
And I found the network. In file manager I went "go", "network" and then I could see the server. (I'm using workgroups on the XP machine.) The first time I opened it, I was prompted for the user id and password. After that I've just been able to go back in, even if both machines have been shut down and re-started. But formerly (this is my second install) there was an icon on the desktop for "Network" and that's gone.
One last question, I've been able to open image and audio files from the windows machine via the network, but not Word.Doc documents. I'm not sure if that's because the Open Office word processor can't accommodate that extension, or if it's a sharing issue. Any thoughts?