connect both computers with the crossover cable. go into network connections on one of the computers and check whether both computers can 'see' eachother. If they cant, check that your lan card is configured correctly i.e. correct drivers are installed, ip address is assigned, client and protocol are installed.
"As a result of all this hardship, dirt, thirst, and wombats, you would expect Australians to be a sour lot. Instead, they are genial, jolly, cheerful, and always willing to share a kind word with a stranger, unless they are an American." -- Douglas Adams