djohnston: if only I knew anybody else who used Linux if would be really good. I'm an old codger as are my friends and neighbours.....
old polack: that suggestion seems very interesting. I'll study the links on the site you recommended to see what it's about. I'll let you know how I get on sometime tonight.
Just a thought: why do we need ISP's? I vaguely remember reading a good book about hackers and they never seemed to need them.
It doesn't really matter if your neighbors are using Linux or not. I would just ask them if they have had any internet problems in the last day or two. Personally, I would go with O-P's suggestion. He's very knowledgeable about this stuff. If you use the address range he suggests, you would put, for example:
as your DNS lookup addresses. Go to PCC > Network & Internet > Network Center. Open the pull-down menu next to your connection. Click the Configure button. Uncheck Get DNS servers from DHCP. Enter those addresses as DNS server 1 & 2.
Well, your ISP is your "gateway" to the internet. Without an ISP, you need direct access to the "backbone" of the net. Very few have that option.