For the most part, your computer will operate on a LAN just at as it would without a LAN. You will log onto a disk drive (that is actually a network drive), change directories to the place where your application software is located, and execute your program just as you would if the software were on your hard drive inside your PC. Several things will have to happen, though, in order for you to gain access to your network drive(s):
1) You will have to load and run some kind of driver software that makes your PC able to use the network card plugged into the bus connection inside your PC. This is usually done when DOS loads the driver programs listed in your CONFIG.SYS file.
2) You will need to run the network operating system programs needed to initialize your network card for use by the operating system, identify your PC as a legitimate node on the network, and allow an identified user to log into the network. With Novell Netware, these would be IPX.COM, NETX.COM, and LOGIN.EXE.
3) Your network administrator will have to map specific drive designations to you, grant you rights to access files in the drive and directory, and probably use the capture command to route your print requests to a network printer.
4) You will probably access most of your application software on the network drives with the assistance of a menu program that allows you easy access to your programs and data. Examples could include Novell Main Menu, Direct Access, or Windows. For the most part, everything is the same on a network drive as it is on a local hard drive. DIR gives you a directory of files on your current drive and sub-directory; COPY copies files from one place to another; DEL deletes files; REN renames files. The idea of a network drive is to give you as identical an environment on a network drive as you do on a local hard drive.