I suppose you could use the XP machine as a server.. and share the internet that way.. But it requires the xp machine to be on, for the 98 machine to access the net...
I'm having Router Hell!!!
you could even do it the other way, with the 98 machine sharing the dsl.
but, if you just want the facts, and not opinions, then i won't mention how a router is the way i'd do it. (i know, i know, i mentioned it anyhow.)
i will however mention that you will get better ping times with a router.
also, a router will use about 10 watts.
as opposed to a computer using about 300 + 65 for the monitor.
also, the noise, a computer has a bunch of fans in it, the router almost always has none.
a computer's noise is generally between 30-60 db.
a router is generally between 0-5 db.
to do it without a router, you will need each machine to have a network card, and connect them with a crossover cable. (in addition to whatever the dsl is connected to, sometimes it's a ethernet card, sometimes it's the USB.)
to do it with the router, you will need each machine to have a network card, and you will need a normal cat5 cable to run from the router to each machine.
on top of that, you will need a cat5 cable to run to the dsl modem. (unless your dsl modem only has USB, then you need a special router.)