Hurrah for me! I've got off my butt and rebuilt my kernel with the drivers for my silly string network card. This means that since we've got more silly string than you can shake a stick at, that I can connect my laptop to Tom's machine, which also means that nemy can connect to the big wide internet. Or at least, that is the theory.
Did try playing Red Alert 2, but I think it got confused about there being 2 network cards. Will have to sort out sensible network cable ASAP, or play games in nemy's room.