I tried the link you suggested about cross over cable.
It all makes sense but I get these addresses when I ipconfig/all:
WIN XP IP 169.254.150.164 mask 255.255.0.0 there is no gateway or any other address.
WIN 7 IP 169. 254.135.204 mask 255.255.0.0 nothing else.
I don't get any connection when using my listed settings or the tuts listed settings either. What do you suggest i do next.