Computer Networking Computer Networking

Revised 11/24/01

I have helped several people get simple computer networking running and it became crystal clear that there wasn't one single place you could go to find out how it was done.

This is an effort to produce that piece.

I assume Windows 95 or 98.
I assume CAT-5 cables for the network not coaxial cable.
I assume you want to eventually connect to the internet with some high-speed service; I do not go into Dial Up Networking with your modem at all.
I assume a hardware firewall and network hub (there is a favorite one we like, see below.)
I assume you have a nodding acquaintance with your computer; you'll have to put the network cards and hardware in basically by yourself.

My irritation with the available books is that they don't take you far enough. Almost without exception, they take you through one little chunk of the networking puzzle and then drop you like a hot rock.

I have all the books. They're very well written and when you get done, you're a college-level expert on Computer Networking, but you have no idea how to make the service useful.

I would like to call the basic piece, "How To Get A File From One Computer To Another" instead of, "Computer Networking".

Another section is, "How To Print On A Printer That's Not Connected Directly To your Computer" instead of, "Printer Sharing".

The last section is, of course, "How To Connect Your Computer To The Internet In A Usefull Manner" instead of, "Setting Up TCP/IP".

This "paper" was designed to be executed step by step. It makes a lot of assumptions and they are cumulative. Make a mistake at the beginning and you're toast.

I make up a lot of names in the text. Many people have asked me where they could buy an Ink Spritzer Mark IV printer.

I'm not tellin'.

I picked the LinkSys BEFSR-41 Firewall and Hub because it's well behaved, realtively easy to set up, and is really does what it's supposed to do. You must have one or something very much like it to complete these instructions. Connecting to the internet without a firewall is unspeakably dangerous and actually more complicated than using a good simple firewall.

I know how DSL works and the last chapters having to do with connecting to the internet use that assumption. If you have cable, write to me and tell me all about it. I assume it's a network connection just like DSL, you just get it from a different sort of box.

Pay attention to the dates at the tops of the segments. I will change those as I update the text.



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