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NETWORK || Intra/Inter || Reading Materials || Internet Access & News || What Happens Here

Preferably, visit the Technical Event Book, otherwise known as the Time Line: a series of pages giving an episodic history of what I have read, or done, or failed to fix! It includes an ancillary history of events that have affected my life.

Time Line 2009 shows that in March into April several problems arose, especially with Kaspersky AV software. That ended when that software was removed.

A  The dickins.lan network, as it is called in Active Directory, is 100BaseT with a 1GB switch. Currently, the network has two Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise SP1 Server computers, and four Windows 7 Ultimate, all constantly updated.  Plus, one 2008 Datacenter. The latter uses all 6GB RAM, even though X86. Nice, and it runs well, used as the main data repository with its 14 SCSI U320 drives.

B On April 20th, 2000, I bought a Hewlett-Packard 712/60 PA-RISC machine, with a 19in. monitor. Very nicely made, and I hoped I could install the Puffin Linux port on it. Later, I found that although there are ports, nothing will actually run if one is trying the current version. It's now 2012, and I still have no external SCSI CD-ROM to use with the latest Debian native Linux OS. I did, June 2006, find one of the correct external CD-ROM boxes. What it needs is a power source which is still missing: so, must search for that before it becomes the CD useable for a Debian installation. What it is, esentially, is a box, and will never be used.

INTRA/INTER || top
C  The office network includes substantially different computers enabling research on and determination of the reliability of hardware and software. The http://mattoid.com Linux based domain is at Vexxhost, as are my other two, http://mattoid.ca and http://mattoid.net, domains.

D  Firewalls ahead! Oh, yes, with IPv6, I suppose. If you want a domain for yourself, check availability with a whois, this one still works: Whois.  In 2000 I had to place a switch between the "modem" (xDSL or cable box) and the local machines to protect them. The increase in security problems, especially with the overwhelming popularity of MS OS throughout the world has allowed systematic attacks from script kiddies, game server searchers, including the infamous Scour.net operation, and other nefarious characters. Microsoft has bought an Anti-Spyware software company which, in 2005, has brought some sanity. It's ridiculous that, for example, Symantec won't allow installation of its commonly used security software on a server. They expect everyone in a home/office situation not to run servers and instead to be running XP Pro, or Win2kPro or something similar, when connecting to the internet. Networks don't run well without a server to help matters along. Peer to peer is a nightmare. Now, I use Microsoft active directory software that enables common use of all of their operating systems.



READING MATERIALS || top

E
  For the literate amongst you, I can highly recommend several sources of information, viz., Mark Minasi's books on Windows 2000, 2003 and NT4 (there are lots of places still running this, and having no intentions in updating: for example many libraries still have NT4 servers allied with Windows 95 public access boxes), published by Sybex. Subscribe to his monthly emails at http://www.minasi.com/nwsreg.asp. His website also has support pages that can be useful. I also recommend most of the O'Reilly computing publications, particularly the Nutshell series. There are many good authors: it is better to visit a library or talk to knowledgeable friends before buying texts that soon enough become outdated.

F  On the buying side, now that I am in Ottawa, Computer Supply House is excellent for all of one's computer paraphernalia, all of which are reasonably priced.

G  A plug here for all independent bookstores, mainly run by aficionados, not purely for the almighty dollar, like some chains we could mention. Chapters is a horror, and don't hold your breath for any improvement even though they were "obtained" by Indigo. On Elgin Street, in Ottawa, is Perfect Books, with, again, some very nice people working there.

For software that adds value to NTx, go to Systems Internals. They are now owned and augmented by Microsoft.

 Too many magazines with small readership have lessened the variety available as they gradually ceased publication. Luckily, dingbyte.gif (203 bytes) is now on the Web, (Jerry Pournelle, Martin Heller, Jon Udell and others who wrote for the best computer magazine that ever was . . . .) Unfortunately, Byte is now subscription funded, which people out of work, and there are still many ex-dot.com workers around, cannot afford. It's not that the charge is high, it's simply that it is part of the constant diminishing of one's money by tiny amounts.
Read The Economist for international politics, science news and literature reviews. Scientific American, National Geographic, Wilson Quarterly (if one can find it), all contain articles and material that ensures that there is balance to one's life.


INTERNET ACCESS: HISTORY & NEWS || top

I  This section is purely of historic interest. Additions to the Time Line pages have noted what I currently use to connect to the Web.

So, Internet access using ADSL from BCTel MMG was once installed in the home office in Vancouver, though problematic at times. It was apparent in those early years that DNS and DHCP on their servers and the asymmetric transmission speeds of ADSL didn't work well together. And, that they have/had available an insufficient number of IP addresses given the number of their subscribers. Mind you, it is inexpensive, and 5Mbps+ is now on offer. Plus, one is allowed to host one's domain directly from one's home or small business. If you are an Internet Direct, in BC, subscriber, see the newsgroup direct.adsl on their newsgroup listings.

J  Internet access is by ADSL via http://ncf.ca at 5MB/s.. It works with a Thomson 546 adsl modem, and this non-profit organisation, which includes the Ottawa Library and Carleton U, has given me very few problems.

K There is now a LinkSys 1GB four port switch between the ADSL modem and the 1GB Trendnet 16 port switch for the network.

L  In general, I prefer xDSL (cf cable access) and a good site for all manner of information and links to other sites is dslReports.com or xDSL.com.  
M  Obviously, with NT4, one could use MS Proxy Server, but is anyone going to buy SBS or the full Back Office suite, just for that? Since one should be OS agnostic, maybe one ought to try Linux, especially Slackware or RedHat as the OS for an Internet server. It seems that Linux is tough to beat for multi-connection strengths. Even against other *nix brands.
N   I really believe that several computers around you are needed for building your web pages properly. Have you noticed how different versions, not just browser types, can ruin your whole day, if you haven't tested how your html appears?

There are too many different html editors and suites to wonder at. Some of my colleagues have always used Notepad, since as long as one understands html, then simple pages can be built quickly with this primitive editor. Of course, software designed for the production of more complex web sites needs to be much easier to use. I have also used Macromedia Dreamweaver, Flash & Generator, Allaire Cold Fusion and Microsoft Front Page (which, don't forget, was developed by a group that MS bought up. Once again, they bought, rather than develop). Nowadays I use Expression Web, both 2 and 3.

Of course, each programme has its quirks and benefits. Some are better than others, and it is purely what you, or your company, demands or prefers that might rule your decision.

And, make sure that graphics and Java applets are easily handled. These days, that's an essential part of how eyes are caught by surfers to your site. Also, don't forget to check what you have done on monitors that are of different sizes and with any number of browsers. What I have noticed lately is that FireFox does not show what Internet Explorer shows! 

WHAT HAPPENS HERE || top

O  mattoid INK, as a sometimes working entity, provides technical advice for WAN/LAN and hardware installations and maintenance; database, spreadsheet, financial and word processing services; Web sites maintained and pages built; desktop publishing with Adobe products. 

Today, at a different abode, with periodic shocks to the system, I persist in knowledge search. French, Latin, history, current affairs and literature of all kinds are facets of my book-learning.

Constantly fiddling with MS Exchange; Windows OS service and action packs, Office, BIND and TCP/IP, particularly IPv6; implementing Perl, php and Java scripts, other tools contained within Visual Studio; and other aspects of using networks, such as VPNs. Not to forget security issues and associated software. With the increase in interoperability these days, it is so important to make connections secure. 

There is too much to learn, perhaps, for one single, simple person. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, it has often been said. As time permits, I work on my computer language skills: I must admit that I am somewhat delinquent here, trying only to use what I find I need. 

 

Below: Waiting for the boat to Canada, on the Underground Railroad, or maybe it's just the spring floods.
I had thought it was the former situation; no matter, it remains a fascinating photograph.

Would you like me to help you out? No matter, here in any case is a Guest Book and the Guest Book INPUT

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