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Re: [vox-tech] networking
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Re: [vox-tech] networking

Up spake Jim on Mon, Jan 20, 2003 at 11:19:40AM -0800:
> Thanx Mr. Salzman for helping me with my posting woes.  

*having difficulty thinking of Peter as "Mr. Salzman"*

> I am very new to computers let alone the linux operating 
>system.  I am very interested in buying some new hardware, 
>suse linux professional 8.1 software, and some other 
>things to make a local area network in my house for my 
>family and me.

I feel like saying, as a preface to all of this, that you 
have some learning ahead of you.  Don't panic--there's 
tons of online help out there, and we're certainly here to 
help--the absolute LAST thing I want to do is put you off 
this project, but I want to be clear about the scope of 
your undertaking.  You're making a transition from "new to 
computers" to, frankly, expert-level competence.  You'll 
do it, we want you to do it, but it will not be a weekend 
or even a two-weekend project.

For hardware, you'll need, in addition to everyone's desktop 
systems,  1) a computer to be your firewall, and 2) a separate 
computer to be your router.  These can be old machines.  In 
fact, it's a great use for old machines.

> I am going to get cable broadband very soon and want to 
>have linux as my server.  My family uses another OS besides 
>linux.  Can I still run these non linux systems off of my 
>future linux server via LAN?

Yes.  The language that computers speak to each other (TCP/IP) 
is the same for all systems.

>  Does linux have easily 
>configurable firewalls?  Can I easily adjust settings so 
>my teenage daughter can't log on the internet at 2:30 in 
>the morning?  

(Let me commend you on your easy acceptance of good security 
procedures.  Your implicit assumption that a firewall is 
essential is absolutely correct.)

Depends on what you mean by "easily configurable".  Linux 
makes very *powerful* firewalls, by which I mean that you 
can do pretty much anything you want.  Alas, as is 
common in life, the tradeoff is frequently ease of use.

Many people use a special Linux distro called "LEAF", 
which is designed to be a firewall.  Other people will 
roll their own, often using an application called iptables.

The daughter thing sounds fairly straightforward to me (not 
that I've tested this, you understand); selectively block 
access to device eth0 (Linux's internal name for the ethernet 
port) based on user name and time of day.

>Do I have to worry about what modem I can or can not use?

Yes, unfortunately.  You want to avoid the whole class of what 
are called "Winmodems".  These are very inexpensive l'il 
modems that farm out all their computations to the main CPU.  
The manufacturers don't tell us how they work, so it's tough 
to get them to work.

As a rule of thumb, external modems are usually OK while 
internal modems are usually not OK.  

But you won't need modems for what you're describing; modems 
are used to dial other modems (e.g. for dial-up Internet 
access).  After you get high-speed access, you'll have a 
permanent connection.

--nicole twn

"Say you decide to call it quits after the first exam. <draws stick 
figure atop a building on the board>  Down here <draws more stick
figures> are all your friends, laughing and mocking you as you fall.  
That's the important part.  All mocking you as you fall."--former math 
professor, lecturing on air resistance
Visit www.nicolopolis.com ... digital nonsense for a weary world.
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