11/24/01 Update

Computer Networking

Fourth Segment. Installing NetBEUI.

In the first segment, you put in the network cards and connected them to the firewall.

In the second segment, we created users and "passwords" on the machines.

In the third segment, we create a shared folder on all the machines.

This is the magic segment. In this one we load NetBEUI and cause all the machines to network (in the cocktails and finger-food sense). The machines will communicate with each other through the firewall even though we haven't adjusted firewall services yet and you can't Surf the Net. That's later.

NetBEUI stands for NetBIOS Extended User Interface. Aren't you just so glad you asked? It's Microsoft's smallest (and fastest) networking software. It's pretty old. It's down side is that it doesn't expand well past a small network. NetBEUI would be a total nightmare for 300 users, but it's perfect for up to about 10 users or so.

You should know where your Win9x CD is. In the last segment, you had to pick machine names but they weren't "official" yet. in this segment, you formally name the machine, its workgroup and have an idea how you're going to describe each machine.


Machine Name: Maxene
Workgroup Name: hubbardhouse
Computer description: The One We Found in the Trash Behind a McDonalds

The Machine Name can go up to 15 characters and can have spaces. Microsoft will scramble the capitol letters for you. No punctuation marks.

The Workgroup Name may **not** have spaces and can go to 15 characters. Use the underscore to separate words. Hubbard_House No punctuation marks. The workgroup name in all the machines must match exactly.

The Computer Description is pretty much ad lib. You can type up to 48 characters and the capitol letters will survive. Spaces don't matter. No punctuation marks.

You'll be doing the following instructions a number of times.

Start Maxene. When the login panel arrives, you should be able to just touch [enter] to continue booting.

Start => Settings => Control Panel => Open Network.

Grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine, this will take a few minutes.

There should be one tab: Configuration. Your network card's name should be in there: 3COM LAN-O-Matic (I love making up these names).

Add => Protocol => Add => Microsoft => NetBEUI => OK.

Back to the Configuration panel and two items should be in there: 3COM and NetBEUI.

Add => Client => Add => Microsoft => Client for Microsoft Networks => OK.

Now there's three things in the panel.

File and Print Sharing... => Check "Files", Check "Printers" => OK.

Access Control => Share-level access control (don't hit OK) => Identification => Computer Name: Maxene => Workgroup: hubbardhouse => Computer Description => Rebecca's Pink Sony Laptop => (I'm making up all these names) OK.

Another computer will be Laverne (do you see where I'm going with this?) and the third will be Patty. I know the Workgroup should be andrews_sisters, but hey, it's up to you. You can even change it later if you want. NO BLANK SPACES in the Workgroup name. Put the underscore "_" in there if you want.

By now, the computer will have insisted that you put the Win9x CD in the CD drive and let it load additional software. Do it.

After it gets done grinding, the computer will insist on rebooting. Do that, too.

When the machine finishes rebooting, close the control panel.

Go on to Laverne, and then Patty and crank through all those steps again. Each computer name must be unique. You can't have two Maxenes on the network. The Workgroup name, on the other hand, must be *exactly* the same on all the machines. Remember, you may *not* have blank spaces in the Workgroup name, but you can in the other two entries.

All the instructions to this point can be found by digging through enough books. My favorite is "Windows 98 Secrets" by Brian Livingston and Davis Straub. The instructions from here on, simple as they may be, are not available in any book I've ever found.

All the computers (or at least two) must be on and sitting in their desktop. You must be finished adjusting them according to all the instructions so far.

Sit down at Maxene.

Right-click on the blank desktop => New => Text Document.

Open the new document.

Start typing. Put the date in, the machine name, and your name.

File => Save => File => Exit

Push the document down to the bottom of the screen so it's out of the way.

Open Network Neighborhood. All the operating machines should be listed there: Maxene, Leverne, Patty and Entire Network. Note that the machine you're typing on is in there, too. *All* the hot machines are listed.

Open Patty. Patty's shared folder should appear. Open the folder. Drag the New Text Document.txt from your desktop into Patty's folder. Note that a *copy* of the document automatically goes in, not the original.

You have just transferred your first file over your Local Area Network. Look at the top of the window.

\\Patty\shared That double back-slash means Patty is a network machine. You're typing on Maxene, so Patty must be somewhere else.

File => Close Patty's window.

Walk over to Patty.

My Computer => Open C: => Open the shared folder and there's your text document freshly sent over from Maxene. Now you can drag this text document to wherever else in Patty you want it to go.

You can't transfer programs. Nice try. Moving spreadsheets or Word documents around is a little like moving a hat from one person to another, moving a program is a lot like trying to casually move your esophagus to another person.

Another slightly faster way to get to your document is:

Network Neighborhood => Patty (even though you're already typing on Patty) => shared and there is the text document.

You can do this file transfer dance in any direction between any machine on the network.

Next step is connection to the internet. First we are going to set up the machines to talk the internet protocol language (TCP/IP) between themselves and the firewall. You don't have to take NetBEUI out to do this. Oddly enough, all the protocols and services play well together. You can install them all and the only bad thing that happens is the computer slows down slightly. This may be the only time in history that two or more software packages have not tried to eat each other for lunch.

Later when you get your Cable Modem or DSL, we set up the firewall so it can talk to the outside world. That's the idea of the firewall. It deals directly with the Big Bad Internet and your computers hide safely behind it.

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