At home I have installed a genuine LAN network. Now my three computers
are continuously linked with a 10 Megabit connection (1.25 Mb per second;
A harddisk reaches speeds between 10 and 30 Mb per second). You are now
probably wondering this :
I wanted a network, because :
This is what you can do :
I have three computers and it's a shame to let the old ones go to waste.
They are not that old.
My sister uses the computer regularly and her data is on the newest computer.
Playing computergames together is more fun then waiting for turns.
I only have one Iomega ZIP drive (internal).
It is really cool to tell people that you OWN a entire network (in a nerdy kind of way :).
This is how I installed my network :
You can share everything :
Your CD-ROM players. You don't have to swap
CD's. (sorry, the only advantage I could think of)
Your harddisks. This is cool, you don't have
to use stupid 1.44 Mb disks for 30 Mb or more datatransfers. Save diskspace,
you don't have to install programs double. You can start a program which
is on the other computer. Though that might not always work.
Your printers. I didn't realize this when
I bought the network, but it is very practical (this is an understatement)
Your Iomega ZIP drive. You try to transfer
100 Mb of data with 1.44 Mb disks! (equals 72 disks!)
Other equipment, though I haven't really figured
out how to use the Logitech PageScan® on the other computer.
You can surf the Internet together on only one modem! But you'll
to do that.
Now you can also play internet-games together, but you'll (probably) need
a fast modem for that.
You can play multiplayer games.
Playing computer games is fun, but playing multiplayer games against real
people is even more fun. Especially when they are sitting next to you (you
can see them get nervous). You can race against eachother, you can fight
eachother, you can kill eachother (usually not in real live), you can play
lots of mulitplayer games.
It's even more fun to participate in a LAN-party. You can even organize
your own LAN-party if you go to this link, http://www.gameparty.net .
They will provide you with a real server so every game will run smoothly.
You can also see where LAN-parties are held.
For a list of mulitplayer shareware, click here.
And there is probably more stuff, I haven't even heard about.
This is how much my network cost me :
First I opened my computers up and plugged in my networkcard. Make sure
you still have room in your computer!
In case of COAX connect the T-splitters to the networkcards
Connect the networkcards together with the cable. I used 50 Ohm COAX cable
, but you can also use UTP or STP. In case of COAX make sure you have terminators.
Terminators are resistants, which you connect to the T-splitter of the
computers on the edge.
My networkcard was Plug and Play, so the first time you fire your computers
up, the card should be detected in Windows 95. I only had one installation
disk, which I barely used. Most of the software is on the W95 CD-ROM. When
asked, install all transfer protocols, NetBEUI, IPX, TCP/IP.
NetBEUI isn't really necessary, but I personally use it for firesharing.
While doing that you have to come up with names. I called my computers
Cow, Chicken and Weasel.
Reboot your computers and there you are!
It is time to share your disks, printers and stuff. Rightclick on the
"Network Neighbourhood"-icon on your desk en select properties. Then click on
the "Share files and printers"-button and enable the appropriate checkboxes.
In "My computer" or Windows explorer: Right click on any drive and select 'Share ...'. Then click full access.
Now you can share your drives. CD-ROM drives should be read-only, though
that doesn't matter that much. You will get a error message anyway if you
want to write a file to a CD-ROM player.
And yet again you have to restart your computers.
If everything went right, you can now enjoy your network.
This has cost me €105.48 or $99.23.
I got three ethernet-cards
I got 10 m COAX cable and one of 2 meter
I got two terminators
I got three T-splitters.
(But this was a few years ago, I saw 2 10/100Mbit UTP cards + Game
for only €44.92.)
These are the minimum sytem requirement :
If you want to know something else about my network
just click on the 'mail me!' sign on the left.
Two IBM 386 compatibles
One free ISA-slots on each computer. (well mine is ISA, there probably
are PCI-cards too)
RAM, I don't know. But if it can operate on a 386, then it can't be much.
(My lowest RAM is 15 Mb)
This is my network.