The Open Source Saviour!


I have been saved by major embarassment by Linux. Abbu’s got a new computer for himself for working. And I decided that I had to connect the two systems together, creating the home network. It has been a dream. Besides, it would offer a coupla advantages too. First, Abbu’s documents are on the old system. That would provide a nice mean to transfer his files, rather than saving them on the spare harddisk and transporting across the house. Second, another place from where to get online. Third, try quenching the thirst of knowledge.

Well, to move on. I fished around on Windows 98 for any suggestions on this uphill tasks. I found that to be a cracker with the Internet Connection Sharing(ICS). Cool! And I had two Ethernet cards. So no problem with that. I installed the ICS, and configured it. Now, my since my system has two network interfaces, they present a problem. Their names are almost same! One is Realtek 8139(A/B/C) PCI Fast Ethernet NIC and the other is Realtek 8139(A/B/C) PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter.

Now, the ICS asked me the interface that was connected to the outer world, i.e. from which I connect to the Internet. How’d I know the difference between their names? I couldn’t remember which one was actually connected to the Internet. More specifically, I knew which one was, but I didnt know its name! Holy cow!

Anyways I selected the second one (as I felt it must be the one) for the outer world and the first one for my home network. A prompt appeared asking me to restart the system. I clicked No, and promptly forgot all about it.

That happened yesterday. Today, when I came back and tried logging in to the network, there was no domain server available. Aaargh! Hell hath no fury like… And then I just accepted it as another feat of my network administrator, and mentally prepared a note to give him a nice verbal beating the next time he comes to me.

And then just on a whim I restarted the system to hang out on Linux. And while searching out for some commands. Out of the blue I decided to telnet into that server(I had forgot that I wasn’t on the LAN). And it did! Connected to the server all right. Wow! I had to run an ifconfig to see which ethernet interface it was using. Turns out that on Linux only one interface is configured and that is the old one. Cool, meaning when the system had been restarted while I was away (remember ICS asking to restart the pc?) the settings had taken effect, and the dormant ethernet interface had been asked to connect to the outer world. Good Lord!

And then follows the same old story. I cursingly changed the connections and interfaces, and tried to logged back again, and did it log fine. All the more reasons to prefer Linux (just that I couldnt make it browse any sites)!

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