LinkExchange Network
You are here: HOME > TRENCHES INDEX > CYBERDATE 04.19.1997
Site Map

Log Index
Previous Log Entry
Next Log Entry
Christophers Napkin Sketch by Al Gleichman

In the Trenches with LAROKE

Konsultant's Log, Cyberdate 04.19.1997 (Moving the HAL 9000)

    Situation Report
    Take Charge And Move Out
    United States of America
  • CM
    Configuration Management
    Mission Report
Later HAL Articles:

Cyberdate 05.03.1997 Feeding Softwarez to HAL 9000

Cyberdate 05.10.1997 HAL gets more software

Cyberdate 05.17.1997 HAL's softwarez feeding frenzy continues

Cyberdate 06.14.1997 When it rains, it pours

Cyberdate 08.23.1997 When we last left our hero, HAL . .

Cyberdate 09.06.1997 Kurrent Konundrums Debut

Cyberdate 10.04.1997 Putting out brushfires

Cyberdate 10.11.1997 P2's transformation slips into high gear

Cyberdate 10.25.1997 More fun with P2, HAL and 4-Bits

Previous P2 Articles:

Cyberdate 04.12.1997 Case of the Phantom Printer

Cyberdate 02.24.1997 Where's my !@#$% FONT MENU??

Later P2 Articles:

Cyberdate 06.28.1997 Restoring a Flash BIOS Meltdown

Cyberdate 09.20.1997 A Typical week of headbangers

Cyberdate 09.27.1997 Getting P2 ready for his new user

Cyberdate 10.11.1997 P2's transformation slips into high gear

Cyberdate 10.25.1997 More fun with P2, HAL and 4-Bits

Cyberdate 11.08.1997 P2 and 4-Bits - Light at the end of the tunnel

Cyberdate 12.06.1997 P2's configuration suffers a relapse

Cyberdate 12.23.1997 Re-glazing P2

Cyberdate 02.04.1998 P2's lobotomy recovery

Cyberdate 02.23.1998 Moving P2 is as much fun as pulling teeth


GENICOM Corporation TI Microlaser printer (formerly Texas Instruments)

Hewlett Packard HP PowerDAT 6000 tape drive, Colorado Backup for Windows 95

International Business Machines IBM Aptiva Stealth PC

Invisible Software Invisible LAN Network Operating System and network adapters

Kensington Technology Group Kensington Masterpiece Plus Power Center

Microsoft Corporation Windows 95

Linksys Ether16 LAN Card


SITREP: In December, LAROKE purchased a new IBM Aptiva Stealth PC for use at my home (branch) office. I reasoned if I had a "state-of-the-art" machine on the home front, I could will myself out of being a Kouch potato at night. Well, it is now April, and all the Aptiva, which I named "HAL 9000" in honor of the all-powerful computer in Arthur C. Clark's novel "2001", does little except occasionally answer the phone for me as I continue to cultivate bed sores.

HAL 9000 is more powerful than the machine I use at the office all day, so I decided to move it there where I would make use of it (there is no couch at the office). This article is the first installment of an on-going integration project which includes setting up HAL, linking him to the network, transferring programs and data from my old office machine "P2" to HAL, reconfiguring P2 to replace "Christine", another PC on the network, and reconfiguring Christine for use at my employer's home by his son Max. Got all that?

TACAMO: I got up early saturday morning, dismantled, and packed HAL in his original boxes, loaded up "Renegade", my Jeep, and made it to the office before daylight broke. It wasn't going to be a "Boca Raton sunrise" (cotton candy pink clouds in a turquoise blue sky). Rain was in the forecast.

After my first cup of coffee, I moved my office computer, P2, to the side to make room for HAL. The initial setup for HAL went smoothly. IBM provides good manuals and all connections are color or icon coded. I connected HAL to the network with a "Thin Ethernet" coaxial cable BNC connector. I would setup the network drivers later but took time now to make sure all the other PCs on the network still worked with the new connector and length of cable in place. This type of network topology is a "bus" topology. It is like a string of pearls. If one link breaks, the whole necklace is gone. The network was fine.

The next step was to connect the modem. I had one modem line, but I wanted to access it with both HAL and P2 during the transition period while I moved software and data between the two machines. I ran into my first episode of head-scratching at this juncture. The idea was to "daisy-chain" the connections as follows: 1) line from wall outlet to surge-suppressor on the back of the Kensington Power Center on P2, 2) line from the surge-suppressor to the "Tee" modem connector that came with HAL, 3) line from HAL's tee modem connector to P2's modem input connector, and 4) line from P2's modem to a telephone handset I use to check for dial-tone on the modem line. After all the connections were made, the handset did not produce a dial-tone. With a few choice expletives, I crawled about through the rat's nest of wiring I was generating, checking the connections but still no dial-tone. OK. Time to do this the hard way, (slow and methodical). After disconnecting all the modem wiring, I connected the phone handset directly to the wall outlet which produced the desired dial-tone. At least we had a good line. The surge-suppressor connection came next with the handset used to test again. Limited progress. The dial-tone was still there. Now we were at the tee connector on HAL. Oh damn! I had it connected to the network adapter, not the modem! I fixed this "stupid attack" on my part, and thereby resolved the modem wiring setup. I booted up P2 and HAL and logged on to my Internet Service Provider "@web2000", first with P2 and then with HAL. The modem connection worked fine in both instances.

On to the network setup. As mentioned in a previous installment, the network software on this system is Invisible LAN published by Invisible Software. If you use Invisible Software's network adapters, the software upgrades cost very little. All our machines have Invisible adapters...until now. HAL was equipped with a Linksys adapter owned by LAROKE, and I didn't have a spare Invisible Software adapter. I've never had to use it before, but Invisible LAN comes with a software utility to setup Invisible LAN for use with adapters not manufactured by Invisible. After a bit of research, I found I was not in possession of this utility. A temporary solution was needed until a Invisible Software adapter could be mail-ordered and installed in HAL (I didn't know at the time that the Windows 95 version of Invisible LAN would work with any adapter and only the DOS and Windows 3.x versions were adapter dependent).

Since several network software protocols can exist on the same physical network wiring segment concurrently, that was my first avenue of approach for a way out of this dilemma. Several of the existing Window 95 PC's on the network already had two protocols installed: Invisible LAN and TCP/IP Internet protocol for the company intranet. I simply installed Windows 95 Microsoft Network services and clients on HAL, P2 and "Old Blue", The result being that HAL could communicate with Old Blue and P2, Old Blue and P2 could network with all the other PCs including HAL, and every other machine could talk to all except HAL. A Byzantine arrangement, but workable for the short term, the most important matter of backups being resolved since the tape drive was connected to Old Blue.

CM: Now that the network protocols were installed, it was time to configure the Windows 95 network for Old Blue, P2 and HAL. Most of the configuration is performed in the Windows 95 Network dialog window. This is accessed by opening up the Windows 95 Control Panel and Double-clicking the Network Icon.

The Network dialog has three tabs: "Configuration", "Identification" and "Access Control". Under the Configuration tab is a list of the installed "Clients", "Protocols" and "Services". Clicking on an item in this list and then clicking on the "Properties" button below the list allows you to configure the item. In the "Client for Microsoft Networks" dialog window I selected the "Logon and restore restore network connections" radio button on the Old Blue, P2 and HAL configurations (this will restore the printer and drive mappings to other Microsoft Network PCs immediately after a user logs on to the network). The Configuration tab also contains settings for the "Primary Network Logon" client and "File and Printer Sharing" settings. On Old Blue and P2 the "Client for Invisible LAN" was chosen. On HAL the "Client for Microsoft Networks" was the selection. (This determines which "User" and "Password" Logon screen will be displayed upon startup.) File and Printer Sharing settings were toggled on to allow access on all three machines.

The Identification tab allows the setup of "Computer name", "Workgroup" and "Computer Description" for Microsoft Networks. "Old_Blue", "P2" and "HAL9000" were entered as Computer names (these are the names other Microsoft network PCs would see when making network connections) Don't use spaces or other non-alphanumeric characters in names even though they are allowed (See naming guideline). "Administration" was chosen as the Workgroup for all three computers (Microsoft Networks computers have to be in the same Workgroup to see and access each other). Computer Description is an optional field which I filled in with "Old Blue Refit", "P2 Refit" and "IBM Aptiva Stealth" respectively.

The Access Control tab allows you to determine the type of access control for Microsoft Networks, either "Share-level" or "User-level". For Share-level access, a user has to know a "Password" in order to access a restricted resource (printer or disk drive). For User-level access, a user has to be listed, or be a member of a group listed with access rights to a restricted resource. Share-level access is convenient for the network administrator, while User-level access is more convenient for Users. Shared-level access control was checked for this small network.

At this point, Old Blue, P2 and HAL were configured for Microsoft Networking. The only thing left to be done before the networking could begin, was to configure the individual resources (printers and drives) on each machine for sharing. Starting with Old Blue, I enabled sharing for drives A:, C:, D:, E:, F:, and G:. Sharing for the Texas Instruments Microlaser connected to Old Blue was also enabled. This was accomplished by double-clicking on the "My Computer" icon on the Windows 95 desktop to open it, then right-clicking on each drive icon, in turn, to access it's context-sensitive menu. Now that the Microsoft Networks Client, Protocol, and Services have been installed, this menu has a new line item "Sharing". Choosing the Sharing menu item will display the sharing dialog for this resource. When you first open this dialog, sharing is disabled by default. You enable sharing toggling it on and assigning a "Share Name". You can also determine the level of sharing access ("Read-Only" or "Full") and assign passwords (optional) for the resource in this dialog. When the dialog is closed, the icon for the drive now has a hand holding it to indicate sharing. In Old Blue's case, I named the drives "ALPHA", "CHARLIE", "DELTA", "ECHO", "FOXTROT" and "GOLF" (See Network Drive Names guidelines). You can setup sharing for individual subdirectories as well as drives. If you right-click on a folder icon on a PC with Microsoft Networks installed, you will see the same "Sharing" menu item". Sharing for the TI Microlaser was setup in a similar manner by opening the Windows 95 "Printers" folder and right-clicking the laser printer object to open the context sensitive menu with the new "Sharing" menu item. This displays the "Properties" tab for sharing the printer, again disabled by default. Similar to the drive resources you enable sharing by providing a "Share Name" and, optionally, a "Comment" and "Password". Naming conventions matter here also. P2 and HAL were configured in the same way.

MISREP: That was it. HAL was up and running. I completed a Full backup of HAL from the tape drive on the server, and then performed a complete network backup. The CMS (Colorado Memory Systems Division of Hewlett-Packard) Windows 95 backup software had no problems backing up drives on different network protocols (Invisible LAN and Microsoft Networks) in the same session.

The next article in this series will deal with transferring software applications from P2 to HAL. This will involve a lot of suffering...almost more fun than I can describe (like beating your head against the wall, it feels good when you're finished!).


Site Map

Log Index
Previous Log Entry
Next Log Entry

LAROKE Microcomputer Consultants
155 East Boca Raton Road
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
(561)368-0659 (Tel & Fax)

Issued Saturday April 19, 1997

Updated Wednesday February 25, 1998

copyright © 1996-1998 LAROKE Microcomputer Consultants all rights reserved