The Powmillion Network Hardware


I have a small network connected using a D-Link DES 1005-D unmanaged ethernet switch and a pair of Solwise SAR-600EW wireless modem routers.

The routers are configured as a wireless bridge to give the extended wireless range needed.

The network comprises a variety of machines running various flavours of Windows and Linux.

My main machine is an Athlon 64 3000+ with 1Gb of RAM on an MSI K8T Neo2-f motherboard with a GeForce 5500 video card which has 256Megs of RAM on it driving a pair of 17" flat panels and a 200 Gig Maxtor 6L200P0 hard drive. A further 120 Gig Maxtor drive which used to live in the Cyrix machine has been added to provide space for daily backups of the main drive. It also has a pair of DVD drives, a Sony DDU1615 reader and a Pioneer DVR110D burner. Networking is taken care of by an onboard Realtek RLT8169/8110 Gigabit NIC. This machine runs XP Home

Sitting next to this is an Athlon 700 running either Ubuntu 6.06 or Windows XP SP2. Not state of the art, but it has been doing quite a good job for around five years. It has 384Megs of RAM (refused to talk to any more!), two SCSI optical drives - Yamaha CRW8424S CD burner and a Toshiba XM-604TA CD Rom, a Matrox G400 video card driving a pair of monitors, a Relisys 19" and a Compaq 14" and 70 Gigs of hard drive in the form of a Seagate 40G and Western Digital 30G (the original HD). The main function on this machine at present is to run a local web server so that I can test any changes to the web site before uploading them to the live server at Jetnet.

For day to day working the next most important machine on the network is a cute Densitron DPX-70, the whole box being no more than about 12" x 10" x 3" deep (external power supply) and it is perched on a post bolted to the back of the desk. It is a single board machine (almost - the SCSI is on a PCI card) with a pitifully low resolution 640 x 480 LCD screen and it's primary function is to drive my scanner, a Black Widow (remember them?) 4830 Pro with a SCSI interface. The reason being that there is no official XP driver for the scanner and so far I've been too lazy to look and see if any other drivers will work, so this machine is running Win 98 SR2. Since it is really only used for the scanner and the files are tranferred to one of the Athlons straight away, the display limitations don't cause too many problems. I also have a Nikon film scanner attached to this one.

Next up is a Cyrix 686 based machine running Win 98 SR2 which I intended to use for remote backups. A slight environmental issue with its proposed site soon stopped that idea though (fancied putting it out in a garage, but decided it was a touch damp for a computer to live happily). Now, it has been pressed into use for several things that were not intended, the main function being to talk to my weather station which would have been a job for the Athlon but for a software conflict. It is a bit slow, but it manages!

A Freecom FSG-3 also resides on the network. The main function is presently as a backup device. There are thoughts of using the mail server function to allow my email to be accessible on any machine on the network but so far I have resisted the temptation to do this!

Printing is catered for by an HP Deskjet 970Cxi connected to the Athlon 64.

An automatic backup function has been set up, albeit no longer as remotely as I hoped. Backups are being made using Cobian Backup. On a daily basis a backup is made on the second disk in the Athlon 64 and weekly backups are made on the Freecom FSG.

At the other end of the wireless bridge are Sempron and Dell Dual-Core Pentium based machines, running XP Home and Media Centre respectively. The Sempron machine uses a wireless link to the router while the Pentium machine has a Homeplug mains wiring connection to it since there are too many walls for wireless. After a few teething problems with DHCP where the slave router seemed to be grabbing all the available addresses leaving none for the PC clients, the simplest solution to this was turned off the DHCP server and assigned the IPs manually.


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