<CT> Re: Problems: school, internet, Calmira Online, IFA

  • From: "Martin B. Brilliant" <mbrilliant@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: calmira_tips@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 21:12:05 -0500

On 28 Mar 2001, at 14:22, Botond B. Balazs asked (on behalf of a guy 
in a Hungarian list) about creating a network out of 10 386's with 40 
MB HDs and 4MB of RAM running Windows 3.1x, and two machines running 

I have an experimental lashup at home that does something like that. 
However, I have only two machines, one running Win95, the other a 386 
with about 500 MB in two HDs and 32MB of RAM - so I am not so badly 
strapped for resources. The 386 was first loaded with MS-DOS 5.0 and 
Windows 3.1, and then had Windows NT 3.1 installed over that, so it 

I connected the two machines with 10Base/2, alias ThinNet, alias 
coax. Windows 3.1 doesn't have any native networking, but Windows NT 
3.1 can share files and a printer with Windows 98 in any of three 
different protocols (I've tried them all): NetBEUI, Microsoft IPX/SPX-
compatible protocol, and TCP/IP. I can also network them with two 
protocols at a time, say, NetBEUI bound to file/printer sharing and 
NetBIOS, and TCP/IP not bound to anything. I would like to try 
connecting the TCP/IP to a software proxy server on the Win95 system 
(which already connects to the Internet via Microsoft Dial-Up 
Networking) and run a browser in the WinNT system.

I also have Win for Workgroups 3.11, which I think I could install 
over Win 3.1 on the MS-DOS side of the 386, so it would communicate 
with the Win 95 system the same way Win NT does, but I haven't tried 
that yet.  

Whether the Hungarian guy can do this partly depends on what is meant 
by "Win3.1x". If that means Windows only, and not WfW or WinNT, then 
something would have to be added, but I don't know what. Has he 
already set up some networking? I don't quite understand what I read 
about each 386 running Windows from a larger computer. If that means 
he already has a network, then the rest should be straightforward.

For me, the advantage of coax (ThinNet) is that I can add on more 
systems without any additional hardware, just by putting all the 
machines on one coax run. For N computers, it takes N-1 lengths of 
coax cable, N coax tees, and 2 terminations. I don't know whether you 
could put 12 machines on one run that way - or whether the machines 
are physically located so you could run coax between them.

But the bottom line is that I'm pretty sure a network will do 
everything the guy wants to do - except cure the problem of not 
having enough RAM on each machine to run all the programs the user 
wants. On a network of you-knicks systems, you could run a program in 
one machine's RAM using another machine's keyboard and monitor, but I 
don't think you can do that on an MS-Windows network. It might be 
important to identify which protocols and services use the least RAM, 
and not load any that aren't needed.

And beyond the bottom line - I'd like to know what other other people 
think, and what actually works or doesn't work.

Martin B. Brilliant at home in Holmdel, NJ
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