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Hooking 30 Performas (6112) up to the internet (Single dialup IP)

Posted on 1997-06-29
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I'm working with a network of Mac Performas. Most are 6112; a few are 6116.

We have 30 machines, 4 ethernet hubs. All the macs can talk to each other.

We have 7.5.1, appletalk version 58.1.3, and ethertalk 2.5.6
 
Finally, we have one machine with a modem that can dial up to the internet, and use a web browser.

*** What we need, fast (why this is (or started as) a 150 pointer): A way to hook all of these machines up through a single modem to the internet. The goal is to have a caching proxy web server on one machine, that the teachers can preload the pages that students are expected to visit; that way, when 30 students hit the browsers all at once, the phone line will not be absolutely dead. In addition, using a proxy web server will result in only needing one connection to the internet (one dynamic dialup IP address), so there will be no heavy costs.

Oh yea -- this is a school with a small budget for this.

We've been pointed to Viacom internet gateway; however, that is expensive ($1000 for a site license) and does not deal with the caching server issue (which is a must).

We've also been given the suggestion of buying a PC and running Linux on that as the gateway; again, the price of the PC, and the maintenence of it make this unaffordable.
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Question by:Keybounce
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weed earned 450 total points
ID: 1581132
Well until i saw your note about vicom that was my suggestion. Your other option is to get MkLinux FREE from apples ftp site and run that on one of the macs...that will act as your linux server and best of all its FREE. No buying a PC (for the price of a pc you could get vicom). Mklinux is at www.mklinux.apple.com..theyve been having server problems so if at first you dont succeed try again...you can also get MkLinux at barnes and noble bundles with an instruction book. Very cool and stable linux system.
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by:Keybounce
ID: 1581133
MkLinux, at Barnes and Noble, will turn a M68K mac into a Linux machine. OK.

What would we need to do to get the macs to talk IP to each other, or are they already talking IP without telling us? Or does MkLinux support appletalk/ethertalk?

I take it that you recommend Apache as the caching web proxy server for linux :-).

(Sigh, yea, at 12:30 am pacific, the server there isn't answering).

Meanwhile, do you have any ideas on how to do with using straight mac os? I can easily set up a linux gateway for the school (now that I know it exists!), but I haven't seen a unix system yet that didn't need some constant attention. Heck, I haven't seen any system that didn't need some attention now and then, and for this to work, they would have to learn to maintain the system. This is a consulting job, so I don't mind too much, but the price of their learning unix would be possibly a bit much.
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Author Comment

by:Keybounce
ID: 1581134
Incidently, what does MkLinux need to run well? 8MB? 16? How much disk space?

(And, does it have a SoftMac program? :-)

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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 1581135
MkLinux will only works on PPC or at least im prettysure about that. It supports full networking just like any unix system. As long as the computers are netoworked theyre set up to talk ip. just gotta have something to send first. MkLinux is straight up tcp/ip which is the standard netowork protocol. I dont have any experience with apache but ive heard good things about it. To do the same thing with MacOS? Well now youre back to Vicom and maybe something like webstar which will run on the gateway machine and deal with all your web pages for ya. MkLinux typically needs 16 megs of ram especially if youre gonna run apache and other stuff. Of course the more ram ya can give it the better. The min size HD recommended is 300. Like ram the more you can give it the better but its not necessary.
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 1581136
Oh yeah...MkLinux does come with X-Windows which is kinda sorta mac like but not really. hehe. Just gives ya a graphic environment to work in.
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Author Comment

by:Keybounce
ID: 1581137
Do you mean that MkLinux needs a Power PC/Power Macintosh to run? These are Performas, not Power Macs.

(I was worried that apples using appletalk/ethertalk were not using TCP, and it would be incompatible. If that's not a worry, then good :-)

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by:weed
ID: 1581138
yes MkLinux needs a powerPC to run. from what you said in the initial q the Performas you have should work...the 6100 series of performas ARE power PC and so they work. I beleive they use the 603 chip.
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Author Comment

by:Keybounce
ID: 1581139
Ah, I thought that only the power macs, not the performas, used power PC.

That little point increases my options :-)

Thanks.

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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 1581140
Some performas ARE powermacs...performas are only a line of PowerPC computers.
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