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setting up a network of 3 computers

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setting up a network of 3 computers

cyberjan
I have a small office that wants to add a new computer making a total of 3 computers. They want to use / and share excel and word files. Could i set up the new computer as a "server" with all running win xp and in the same wprkgroup? They want to be able to work on the same docs from all the computers but have it lock so only one person could be in the doc at once. Does this happen automatically or would I need to do something special?
thanks
Jan
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    TechBro

    In this scenario, it would probably be easier to just buy a network hard drive and have them place their shared files there. You would get both shared access and file locking and would avoid any crazy user permissions on the three workstations.

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    cyberjan

    A "Network drive" meaning what....an inexpensive server, with server software?
    server software is super expensive..but I could buy a dell server for $599 with no OS.
    Or do you mean just a regular Haard drive that users share?
    thanks Jan

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    TechBro

    My bad for being imprecise!

    I was assuming that you are trying to avoid the ongoing management of a full server. What I am talking about is a network attached storage drive where you could define folders and security if required.

    Some examples:
    http://www.pcconnection.com/Search?CatId=104500&om=lnavsub

    Of course, based on the long-term goals, it might just be the time to get a cheap server from Dell (but remember that you'll need W2K3 Server or SBS2003 R2 as well).

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    cyberjan

    Thanks for the link..I have not heard of this..It does seem like the perfect solution.
    Yes. the servers are cheap but the software makes it un affordable.
    I work with a lot of non-profits and I would like to linux as I believe it is free

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    DownRightTired

    linux is great as long as SOMEONE knows it. If theyre just using it for word processing, email and such its a great idea as you can just install a good distro, and never mess w/ it again. By the way distro is distribution and theres thousands of em, yes many are free (check this link http://www.linux.org/dist/list.html )i like suse, fedora is another popular(same as redhat but free). another good/bad thing depending on how you look at it is the fact that installing software on linux is generally a completely diff process than windows. Theres no such thing as a .exe file. An average user wont just figure it out(the actual installation of the OS is pretty simple though). But if your happy w/ whats on the distro and dont need to do anything terribly complicated its a good idea. I also work for a multi-national non-profit.

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    shellbott

    Edited by moderator

    Message was edited by: beth.blakely@...

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    shardeth-15902278

    What you are describing will work, but the problem you will run ito will be password managment. XP uses a local security databse, that means, the server will have an account for use bob, and bob's pc will have an account for user bob. They have the same userid, but they are in fact different accounts. So long as the password is the same for both, things will work seamlessly. But next time bob's password on his pc expires, the passwords will no longer match and bob wil have problems. To fix this he will have to log in to the 'server' and change that password to match the new one. Depending on your environment (security risk factors, data sensitivity...) you may be okay with passwords that don't change, in which case you shouldn't have a problem

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    TechBro

    I totally agree vis-a-vis password management. However, if this is just a three computer SoHo setup, I'm guessing that is not much of an issue.

    If password manaagement is a concern, you should definitely heed shardeth's advice.

  • +
    0 Votes
    TechBro

    In this scenario, it would probably be easier to just buy a network hard drive and have them place their shared files there. You would get both shared access and file locking and would avoid any crazy user permissions on the three workstations.

    +
    0 Votes
    cyberjan

    A "Network drive" meaning what....an inexpensive server, with server software?
    server software is super expensive..but I could buy a dell server for $599 with no OS.
    Or do you mean just a regular Haard drive that users share?
    thanks Jan

    +
    0 Votes
    TechBro

    My bad for being imprecise!

    I was assuming that you are trying to avoid the ongoing management of a full server. What I am talking about is a network attached storage drive where you could define folders and security if required.

    Some examples:
    http://www.pcconnection.com/Search?CatId=104500&om=lnavsub

    Of course, based on the long-term goals, it might just be the time to get a cheap server from Dell (but remember that you'll need W2K3 Server or SBS2003 R2 as well).

    +
    0 Votes
    cyberjan

    Thanks for the link..I have not heard of this..It does seem like the perfect solution.
    Yes. the servers are cheap but the software makes it un affordable.
    I work with a lot of non-profits and I would like to linux as I believe it is free

    +
    0 Votes
    DownRightTired

    linux is great as long as SOMEONE knows it. If theyre just using it for word processing, email and such its a great idea as you can just install a good distro, and never mess w/ it again. By the way distro is distribution and theres thousands of em, yes many are free (check this link http://www.linux.org/dist/list.html )i like suse, fedora is another popular(same as redhat but free). another good/bad thing depending on how you look at it is the fact that installing software on linux is generally a completely diff process than windows. Theres no such thing as a .exe file. An average user wont just figure it out(the actual installation of the OS is pretty simple though). But if your happy w/ whats on the distro and dont need to do anything terribly complicated its a good idea. I also work for a multi-national non-profit.

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    0 Votes
    shellbott

    Edited by moderator

    Message was edited by: beth.blakely@...

    +
    0 Votes
    shardeth-15902278

    What you are describing will work, but the problem you will run ito will be password managment. XP uses a local security databse, that means, the server will have an account for use bob, and bob's pc will have an account for user bob. They have the same userid, but they are in fact different accounts. So long as the password is the same for both, things will work seamlessly. But next time bob's password on his pc expires, the passwords will no longer match and bob wil have problems. To fix this he will have to log in to the 'server' and change that password to match the new one. Depending on your environment (security risk factors, data sensitivity...) you may be okay with passwords that don't change, in which case you shouldn't have a problem

    +
    0 Votes
    TechBro

    I totally agree vis-a-vis password management. However, if this is just a three computer SoHo setup, I'm guessing that is not much of an issue.

    If password manaagement is a concern, you should definitely heed shardeth's advice.