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Learning Excersises on My Home Network

By CAMPACJ ·
Despite being 46 yrs old, I am a student learning about computer networking in hopes of getting a position as an assistant network administrator. I have been attending a school (BCTI) and will graduate soon. I will then attend a training camp and hopefully get both my A+ and Net+ certs.

I have built a small Ethernet network at home, which consists of three machines, a NETGEAR RT 314 router (Star config), and an HP LaserJet 6P printer local to Machine #1. Machines 1 and 3 have mobile rack systems for their harddrives and so #1 can be either a W2k server (in a client/server config) or a workstation running Win XP Pro. M #2 is always a workstation (W2k Pro), and M #3 has the only internet connection (W2k Pro/AOL) and is also a workstation. All three machines have Ad-Aware 6.0, Spybot 1.3, and BitDefender 7.0 Pro virus shield and firewall installed. My network is a class "B" and the TCP/IP addresses have been manually configured as 169.254.0.1-4 (including the printer) with a subnet mask of 255.255.0.0.

My question is:

What suggestions does anyone have for a guide to teach myself two broad subjects:

(1) Proper basic W2k Server-based network setup.

(2) How to prepare for and solve common problems.

In short, how to give myself the most practical, real-world learning experience. Most of the books are very dry and difficult to understand without a considerable amount of hands-on exercise. My email address is campacj@aol.com, and I reside in the Kent, WA area of suburban Seattle. As you can see, I am very teachable and try not to let my ego cloud my learning. Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,
Clint

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by gralfus In reply to Learning Excersises on My ...

I think I have learned the most about W2K server by setting up a basic domain (not connected to the Internet) and trying various aspects of the server (vending DHCP, FTP, Web services, etc.)

I took some classes at the local community college, but I found that the MS curriculum held my hand so much that I was able to accomplish things, but didn't know *why* I was doing certain steps. You might check on Amazon.com to see if there are any books that people have found useful for beginners. I usually have the best results by wanting to accomplish something and then trying to do it, and asking questions when I hit a wall.

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by CAMPACJ In reply to

Dear gralfus,

Your answer is a bit vague and advanced for me. I need a lot more detail about the "various aspects" of the server and how, exactly, to "try" them. Start with one at a time.

What you consider "hand holding" another person might call starting at the beginning. If I don't know the "why" of a step in a process, I ask; it's probably something I need to know. I have checked out several books and I continue to do so. I posted this question because I have "hit a wall."

Thank you for your effort.

Clint (campacj@aol.com)

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by 1 Sane Nerd@Work In reply to Learning Excersises on My ...

volunteer urself for free in one of a more reputable computer shops and work there for a month, maybe that would increase ur practical knowhow. Visit their customers and help solve their customers problem with their senior. I am sure an extra hand in their shop would entice them to engage u. Attend night class to brush up.

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by CAMPACJ In reply to

Dear 1 Sane Nerd,

Your suggestion is, theoretically, a good one. The problem is that most computer shops don't have much to do with networking and I'm finding that people in the computer industry can often be a bit self-centered, a bit short on patience, and often lack the discipline that it takes to be effective teachers. Teaching is, in itself, a talent that too few people have. So, I end up back on my own with a book and my own little computer lab. Thanks for your efforts.

Clint (campacj@aol.com)

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by stress junkie In reply to Learning Excersises on My ...

You can learn a lot about daily problems by reading the
questions and answers posted on this site. Here is a list
of what I consider to be a good beginning for required
reading on a regular basis. Most are related to security
but a lot of daily problems are security related as well.
Mind you, this list is just a good start. There aren't any
books that cover the daily grind. Mostly you'll get users
that forgot their password or did something to their
computer and blame you, etc. Try these sites and see
what you think.

Be sure to rate all of the answers provided. Thanks.

//www.cert.org/
//www.us-cert.gov/
//www.governmentsecurity.org/
//www.sans.org/
//www.securityfocus.com/
//ciac.org/ciac/index.html

//www.theregister.com/
//www.theregister.com/odds/bofh/

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by CAMPACJ In reply to

Thanks, Clint

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by Myths In reply to Learning Excersises on My ...

For a complete beginner in networking, Networking for Dummies is a good choice and provides detailed explanations. There is also 9 in 1 book of Networking for Dummies that gives directions for setting up a network with several different operating systems.

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by CAMPACJ In reply to

Poster rated this answer.

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by Tech_Guy1 In reply to Learning Excersises on My ...

The first thing I would do, is create a domain. You would promote your Server to a domain controller. This will allow you to play with something the is more business oriented. Security, shares, and logins all change in a domain based network.

Once you have the domain controller setup. You can look at DNS (Since it is required and setup for you when you promote a server to a domain controller) You can also connect your workstation to this domain and see the effects that take place. (Like fast user switching being disabled)

To get started I would recommend going to http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/default.asp

It has many white paper here starting from the pre deployment phase all the way to setting up advanced features.

Here is another site with walkthroughs on performing specific functions including setting up a windows 2000 domain.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/planning/walkthroughs/default.asp

If you have any specific questions, let me know and I will send you my e-mail address.

NOTE: I usually find microsoft white papers and walkthroughs the best info.

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by Tech_Guy1 In reply to

After Getting the domain up and running and your workstation connected, I would take a look at group policy. It allows you to create settings and restrictions at a single point and deploy it to all workstations in a domain.

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