Poor Richard's Home and Small Office Networking: Room-to-Room or Around the World

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9781930082038: Poor Richard's Home and Small Office Networking: Room-to-Room or Around the World

Discusses inexpensive networking alternatives for the small enterprise, covering software, installation, connectivity, security, and administration.

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About the Author:

John Paul Mueller is a freelance author and technical editor. He has produced 48 books and almost 200 articles to date. The topics range from networking to artificial intelligence and from database management to heads down programming. Some of his current books include a COM+ programmer's guide and a Windows 2000 performance, tuning, and optimization book.

His technical editing skills have helped over 24 authors refine the content of their manuscripts, some of which are certification related. In addition to book projects, John has provided technical editing services to both Data Based Advisor and Coast Compute magazines. A recognized authority on computer industry certifications, he has also contributed articles to magazines including SQL Server Professional, Visual C++ Developer, and Visual Basic Developer.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

15 TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL NETWORK

(the book lists 35 more in the appendix: 50 Tips for a Successful Network)

1. Spend time deciding whether you really need a network. While a network is a highly practical tool for most small businesses, it turns into financial nightmare for others.

2. Design your network carefully. The more time you spend looking at various needs before you spend any money, the less money you'll waste on items you didn't need in the first place.

3. Be prepared to work at your network. No one is going to offer to perform the required work for free and consultants are extremely expensive. Relying on your own abilities is one way to reduce the total cost of the installation and ensure you can maintain the network once installed.

4. Always look at your needs before you decide on software. Use the software as a basis for other items like the operating system and hardware.

5. Don't bite off more networking that you can chew. A network you don't complete is money wasted. Even a small network will save money and you can always expand it later if necessary.

6. You don't need to have a vast knowledge of computers to repair system problems. Consultants fix many problems with careful observation and patience, not with technical expertise.

7. Networks require consistent care. Perform maintenance tasks as often as required to assure worry free operation.

8. Always look for the low-cost solutions to your networking problems. For example, alternative networking technologies provide flexible networking support for home offices and other small networks.

9. Use the right networking technology for the job. An infrared connection works great for line-of-sight applications, like transferring data from your laptop to your desktop machine, but won't work for other applications.

10. Avoid getting a central server unless you need one. Peer-to-peer networks operate efficiently and cost less to maintain than client/server networks do. However, once you do decide on a client/server configuration, ensure you spend enough to create a workable network.

11. Allocate bandwidth wisely. Don't allow users to waste bandwidth on collaboration or video applications unless the user needs these applications to perform useful work.

12. Make sure all users will have the bandwidth required to get their work done and that you keep some bandwidth in reserve for future needs.

13. Consider an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) as cheap insurance against lightning strikes and power outages. The data you save may be your own.

14. Look for the best deal when buying software. Sometimes last year's product contain all of the features you need and at bargain bin prices.

15. Computers don't understand or care that you're frustrated. Getting angry with a will only wears you out and thwarts any effort at repair.

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