Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ignorance is Bliss: Setting Up My Home Network

An advantage of being perpetually ignorant is that I always have something cool to learn.

Networking has always been a mystery to me, but I'm now making inroads. With a little help from my friends, I can now ssh into my home network.

I reasoned that since I work on embedded systems, I ought to be able to install open-source firmware in my home devices, so I bought a Linksys WRT54GL wireless router, on special, did a massive upgrade by installing DD-WRT, and now have a very fancy router/firewall.

Scott Mann gave me some CAT-5 ethernet cable, which Kristina and I ran around the house with Christmas-light holders, so two of our boxes are now connected wired, and one, wireless.

Setting up ssh was trivial. I'd done that before. Doing so lets me get into one box from another within the home network.

CUPS let me hook the printer to one of them and use it from any of the others, so I have a network printer.

Vergil Mueller had figured out how to use Dyndns, and showed me, so I got a domain name.

Dean Johnson came over after work and helped me configure the router so I can ssh in, through the firewall, to each box individually: different ports on the outside go to different boxes on the inside.

Besides the fun of doing it, all this brought an unexpected psychological side-effect. While I was at Stellar Days and Nights, last week, Dean massively reconfigured our network, at work. Stuff's still not all working again. But now, instead of just feeling frustrated, I'm interested.

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