Building Your Network, Part 1

By: Walter Metcalf
Date: 02/09/00

So far in this series on setting up a SOHO Peer Network in Warp, we have looked at the installation and initial configuration of both File and Print Services and TCP/IP Services TCP/IP.

Now it is time to start building your LAN. The LAN I'll be describing here and in the remaining articles in this series (unless otherwise noted) will of the combined type I mentioned in the previous article in this series that takes advantage of the features of both TCP/IP and Peer Services. As we proceed, I'll attempt to include sufficient commentary to allow you adapt the LAN to your particular needs.

The first thing to do is to verify the information you entered into your computer during the installation procedures of the past few weeks, not just to make sure you entered the correct information, but also to make sure it is still there. (After all it has been a few weeks since you did some of those installations.)


You will find below a number of tables representing various objects and files in OS/2. Compare the data in your computer with what is listed below, and if it is different, be sure it is a valid alternative as mentioned in the notes, or change it to agree with the tables. If you are not sure, then please email me so we can get it straight. (Note: the TCP/IP Configurations are for the non-Gateway workstations. The Gateway configuration is somewhat more complex, and will be discussed in a future article in this series.)

We will use the information in these tables again and again, both to simplify replication of the installation process in the other workstations, and to form the basis of further customization when we start making the network a little more complex and more interesting. The information below is the key to getting everything else right.

Let me emphasize again. The information below is critical, and if it is not correct your network in all probability will not work.

  1. TCP/IP Configuration (LAN) - 1
    Network Tab
    Lan Interface 0
        Enable Interface Checked
    Automatic DHCP Unchecked
    Manually, using Checked
    IP Address
    Subnet Mask
    Loopback Interface
        Enable Interface Unchecked
    IP Address
    Subnet Mask

    TCP/IP Configuration (LAN) - 2
    Configure Routing Information
    Route Type DEFAULT Net
    Destination 192.168.1
    Metric 1 1
    Subnet Mask
    IP Forwarding Unchecked

    TCP/IP Configuration (LAN) - 3
    Hostname Tab
    Machine's HostName THINKPAD
    Local Domain Name
    Nameserver Addresses


    1. IP Address is whatever 32-bit address you have chosen for your machine. As mentioned in a previous article, it must be in one of the blocks 192.168.x.x, 10.x.x.x, or 172.16.x.x to avoid conflict with the Internet and must be different from all other addresses on your LAN. (Most SOHO networks use the 192.168.x.x group of addresses.)

    2. NOTE: Both IP Forwarding and Loopback Interface must both be CHECKED on the Gateway (Router) workstation.

    3. The HostName can be any name, up to 16 characters, unique to this network. Use a name that readily identifies this particular computer. For example, there is only one Thinkpad in our home, so that makes "Thinkpad" an easy to remember hostname for that workstation. (If you have a notebook on your LAN, and move around a lot, you will probably want to include your initials or name in the hostname.)

    4. If your LAN is going to be connected to the Internet, the Local Domain Name and Nameserver Addresses should be those provided by your Internet Service Provider.

  2. File and Print Critical Data

    Shared Resources and Network Connections

    Most of the File and Client information is displayed dynamically in this GUI. We can use it to verify the data that was entered during installation. To access this object, open the Connections folder as shown in the screenshot, and double click. There will be a pause during which File and Print will be initialized, after which you will be asked to logon. Do so by entering the User Id and password defined during the installation process. (I hope you wrote them down!). Upon validation, the large Properties notebook will be displayed.

    Here is the information you need to check:

    Shared Resources and Network Connections
    Identity Tab
    Computer Name THINKPAD
    Description Thinkpad-390E
    Primary Domain Name METCALF
    Start LAN services at system startup Unchecked

    1. The Computer Name doesn't have to the same name as the Hostname in the TCP/IP GUI.

    2. TIP: Make sure the Description can be easily recognized as the computer it describes because that field is used perhaps more than any other to identify the workstation. Following this tip makes keeping track of network drives much easier.

    3. The Primary Domain Name is perhaps the single most critical piece of information in the File and Print structure (outside the Driver structures). This is the name OS/2 uses to determine if two workstations belong to the same network. Two computers can be connected properly and have every other value correct, but if the Domain Names are different, OS/2 will see them as being on different networks and will NOT let them communicate. Make sure this field is correct in all your computers!!

    4. Changing the File and Print data.

      1. If you find any discrepancy or other item that needs to be changed in the Shared Resources and Network Connections the best way to make the changes and to ensure the changes are propagated throughout the entire system is to use the PeerInst.exe program.

      2. Unfortunately PeerInst.exe installs on your Desktop with a variety of names in at least two locations. When File and Print has been freshly installed, it is usually found in the Install/Remove folder in the OS/2 Setup folder with the name OS/2 File and Print Installation and Configuration. After it has been run once, it usually moves to the OS/2 Peer folder in the Connections folder (see the screenshot above) and may be simply called "Installation". The easiest way to recognize it is by its icon which is a bright yellow floppy diskette. Double click on the icon and accept the defaults until you find the field(s) you want to change.

      3. VERY IMPORTANT: PeerInst frequently pauses, sometimes for a fairly long time, while checking or updating the system. Given time it will always complete, and you must let it do so. You must NOT ABORT PEERINST. Doing so may corrupt the entire networking system, forcing you to reinstall your OS/2 system from scratch!

Walter Metcalf

Next week: First look at Lotus SmartSuite for OS/2 1-2-3 v1.5

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