Sunday, May 13, 2007

Setting up the Square One, part 1

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I got a Quad Microworks SquareOne personal Internet server for my birthday. Now that classes are over, I felt I had the free time to set it up, and our household need for constant Internet service was low enough to risk losing it for a few hours.

No such loss occurred, thankfully. Step 1 in my setup, the actual wiring of the SquareOne as an Internet router went as smooth as silk, since the computers in the house were already running off a router. Great!

Step 2: Accessing the SquareOne, and mapping it's shared folder as a remote network drive.

On Windows, this was simply a matter of going to the IP address of the SquareOne, entering the password, and clicking "map network drive". I now have access to the 320 GB harddrive, as well as all the pre-installed programs, all through my convenient Q: drive.

On Linux, I had figured this would be a little trickier, but the computer was way ahead of me, and the two machines were already talking through Samba. All I had to do was navigate to the shared space though Konquerer, enter the password, and I was all set. I could even play the test file (a Horrorpops mp3) through Amarok. Since one of the goals of getting the server was using it as a space to store our music so that any system on the network could access it, this pleased me greatly.

Step 3: Setting up the networked printer.

I have a HP Deskjet, and until now, only the Windows computer had access to it. Major hassle, since most of the print jobs originated from work done on the Linux system.

On Windows, all I had to do was connect the printer to the USB port on the SquareOne, then follow the instructions in the SquareOne manual. The trickiest thing that I had to do a soft reset on the SquareOne to get everything started.

On Linux, though, I hit my first significant snag. The particular system I'm running is Debian, and woefully out of date. The Common Unix Printing System was not installed on this system, since it had never had a printer before. Attempting to do so led to all kinds of package update, installation, and removal issues, and lots of warnings about unauthorized sources being a security risk. Talking to the computer's creator, I learned that this system hadn't had any package maintenance in a while, and making all the upgrades would probably be a huge, huge hassle, and involve a lot of risk (like my not being able to get the video driver working again...).

Therefore, rather than potentially take out one of our desktop systems, I decided that waiting a little while, then backing up all the data onto the server and installing a new OS would be the best course of action. I've had Ubuntu and Fedora Core 6 recommended.

In this process, I've learned a lot more of what's floating around pre-installed on the Linux system, and how to work with it. So, despite not being able to print yet, the whole experience has been worthwhile.

Step 4: Setting up the SquareOne as a server to host my website, and allow for FTP access.

I've progressed a bit on this, but still have some tests to run before I report on it. Soon!

1 comment:

Bill said...

I also purchased a Square One. I have had some issues setting up the FTP portion. The support has been good but I am still running into issues. Right now, it is just a network drive and I know it is so much more.

If you don't mind can we share notes on network set-ups?