·Lifebook E










Computers and Networking

In 1943, IBM's Thomas Watson suggested that there was a world market for maybe five computers. In 1949, Popular Mechanics suggested that Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons. In 1977, Ken Olson, President of Digital Equipment Corporation, said There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. While Microsoft's Bill Gates clearly realized that his predecessors got it wrong, even he underestimated the pace of this industry as in 1981, he said 640K [of memory] ought to be enough for anybody.
(Source: http://www.cmu.edu/computing/cursor/buyguide98.html, 07/2001)

The internet is a fascinating source of knowledge, at least regarding to computer and network related problems. I am still learning a lot from the community and most of the time it is the best support one could wish to have. To give a littlebit back, I provide some of my own programs and scripts to the community. But be careful, I take no responsibility for any damage. Probably you will not run into any problems, but also everything I provide here, is at least useful and valuable for me, it might not work for you and, if you are out of luck, it even might destroy every little piece of your computer. You have been warned!

Some words to my experience: I started computing in the 80's, the age of Commodore PET, VC 20, C 64 and Atari XL 600 (Basic, Pascal, Assembler). Thanks to the sponsoring of my dad, I then switched to Atari ST's and some years later I got my first PC (486DX33, VLB). As student in the field of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at the Technische Universität München I had my first experiences with Unix (to be more specific: Linux) in the year 1993 in a project course about Software Engineering. As I liked this very much, from 1994 on I was involved in the system administration of their heterogeneous network (mainly UNIX). My masters thesis was to extend SUN-RPC to non-blocking remote procedure calls (NoWait-RPC). Since August 1996 I'm working at the Institute for Real-Time Computer Systems (RCS) as a Ph. D. student.

Besides my research, which is dealing with the rapid prototyping of embedded hard real-time systems and the development of a new class of COTS based real-time systems called RTCPU, I was fully responsible for the RCS network (concept and realisation) including all networking components. Also the administration of the institute (20 to 25 employees) was my area of responsibility. To get ahead with my Ph.D. thesis my colleagues Eric Dönges and Hans Oswald are taking over this duties now.

At the RCS we mainly used Tru64 Unix for the basic tasks as email, WWW, ftp, radius, fileserving ..., but we are experimenting with a cheap, carefully selected, self-built PC based server now (06/2001). The institutes heterogeneous net also includes Linux-PCs (and other UN*Xs: SunOS, Solaris, AIX, RISC/OS ...) and Windows NT systems. To be honest I'm just using NT (mainly NT-based Terminal Server via ICA), nevertheless taking care of the smooth integration of these boxes in our environment (as far as possible).

Have fun!

Thomas Hopfner, 07/2001: Started page