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Mon 07 Jul 2003
It Just Works
Category : Technology/justworks.txt
The Broadband and Sendmail tutorials (that I had posted on the right side-bar) have been bringing me a flurry of e-mails from all over the world lately. Some of them bring questions that have piqued my own curiosity. So, over the weekend, I managed to try a couple of things and learnt something new.
One was Mac OS X's Internet Sharing. I had used IPNetRouterX to create a software-driven Airport Base Station before but found it quite tedious. So, when I was at a friend's place (she had a Titanium connected to a broadband line via Ethernet) and found that I needed to get on the Net with my iBook, it was perfect for trying out another of OS X's built-in services.
First, make sure that the Titanium has at least two network ports enabled. That's because we've already used one port - to enable the Titanium to connect to the cable modem via the built-in Ethernet port. If we enable a second port - the Airport network (and we can do that because the Titanium has an Airport card) - we will see, when we go to Sharing Preferences, that the Internet Sharing button has now come alive.
It's inviting us to share the Titanium's Internet connection with other computers that are connected to the Titanium via the Airport network ... like my iBook. So we went ahead and share it. From my iBook, after just a few seconds' pause, I can see the Airport network created by the Titanium show up.
So I connect to it. And I'm on the Internet. It just works.
On the Airport network, you don't even have to do any TCP/IP settings. You can leave everything to auto (DHCP). This is the part that amazes me because, when I used IPNetRouterX to create a software base station, I had a bunch of TCP/IP settings to straighten out. From this point on, you can connect a whole lot of other machines, all sharing the same broadband connection. You can set a password for the network quite easily. Again, it all works.
I was trying this out because I had someone using Sendmail Enabler to turn on the mail server for a network similar to this. So I downloaded Sendmail Enabler to the Titanium, gave it a domain name (free from dyndns.org), and ran Sendmail Enabler on it. Guess what? Again, it works. So I'm sending out mail through the Titanium (acting as a mail server) from my iBook. You can run a company on top of all these technologies. It's so simple. Why do we need an IT department?