Network Administration : Heuristics

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Network Administration

Hardware Preparation

The factory default IP-address, user name, password of every router has to be written somewhere on the box of the hardware, if it is not placed there by the manufacturer. If no special labeling tools are available, then a way to make a long-lasting label is to cut out a piece of paper, write the data there by using a plain pencil, NOT with anything that uses ink, and then stick the label on the box by covering the label and its edges with transparent tape. The reason, why ink based pencils, including all markers, are inferior to plain pencils is that over time the ink, including that of the ballpaint pen, diffuses to the glue of the tape or bleaches out, but if there is no transparent tape on it, the text will erode mechanically.

It is OK to use markers to draw IP-addresses, hardware specs, etc. on the boxes of big desktop computers, because that data does not have to last that long. Besides, marker text can be perfectly wiped off by using liquids that contain alcohol, including various smelly disinfectants, some dish-washing chemicals, paint removal solvents, etc. That comes handy, when the network name or IP-address or some other label-worthy parameters of the computer change.


If cables are too long, then in stead of spending time and monetary resources on the cable ties, cables can be just rolled to be shorter and the last loops of the rolls should go trough the roll like a wire of a toroid. This way it is easy to re-lenghten the wire and the quality of the cable-bundle is as good as that of the cable tie based bundle. At some more creativity friendly office settings the screw hooks combined with cable ties allow cables to be attached to undersides of desks, allowing the floor to be clean from all wiring.



For stationary computers there's no point of spending any time on fiddling with the crappy WiFi drivers and shoddy Linux distribution implementations. The easiest way to give WiFi access to a desktop computer is to buy a cheap WiFi router that can "bridge" a WiFi network by connecting to the WiFi network as a client and then share that connection at its LAN side through its twisted pair interface. All Linux/BSD/whatever-else-even-Windows distributions can obtain an IP-address through their twisted pair connection by executing dhclient or something similar.

To make this work with the TP-LINK routers, some caveats have to be taken to account. To keep the TP-LINK routers from overheating and overheat based hangs, their WiFi transmission power setting has to be set to some lower value. Their internal DHCP server has to be shut off from their settings UI and the router has to be restarted after the DHCP setting has been changed.