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I recently got a Nortel 450 24-Port Switch. (Second hand). It looks to be a pretty funky piece of kit. However there are two problems. The first is that I do not have a kettle lead to power it up. I can solve that one.
The main problem is that the previous owner tells me that although the password is set to disabled/blank/default the web interface is disabled. The switch can be configured and the web interface enabled through an RS232 socket on the front. However, none of my computers have an RS232 socket. What hardware do I need to get to do this? Is there something I can buy that will plug into a USB socket and then plug that into the Switch? The vendor recommends using Kermit as the software to do this but they just assume you have a serial socket on your machine in the first place.
From the manual....
A VT100 or ANSI-compatible terminal, or a PC with a serial port and the ability to emulate a VT100 terminal.
Configure the terminal settings as follows:
-- 9600 baud
-- No parity
-- 8 bits
-- 1 stop bit
-- Flow control set to Xon/Xoff
-- Window Terminal Emulator option set to NO
-- Terminal Preferences: Function, Arrow, and Control keys active
-- Buffer size set to 24
So it would be helpful to do that. I get the impression this is the sort of thing I ought to be able to buy cheap but I dont actually know what im doing.
I ought to mention, in my shame, that due to circumstances beyond my control, this will have to be done from a machine running Vista.
You need to use what is referred to as a null modem cable (female to female serial cable with RX/TX lines swapped) to connect a computer directly to a device like a switch. So the serial adapter has a male interface, and the switch has a male interface, and you link them with the female to female cable.
It is possible to log in over the ethernet both with telnet and a web interface (albeit with slightly less options on the web interface). However, for security reasons these were disabled by the previous owner.