Ok, here's what's supposed to happen. Internet service comes in through the cable modem (roadrunner) and into the family computer downstairs. That box runs Windows 2000 and Internet Connection Sharing; a second NIC and a very long ethernet cable goes upstairs into the hub in my brother's room. The hub has plugged into it my brother's two Windows boxes (an old and a new one)...and now my big black box, AKA an old IBM mini server box that I'm trying to set up Debian on for use as a personal fileserver (access through ssh) and whatever else I may want it for (web server, maybe an IRC or game server if I want it). This comming from someone who still doesn't have networking configured on her desktop, but that's another post.
As far as I can tell, I have the network card configured correctly (It appears to load on boot but I don't know how to go back and read the buffer output after the fact to check) and it isn't doing anything untoward (dropping packets, etc, judging by ifconfig output). But it doesn't see the network...neither the windows boxes on the LAN nor sites on the internet (ping is hitting thin air, either getting host not found or not even sending packets (0 sent, 0 recieved, 87 tries, %100 failure rate). It was configured in the installer; correct gateway, netmask and such were used along with a static IP for the LAN, no domain name because the windows network doesn't use one. (Hostname I set as the computer name I wanted, was that right?)
Does anyone know what I need to do to get network trafic flowing? I'll provide any other requested info as long as the person requesting tells me how to find it.
Also, being a general newbie, if anyone would mind pointing me to good resources/primers on how to set up samba, apache, ssh servers or any of that lovely stuff, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!