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Old 06-06-2004, 08:25 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Mandrake 10
Posts: 160

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Networking 3 PCs, 2 printers, with DSL & wifi

Hello, I have an apartment above a business I'm opening. Upstairs is my personal PC; downstairs is a PC which will act as cash register etc, and a PC which will be available to the public. I have a linksys 802.11b wireless router, and a USB wireless receiver. The DSL comes in upstairs.

Here's what I'd like:

1) To set up a wireless hotspot: free wifi. BUT I want to be able to monitor it for abuse without spending every second doing so. It should obviously also be firewalled up the wazoo - it'll be on the same network as my home PC, and I don't want any possibility of people snooping on that.

2) There will be a printer next to the cash register computer, and a printer at my home PC. People using the public PC should be able to print to the cash register printer; and from the cash register and home PCs I should be able to print to either printer. Is this possible? What software?

3) People will be using linux on the public PC (perhaps without knowing it - I'll make it pretty slick.) I want to lock it down to the extent possible - in fact, I'd like to administer it almost entirely remotely, so there won't be a terminal available on it etc. Is there a distro which caters to being locked down like this? Is there software which caters to customizing a box in this way?

So here's my questions:

a) Which computer should host the hotspot? The public, the cash register, or the home PC?
b) Should I network everything over wireless, or would it be smarter to run network cable down from my home PC to the cash register, at least?
c) What's the best network monitoring software?
d) Would it be best to have two of the PCs be dumb terminals, and serve X from the third PC? If so, where should I read up on doing this?

Thanks in advance.


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