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    SubjectRe: Cheap network for two hosts ?

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Mike A. Harris <>
    To: Horst von Brand <>
    Cc: Anthony Barbachan <>; <>
    Date: Sunday, January 10, 1999 3:56 AM
    Subject: Re: Cheap network for two hosts ?

    >On Mon, 28 Dec 1998, Horst von Brand wrote:
    >>> >For two hosts, you can use 10Base-T or 100Base-TX cards without a hub
    >>> >using a crossover cable, as well. It's a lot less messy than coax,
    >>> >and support for coax is going the way of the dodo. Of course, coax
    >>> >won't do 100 Mbit/s at all.
    >>> Problem with the crossover cable is that it only works for two machines.
    >>> While coax may not be the latest and greatest it definately works
    >>> perfectly well for many if not most people, providing you do not have a
    >>> large number of machines on the network.
    >>But it's a mess.
    >I only agree in one respect. That it's like finding the bad
    >light bulb on a Christmas tree. Other than that, I disagree.
    >> You have to be very careful with conectors, terminators,
    >But you can be careless with UTP connectors and hubs?
    >>Ts; and make sure nobody trips over the network.
    >So, what you're saying is that, with CAT-5 you don't need to make
    >sure anyone trips over the network cables? Hmm. I've accidently
    >tripped over a CAT-5 cable and snapped it right in half.
    >Contrarily, I've bumped my coax cable pretty hard, and I almost
    >pulled my computer system off the desk. The coax works fine.
    >Even if it got damaged, it would take me 5 minutes with a
    >standard wire stripper and pair of wire cutters to fix - with no
    >crimp tool.
    >> It's cheap, but a 8-way hub isn't _that_ expensive...
    >Relative to what? With coax, the cost of a hub is $0, so
    >relative to coax, an 8way hub is INFINITELY expensive. Even $30
    >is $30 that I wouldn't have to spend. And I don't know where you
    >people get your prices, but the cheapest 10Mbit card around here
    >is $25 ISA, or $30 PCI for NE2000 clones. The cheapest 4 port
    >hub (low end crap) I could find is an Acer for $50 + tax of 15%.
    >An 8 port is $80.

    You can get approximately those prices at a computer show or become a
    reseller. Computer Shopper is also good, I've seen ad's in there for $9.95
    ISA ne2000's.

    >So, an 8 port hub would run $80 + 15%, and I don't consider that
    >to be "cheap".

    15% - thats a huge sales tax, and I thought it was bad here.

    >Minus the cost of network cards, for the cost of your 3 computer
    >network and a hub, I can put together a 10 computer or more coax
    >network. That includes all cables and terminators. Network
    >bandwidth is the same on coax as utp anyways unless you get an
    >expensive switch, and then you're not talking $80 hub either,
    >more like $200+. So the UTP is faster/better argument for a
    >cheap network doesn't cut it. UTP is more scalable granted, but
    >that is meaningless if it is unlikely anyone will need to scale
    >over 10 machines anyways. Even then, one could plop 2 NIC's in
    >an old stripped out 4Mb 386 box acting as a router in a closet,
    >and have subnets. There is your scalability. Not as modern or
    >nice, nor fault tolerant, but it isn't needed in a *cheap* home
    >network either.
    >>and you'll save that much on <insert favorite
    >>headache pill here> in short time.
    >I'd agree with you in a work environment where people tend to
    >fuck things up pretty bad, but in a home environment it isn't
    >necessarily the case. If you install coax, the cable itself is
    >no more vulnerable to being tripped over, drilled into or
    >otherwise damaged than CAT-5 is. Also a home network is unlikely
    >to have a machine bring down the network, and if it did, it is
    >only a home network anyways. If reliability and whatnot were a
    >factor in a home network, then cost would be second to begin
    >with, and coax wouldn't enter the equation.
    >We must realize that cheap-network means just that. $30 extra
    >cost, is $30 that could be saved. And here, your $30 hub is $90+
    >with tax... That is real money to me. If we all had $200k
    >incomes the scenario might be different.
    >Mike A. Harris - Computer Consultant - Linux advocate
    >Linux software galore:

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