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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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