Linux Journal: Building an Office Network from Spare Parts

“When we moved to Switzerland in 1998, we joined an English
church. Being a computer person, I naturally got involved with the
church’s so-called computer system. The system consisted of a Power
Macintosh 7200/90, an Apple LaserWriter 360 printer connected via
AppleTalk and a PC with Windows 98. The only way to exchange data
between the machines was a ‘carpet LAN’, and the Mac was the
so-called internet machine (only e-mail for the pastor).

“During 1999 the office started to expand, and these poor little
systems could not cope with the sudden increase in demand. The
Internet also started to become a factor as everybody was using
e-mail, and a web presence for the church was wanted.

“Being a church, there was not a lot of money available to go
out and buy everything we needed. We sort of planned what we
wanted, and then we called on the congregation for donations of
their old computers systems. In this way we got enough desktop
computers for each of the administrators and an additional computer
that could be used as a server. By continuing to ask for unused
computers, we slowly built the office network to where it is


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