help me set up a server

November 22, 2010 at 05:54:30
Specs: Windows Vista
ok so I have searched the net and not found what I am looking for.. (it is after all a very big place)

I want to create a home server. This is what I want it to do...

1. I want to connect a usb printer to it and be able to print from any of the 6 pc's in my house on that one printer.

2. I want it to be able to be a development server for my home network (i.e. create/edit etc. ) using php & sql

3. I would also like to be able to connect to my development server from OUTSIDE my own LAN !SECURLY! as a read only.

4. I would like it to cost NOTHING (or as close to that as possible)

Ok.. here is the WHY...

The printer issue is fairly straight forward.. I only have one printer and need to share it between 6 computers. The other bit is not so straight forward.
I am teaching myself PHP and also SQL. I want to be able to have a database collection of all my customers, (their names, addresses, contact details, etc).
I want to be able to develop this at home working from any one of the 6 PC's I have and then... once it is finished and up and running... be able to access that information from, eg. a customers house, so I can easly show them any information I may need while I am there. (previous jobs etc).

I understand that the database and front end of it are down to me. What I need help with is setting up the "server" in the first place. I have an old PC that I will use as the server.

Any help or pointers on this would be greatly accepted.

(there is more info I can give if needed)

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November 22, 2010 at 07:25:28
1) Any modern computer with at least 1 USB port is capable of having a USB printer connected to it. If you share that printer once it's been setup on the PC it's attached to you can then install it on other computers in your LAN. One method is the one you can find in my "how-to" guides. Simply click on my name above and read my "how-to" titled: "Installing a Network Printer: version 2"

2) You could probably do this on any computer that has the correct software installed on it.

3) Buy a SOHO router. To connect remotely to said computer, you would first enable Remote Connections on the target PC and make note of it's LAN IP. Then you woud create a port forward on your router for port 3389 (RDC port) and forward it to the LAN IP of the computer you wish to connect to. Then, find out your external IP address (google "what's my ip") and from the remote computer using RDC (Remote Desktop Connection) connect to your external IP address. As for Read Only type access, you would have to create a user account with limited access and permissions for users to connect with (assuming you want Read Only access for others, not yourself, you could connect with the administrators account after all).

4) Do you have an old computer kicking around you could use? The Linux/UNIX operating systems are free and capable of everything you wish but if you don't already know them, there's a learning curve. Other than that, you could shop around for a used computer for sale that comes with the operating system. NOTE: you would need XP Pro if you wish to connect remotely, XP Home doesn't come with RDC if I remember correctly. Newer OS's you would have to look into whether or not they have RDC.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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November 22, 2010 at 08:47:40
Hi Curt,

thanks for replying.

I thought I would be able to share the printer, but I wasn't sure if it needed to be done a different way other than just using XP printer share. (I guess that if i just install the computer onto my network then just use XP's share printer that should work)
{it's amazing how much of the simple stuff you just ignore when you are trying to learn something more taxing}

The bit I really need help with is...
setting up the a server... rather than a remote desktop.

I have an old laptop that I want to use as my server.
The specs are...

Intel celeron 1.7GHz
256mb RAM

By all accounts this should be plenty to be used as a server. I have seen lots of posts all over the net, telling me to use "xamp" or similar. That is fine, if it was on the computer I used most of the time but I want it on a "remote" machine. I don't want to be limited to having to do all the hard work on 1 PC. (it gets boring and I would like to be able to use my laptop out in the garden for example).

I understand that with xamp on a machine I would use "localhost" but I refer to my point above.

Maybe it is just me and I have over looked something that will show me how to do what I need. (I have looked at so many different sites that I think I have overloaded my brain)

If you have any ideas or could point me in the right direction that would be great

priest_004 :)

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November 22, 2010 at 11:52:28
I understand that with xamp on a machine I would use "localhost" but I refer to my point above.

I have no idea about xampp. I've never used it and all I do know is it's apache based. For more info on it, I'd recommend reading the manual or finding a dedicated xampp discussion group (if there is one).

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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