Sunday, August 9, 2015

Budget Networking

I downloaded the Apache web server and installed it on the $5 computer seen in the back row of the above picture.  I copied all of my photography web site files into Apache's htdocs folder and started the program as a service under Windows 2000.  Everything worked perfectly with no changes to the Apache configuration file.  I opened port 80 in my router, making the web site visible from anywhere on the web.  

The blue screen over on the left is my Dell Pecision 690; it is running Handylinux in a virtual machine under Windows XP.  Opening port 22 on my router lets me access Handylinux remotely through the secure shell program.  To test that arrangement I took the Compaq laptop on the right down to the Old Town Plaza where there is a free city internet connection.  I fired up Tiny Core Linux, opened a terminal window and typed in "ssh mike@(my router ip address) -Y" to establish the connection.  

That "-Y" at the end of the ssh command allowed me to run virtually any program on Handylinux in a window on the laptop, including the graphics.  In fact, it is even possible to run programs that cannot normally be run on the Compaq with its old Pentium III cpu because the heavy lifting is being done by Handylinux on the Dell desktop and the laptop just has to handle the display.  So, I can have Firefox, Chromium and any number of other gui heavyweights operating on the the old laptop screen.

I was particularly pleased to get the ssh connection going because I had previously been unsuccessful in doing so.  I had been able to easily make standard terminal connections with quite a few Linux and Windows systems, but I just couldn't get the X11 graphics enabled.  I finally hit on the idea of trying a connection to Handylinux, and that did the trick, along with the use of the "-Y" option in the ssh command line.  It seems that the out-of-the-box ssh configuration in Handylinux is up to the task while none of the others were.  So, my next task is to compare the Handylinux configuration file to some of the others.

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