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Russell McOrmond, Consultant: Network Implementation

Software Configuration

As an Open Systems consultant I make use of TCP/IP client/server technology and open software protocol standards in order to impliment the services that I offers. The use of TCP/IP and open standards ensures the members of the community that the services are both interoperable and portable.

One problem often seen with other software solutions is the lack of support for this software in the large variety of computing resources available to the members of the community. One problem that any person that has used many different computer systems quickly learns is that there are many things from software to word processor files on a disk that are not easily moved from one computer system to another. One of the features of TCP/IP is that it provide a common set of standards that can be made available on all computer systems, whether it be the smallest IBM-XT computer, to a Macintosh or MS-Windows system, to a supercomputer.

It is quite possible that the information created and shared by a community will out-live any single community service or any software technology. By using open document standards, we are ensured that the archival qualities of this type of information will be available regardless of the changes that occur within community networking in the future.

I make use of CopyLefted and other Free/Liberated software whenever possible. There are many Categories of software, and I make use of the most liberated software possible to keep my customers as liberated in their technology use as possible.
The services offered by FLORA involve a number of different software components:
Protocol servers
FLORA runs a number of programs that offer information to the user via a standard protocol. Some of these services include:
Protocol clients
Most of the users of the services on FLORA are accessing these services using software running on their own home computer. Software packages include:
Protocol gateways
A number of services exist that will offer a translation between the communication mechenism used by FLORA (TCP/IP based protocols such as HTTP for WEB) and the much simpler VT100 interface used by programs such as TELIX for a smaller PC. These services often make use of tools such as Lynx for WEB browsing, and PINE for Email and News reading. Examples of such services are the National Capital Freenet using the Freeport software, Carleton University's CHAT, and the software offered by the Chebucto Suite
The FLORA servers run on open computing platforms, currently running the GNU Licenced LINUX Operating System. Details on other installed software is documented in the FLORA Server project.

Hardware LAN/WAN configuration

When FLORA first started, the Hardware configuration of the service was as follows:

[Diagram of single computer network connection]

This configuration was an upgrade from a 28.8Kbps modem connection, and was later upgraded to a 128Kbps ISDN connection with the addition of a router between the host computer and the Internet.

Current setup

Since the launch of FLORA the network has expanded since considerably. A message was posted June 2002 that provided details of the current network

Last update: $Date: 2002/06/23 08:11:59 $ UTC