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Inbox (February 2002)


Dear Editor,
I found your article on Wireless LANs (Network Magazine, November 2001), to be quite informative and useful. I now plan to implement a Wireless LAN and seek your help in this regard. If I buy a Wireless LAN card without drivers then how can I set up a peer to peer network between two PCs running the Windows 98 OS? Do I have to give an IP address to each PC? What distance do I have to maintain between them? What steps should I follow to establish communication between the two PCs?


Dear Murali,
A detailed response to your query with specific instructions is beyond the scope of this column. It seems that you are trying to set up a wireless LAN in your home or small office. Usually, Windows comes with a set of default drivers for devices, but we doubt whether Windows 98 has a default driver for wireless LAN cards. Regarding the distance between PCs, it depends what kind of wireless solution you are going in for. If it's infra red, your PCs transceiver unit should be in the line-of-sight of the access point. If it's a wireless LAN running on the 802.11b specification, the ideal range between PC/wireless card and access point will be about 100-150 feet. You can extend this distance using a directional antenna. And yes, all PCs and devices on any kind of network should have unique IP addresses.


Dear Editor,
I work for a leading Tamil newspaper in India. We have been using 150 systems per edition. For the proxy server we have set up Wingate4.0. However, we are unable to use the RealPlayer and Yahoo messenger services.

Technical officer
Dinamalar, Madurai

Dear Balakrishnan,
Assuming you can browse the Web and use other services like e-mail, we think the problem may have to be with the client software (Yahoo Messenger or RealPlayer) itself. Do check the configuration/preferences options and specify the IP address of the Proxy server where needed.


Dear Editor,
We are a large Software and Data Conversion House involved in the IT Industry for over 25 years. We are also involved in several R&D Projects involving scientists and engineers, from around the globe, who are working with us in developing products and services that we believe will revolutionize many segments of the IT/Telecommu-nication Industry in the near future. Currently we have 200 seats ready in our office premises equipped with state-of-the-art IT infrastructure. We are looking to step into the Call Center business. At this point of time we are planning to go for a joint-venture with a company/outsourcer (service bureaus) who will be ready to give us assured call-business so that we can set up the call center in Calcutta. We are ready to invest added infrastructure provided we get assurance from a major international corporate house for providing business. Do you know any companies who would be ready to do business in Calcutta? I also seek basic material regarding hardware, software requirements and other technical details for setting up a call center. What are the various types of Call Centers?

Soumyajit Ghosh
DPS Technologies India
New Alipore, Calcutta

Dear Soumyajit,
We have featured many articles on setting-up and managing call centers in previous issues of Network Magazine. All these articles are archived on the Web at www.networkmagazineindia.com. These articles should be able to answer your queries. In case you need some additional information, please let us know.

Dear Editor,
Congratulations for carrying an enlightening article on Call Centers. I would be obliged if you could help me set up my own call center business. Looking forward towards your reply.


Dear Mushtaque,
We have featured many articles on setting-up and managing call centers in previous issues of Network Magazine. All these articles are archived on the Web at www.networkmagazineindia.com. These articles should be able to answer your queries. In case you need some additional information, please let us know. A case study on call center operations may help you evaluate the infrastructure required to setup a call center. If possible, we will carry a case study on those lines in future issues of Network Magazine.


Dear Editor,
I appreciate your column on tech support (Q-support Corner) and have gained much knowledge from it. However, I still need to know more about VPNs, and I think a graphical explanation will help.

Mukul Garg

Dear Mukul,
We have featured a series of articles on various aspects of VPN in previous issues of Network Magazine. These articles cover all the areas related to VPNs; right from the core technology, to implementation issues, to MPLS-based VPNs. These books should be able to answer all your queries. If you are looking for more information in simplified format, there are two books that come to my mind: 'How the Internet works' and 'How Networks work,' both from Techmedia Publications. Both explain technical concepts graphically. Apart from that, you can look up some websites.


Dear Mahesh,
This is with reference to your article on Remote Access Service (Network Magazine, October 2001). We have two NT servers at two locations and two ISDN lines with Zyxtel TAs. We want to establish a dialup connection for exchanging mails between these two locations as we do not have a WAN. We use Microsoft Mail for our internal mail. Is it possible for users to access each other's mail from the respective locations?

Nirav Kapadia

Dear Nirav,
Yes, it is possible to exchange the mails between the two servers. You need to configure the SMTP and RAS on both the servers and then configure the clients for remote access.


Dear Mahesh,
We are looking for HFC-based PCI passive ISDN cards. Can you help us find a vendor for the same in India?

Shaheem M

Dear Shaheen,
The two vendors offering HFC-based PCI passive ISDN cards that come immediately to my mind are Zyxel and D-Link.


Dear Editor,
I was wondering whether you would be interested in writing an exposé of the appalling level of service provided by AsiaNet Dataline Services (ADL)? Meanwhile, Asianet continues to claim that its Internet service is "up to 100 times faster than a 56k dial-up connection." They claim that a 3.5MB file takes about 100 seconds to download on ADL. My recent experience of a file download, quoted at 1.75 hours for a 28.8 modem, actually took over 9 hours! Pathetic or what? Any number of complaints to AsiaNet are met with a string of excuses about "high latency" and "failed BSNL gateways", etc. Meanwhile, customers are getting fleeced by paying Rs 880 per month for this spectacularly dismal "Service".

Jon Holton

Dear Jon,
While we sympathize with you on this issue, we need more concrete proof before we can cover something as sensitive as this. Anyways, Rs 880 per month is too high by any standards if you take into consideration the fact that most other ISPs offer you services at a much lesser cost. It won't be possible for us to recommend an ISP, since their service quality differs from region to region. We would suggest that you check with your friends or cyber cafes in the locality about the quality of connectivity offered by other ISPs and take a decision accordingly.

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