Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Technical Advancements

Last night I worked in the Davis Lab until 11:00pm. It was exciting because (a. the printer was dead and I kept having to apologize for peoples' inability to print, (b. Crystal brought me dinner, and (c. it's a really big deal to a lot of people when the printer dies and some of them are not nice about it.

But it was also boring, because a, b, and c are all that happened (work wise) in seven hours.

I decided to remotely log on to my home server, DENTSERVER, and try to get some real work done.

I tweaked around with the DSL modem for a while, got things set a little better than they were before. Then I turned to the new USB print server.

This was tricky. I've been meaning to give the manual a long good look, but of course the manual was at home. And I didn't remember the manufacturer and model number of the print server.

What could I do? I logged on to ZipZoomFly and looked up my order that brought the print server. I found the manufacturer and model number from there.

I got to D-Link's web page and didn't really find out anything I didn't already know. I knew that the print server wants to be from the start, which is what I suspected was the root problem.

The modem documentation claims that the modem will automatically detect if it's on a DHCP-served network and reset its own IP address to the DHCP's subnet if necessary. The DSL modem was already serving out addresses in the 192.168.0.x subnet, so with ten clients or so, was already in use.

So my first troubleshooting attempt involved setting the modem's subnet to 192.168.1.x and renewing all the leases on the network clients. Well, the print server didn't want to play.

And that's where I was when I started last night.

Knowing that the print server lied about paying attention to the DHCP server's subnet, I tried setting the DSL modem's subnet back to 192.168.0.x and then waited for clients to auto-renew and come back online.

My hope was that because the print server wasn't currently talking to a DHCP server, it would be constantly pinging the network for a DHCP server that was on the subnet it was looking for. If the print server was actively pinging for a print server, then it could get the IP address it wanted from the modem right away, because all the other network clients weren't yet aware that the subnet had changed, and would have to wait until their IP leases expired to re-ping the DHCP server and find out that they'd been out of touch all this time.

Unfortunately, when I changed the subnet, my connection to DENTSERVER was immediately terminated. If I'd been sitting in front of the machine, I could have manually requested a new IP address from the DHCP, but of course I wasn't.

So, just like all the other clients on the network, I just had to wait until DENTSERVER's lease ran out and requested a lease renewal--which would of course be turned down by the DHCP server--that IP was no longer valid, so DENTSERVER would get a new IP address. Or three of them, actually, because DENTSERVER runs a trio of NICs.

Are we confused yet?

DENTSERVER's lease didn't expire for 2.5 hours. That's when I was finally able to log back on to it.

I pulled up a remote FireFox window and typed into the address bar. Sure enough, there was the print server. It had grabbed the ".10" address before any of the other clients were even close.

The funny thing is, once the print server has the IP address it wants, you can go into its web management utility and set it to something else. But only after it has the address it wants. So is now an empty address on my network.

I gave DENTPRINTER 01 on DENTNET PRINTSERVER on DENTNET the only address that made sense to me... It works!

No comments: