OS/2 eZine

16 August 2000

Ben Dragon is a self-described "Part-time Networking Translator." When he's not explaining to the world how networking works, he's busy configuring his computers to do common household chores....

If you have a comment about the content of this article, please feel free to vent in the OS/2 eZine discussion forums.

Previous Article
Next Article

OS/2 and Home Networking, Part IV


I am assuming at this point that you have a fully functional Internet connection and a properly installed, connected, configured and working networking card on OS/2.

There are some pitfalls, tricks and traps to watch out for if you decide to hookup Windows machines on your LAN with have a full Internet access. I will endeavour to lead you around the bigger pitfalls and pull you through the tricks and traps.

We are nearing the end of this article and this, Part IV, will be the last.

Since OS/2 is now fine and ready we can move onto Windows.

Windows Networking Installation and Configuration:

For the purposes of dealing with Windows I have taken the images from Windows 98 SE, (Sorry Excuse), however, NT, (and 2k), is very similar and easily converted and users of NT and 2k should have no trouble finding their way using this guide.

Once you have the card installed and Windows restarted right click on the "Network Neighbourhood" icon and select properties. There are several protocols that you must have installed; IPX/SPX-compatible Protocol and TCP/IP. You can install more depending on what purposes you want and need, however, these two are enough to give you all the functionality that I have. Something to keep in mind; The more protocols you have installed on Windows the more precarious the house of cards will become... just food for thought.

There are many options here to configure. I will cover only the ones that need to be adjusted the rest can stay as is unless you are told otherwise or are using a very different configuration and/or different protocols.


Computer name:
This is whatever you wish to call your computer. In the graphic below I have chosen "My Computer".

This has to be the same on all computers regardless of what operating system you are using: If it's connected to your LAN and you want to share access with all computers on your LAN then this must be the same for all.

Computer Description:
This is the information that others will see as associated with this computer on your LAN.

TCP/IP Properties:

IP Address:
Here you will put the IP address of this machine as pertains to your LAN.

Subnet Mask:
This will invariably be;

DNS Configuration:

Enable this.

Here you will put the name of your computer as entered above.

Leave this blank.

DNS Server Search Order:
This will the the DNS address(s) that your ISP has given you. Enter the preferred one last which will put it at the top of the search order. Type in the numbers and click "Add".


Even though Windows will ask you many times if you want to enable WINS Resolution do not do so!

File and Print sharing for Microsoft Networks:

Microsoft loves to adapt to a standard and then break from it in some minor but disrupting way, claim the standard as its own and rename it for its own benefit.

Double click, (or single click and select "Properties").

Within the "Advanced" tab you will find "LM Announce". This is part of the long existing standard for computer networking. By default this is off and thusly has caused many headaches for numerous people around the world. The book of Microsoft says it must be so, so it is so. However, the book of Microsoft holds no sway the in the universe of OS/2 and I say "Turn it on!" (I feel the power Obi-Wan!) 8)

Going back to the main "Network Configuration" window and moving down just a little you'll find a button labeled; "File and Print Sharing..." Push it! Make sure "I want to be able to give others access to my files" is checked.

That's all we'll cover for Windows networking. Now, I know that you can have troubles even though this guide works as listed, however, Windows is notorious for doing something different each and every time even if you do the same thing and enter the same data time and time again. Consequently I'll leave Windows with this final pointer; If nothing works simply un-install all the protocols, (and NIC driver if need be), and re-install them. Now, everything I know about logic dictates that this shouldn't make any difference, however, experience has taught me that with regard to Windows, it can make all the difference in the world! Even the order in which you install the protocol might win the war and get things flowing.

With this you should have all computers on your network seeing each other and sharing in all resources. Now! Onto the final leg of our journey;

The Firewall:

When it comes to Firewalling software there are several choices available. What you choose depends largely on your needs. There are more than a few good proxy servers out there for OS/2 that are very easy to install and configure and will suit the average users needs quite well. I will not cover those; The installation instruction that come with them are sufficient and their limitations are too restrictive for my needs, and for the specifications of this article.

For full IP Masquerading, or NAT, (Network Address Translation), there are essentially two programs to choose from; InJoy Firewall and SafeFire.

When I had a Phone Modem I used my licensed copy of InJoy for a long while. It's fast, smooth working, very low on the resources and it did everything it claimed it would do. Money well spent.

InJoy Firewall is made to pick up where InJoy Dialer left off; It works with Cable Modems and LANs. I tried it on several OS/2 machines, (and with different hardware and software), with both TCP/IP 4.0 and 4.1 and I have never been able to get it to work despite e-mails and replies to and from support. Some people experience similar problems with it and others have it work flawlessly right out of the box.


Keep in mind this article is not a review of software; It's not a recommendation for anything nor advice against using certain software. I tried Link Guard Solutions SafeFire and after a brief configuration it worked and has worked flawlessly for me ever since. Hence, this is the one I have chosen to use and this is the one I'll deal with, in this article. Ergo: Don't shoot me! I'm just the messenger! 8)

First we setup the firewall. After installing, copy and rename the sample configuration file that comes with it. It's called; "sfire.smp." Name the copy "sfire.cfg."

Set the following;

[ nat ]




[ ident ]

[ filter ]

For now set the software to accept all. You can do this by placing the following in the "Filter" section;

rule=65500 allow all from any to any

Please note that this is not the recommended final setup. It leaves you wide open to attack from wannabe hackers. (Of course, in regard to security, your greatest defense is anonymity; if no one knows you even exist how can they hack you?) 8)

After you have finished with the setup and everything that you want to do over your LAN via the Internet is do-able, then go back and change your settings from "allow all" to "deny all" and create rules that open only the ports that you will want / need opened.

That's it! You now have the foundation to place your throne of world domination upon! 8) You will also be able to play online games over one or more of the remote machines at the same time, use web browsers, e-mail programs, IRC, FTP, NTTP, (News Readers) and everything else your little heart desires... except order black, silky stockings... oh, wait a minute! Yes! Yes, by gum! You can even do that! Not that I've done that or anything... * coughs and looks around sheepishly *

Have fun, enjoy and when you finally rule the world remember who put you there and have mercy when you look down upon me!

Ben Dragon

Previous Article
Next Article