Setting up a Windows Server

At first I thought the idea of setting up a Web server with Windows of any stripe was ridiculous. After all, I run my Pentium at work with its 16MB of RAM into GPFs or random lockups at least twice a day without trying very hard. (Microsoft Office helps a lot, and a few troubles with NetWare do the rest.) However, it is possible if not necessarily wise.

In addition to the PCs, you need a few extra parts: the ethernet connection, the TCP/IP software (Chameleon is a popular one), Web server software (WinHTTPD is a fairly powerful port of the NCSA server), and a lot of patience.

If it wasn't for the fact that the world has more spare PC's around than any other breed of computer, I'd advise you to stay away from this option. Infoworld's Paul Merenbloom, author of their LAN Talk column, seems to think differently, and devoted two columns to setting up a local Web site with three machines running Windows for Workgroups, in the May 22 and May 29, 1995 issues. He's got a lot of valuable hints there worth exploring.

Microsoft has liked to claim that Windows 95 will be a better place for these kinds of operations, and I suspect that at least (someday) it will be more stable than the current Windows versions, but right now I'd stay away. After all, Microsoft is pushing Windows NT pretty heavily for exactly this work.

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Copyright 1995 by Simon St.Laurent. All rights reserved. You may print this document for yourself or others at no charge, but commercial distribution without permission is prohibited.

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