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How could I host an Intranet on XP Home Edition?

I am preparing to format all my computer's drives and was wondering how I could set up an intranet on the network. I am planning to get a Dell Inspiron 3100, a Linksys ADSL Wireless Gateway with SRX and Ethernet and a Maxtor Shared Storage Plus Network drive with USB and Ethernet ( I am going to be using the Ethernat connection). I aleady have 2 ideas in mind.

- 1 -

Create a directory on the network drive and give it Local Public settings and/or share it on the network from my Administrator account on the central PC (the Dell). I am going to be creating directories for the user's My Documents with Local Private settings so that only that user can log into it with their XP user accounts or username and password.

Whereas I want the Intranet to be accessable by anyone on the network without a username or password. I saw somewhere on the box that you can connect it to the network's internet connection, so I am thinking about giving the directory rights to make it accessable from the internet with a username and password.

Once I have shared the directory, I would put the intranet site in it.

PRO's: Viewable by everyone on the network at any time. Does not require any PC's to be on 24/7
CON's: Does not allow MySQL, PHP, etc.

- 2 -

Use a program like FreeBSD, but one that does not require a domain but still has MySQL, PHP, etc...
Is there such a program?

PRO's: Has MySQL, PHP, etc.
CON's: Requires a PC to be on 24/7

Any other ideas?
1. Windows XP Home does not allow you to log into Windows Domains, so creating a network as you have planned with Windows XP Home is not feasible. Consider Windows XP Professional.

2. What exactly are you trying to achieve in creating this network ? You seem to be confused as to the meaning of a network and an intranet. In your context, an intranet is equivalent to a network. Please elucidate on the applications you intend to run on top of the network (the physically connected "mess" of computers). Do you intend to simply share files ? Create a web site ? Use the Maxtor network drive connected directly to the network ?

3. The Maxtor drive should come with instructions on how to set up a network to connect to itself from Windows and Linux/FreeBSD/Unix boxes.

4. If you want to share files using a file server, then there is a software called Samba that enables Windows computers to access files on the Linux computer

5. FreeBSD is an Operating System, and does not require the computer to be kept on 24x7, although if you want to keep it so, it will happily oblige.
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