Because so much can go wrong-even with a simple network-designating one person as the network administrator is important. This way, someone is responsible for making sure that the network doesn't fall apart or get out of control.
The network administrator doesn't have to be a technical genius. In fact, some of the best network administrators are complete idiots when it comes to technical stuff. What's important is that the administrator is organized. That person's job is to make sure that plenty of space is available on the file server, that the file server is
The network administrator's job also includes solving basic problems that the users
Part IV of this book is devoted entirely to the hapless network administrator. So, if you're nominated, read the chapters in that part. If you're lucky enough that someone else is nominated, celebrate by buying her a copy of this book.
In small companies, picking the network administrator by drawing straws is common. The person who draws the shortest straw loses and becomes administrator.
Of course, the network administrator can't be a complete technical idiot. I was lying about that. (For those of you in Congress, the word is testifying. ) I exaggerated to make the point that organizational skills are more important than technical skills. The network administrator needs to know how to do various maintenance tasks. Although this knowledge requires at least a little technical know-how, the organizational skills are more important.
With all this technical stuff to worry about, you may begin to
I know people who use networks all the time. They're no
Congratulations, and go in
Figure 1-2: Your official
After you hook up your PC to a network, it's not an island any more-separated from the rest of the world like some kind of isolationist fanatic waving a "Don't tread on me" flag. The network connection changes your PC forever. Now your computer is part of a system, connected to other computers on the network. You have to worry about annoying network details, such as using local and shared resources, logging on and accessing network
In case you don't catch this statement in Chapter 1, one of the most important differences between using an isolated computer and using a network computer lies in the distinction between local resources and network resources. Local resources are items, such as hard drives, printers, and CD-ROM or DVD drives, that are connected directly to your computer. You can use local resources whether you're connected to the network or not. Network resources, on the other hand, are the hard drives, printers, modems, and CD-ROM or DVD drives that are connected to the network's server computers. You can use network resources only after your computer is connected to the network.
The whole trick to using a computer network is to know which resources are
resources (they belong to you) and which are
resources (they belong to the network). In most networks, your C drive is a local drive. If a printer is sitting
You can't tell just by looking at a resource whether it's a local resource or a network resource. The printer that sits right next to your computer is probably your local printer, but then again, it may be a network printer. The same statement is true for hard drives: The hard drive in your PC is probably your own, but it may be a network drive, which can be used by others on the network.
Because dedicated network servers are full of resources, you may say that they're not only dedicated (and sincere) but also resourceful. (Groan. Sorry, this is yet another in a tireless series of bad computer-nerd puns.)