WHAT IS NETWORK CABLING…?
Network cable is used to connect and transfer data between computers and a
network. There are different types of network cable, and the appropriate type to
use will depend on the structure and topology of your network. The most
commonly used types of network cable are the twisted pair, coaxial, Ethernet
cross over, and fiber optic.
The unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable is used in many Ethernet networks. It
has four pairs of wires that are housed inside of the lining of the cable. Each pair
is twisted into several additional twists to prevent interference from other devices
on the network. The structure of this type of cable increases its reliability and
helps minimize network failures.
Coaxial cable, or coax, is another common type of network cable. It has a copper
conductor in its center and a plastic coating serves as an insulator between the
center conductor and a metal shield. The cable is then covered with a coating.
The coating may be think or thick — the thicker coating which less pliable
provides extra protection.
Ethernet crossover cable is used to connect a computer network made up of two
or more computers. This type of network cable eliminates the need for network
switches or routers. The cable also allows the computers to be connected using
their network adaptors, such as the network interface card (NIC).
Fiber optic network cables are used for networks that span large distances. As a
result, this type of cabling has several layers of protective coating. It also
transmits light as opposed to electrical signals like other cables. This makes it an
ideal cable for network environments that are exposed to large amounts of
electrical interference. It also transmits information at high speeds and is
therefore used in large network environments like those used by big businesses.
As wireless networks become more and more popular, network cable is
becoming less necessary. Still, many systems, especially large scale systems,
continue to rely on network cables.
Two-pair (four-wire) UTP used for telephone use is normally terminated in an
RJ-11 connector.Four-pair (eight-wire) UTP used for data use is normally
terminated in an RJ-45 connector.
RCA Cables Cat5e UTP FTP Cables
Extension Cord Telephone Wire
Coaxial Cable scart cable alarm cable
Telephone Cord security cable flexible
Optical Fiber Cable Communication Cables Multimedia Cables Rubber Cable
PVC Insulated and Sheath Electric Cable USB Data Cable Power cord Cable
Booster Cable Telephone Cable Travel Computer Cables Cat. 6 UTP Cable
RCA Cables Floor Heating Cables Welding Cable Speaker Cable Audio
Cat5e UTP FTP Cables Extension Cord Telephone Wire Coaxial Cable scart
HDMI and DVI Cables alarm cable Telephone Cord security cable flexible cable
MIL-C-17 RG6 RG8 RG11 RG58 RG59 RG62 RG141 RG142 RG174
RG178 FEP RG178 RG179 FEP, RG179 RG179D FEP RG179D RG180
RG187 RG188 RG195 RG196 RG213 RG214 RG223 RG302 RG303
RG304 RG316 FEP RG316 RG316D FEP RG316D CAT5E CAT6
Athenaeum Pro is easy to network in basic situations, although your network will require a little planning and
maybe some extra (additional cost) software.
Athenaeum Pro can be networked using Windows or Macintosh computers, or a combination of these.
These computers should have network cards that use Ethernet networking or faster. The most common
network method is "10baseT" though "100baseT" is quickly superceding this.
Computers using 10baseT are each directly connected to a "Hub".
Note that a number of schools use Apple's "LocalTalk" networking with some of their Apple computers. This
is very cheap networking designed to allow printer sharing. However, when used for file serving or database
serving, it provides unsatisfactory performance in moderate or high use situations.
When networking, you will need to decide on a "Peer-to-Peer" arrangement or a "Client-Server" set up. You
may also decide to access the catalogue using an internet browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape
Navigator, which has a different set of requirements.
Peer-to-peer is a term that means computers will share information with each other without using any
special "serving" software and hardware, and all of the computers are available to all users all of the time.
The benefits are that it is usually low cost and easy to set up. You install Athenaeum on a nominated
computer and turn on "Multi-User" so that computer will "Host" the Athenaeum files over the network. You
then install the client software on the other computers so that they may connect.
The number of computers that can be connected depends on how the computers will be connecting (i.e. with
the "Slim" or normal browser). You can easily connect more than 15 computers simultaneously and
theoretically up to around 30 simultaneously, but a number of important considerations come into effect.
In a peer-to-peer network, performance of all computers on the network can drop off much more quickly than
a "Client-Server" network. For example, if 5 connected computers all search the catalogue or issue books at
the same time, performance will drop very much more than if those 5 computers were connected to a
"Client-Server" computer running FileMaker Pro Server.
Also, if one of the computers in a peer-to-peer network crashes or locks up, then there is a high chance that
some or all of the other connected computers will freeze.
Finally, to back up Athenaeum in a peer-to-peer network, all computers must disconnect from the
Athenaeum first (an inconvenience, at times).
Setting up Peer-to-Peer
To set up a Peer-to-Peer network, do the following:
• Install the Athenaeum software on one computer (this can be running Windows or can be a
• Check your network protocols
• "Flick the Switch"
• Install either the "Browser" or "Slim Browser" software on the other computers
The diagram below shows that the computers on the network can be configured to perform a variety of
tasks. However, there is only 1 host.
The host and the "Browsers" can be configured to issue and return as well as perform admin (these features
can be restricted, if necessary).
Install Athenaeum software on the main computer in the normal manner. This computer should have a
backup device such as a Zip Drive connected to it (floppy disks are unacceptable as a backup media).
This computer should be the fastest computer available. If you can, ensure that this computer also has more
RAM than standard. At the time of writing, 32 megabytes of RAM is considered standard, and 64 Megabytes
is common. If this computer is Windows NT computer, then we recommend 128 megabytes of RAM.