Please note: This page is EXTREMELY out of date and should be updated soon.
(1) This is the router (Cisco). It is the main link to the outside internet world. Essentially it figures out what "traffic" is for the internet, and what is for the local network.
(2) Computone Terminal Server - This is a 64 port server that controls the modem communications. is what actually gets you onto the internet.

(3) Compaq Modem Rack - This is a multiple modem unit (can handle up to 112 modems) taking digital lines from the phone company, breaking it out to 24 channels for use with 56k (v.90) modems! It can also handle standard analog modems.
(4) USRobotics Modem Pool - This is an "older" 16 port modem rack. It is 16 33.6 (v.34) modems, all in one unit.

(5) Rocketport - This is one of the "intelligent" multiport units used to gather data from some of the modems, and send information into the computer for processing. This unit uses a separate processor for every 4 ports. Currently, we have 64 ports these can handle.

(6) The main server! Don't let the case fool you, even though its one of the older smaller cases, inside is an AMD k6-233 (Pentium 233), 64 megs of RAM, and 4 gigs of disk space, running FreeBSD (unix). It handles some of the incoming calls, email, virus scanning, logging, authentication, web pages, and some other misc. tasks. Sound like alot? The CPU is mostly at 97% idle.

(7) APC UPS! (Uninteruptable Power Supply - aka battery backup) This unit can keep everything running for about 1/2 hour. The purpose of a UPS is to allow the administrators to shut the system down if there is a power outage its not really ment to keep the system running if the power goes out. However we try to keep things running during the outage, then shut things down if it seems power will be out for a while.

Not Shown:
The BBS: Used to be the WWW server, FTP and BBS. Now it is only the BBS. Currently it's running Os/2 Warp 4.0 and Renegade BBS software. It is connected through our network to the router (number 1).
Hardware: Intel Pentium 120Mhz, 32 megs RAM, 1.6 Gig Conner IDE HD.

Hub: We don't have a picture of this yet, but its the backbone of the network, and just ties everything together so the various devices can "talk" to eachother and especially the router.

Connections:
Internet comes in via a dedicated line into the router (1). This device routes packets to the other computers via the local area network port, and a hub. When a network packet comes in from the local area network, or modem it decides whether this is a packet that needs to go out to the internet, or if it's intended for the local network, and routes it accordingly.
How it all Works:
When you dial in, your call is taken by one of the modems (3 & 4). You are then greeted by a brief message, and a login prompt coming from the Terminal Server (FreeBSD (5) or Terminal Server (2)). If you were to login as "bbs" the system opens up a connection to the BBS system which handles it from there.
If you were to login with a username/password of your own, or with a PPP internet connection, a PPP session would then start up, and a quick authentication check is done before any internet traffic is passed to you.

What is PPP/Slirp PPP?
PPP (Point to Point Protocol) is a communications method for sending information. It is somewhat basic in that it sends things from point A to point B. This is usually accomplished by giving the first system (A) an address, and sending it to (B)'s address.

Slirp is an emulator which basically does the same as above, without actually assigning a second address for the remote system. By using Slirp we can "fire" customers so people on the internet cannot directly access thier computers.
Note: We are using both slirp AND ppp for people connecting to us.



Any Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Email Me!