Last revision July 28, 2004

Table of Contents:
  1. OSI model of network layers
  2. Common network protocols
  3. The campus network
  4. The School network
  5. Supported network hardware
  6. Operational features of ethernet
  7. Types of supported ethernet
  8. Legacy hardware support
  9. Network software protocol suites
  10. AppleTalk Zones
  11. NetBIOS on TCP/IP
  12. Windows network domains

NetBIOS is the protocol used to implement file and printer sharing among Windows 95/98/NT computers. It actually runs on top of a lower level transport protocol, which can be one of IPX/SPX (invented for Netware), NetBEUI (a primitive local area network protocol only) or TCP/IP. At Stanford, Windows file and printer sharing is run only on top of TCP/IP. The other transport protocols are inefficient and cannot be routed between buildings on campus or elsewhere beyond campus.

The application level protocol is called Server Message Block or SMB. Microsoft Corporation is now trying to standardize and promote the file sharing features of SMB as the Common Internet File System (CIFS).

This is a proprietary network protocol of IBM and Microsoft, and is not natively found on other types of computers. Special third party software (Dave) can be purchased to allow Macintosh computers to use this protocol. For Unix systems, a public domain open-source software named Samba can be installed to use the Windows protocol.

In Earth Sciences, we have installed the Samba program on pangea to provide file sharing and printer access to Windows computers.

Comments or Questions?