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network compatability between Apple and Windows NT


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A small private school is running one of my programs over their windows network. The network is old; all of the programs, mine included, run slow and sometimes not at all. They have budgeted to upgrade their servers and other necessary equipment. I suggested to them that they include an Apple computer (serever) that would be dedicated to my program. However, he knows little about Macs and I know less about networks. My questions are: 1. Can you run PC and Apple servers through the same hub and over the same connections? 2. Because there only 20 users, can you save money by purchasing a Mac and installing a network card, rather than purchasing a server? 3. If it is possible to mix and match, Where can I go to find information on setting this up? Thanks for any help.

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1 - yes -both Windows PCs and Macs can communicate using TCP/IP, the very same protocol which is used for the internet.

2 - network card is build into Mac -why would you go for a server? That's only necessary if you are sharing a lot of files, not for a FileMaker application...

3 - It sounds you just have no idea of networking at all. Do your school a favour and have somebody install it for you. I suggest you hire a student or your local mac/pc shop technician. The money spend there is big saving compared to wrong decisions in network design.

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Christian is correct on all points, but I thought I would add an example for you.

I have two clients with identical setups.

1) About 20 users, mixed between Mac and PC

2) QuickBooks PC Server

3) PC File Server

4) Macintosh FileMaker Server

All this runs on TCP/IP, and it runs fine. As far as the Mac is concerned, I tend to use old beige G3 towers (running around 200MHz) with a 10/100 ethernet card (the built in speed on those old Macs is too slow) because FM Server isn't very processor-intensive.

The one thing about what Christian said that you should watch out on - most people don't know the first thing about installing a FileMaker Server machine. They'll get it to work okay, but they won't do it quite right. When the time comes, ask again on this forum, and you'll get all the right answers.

-Stanley

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