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Written in plain language (so even your Mom can understand it) MOM98 is packed with insight, unique tips, and shortcuts so you can customize and fine-tune Win98 to get the maximum benefit of this powerful new operating system.
MOM98 isn't just another Win98 book, no way, Mom serves up a hearty helping of features and coverage for your benefit. Here's some samples of Mom's work:
And, MOM98 has a comprehensive supporting website, that is regularly updated to give you the latest work-arounds as inherent bugs emerge. MOM98 offers you the most on the market-a comprehensive reference and timely updates when you need them.
Did you cut your teeth on Windows 95? Have you spent hours, days, weeks sweating over the details of how Windows 95 works--and how it doesn't? Well, you're in the right place. Welcome to my Fast Track chapter, my home for wayward children of the Windows 95 night. This is where poor, abused Windows 95 veterans will find everything they need to know about Windows 98--new features, changing concepts, what's better and what's worse.
I'll even toss in a little gratuitous advice on renewing your vows with Win98. The upgrade is not for everybody, you know. Gettin' hitched to Windows 95 was a no-brainer--if the sweet siren song of all those fancy new features didn't pull ya, the sawed-off shotgun known as Windows 3.1 sat in the back, ready to go off if you looked at it sideways.
But Windows 98 is a different story altogether. She's hardly the blushing bride in lily white, pure and untouched, waiting for the perfect guy to come along. Nope, Win98 is more like a grizzled old battleaxe, prone to chewin' and spittin' in the wrong direction, who's been around the block a few times and knows where the bodies are buried. Kinda like, uh, somebody we all know, eh? And who better to tell you about it ...
I've been writing books about Windows since the early days, back when you held a mouse in one hand and a club in the other, watching out for low-flying pterodactyls. I've seen everything Windows has to offer. I've heard the hype and seen the ads. I've watched people on the Windows team come and go. I've kicked and cried and pounded and sworn like a sailor on shore leave. ButI tell ya, I have never in my sweet, short life seen anything like Windows 98. It's like the ultimate bug fix, with a few really amazing goodies thrown in for good measure.
I'll let Barry, Woody, and Billy98 show you what I mean.
But if you're totally new to Windows 9X, don't worry your sweet little head. Skim this chapter and then leap into Chapter 2. The rest of the book discusses all the elements of Windows 98, both the new ... and the old.
* The Facts
Every change of scene is a delight.
--Seneca, Epistulae moralis ad Lucilium, ca. 63 A.D.
On June 25, 1998, the long-awaited upgrade to Windows 95 hit store shelves. Unlike Windows 95, which arrived with a monologue from Jay Leno, media hype rarely (if ever) equaled in the annals of advertising history, and a very cool riff from the Rolling Stones, Windows 98's birthday went by relatively unheralded--but hardly unnoticed.
Even with the cards stacked against it--release at the beginning of the traditionally languid summer season, clouds of obfuscating fury from the Department of Justice, and lukewarm reviews from the computer press--Win98 took off, rapidly outselling even Windows 95.
There's a simple reason why Win98 sold and continues to sell so well. It's a hell of an operating system. Spend a few hours trying to get some real work done with it running in the background, and you'll come away convinced: Microsoft learned a lot in the three years between '95 and '98.
Windows 98 (known as "Memphis" back then) first appeared in testers' hands in late December 1996. Beta testing took almost 18 months, an extraordinary length of time, even by Microsoft's standards. More than 150,000 people tested the software, making it far and away the most heavily tested piece of software in the history of computers.
I guess that's true, Billy, if you exclude Windows 95, which some people insist was a "shipped beta" made available to millions of unsuspecting testers, who paid for the privilege.
Win98 consists of more than 13,000,000 lines of program code. We made 3,000 specific, identified improvements to Windows 95. It runs more reliably and faster, and it makes applications run faster. Our new FAT32 disk format can add 20% to 30% of more usable space on many Win95 users' disks. And we've opened up new technologies for millions of people: the Universal Serial Bus, Digital VideoDiscs, and all sorts of TV-based capabilities.
Well, yes, but at the same time you're pushing an "orphaned" operating system. Microsoft itself acknowledges that this is the end of the Windows 3.x-Windows 95 line and that the future belongs to Windows NT. You're telling people that they can upgrade from Windows 3.1 directly to Win98--a highly unlikely proposition, given Win98's substantial hardware requirements.
Think of Windows 98 as a brilliant .1 upgrade, sort of like the shift from Windows 3.0 to Windows 3.1. Even knowing that Windows 3.x was going to be replaced three years later by Windows 95, would you have recommended that users not upgrade from Windows 3.0 to Windows 3.1? Of course you would have recommended that upgrade, as you should this one.
Yeah, well, Win3.1 was a no-brainer because it was so much less buggy than Windows 3.0. Oh, I get your point! That is a compelling argument in favor of this .1 upgrade.
Ah, well. As you can see, Windows 98 represents a new pinnacle in operating system software. At the same time, it's stirred quite a bit of controversy.
That's about par for the course for a new version of Windows, wouldn't you say?
* System Requirements
At a minimum, your system should include a 486 or higher processor with a math coprocessor and 16 MB of RAM.
--Windows 98 Reviewer's Guide
We've been criticized in the past for unrealistic system requirement specifications. Reviewers usually take what we say and double it. So this time around we decided to play it conservative and tell people what they really need to run Win98.
According to the Official Microsoft Party Line, as published in the Getting Started booklet for Windows 98, here's what you need to run Win98:
* 486DX/66 or higher processor
* 16 MB of memory
* 195 to 225 MB of additional hard disk space (although it's possible that you'll need as much as 355 MB, if you start with a blank hard drive, install the old-fashioned FAT16 file system, and choose to install every single option)
That seems to be a little closer to the mark--it certainly beats the Reviewer's Guide (implied) minimum of a 486DX/25. You could have a kid or two and watch them graduate from college before a DX/25 could boot Win98 twice.
Far as I'm concerned, you'd be crazy to run Windows 98 on anything less than this:
* Pentium processor
* 32 MB memory
* 100 MB of available hard disk space. If you're using a 1 GB or larger disk and can shuffle some of that data off the disk while installing Windows 98, converting to FAT32 will free up enough additional space to hold Win98.
Well, we debated the memory requirements. We agree that it really needs 32 MB of RAM, but we knew if we said that, people would think we really meant 64 MB. So we decided to say 16 MB of RAM knowing that users would know that really means 32 MB.
Yeah, Billy, a dishonest past can haunt you, can't it? You should have said 32 MB RAM on the box but added a footnote that read, "This time we really mean it."
I've had excellent results running Windows 98 on a Pentium-90 with 64 MB of memory. The machine goes faster than it ever did with Windows 95--and with the price of memory so low these days, Win98 (using FAT32) and a couple of memory boards proved a wonderful, cheap, midlife kicker for this older PC.
* What's New in 98?
Men love ... newfangledness.
--Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury
Tales (Squire's Tale), ca. 1386
The first time you start Windows 98, you're bound to be a bit disappointed. It looks an awful lot like Windows 95 (Figure 1-1). But don't let this somber scene put you off. Underneath the Desktop lurks the heart of a lion--and a whole bunch of improvements.
All the Patches, All the Time
Today Microsoft shocked us all as they announced that their latest operating system--Windows 98--is to be renamed prior to launch as Diana, Princess of Windows. A spokesman for Microsoft said that this was in tribute to the late ex-royal and is a fitting name in that the product will look flashy, be mostly superficial, consume vast amounts of resources, and crash spectacularly.
--Posted on the Oracle website
My number-one favorite new Win98 application, and the reason I think most people should upgrade to Win98 is the Windows Update Wizard. How many hours have you lost trying to find the latest drivers for all your hardware? When was the last time you checked for new drivers, for that matter? Not only does Win98 ship with 1200 or so new drivers, it has a built-in way to keep those drivers--and all the Windows files--up to date.
The Windows Update Wizard sits on top of the Start Menu, where it's only a click away (Figure 1-2).
When you click on Windows Update, Win98 launches your Web browser and attaches to the Windows Update page (Figure 1-3). The Wizard, with your permission, takes a look at the software you have installed on your PC and presents you with a "catalog" of available software, tailored to your specific situation. It then lets you download and update any Windows component you feel appropriate, with installation handled automatically. There's even a rollback provision so that, at least in theory, you can "undo" any updates that cause more havoc than they alleviate. This is one impressive piece of software, which should set the standard for years to come.
We strongly recommend that you run the Windows Update Wizard at least once a month and preferably once a week.
Some folks (and I hope they don't tell Janet) would claim that this Update Wizard was inspired by Cybermedia's Oil Change and that the big bad Redmond Gorilla is aiming to put the Cybermedia folks outta business.
Let me get this one straight. You're complaining that we've put something that is clearly an operating system function into the operating system and saved users from having to buy a third-party product?
Actually, Billy, I was playing devil's advocate. I agree this sort of stuff belongs in the operating system and users only gain by it being there. But enough experts in antitrust and economics who don't know beans about computing mouth this stuff that I had to state their contention.
Windows 98 contains a couple of new applications that make it easier than ever to set up, customize, and run your PC.
Win98's new Task Scheduler (Figure 1-4) lets you schedule any program to run at any time. Although it resembles the old scheduler from the Windows 95 Plus! Pack, this one is built into Windows itself, and it works flawlessly.
Those of you who struggled with editing World Wide Web pages in "native HTML" (the code language used to create Web pages) can breathe a sigh of relief. Microsoft has included a "lite" version of its award-winning Web construction kit, FrontPage, as a freebie in Win98. Dubbed FrontPage Express (Figure 1-5), this amazingly versatile tool includes all the HTML editing features in FrontPage, plus a couple of bells and whistles. Microsoft is betting that a big dose of FrontPage Express will leave you wishing for the full package. Frankly, if you do much with Web pages, we bet you will, too.
It's been my experience that Windows 98 crashes and freezes about half as often as Windows 95 running Internet Explorer 4.01 SP1. I know that's a subjective statement, and I tend to run Windows very hard, but I think it's fair to say that Windows 98, right out of the box, is considerably more stable than Windows 95. Microsoft has done more than improve the stability: they've thrown in a handful of utilities that make it much easier to track down problems and possibly prevent problems before they occur.
I think the ScanReg utility, which scans the Registry for errors and prunes dead Registry keys once they are over 500K in waste space, is an important element of the increased stability. I talk about this more in the section "Integrity."
Microsoft's System Information Utility 4.1--better known as SysInfo--provides an enormous amount of information about your Win98 system (Figure 1-6). The folks in Redmond spent a lot of money coming up with the most thorough system reporting utility the PC has ever seen. They have an ulterior motive: a phone support tech can have you run SysInfo and gather an enormous amount of information about your system in no time flat. That saves Microsoft lots of bucks in the no-profit-here world of telephone support. But it's a win-win utility, because you can use it, too, to track down every little detail about your machine and what it's running.
Traditional reporting software also has some hardware diagnostic tests and this is missing from SysInfo--it's only a reporting tool.
Speaking of reliability improvements, the Win98 installer goes above and beyond the call of duty by searching for and disabling a Microsoft product called Find Fast. As many of you Office users know, Find Fast was the vehicle for Office's ill-fated attempt to index documents during the PC's idle moments. Find Fast was notorious for taking control of the machine while the user was typing on the keyboard. It also had a marvelous propensity for cascading General Protection Faults--leave it alone overnight and you could come back to a dozen or more neatly stacked GPF warning boxes in the middle of the screen, all attributable to Find Fast. In other books (for example, Word 97 Annoyances by Leonhard, Hudspeth, and Lee) we've urged Office users to turn off Find Fast. If you install Win98, Microsoft's own installer does it for you. Now that's a stability improvement of the first degree!
Making a reappearance, the new, improved Dr. Watson sits in the background, waiting for Windows to hiccup. When a program dies, Dr. Watson--Windows 98's official coroner--takes over, gives you a reasonable explanation for the problem, then gathers information that could prove valuable to the program's designers to help prevent problems like that in the future.
By default, Dr. Watson doesn't get loaded. I think that's fine unless you have a persistent software problem, in which case you It want to load it to have a truly comprehensive bug report to send to the tech support department of the offending product. I'll tell you how to load it in Chapter 4.
It's hard to believe that Microsoft could improve on a humble utility like the Disk Defragmenter, but the Windows 98 flavor of this classic does much more than simply defrag a hard drive. ("Defragmenting" is the process of scanning a disk and relocating pieces of files so they sit next to each other, thus speeding up access to those files in the future.) This defragmenter maintains a log of the files you use most commonly, then rearranges file locations during the defrag process to make frequently used files and related files load even faster.
The old ScanDisk comes back with a new twist--Windows 98 watches to see if you shut down properly (using the Startup, Shutdown Menu). If for some reason you didn't shut down the right way, the next time Windows 98 starts, it runs ScanDisk. Since files are most likely to get scrambled when your system crashes, this forced ScanDisk run stands a very good chance of catching most file problems at the earliest possible moment.
Another new program, Disk Cleanup, offers to delete the usual crop of temporary files, empty the Recycle Bin, and otherwise delete unnecessary files from your hard drive. It goes one step farther, though, by offering to remove portions of Windows and other applications that you don't seem to be using (Figure 1-7).
The new Maintenance Wizard combines operation of the Disk Defragmenter, ScanDisk, and Disk Cleanup. Run the Wizard (Figure 1-8), and those three activities are scheduled to run in the middle of the night--using Task Scheduler, of course.
Finally, Windows 98 has a completely new version of the Backup program, written by Seagate, that many people find much easier to use than earlier incarnations. It includes support for SCSI-based media.
Where Windows 95 pretty much assumed that its system files would be changed only if change was warranted--what kind of application would replace a Windows system file without issuing dire warnings?--Windows 98 isn't so trusting.
The System File Checker keeps on top of the primary Windows 98 files and warns you if some wayward program has replaced them or if they've somehow been deleted or renamed. Should that happen, you're asked what you want to do, and if you follow the recommended steps, backup copies of all the files are restored.
The Registry Checker keeps five (count 'em!) cycled backups of the Windows 98 Registry. Each time you restart Windows, a backup is automatically made unless a backup was already made earlier the same day. So you should have a Registry at least five days old around. If something goes terribly awry, you can restore the Registry to a stable state, at least in theory. Registry restoration is much, much simpler than ever before, particularly because the Registry Checker includes a DOS-mode program to perform the restore. Microsoft claims that Registry Checker also has some built-in smarts to resolve Registry problems. The jury's still out on whether that part does anything worthwhile, at least in the real world.
I'll have a lot more to say about Registry backup in Chapter 9. In particular, you can keep more than five copies and you can add your own files to the list of what is backed up.
The System Configuration Utility puts most of your potential configuration problems in one place (Figure 1-9). Yes, you can edit autoexec.bat, config.sys, system.ini, and win.ini here (just as you could with sysedit, an archaic Windows 3.x tool that somehow survives in both Win95 and Win98). But you can also do much, much more: choose which of the startup files to run, and how; make backups; even disable some of Win98's more dicey features.
It's a very useful, very comprehensive feature. There's just one teeny-tiny problem with the System Configuration Utility. You can't find any information about it anywhere in the online Help (except buried deep in a couple of troubleshooting sequences), and it doesn't appear on any of the menus. To bring it to life, you have to know the secret incantation: click Start, Run, type msconfig, and hit Enter.
FAT32 (short for "32-bit file allocation table") is the new, more efficient method of storing data on hard disk drives--and the only built-in way to store data on drive partitions larger than 2 GB under Windows 9X. (NT has had NTFS, the NT File System, which supports disks of up to 64 GB and various flavors of UNIX allow large disks.) Introduced in a later version of Windows 95 (the so-called OSR2, or OEM Service Release 2 version), FAT32 can reclaim 25% to 30% of your hard drive space if you're using the older FAT16 storage method (Figure 1-10).
Almost everyone with hard disks over 1 GB in size should convert their hard disks to FAT32 and take advantage of the 10% to 25% space savings. (We'll discuss the exceptions in Chapter 6.) Windows 98 offers a FAT32 converter that makes the conversion easy and--hard to believe--safe. Run fat32win.exe in the Resource Kit Sampler (described later in this chapter in "Windows Resource Kit Sampler") to find out how much space you'll gain by changing over. We think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
But be warned that the FAT32 converter from Microsoft only works if your disk has no bad clusters.
Microsoft claims that Windows 98 runs substantially faster than Windows 95--and they have the test data to back that claim. In our experience, Win98 does shut down considerably faster than Win95. It boots marginally faster. And it loads and starts applications faster, but not enough faster to write home to MOM about it.
Win98 also has a fast boot capability that relies on new hardware (the so-called Fast Boot BIOS). We didn't have that hardware on hand in time to test before we went to press.
Microsoft claims that it has speeded up both startup and shutdown. In our testing, we didn't notice much of a speedup on startup on systems without the special new BIOS. The increased speed of shutdown, though, was dramatic. Of course, there is a cost for this increased speed. The system no longer properly logs out of networks, so when other systems on the network scan it, the scan seems to take longer if a Win98 machine has recently shut down.
In addition to the Registry backup and restore built into the Registry Checker (mentioned earlier), Win98 includes several important features that make booting your PC easier, more reliable, and at least a little less intimidating than it has been in the past.
Tops on the list: the Emergency Startup Disk with built-in CD support. Windows has been able to create an Emergency Startup Disk (ESD; MOM calls it a "panic disk") since the dawn of time. The ESD boots you into DOS so that you can perform emergency surgery on your system. But ESDs have always had one fatal flaw--they never supported CD drives. As a result, many Windows 95 users found themselves booting to a DOS prompt and then discovering they had hit a brick wall when the software they wanted to run (frequently the Windows installer) existed only on CD! Win98 overcomes that problem by endowing the ESD with CD drivers that work for most--but not all--CD drives.
The ESD goes one step farther. It stores a number of important DOS programs on one floppy diskette, in compressed form, and extracts those programs on the fly as it starts during an emergency boot. That's a great idea, with only a few drawbacks, which we'll cover in Chapter 6.
Another important improvement: Win98's Automatic Skip Driver feature, which you'll probably never see, intelligently bypasses loading drivers that have caused problems in earlier boot sequences. ASD does yeoman's work bypassing the all-too-common problem of not being able to boot Windows at all because of a bad piece of hardware or a driver that locks up the system.
Windows 98 works with two power management standards called Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) and Advanced Power Management (APM). If you've bought a notebook computer recently, you no doubt have built-in ACPI and/or APM support; in fact, many desktop systems now include APM. There's a whole slew of new power management settings, which we'll cover in Chapter 8.
Yes, indeed, the Web is everywhere in Windows 98, at times almost indistinguishable from the "rest" of Windows--if, indeed, there still is a "rest."
In addition to FrontPage Express, Win98 has a new Web look and feel to the My Computer icon and Windows Explorer application. It's very hard to tell where Windows Explorer ends and Internet Explorer begins--which is just as well, as more people stay connected to the Web all the time, and the Web becomes a simple (if painfully slow) extension of the Desktop.
Microsoft's Windows 98 Personal Web Server puts training wheels on the outstanding Windows NT Web Server. The result leaves much to be desired, but if you need to set up an intranet based on Windows 98 peer-to-peer networking, it's a serviceable choice. And the price is right--it comes bundled, free, with Win98.
The Web Publishing Wizard will help first-time Web publishers gather their files and send them to a Web server, but if you know how to use FTP, the Wizard offers little except a glitzy interface.
If you can get it to work, Win98's Multilink Channel Aggregation (gad, what a name!) combines two modems to double the amount of data you can shove over the phone lines. In theory. Here's the fine print.
* You have to have two modems and two phone lines, of course.
* The people on the other end of the phone call (typically, your Internet Service Provider or your company's network) has to support MCA.
* Even then, Microsoft advises that "using analog [as opposed to ISDN] modems can cause serial overrun errors that impair the performance of the multilink connection." Seems that MCA was built for ISDN, the super-fast phone lines, and not all the kinks have been worked out for normal phone lines.
With an overwhelming endorsement like that, how can you resist? We never did get MCA to amount to much. Kinda makes you want to go out and buy two expensive new modems, install two expensive phone lines, and give it a whirl, doesn't it?
Unlike MCA, multiple monitor support in Windows 98 really does work. You use two video cards and attach two monitors to one machine. The Desktop then expands to fill both monitors. You resize your applications, usually, so that one appears on one monitor and the other appears on the second. You can then drag and drop between the monitors, just as you would on one huge desktop. Some people like it, some people hate it. Here's the fine print.
* Both video cards have to be PCI video cards. You can't use old-fashioned ISA bus cards. Nor can you use the newer, faster AGP cards or a video outlet that's on the motherboard (unless it's connected to the PCI bus). You can't mix and match, either. Two PCI cards, period, although they don't have to be the same brand.
* Your mouse doesn't "bang up against" the right side of the first monitor. Many lazy people (Woody included) rely on that "banging" all the time to hit the up-and-down scrollbar that usually appears on the right side of an application's full-screen window. Instead of banging on the right of the screen, the mouse pointer keeps on sailing onto the second monitor's screen, and it's nerve-wracking trying to bring it back.
If you place the monitors one above the other, you will be able to bang against the side but not the top or bottom.
* You have to arrange both monitors so that you can see them. That may sound trivial, but for many people it isn't: either the left monitor is easy to see and the right monitor requires some twisting and straining or vice versa.
Ah, but that misses the point! Wait till you look at a demo of Flight Simulator where you can see both a cockpit and tower view at the same time but on separate monitors. Then there are the two-person strategy games played on a single PC, action games, and so on. There's no doubt that serious game players will want multiple monitors. Given the cost of the second monitor and the desk space problems, I doubt home users other than the gamers will use this feature. But gamers are going to go ga-ga.
Before you spend $100 on a PCI video card (better make that $200 for two PCI video cards, if you currently have video on the motherboard or AGP video) and $150 to $200 for a second monitor, it would be very smart to try this feature for a couple of hours on some real work. When you're done, do the arithmetic, and check to make sure you have two free PCI slots. You may well end up springing for a single, larger monitor.
Windows 98 also includes video support for font smoothing (formerly available in the Windows 95 Plus! Pack and by download from the Microsoft Web site) and on-the-fly changes in color depth and screen resolution (from, say, 800 x 600 to 1024 x 768 pixels).
|Do you need MOM98?|
|Billy98's Road Map|
|What's New in 98?||4|
|Is Win98 for you?||18|
|Janet and the Grasshoppers||21|
|MOM98 for Upgraders||26|
|Of Mice and Menus||29|
|Objection, your Honor||50|
|A First Look under the Hood||66|
|And Dots not all||95|
|Putting up a Good Font||102|
|Winning on the First Palette||129|
|Putting Windows on a Sound Basis||135|
|No PC is an Island||148|
|Explorering the Great Unknown||170|
|You gave me such a Start||194|
|Configuring Context Menus and Associations||219|
|I've Got it under Control Panel||243|
|Mr. Rogers's Network||280|
|Browsing the Net||281|
|Helping those who Help themselves||308|
|Let me work that into my Schedule||336|
|Gettin' it together||342|
|Gettin' Hitched to the Net||362|
|Your Wordpad or Mine?||389|
|Deciding how to Install||433|
|Preparing for Installation||443|
|A Perfect Installation||450|
|What can go Wrong?||458|
|Postpartum Blues, Part 1||462|
|Postpartum Blues, Part 2||478|
|How Win98 Starts||488|
|Nonstandard Ways of Starting||496|
|How Win98 Really Boots||506|
|Other Files and Programs||535|
|Add New Hardware||589|
|Zounds! ... er, Sounds||678|
|Care and Feeding of the Registry||725|
|Registry Hacks, Ultimate Power Users' Tricks||790|
This book provides a comprehensive road map for understanding the design, architecture, and inherent integrated nature of modern and legacy networking and application technologies. The audience for this book includes IS managers, systems engineers, software designers, network engineers, system administrators, network managers, systems architects, senior technologists, and senior management.
By reading this book, you will be introduced to a wide range of highly relevant enterprise networking and application technologies. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to design new systems that better meet functional, performance, and operational objectives. For existing deployments, your ability to isolate poor performance to either the network, the application, or both will be improved. In addition, you will be able to design networks and applications that more seamlessly and efficiently integrate legacy technologies with modern ones.
To understand the purpose of this book, let's consider the following scenario:
The company's sales staff has called a meeting with the Information Systems (IS) department to discuss the increasingly poor performance of their worldwide sales processing application. The IS group has brought the folks responsible for the network to the meeting as well. The networking people blame the application developer arguing the application must be at fault and vice versa, the developer claims the network is slow. Furthermore, there's a desire to integrate the sales processing application with other corporate systems, and there's confusion and disagreement on exactly how to achieve that. The networking people claim the systems cannot be integrated due to differing incompatible protocols, and the application folks want to rewrite everything but don't have the time or resources for that approach.
Problems like these have existed for years, but we are now entering a new era in which less and less tolerance exists for this isolated approach to network and application design. Distributed object technology, directory services information embedded within the network, vast connectivity, a huge base of older legacy technology that must be further integrated, and a host of other technologies we'll discuss in this book are producing a tighter coupling between the network and its applications. This means that our old habits of separating network and application design, which never worked well anyway, will no longer work at all. The functionality, efficiency, performance, reliability, and security of the network and its applications are so inter-twined, that designing them in isolation will repeatedly result in networks and applications that miss the mark in too many ways-- over budget, underperforming, poorly integrated, and too expensive to maintain.
As a result, there's a growing need for technical professionals to understand how both networks and applications behave together, as one. Like those systems-level hardware designers that are more concerned with how chips and boards work together than they are transistors and capacitors, there's a need to look at the design problem from a higher level of abstraction.
In this new tightly coupled era, one of the greatest challenges is the integration of existing (legacy) technologies with open multiplatform standards-based ones. To ignore what is installed across the enterprise today and just speak of what's new is to be unrealistic. This book places heavy emphasis on the understanding of legacy technologies and their role as part of an integrated heterogeneous open standards-based networking and application environment.
Can We Really Cover All That?
It's fair to ask ourselves this question. With all the information explored in this book, and its associated sea of endless details, is it practical to address all the subject matter here, or is it necessary to decompose it analytically, step by step, detail by detail, topic by topic, and span thousands of pages? Covering this many topics is a formidable challenge for both the author and the reader.
I've discussed this problem with many people over the years and have found that there are three general classes of responses:
(1) The Nay-Sayers
These people argue it can't be done. They look at me, from within their safe insulated and, in my opinion, overly simplistic world, and state it's not practical to expect one person to understand enough about both applications and networking technologies. They argue human beings aren't mentally capable of such things. They are separate areas of study and require individuals who solely focus on one or the other. That's the way it has been, and that's the way it will always be. And they add, that there are 'detailed people' and 'architectural people' and the two don't mix.
(2) The Curious
This group is usually very receptive. They start-off the discussion by giving me the benefit of the doubt. Their questions generally take the following form: What is the perspective, viewpoint, mental discipline- the magic if you will- involved in cultivating a deeper understanding of both?
(3) The Burned
These people have experienced first-hand the scenarios I described earlier. They've been in the meetings where the network engineers and the application developers clashed and the system didn't work. These people demand a copy of the book and usually our discussions last three to four times longer than we anticipated. They also ask me about viewpoint and discipline- how do you get to the bottom of problems in such complex systems, given that we agree it must be done.
Relative to the Nay-Sayers, I perhaps have more confidence than they do in the capabilities of technical professionals and management. I think they can indeed grasp this. I also believe that detailed and architectural people do mix. I rebel against the belief that systems and architectural folks don't need to be bothered with details, despite the fact that I've had titles in my career such as Systems Architect. I believe in having such people and positions, but the moment they think they are the only ones who worry about architecture, and that they don't need to worry about details, then the project is guaranteed to be in for some serious trouble. People responsible for the system need to have a good understanding of concepts, architectures and yes, indeed, details. Details keep them honest. If you can't worry yourself with details such as the bytes of overhead for a packet or configured maximum packet and retransmission values for your applications and protocols, then you can't architect well, in my opinion.
For those that ask about the magic, the secrets of a mental discipline that will help one cut-across such a wide range of topics, in search of the key details, but not all the details, I offer more of a psychological argument. I often refer them to such abstract perspectives as those from a famous Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu.
Lao Tzu, an acquaintance of Confucius and historically accepted by many as the author of an approximately 2500 year old famous text entitled the Tao Te Ching, wrote with great eloquence about Tao, or the Way. In his book he infers that the nature of everything in our universe escapes extreme rationalization and overly analytic definition. All that exists reflects a certain flexibility, or softness and, free from a desire to know each and every detail in our world, but instead to know its concepts (its flow) as well as the select details that guide it, we are then free to realize its mystery. The Tao is hidden but always present and is filled with infinite possibilities.
Keeping Lao Tzu's perspective in mind, let's consider again the aspirations of this book. Given that any single topic explored here can alone justify hundreds and occasionally even thousands of pages of explanation, how can its goals be met?
I believe the answer is rooted in perspective. For everyone I've come to know who takes true ownership for the quality of a given network and its applications together, I have observed that their problem solving approach and psychology consistently includes a virtually undescribable freeness while brainstorming, coupled with a willingness to dive deeply, looking for that one detail that when brought to the surface reveals the fundamental insight they are after. They seem instinctively to know which details to pursue, and which to leave alone. Their instincts tell them where to dive. Their thought process isn't purely top-down, nor is it entirely bottom-up. Both techniques are applied at different times. The best problem solvers I've met don't fashion themselves purely as architects nor simply as programmers or network engineers. Instead, they see themselves as thinkers. They are willing to own the entire problem, not just a piece of it and, at the same time, they have the sense and fluidity about them to know when and where to focus. They know how to maintain their buoyancy, regardless of the infinite number of details involved, because they only focus on those details that matter.
I believe, consciously or not, these people have a sense of what Lao Tzu was writing about-- they have found a Way. And while I may not grasp or proclaim with great certainty that this book successfully shows this Way, I will admit to you that in writing it, I envisioned harmonizing with it, and I envisioned sharing it with you. We will dive together, and select which details are relevant for our design and architecture study, and which we will choose to leave alone. And, in doing so, we will explore a great expanse of networking and applications technologies and prepare ourselves for the new connectivity paradigm of our era- the design and architecture of Network Application Frameworks.
Our study of network application frameworks will be organized by technology provider and open standards, with emphasis on solutions offered by Netscape, Microsoft, Novell, and IBM as well as important open standards from organizations including the IETF, OMG, IEEE, ISO, and others.
You'll notice that every chapter in this book begins with a mind map. Mind maps are used to summarize the technical concepts presented and their relationships to one another. In addition, every chapter except the first and last contains a table summarizing the benefits of the technology addressed within it along with industry experience and observations which support why this technology is worth looking at.
Acknowledgements and Reflections
The writing of this book was a soulful endeavor, one not easily explained in terms of professional career goals or a desire for material gain. It expresses my strong passion for technology and for writing. I can confidently say that to complete this book I put forth every ounce of effort I had. Books like this one don't get completed in months. They demand years of ongoing sacrifice, in every aspect of your life.
I was not alone in this effort. First and foremost, I would like to thank Mary Treseler O'Brien of Addison Wesley Longman. The connection and work chemistry that Mary and I share is anything but common. From the first time we spoke and through every last painful, happy, and manic phase associated with completion of this project, Mary supported me and guided this book as if she and I had been preparing for its completion all our lives.
Working alongside of Mary was Elizabeth Spainhour, who put-up with my incessant nagging and worry about every detail of the process. Elizabeth and Mary make a great team. "Two on one" was the minimum requirement to keep me under control at times. Thank goodness Elizabeth was there to keep me in my cage.
Addison Wesley assembled a powerful and diverse team of reviewers for this book. Each one offered a unique perspective and style, and as a whole, they complimented each other wonderfully.
Clem Cole brought deep insight, character, maturity, and a great sense of humor and understanding to the review process. He provided seasoned input into the history and content of the technologies presented in this book.
Peter J. Welcher reviewed the manuscript with the utmost in tenacity, completeness, and precision. We disagreed often, right to the end. And there are a few holes in the walls of my office with Peter's name underneath them ;-) At the same time, this book is orders of magnitude better because of his involvement.
Thomas R. Amlicke, Jr. provided memorable kindness and understanding through his comments and guidance.
And then we have Lou Breit, Rich Sherman, Roger Snowden, and Ed Wax. While they acted independently, together they were great motivators. Rich, with the project from its beginning, was like a steady beacon, always reinforcing the premise of the book and encouraging me to move forward. Roger provided the greatest sound bytes- if I hadn't slept in what seemed like days, and needed more energy, I'd just pickup one of Roger's reviews and I'd instantly be motivated once again. And likewise, Ed provided great input and memorable words. And rounding out the group was Lou Breit, who also lent his expertise to the review of this book.
Now for my friends and colleagues.
I'd like to thank Judy Peck for noticing that the single guy living in the apartment below her didn't know how to keep anything but Diet Coke in his refrigerator. Judy brought me fruit salad every week and became a great friend.
And thanks to Tom McKnight, a friend of mine for years. He also happens to be the most brilliant person I know. Also thanks to Colleen, Tom's daughter, for putting up without her daddy while he helped me build a strategic consulting practice.
To my friends and former colleagues at Netscape, the Litronic crew, the Global SprintLink team, Simson Garfinkel, Susan Fitzgerald, Steve Petri, Cam, Leslie Aimone, Grace Adams, Chandra Shah, Eric Vaughn, Jeff Treuhaft, Jack Schiff, Sarah Gottlieb-Hecht, Jack Ziros, Larry Elfes, Vab Goel, Don Williams, Ian Little, and Sami Mousa.
Thanks to Katie, Rachie, and Robbie Greenberg for putting up with Uncle Eric's writing over the holidays. Thanks to my brother James and sister-in-law Lisa.
In memory of the late Phil Karlton and his wife Jan.
I hope that this book is helpful and I wish you great success in your professional endeavors. Please feel free to contact me directly with any comments, corrections, complaints, or kind words. My email address is email@example.com. END ISBN: 0201379511 TITLE: BGP4 SUBTITLE: Inter-Domain Routing in the Internet AUTHOR: Stewart, John W. III TABLE OF CONTENTS: Preface Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 A Brief IP Primer 1.2 Notes on Terminology 1.3 IP Addressing and the Need for Routing 1.4 Autonomous Systems and the Distinction Between IGPs and EGPs 1.5 Distance Vector Versus Link State Routing Protocols 1.5.1 Distance Vector Protocols 1.5.2 Link State Protocols 1.6 Classless Inter-Domain Routing 1.7 Setting the Tone for Understanding BGP Chapter 2: The BGP Protocol 2.1 Bringing Up a BGP Session 2.2 The BGP Message Types 2.2.1 Common Header 2.2.2 OPEN 2.2.3 UPDATE 2.2.4 NOTIFICATION 2.2.5 KEEPALIVE 2.3 Conceptual Model of Operation 2.4 Base Standard Path Attributes 2.4.1 ORIGIN 2.4.2 AS-PATH 2.4.3 NEXT-HOP 2.4.4 MULTI-EXIT-DISCRIMINATOR 2.4.5 LOCAL-PREF 2.4.6 ATOMIC-AGGREGATE 2.4.7 AGGREGATOR 2.5 Internal Versus External BGP 2.6 BGP Route Selection Process Chapter 3: BGP Operations 3.1 IGP Interacti