smartBridges smartNIC - Page 4

Installation
To see if the smartNIC performed reliably, I installed and tested the smartNIC on three separate systems. Below are the specifications of the test computers. One is a desktop configuration and the other two are notebooks.

Desktop Configuration :

  • Intel Celeron SL36A 300A.

  • 128MB Hyundai PC-100 SDRAM.

  • IBM Deskstar 10GP.

  • Voodoo3 3000 AGP 16MB.

  • 2 USB Ports.

Acer TravelMate 330T :

  • Intel Mobile Pentium II-300.

  • 1 PC Card Slot, 1 USB Port.

  • 128MB SDRAM.

  • 4.8GB Ultra ATA/33 Hard Disk Drive.

  • Trident Cyber 9525DVD AGP 2.5MB SDRAM Graphics Controller.

Toshiba Satellite 2590 :

  • Intel Mobile Celeron-400.

  • 2 PC Card Slots, 1 USB Port.

  • 64MB SDRAM.

  • 6.0GB Ultra ATA/33 Hard Disk Drive.

  • Trident Cyber 9525DVD AGP 2.5MB SDRAM Graphics Controller.

First Contact
The Satellite 2590 and TravelMate 330 were used in a campus wide intranet in the National University of Singapore. Special mention here goes to my bud, Colin, for letting me use his account. Thanks Colin!

The university intranet inter-connects 104 departments in 90 buildings and covers a campus area of 150 hectares. It serves a population of 24,000 students, and 2,700 academic, research and administrative staff members. It is used simultaneously by hundreds and at times, thousands of users. The TravelMate 330 and my desktop configuration were tested in the confines of my 100Mbps Fast Ethernet home network. The desktop in my home network uses the D-Link DFE-530TX NIC and the DFE-904 Dual-speed Ethernet hub.

The smartNIC-TravelMate 330 combination was plagued with problems. No network connection could be made on either the home network or the campus intranet. In fact, the smartNIC powered down while I attempted to log onto the intranet, hanging the TravelMate 330 in the process. At times, the smartNIC just refused to be powered during bootup. The smartNIC-Satellite 2590 combination worked well though and lacked the problems associated with the TravelMate 330. I could log into my home network and the campus intranet without fail. No notable problems were found on my desktop configuration.

Another point of mention is that the smartNIC will not function in a non-switching 100Mbps Fast Ethernet network. It can only connect to a 10BASE-T Ethernet network unless some form of switching is available. I had to manually step down my 100Mbps home network to 10Mbps in order for the smartNIC to work.

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