Friday, October 31, 2008

NAD710 lab 5

A bit about SAMBA and xinetd ...

Once again Professor Chan took us through a 'hands-on' installation and configuration of an industry standard software product within the very brief two hour lab period for our networking course. He does this every time and while responding to both related and unrelated questions and coaching individual students in anything network related. His ability to deal with distractions while maintaining the direction of his students' focus toward the desired goals is remarkable - almost as remarkable as his mastery of the subject he teaches.

As sys admins samba is something we need to be aware of. At one time it would have been mandatory to have a working kowledge of this hybrid network product (hybrid in the sense that it is a link between Linux and Windows). Even though modern windows systems have moved away from the model where this product works so well, it remains a viable simple solution for organizing older networks that remain in place in some sectors due to lack of funding for newer equipment. I am not going to say anything on the details of samba just a link to the samba site.samba

xinetd is an interesting daemon. It is an interesting approach to managing server process in an uniform way. Choosing to introduce this 'server of servers' in the samba lab really drives home the point of what it is for. The real beauty of this lab lies in the fact that I came away having completed installations and configurations such that if I never look back at them, I still have a solid general and practical understanding/experience to draw on in amy real work situation.

In short, I have had a chance to reflect on the learning experience in my program and find the Lecture/Lab combination a really powerful combination in that we are given enough knowledge and practical experience to easily embrace a subject and take it as far as our own needs dictate. It leaves me with a sense of accomplishment.

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