To run Pool Leader on multiple machines, you will need a network. A network connects all of the computers together so that they can share resources such as drives and printers.
There are two major types of cabling:
We recommend a 100Mb/s network using twisted pair cabling. Gigabit LAN is overkill for a small LAN (gigabit is best when there are a lot of machines (20 or more) on the same network.)
A twisted pair type of network requires a "switch" or "hub". All of the computers have a cable that runs to the switch. (Note: hubs only let one machine talk at one time, a switch allows several to talk simultaneously). Hubs are old, today manufacturers only make switches.
Since network cables transmit data at very high speed, they are very sensitive to noise. We strongly recommend having the cabling professionally installed to ensure reliability and stability in all of the software you use.
Each machine must have a network adapter (a board that goes inside the computer). The price of these is very low, so try to get good quality boards. When ordering new computers, have the boards pre-installed. Don't forget to specify the type of network cabling you are using when you buy the boards (100 megabit or 1 gigabit).
Each computer needs networking software set up. We recommend using Windows 95 or Windows 98.
Windows NT is known to have data integrity problems, especially when multiple users are using the network. If you do use NT, make sure that the installer knows about the opportunistic locking (oplock) bug, and that the workaround has been applied to the registry.
When setting up the network, we recommend that you use drive P at each client computer to map the root of the server computer. For printers, avoid capturing LPT1 if possible, use LPT2 or LPT3. Don't use LPT4 through LPT9, as it is impossible to see if a printer is online on these ports.