Internet Access from a Classroom

Centrally administered classrooms (classrooms for short) have been networked for some time. Users can use computers in networked classrooms to facilitate teaching, training, demonstration, etc. As Internet access (e.g. WWW browsing) becomes more and more popular, the increase of access to Internet from classrooms can be foreseen.

The installation of the ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) backbone network in October 1997 makes the connection of a computer in a classroom in the Main Campus to Internet or to host computers on the Campus Network (e.g., www.hku.hk, hkucc.hku.hk, hkusua.hku.hk, library.hku.hk, etc.) a much easier task.

In the past, users had to set the TCP/IP parameters of their computers according to a set of pre-defined values for the different classrooms. Many users using the classrooms find such a set-up process rather inconvenient.

Computer Centre exploits the ATM technology to improve this situation. As an initial step, a single ATM VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) is set up for the classrooms in the Main Campus.  Although the classrooms are located at various different sites, they are now managed as if they are in the same LAN.

Secondly, the VLAN enables us to deploy a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server for assigning a unique IP address and the related parameters to a user's computer connecting to the Campus Network from a classroom. For proper functioning of a computer, besides getting its own IP address, it needs to know the IP address of a Domain Name Server (DNS) which provides the service of mapping the name of a host, e.g. www.hku.hk, to the host's IP address.  The DHCP server that we are employing can also assign the IP address of a DNS to the user's computer.

With implementation of the above mentioned facilities, the configuration procedures for a computer running Windows 95 and Macintosh become simplified.  For detailed procedures, please click here . (The procedures also include instructions for configuring a computer running other operating systems.)

There will be demostration sessions on how to set up a PC in a networked classroom for Internet access. All interested users are welcome.  Please refer to our training news for schedules of the desmonstrations.

Ronald Leung
Tel: 2859 7975
E-mail: hyleung@hku.hk


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