Douglas E. Comer
Computer Science Department
West Lafayette, IN 47907
webmaster: W. David Laverell
Hands-On Networking: Site Purpose
The site is intended for students and instructors.
It is organized along the lines of Professor Comer's
book, Hands-On Networking, that is, for each chapter
containing experiements you can expect to find
some or all of the following:
- Introductory notes for the chapter consisting of general
comments. For example, if the experiments are related to each
other in such a way that you really need to anticipate the
last experiment when you are doing the first, then this will
be pointed out.
- Notes for faculty. The best example is to be found in
Chapter Twelve. This requires a lot of setup work. It
requires a procedure to allow students to sniff packets.
It requires special software or special knowledge of the
operating system so that students have special access
for a limited time and
on a limited part of the network. This page provides detailed
explanations of how you provide the necessary access without
giving people the root password and suggestions on how to
generate packets of interest for use in further analysis.
- Notes for each experiment. Again the best illustration
of the kind of help the site provides is from chapter 12.
In Experiment 12.1 the student is asked to write a program
that will read the output produced by a packet sniffer, and
print some basic information. At first blush this seems to
be an easy, straightforward assignment. Not! The bewildering
variety of sniffers, operating systems, and, yes, even
computer architectures make this very much a non-trivial task.
What we aim to provide is basic information on what kinds of
problems to expect and how to deal with them as well as
a methodology which will enable the student to understand and
deal with whatever particular problems his or her
configuration presents. This experiment requires two very
different kinds of work. The first involves programming, and
each student must do that, but the second involves dealing
with issues that are extremely frustrating and that do not
advance the student's knowledge very much. This page aims to
minimize the time spent in this second area.
- Sample output. How do I know that I am doing this
assignment right? Compare my output to the sample output.
- Test data. For some faculty and students with limited
resources packet sniffing will not be possible, hence
test data will be available to cover those situations.
For faculty only solutions are available.
Procedure for Obtaining Solutions
Note that solutions to many of the experiments are
available. The procedure requires you to contact
your Prentice Hall representative who will certify
you, so to speak, to me. You will then receive solutions
by email. You will then also be enrolled for updates
and further solutions as these become available.
Solutions will be available for two popular platforms,
Solaris running on Sun workstations and servers,
and Linux running on Intel machines.
They will be carefully documented in terms of platform, compiler,
and other such details.
This site is maintained by W. David Laverell
of the Computer Science Department
at Calvin College. For assistance or corrections,
please contact him at .