[oclug] dhcp grief
oclug_mail at strosberg.com
Mon Mar 7 14:47:22 EST 2005
Adrian Irving-Beer wrote:
> My objections to Windows networking (as they impact me in my daily
> life, managing a network with several Windows clients) are
> * the rediculously low default TCP timeouts (configurable),
> * the assumption that unplugging a cable means all connections are
> dead and should be immediately terminated (not configurable
> without losing all media sensing whatsoever),
> * the constant prodding of my DNS server by default with dynamic
> update requests (configurable),
> * having to individually encrypt or sign my attachments rather
> than use PGP/MIME,
> and various others from time to time. That second one is particularly
> annoying, because for whatever reason, I've heard reports of one
> person turning off their computer and everyone else's connections
> dropping simultaneously due to a tiny blip in the media link sensing.
> Even outside my network, I'm plagued with
> * thread-breaking e-mails from Microsoft Exchange servers who seem
> to figure, "Outlook can't do threading, so why should we bother
> sending In-Reply-To headers?"
> * Outlook Express users who whine at me to stop sending PGP/MIME
> mails like this one with the body as an 'attachment',
> etc. I may not use Windows whatsoever any more, but that doesn't mean
> it can't still reach out and aggravate me. The OS as a whole was
> never originally meant to be networked, and it shows.
Agreed with all the points above except the networking comment. Windows
was constructed around NetBIOS, and all networking design was from a
__local__ area network perspective. Inter-networking was a
duct-taped-on mess because no one in Redmond saw the Internet coming
until Bill got the Peterbilt radiator-grille imprint on his forehead
from standing on the Information Superhighway telling everyone they
didn't need to be connected.
Windows networking on a local basis (what it __was__ designed for)
actually worked, and dealt with issues like name resolution etc. in a
simple and functional way (for the times, and for the implicitly trusted
local environment). TCP/IP added to Windows 3.1 was just like
duct-taping antlers to your dog and calling it a reindeer - it may fool
small children (whois Cindy-Lou Alex?), but not anyone else. Who else
remembers adding Trumpet Winsock to their networks, along with Beame &
Whiteside NFS clients?
I installed and administered many Windows networks in the pre-Internet
days, and by and large they were trouble-free and painless to run. Mail
(locally) worked, shared resources worked, printers worked. No updates,
no patching, no external connections, no trouble. To be honest there
are days where I wish everything worked today as well as it did back
then. I've put a couple of Tim O'Reilly's kids through school with book
purchases. You never had to buy books to figure out how to get 20
workstations talking happily on Windows during the 80s.
To be honest, networked multi-platform printing on Unix still causes me
headaches, even with the out-of-print CUPS manual, meditation and Prozac.
Yes, Microsoft products are troublesome used in today's mixed protocol,
mixed platform world. Yes, standards-compliant products are easier to
work with and support. Microsoft products all carry the baggage of
youth in homogeneous Pleasantville.
> If going against the flow produces results that benefit everyone, I'm
> all for it. But breaking standards *and* performing undesirably,
> whatever the motive, is definitely what I consider "broken".
When Windows NetBIOS networking was designed, there was no overwhelming
"flow" to go against, and the TCP/IP standards that were out there were
perceived as way too complex for local area networks (and their admins).
Microsoft probably thought that adding DNS servers, bridging network
segment limitations, routing and dealing with email outside the local
area was too complex for the clickety-click Windows admin to handle. If
they thought this they are still right.
Hindsight is 20/20.
I've notice that I tend to get crusty and curmudgeonly about how bad
things are today, forgetting the context in which they originally
designed. Nobody worried about security. Nobody dealt with network to
network connection - the most we had to do was deal with a dialup UUCP
connection a few times a day.
Now I've got to go see my doctor. I've been trying to get people to
understand Microsoft today - I probably need help!
More information about the OCLUG