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Media-One Express, IP Masquerading

Jerry Feldman wrote:
>On 10 Feb 98 at 15:15, Sheldon Dubrowin wrote:
>> It is important to read the MediaOne contract carefully.  I don't have
>> MediaOne Internet service because the contract states that you can only
>> hook up one machine.  My understanding is that if you IP Masquarade you are
>> not within the terms of the contract.  Furthermore, if you tell the
>> MediaOne people that A) you have a network or B) you are running Linux, I
>> was told they won't even come to your house to setup the service.  I also
>> understand that for the MediaOne people to setup the service you have to
>> have Win95 (or maybe a Mac?).  So I would read the papers they have
>> carefully to make sure that you don't get yourself into any trouble.
>Not only have I read the contract, I checked with them.
>There are a large number of users in this area with Mediaone who
>have internal networks.  I have been a Mediaone subscriber since
>November, 1996.  I had a network in place when I installed M1X.
>The M1X (then Highway1) people did not disconect my LAN.  If one
>follows the M1X news groups, not only is the LANS and Linux news
>groups very busy, Mediaone employees also post to those news groups.

Yup.  The general m1x approach seems to be, "If you mind your
manners we'll be flexible and reasonable; screw up badly and
you're gone, immediately and permanently."  The definition of
minding your manners is a bit vague but so far the m1x staffers
have been VERY decent, cooperative and proactive.  Examples of
well-defined transgressions include being caught attempting to
compromise security, or running a DHCP server.  That latter offense
is death, even if it was only an accident, since m1x relies upon
DHCP to dole out IP addrs; m1X has enough trouble keeping DNS
and IP mapping working without some yo-yo gumming up the works.

That's partially why they'll only set you up if your machine is
running Windows, MacOS or NT Workstation - they won't install
on NT Server simply because of the risk that a DHCP server might
accidentally be started (supposedly the default with NT Server,
tho I don't know).  And of course Linux is too wild and wooly to
even consider supporting.  Such restrictions also reduce the amount
of OS familiarity required of their installers.  The installers who
activated my service knew what I had in mind, but they're obliged
to go by the book, and had to insist on one of the sanctioned OS's.
As soon as they left my place I gave the Windows machine back to
the person I'd borrowed it from for the occasion and just moved
the EtherNet card over to my Linux box.  A few tweaks, I atarted
up the DHCP client and (luckily?) my Linux box "just works".

Other definitions of "minding your manners" are less well defined,
like "using too much bandwidth" - I've seen several explicit requests
in the express.* newsgroups for an actual bandwidth number that's
"too much" but so far (and IMO quite reasonably) the m1x staffers
have said (essentially) "be careful what you wish for; we're right
in there with you, learning how to manage this new facility, so if
you force us to say an actual number we might not say the number you
were hoping for; you just be cool and we'll will too."  In other
words, the situation is kinda like Everybody Play Nice, OK?  and all
it'd take is one a**hole to ruin it for everybody.  But it sure is
nice, right now, while everybody's Playing Nice!  (And there's always
the [inevitable?] risk that m1x will be victims of their own success:
more customers == less available bandwidth...)

>The few times I have had cable modem problems, the M1X people always
>ask if I have a LAN because if the cable modem is on a segment with
>more than 1 system, when it renews the IP address, it can pick
>up the Mac address of the wrong NIC.  This has happened to me on
>occasion when my computer crashed or was down for a period of time.

Given my understanding of what I've read in the m1x newsgroups,
and reading between the lines of Jerry's message, I conclude that
his configuration employs a hub between the modem and the machine
containing the "official" Enet card.  While this can certainly be
made to work (and Jerry is likely adept) please be aware that his
hub-centric configuration is discouraged for just this reason.
I believe the "preferred" unofficial configuration simply employs
a gateway machine (one computer with two Enet adapters)  That way
the modem can never see any card but the "official" one and is thus
prevented from recognizing any other (wrong) adapters.

 Michael O'Donnell     mod at

P.S.  Somebody please tell me that these messages aren't archived
      someplace where a spam-bot can harvest my email address and
      then annoy me with junk mail...

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