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I work in the IT Dept for a large car dealership in Australia with many branches. One of the branches has decided they want an ADSL line installed so that customers can surf the net while their cars are being serviced. I don't mind the idea but I want to be able to monitor the traffic and filter what people are accessing. From what I have seen, a PC with some sort of monitoring software acting as a gateway would be the way to go rather than forking out for commercial gateway hardware
There are a few requirements that I need:
1. I can't see the need for people having to acknowledge they want internet access as we won't be charging for it (Like a hotel getting people to say 'yes' before accessing internet from their rooms). Does anyone disagree with this and would you recommend?
2. I am a Windows Administrator but I don't like the idea of using a Windows box as a gateway (I have dealt with too many malware infested PC's in the past, just imagining hordes of random people plugging their laptops into a common Windows PC is enough to freak me out!) I am currently playing around with Ubuntu and Fedora in my own time, is there an easy way of setting up a gateway using either of these distributions (preferably Ubuntu)?
3. They are looking at adding wireless access for the customers (instead of plugging in to the wall jacks they have already installed). Is there a solution that can handle stuff like stopping after hours access on the access point (stopping people from hanging around outside leeching net time)
4. I would also like to setup a banned list of words, websites and ports so people are only able to go to 'appropriate' websites and get their email.
5. Being able to dial in and monitor off site plus make changes to the settings would be great as well.
What problems have you come across doing this? Do you recommend a software solution (using a PC as a gateway) or is it not worth it and I should recommend a commercial gateway instead?
Thanks for your help"
March) that university Computer Science is finished; is their attitude more than
good old job protection, and a refusal to see how their subject fits into the modern world?
But while Neil McBride's piece on "Why Computer Science is dying" was
stimulating, it was also utterly wrong, both as to facts and its
unsupported claims. Contrary to the impression McBride gave, there are
today more computer science students in the UK than in all of the more
traditional sciences — physics, chemistry, biology — put together. Even so, few
would argue that basic physical science is dying, or losing out to
industrial research, just because it is sometimes hard to recruit
undergraduates from our current school system. Likewise in our field.
McBride's complaints may best be seen as a description of what has
happened in universities which do not do computer science research, but
his disbelief that Microsoft hires computer science PhDs suggests he
himself knows little of that world, and Bill Gates explicitly asserted that he wanted
more of them in an article last month (Toronto Globe and Mail, February 8).
There is another oddity in McBride's piece
when he rubbishes the products of computer science departments but tells
us, with apparent approbation, that Indian universities produce "100,000
skilled English-speaking" graduates every year, having taken over "the
very paradigms and skills that are dear to British computer scientists".
Surely, if the Indians are right to pursue this then so must we.
There is no difficulty in revealing the basic facts about all this. The
website of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
carries a copy of its International Review of UK Computer Science. And
this found that the standard of research in universities was excellent;
the creators of web search engines like Google, for example, continue to
emerge from university departments while in the UK, important work that
made the likes of Skype and MSN Messenger possible, was done in our
universities. All market surveys show huge and continuing demand for
well-trained computer science graduates on either side of the Atlantic,
a demand that is indeed now being met by India, partly because of the
growth of pessimistic beliefs like McBride's in this country.
But his article does touch on real issues, well-known and much debated
in the field. There is the gap between the computer science core, taught
in good departments, and which is much in demand in industry, and the
much softer IT/ICT disciplines, which involve some business training,
and much use of commercial packages but little rigorous programming.
E-skills degrees of this sort are now being offered in many places, and
one must wish them well. But it is not yet clear what the future of
their graduates will be, because they are neither one thing nor the
other, and recruiters know this. Nevertheless — and here is the crux of
our argument — promotion of these new degrees does not require or
support an attack on computer science itself in the way McBride has
On the other hand, he is right that computer science must reach out much
more to other disciplines, from psychology, philosophy, sociology and
linguistics to medicine, biotechnology, nanotechnology and beyond,
because the computational metaphor is now at the intellectual core of
most disciplines. Far from being dead, computing is now effectively the
new "Queen of the Sciences". How odd it is that most houses and offices
now have a thing still called a "computer", but barely one in a hundred
is ever used to program. And soon this will change and most people will
deal only with "black box" devices that contain great computing power to
enable them to play games, access the web, drive cars, see films and
fill fridges, and it will not occur to anyone to call them computers.
Yet behind these devices there will still be armies of trained
programmers from good university computer science departments, based
either here in the UK or abroad. That last choice is still ours to some
extent, but there is no way out of this shortage of expertise in this country by
declaring, as McBride does, that a crucial university subject is
finished because he cannot or will not teach or research its core
[Over 60 UK Professors of Computer Science agreed to sign this article —
the list is at http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~yorick/THES/thes.html%