Preparing the Network Card and Terminal Server Client

So far in this series, I’ve explained how the Windows 2000 terminal services work, and I’ve explained how to configure your server to use them. Now, it’s time to begin configuring your terminal server client to remotely access the server.

Types of Clients

A wide variety of clients is available for the Windows 2000 terminal services. For example, you can install a terminal server client on a machine that’s running Windows 98. If you lack the ability to connect directly to the machine that’s running the terminal services, you can even use a Web-based terminal server client. Regardless of which type of client that you plan to use, one thing holds true: A usable TCP/IP route must exist between the terminal client and the terminal server.

Because EarthWeb is focusing on wireless and mobile communications this month, I decided to use a Windows CE device to connect to the terminal server via a wireless link. As you probably already know, Windows CE is a compact version of Windows that’s designed to operate on personal digital assistants (PDAs). (Microsoft has now given Windows CE a new name: Pocket PC.) The fact that the terminal server client can be run on such a small device can be very handy for network administrators. For example, I have 13 servers running in my basement. However, I keep a Windows CE device with a wireless network link upstairs. That way, if I decide that I need to look at something on a server, I don’t have to go downstairs to do itI can check any of my servers from the comfort of my living room. Of course, the same concept applies to offices, too. How many times have you been at a user’s desk trying to repair a PC, when someone calls and tells you to check something on a server at the other end of the building? Many times, in such a situation, I’d walk to the other end of the building, make a minor adjustment to the server, and then be stopped by a dozen people on the way back. It’s a big time-saver to be able to simply pull a compact wireless device from your pocket and check the server then and there.

Setting Up the Client

So, how do you make this marvel work? Before I explain the process, I should point out that not just any Windows CE device will work. You must use a device with a built-in keyboard. For my personal network, I use an HP Jornada 680, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1
Figure 1: The HP Jornada 680 looks like a miniature computer.

As you might have guessed, Windows CE is incapable of remotely administering a server without some tweaking. Therefore, the first thing you must do is link your handheld PC to a regular PC via a serial cable and the software that comes with the handheld PC. By doing so, you enable the ability to move files between your PC and the Windows CE device.

Next, you must create a TCP/IP-based link to your network. Fortunately, the HP Jornada 680 has Ethernet support built in. If you’re using a different brand of handheld PC, you may have to download and install network support before continuing.

Installing Network Card Drivers

Unfortunately, the network support built in to the Jornada 680 is limited to a few select PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) network cards. Therefore, you’ll have to install drivers for your wireless network card. I recommend using the 3Com Air Connect network cards. These cards fit into a standard PCMCIA socket and provide a wireless 11 Mbps connection to your network. More importantly, unlike many other brands, these cards include Windows CE drivers on the CD that comes with the card. You can see an example of the card in Figure 2. In the figure, the black portion of the card is the card’s antenna.

Figure 2
Figure 2: The 3Com Air Connect network card provides a Windows CE-compatible 11 Mbps wireless network link.

To install the network card’s drivers, connect your handheld PC to your desktop PC and insert the CD that came with the network card into your CD-ROM drive. When the CD initializes, you’ll see a menu containing several options. One of those options pertains to installing Windows CE drivers. When you select this option, the Setup program will install several files to your hard drive before using the existing serial communications link to copy the files to the handheld PC. This process can take some time to complete because serial links are so slow. It’s important to point out that for this process to work correctly, the network card shouldn’t be in the handheld PC yet, and the communications link between the two devices must be active before you insert the CD.

Once you’ve installed the network card’s drivers, you’ll be prompted for the Wireless LAN Service area. This setting is a number that you would have configured your wireless hub and all wireless network cards to share. The default setting is 101.

Downloading the Terminal Server Client

While your handheld PC is still connected to your desktop PC, you must download and install the terminal server client. You can download the client at the following URL:

Simply download the terminal server client to your desktop PC. Once the download is complete, use your desktop PC to run the file you’ve just downloaded. When you do, the Setup program will install the terminal server client onto your handheld PC.



Now that the necessary components are in place, it’s time to begin configuring them. I’ll explain the configuration process in Part 4 (
Configuring the Terminal Server Client
). //

Brien M. Posey is an MCSE who works as a freelance writer. His past experience includes working as the director of information systems for a national chain of health care facilities and as a network engineer for the Department of Defense. Because of the extremely high volume of e-mail that Brien receives, it’s impossible for him to respond to every message, although he does read them all.

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