SkilmNET was the network that I built to teach myself networking concepts, and to have fun with. Originally, it was built because I wanted to share my Internet connection between a few computers, but it grew (with my curiosity and ability) to incorporate several network services available on those computers.
None of what I did back then is necessary in these days of iPads, iPhones, ubiquitous wireless networking, Facebook, Flickr, Blogspot, and YouTube. You see kids, in the old days (2000-2003) we had to make our OWN "Cloud".
At its peak, SkilmNET was a hybrid of 2 10/100 ethernet networks with a set of 802.11b/g wireless access points (for fancy new Wi-Fi connectivity) and a separate wireless bridge connecting the 2 ethernet segments (I was too lazy to run cable).
A Linux computer named vesta (for the Roman goddess of hearth and home), split the incoming Internet connection between the machines using NAT and acted as a firewall. There were a few machines that were constantly connected to the network back then: my Pentium III 500MHz, Windows 98 PC (what had come to be the "family computer"), my PII 400MHz RedHat Linux 9.0 Server (named tux - after the Linux mascot), my 800 MHz PowerPC G4 iMac (named pomona - after the Roman goddess of apples), and my 2.4 GHz SuSE Linux 9.1 / Windows XP Pro HP Pavilion laptop. I also had a really cool Sparcstation 20 (named sparky), and a NeXt Workstation (named blackhole).