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Qs from a newbie (help ASAP?) (long)

Hi.  Well here I am finally subscribed.  Actually I've been reading selected
bits of the list for a while (ooh I wanted to join in on the why Debian vs Redhat
thread...) because my BF is subscribed to this list and has been for a while
(Hi, Tom!)

The very short version of why I'm here is that I'm a hopeless apt-get addict
and could never go back to the hell that is RPM-searching (and not finding...)
ever again once I saw this thing.

I'm a relative linux newbie going to an artsy fartsy college where I am rapidly
realizing I am the most linux-savvy person on campus unless I am severely miscalculating
(my immediate boss in the computer lab sometimes doesn't seem WINDOWS-competant
but that's another story altogether).

Anyway, my Linux savvy (yeah right) has landed me as co-admin of a student-run
webserver. I'm the linux geek, she's the HTML guru.  Well, me being the newbie
that I am, I did mess some stuff up and I NEED YOU GUYS' HELP! No laughing.

Okay. Here's the deal. The poor machine was an ANCIENT P75 running (I didn't
do it!) RedHat  5.1.  They wanted a hardware upgrade, I wanted a system upgrade.
 When the hard drive failed, they REALLY wanted a hardware upgrade, and I REALLY
wanted to never see RedHat again.  So here we are. The new machine is a Xenon
somewhere in the neighborhood of 350MHZ (it doesn't matter with Linux so I've
forgotten already...) and 64 RAM. We're thinking of upping the RAM but not sure
we need to right now.We got this machine free from the nice lab boy so we're
not complaining as yet.  We popped in the RAM from the old machine as well as
a huge hard drive and I did the install okay. Only one small problem:

The domain is registered with internic and we have a static IP. Only, I, being
the doofus that I often am, said yes when Debian's nice little install asked
me if I wanted to use DHCP/BOOTP.  Why not?  It works. I wanted to FTP the backups
off my home machine anyway and just wanted to get us up and running ASAP.  We
got Apache up and running and everything (Unfortunately I can't get into the
box right now to let you know what version it is...but I would assume it is
the most recent in the "Potato" directories...I just want to get everything
running before I mess with Woody because I'm paranoid as all hell.)

Well of course now we can't get it to take the old static IP due to using DHCP
so for all intents and purposes even though the machine is running we won't
be accessable save by IP address. And that IP address is dynamic. So it's not
happy. Not at all. Yes, I know, but earlier in the mail you promised not to
laugh at me, so don't start now. ;)

So at some point after realizing our dilemma we found this web site which I've
been trying to search for for the past half hour and can't find it. In any case
it told us to edit a file which was to have our current IP address on the second
line and we could just change it and be done with it (I know I am being excessively
vague here but at this point I was otherwise occupied and a fellow geek was
handling this aspect of it). Well this file had everything on one line and changing
the IP (along with restarting inetd) did nothing.... We are quite at a loss.

So my question is, how do I set the static IP in such a way that it will actually
work? Permanently? ;)  A swift response would really be appreciated as I have
to go deal with more networking and web server people relatively early in the
afternoon. I'm sorry I rambled so much

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