Technical description
Informations about C3's infrastructure and network


Generic informations about C3 Center for Culture and Communication

Technical infrastructure for in-house operations, projects

C3's in-house network
Internal servers
Hardware and software for the staff and the public
Hardware and software for projects, artists

Internet service provider infrastructure (servers, WAN and dial-up) 

Core network, external connections
Dial-up services
Public servers and services
ISP links


Generic informations about C3 Center for Culture and Communication


C3 Center for Culture and Communication - Soros Foundation
Országház u. 9.
H-1014 Budapest

Phone: +36 1 2146856 (3 lines), +36 1 4887070 (4 lines, ISDN)
Fax: +36 1 2146872


Staff members

The detailed program and mission statement can be found on the official C3 home page.
C3 is currently part of the Hungarian Soros Foundation. We were established in 1996 for a three year experimental period and going to be a standalone foundation from 1999 onwards.

Technical infrastructure for in house operations, projects

C3's in-house network

1. Structured, UTP Cat. 5 (100 Mbit/s capable) wiring for both data and phone system

The building had an old, many times upgraded electrical, phone and coaxial data cabling before we moved in (in 1996), so the decision was to replace everything with sophisticated current technology, since wiring is the core infrastructure for all in-house equipments.

The only solution for the requirements was a structured universal cabling system with central distribution (patch fields) and user connections everywhere. The installed system consists of UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) Category 5 (means cable can transfer data with a speed of max.100 Mbit/sec) cables and UTP double RJ45 (8 wire) connectors. Each wall connector is cabled to the computer room, where it ends on a patch panel in the main 19" rack. All central equipment (Ethernet switches, hubs, phone exchange) are connected there, so any connection can be made by plugging in a simple patch cable. There are 150 endpoints installed. We have audio+video conversion boxes for transferring stereo audio and composite video signals over a single UTP cable.

The UTP cabling was done by: Computronic

2. Active networking components

All computers within C3 are connected to a switched 10/100 Mbps Ethernet network. The network is based on the UTP wiring of the building, which is Category 5 certified. In the server room there are Cisco Ethernet switches and hubs to connect the various equipment: - Cisco Catalyst 2926T switch with 2+24 10/100 ports and VLANs

The main servers and routers are connected to this switch, some services (like the Freemail servers or the Encart workstations) are separated into isolated VLANs. The routers are connected to the ISL (Inter Switch Link protocol) capable trunk ports, which enable routing between the VLANs.

Cisco Catalyst 3000 (16x 10baseT + 1x 100baseT) and Cisco Catalyst 1924 switches (24x 10baseT + 2x 100baseT)

All power workstations, hubs and 10baseT networking devices (like the dial-up access servers) are connected to these switches.

16 and 24 port hubs

The lower performance workstations, office and public Internet PCs are connected via these hubs.

Core networking installed and supplied by: Computronic, LNX

3. Electrical system for the building with partial UPS protection

Together with the data cabling the full electrical cabling of the building was exchanged and reconstructed in 1996. The original distribution panels were reused, they are located on each floor at the entrance in closed cabinets. Each floor is protected from over-voltage, short-circuits and current-leakage. The Silicon Lab and the Computer Room are equipped with standalone APC Uninterruptible Power Supplies, which are good for safe shutdown of all equipments in case of longer power interruptions or other problems. The racks in the Computer Room have a separate UPSs for protecting the communication and server equipment.

Electrical cabling was done by: Jet-Vill Kft., UPS: Computronic

4. Air-conditioning

The lecture room, the computer room and the storage rooms are centrally air-conditioned (heating-cooling), which serves as ventillation as well, since these rooms have no windows at all. The system (old system with new air-distribution pipes) consists of an outdoor cooling unit mounted on the roof and an indoor ventillation and cooling unit is located on the third floor in a separate small room. This unit needs regular cleaning and control. The system can be controlled from the lecture room. The Silicon Lab and the public Internet Lab on the first floor are equipped with wall mounted cooling units, which have outdoor units on the roof, too. The Computer Room got an additional high capacity wall mounted unit as the heat generated by the built-in more and more equipment was increasing rapidly.
These are automatic units with no maintanence requirements.

Air-conditioning was installed by: Budatech Kft.

5. Security- and fire-alarm system

We have a security alarm system with full sabotage protection. The fire alarm system consists of smoke detectors in all rooms and the central control unit is installed in the Computer Room.

Installed by: security - TL Vagyonvédelem, fire alarm - Autrotrade

6. Phone system

Phone lines for voice, fax and dial-up communication

For dial-up we have 16 analog lines and 2x ISDN30 (=60 lines), for normal office use we have 2x ISDN2 (=4 lines), 3x analog lines and a dedicated fax line.

Company: Matáv

Phone system with 7 incoming lines and 16 extensions

We have a Panasonic KX-TD 816 digital, modular PBX which has 3 analog incoming lines, a 2x ISDN2 modules and max. 16 extensions with extra device ports. We have digital phones, but can use any phone, modem etc. in addition.

Company: Computronic


Internal servers

For the internal activities of the C3 staff (both office and project) and the invited guests we have a central file- and printserver: - Dual Pentium II PC - Windows NT server

This is the Pentium II based file and print server for office use and for PC, Mac workstations. It has currently 6 GB + 54 GB of RAID5 disk space with additional external disks and a CD-ROM drive. The stored files cannot be accessed from the Internet, which means absolute protection for internal documents, softwares.

Hardware: 2xPentium II CPU, 128 Mb RAM, 60 GB HDD, CD-ROM

Software: Microsoft Windows NT Server

Additional servers which have dual roles, they serve both the internal and the external (ISP) users: - Silicon Graphics Origin 200 with 45GB RAID5 storage

This is the main Unix server, it has all user homes with mailboxes and C3's website. Most web projects and some virtual servers are running on it as well. This is the main DNS server as well.

Hardware: dual R10000-180 CPUs, 256 Mb RAM, 9 HDD, 45 GB CMD RAID5 array

Software: SGI Irix 6.5 - Dual PentiumPro server running Windows NT with 24GB RAID5 storage

This is a mutlifunction server: ftp, radius, SQL, DNS, network management, web, email, Realserver.

Hardware: dual Pentium Pro 200 CPUs, 256 Mb RAM, 2x4 + 24 GB HDD, CD, 6x4GB DDS-2 DAT changer

Software: Microsoft Windows NT Server, Cheyenne ArcServe tape backup - Dual Celeron server running FreeBSD with 160GB storage

This is (public ftp server with mirrors) and RealNetworks G2 audio-video streaming server with huge storage space thanks to cheap 8x20GB IDE drives.

Hardware: dual Celeron 466 CPUs, 128 Mb RAM, 8x20 GB HDD

Software: FreeBSD 4.0, Realnetworks G2 server - Silicon Graphics Challenge S server

Squid proxy/cache, secondary DNS, ftp services. - Pentium 166 based server running FreeBSD

Application server running projects and external sites. - Pentium 166 based server running FreeBSD

Application server running projects and external sites.
It hosts the Internet Lab user database as well.

Hardware and software for the staff and the public

4x PCs for office users

These are generic PCs for the program and administrative tasks.

Hardware: Intel Celeron, 128MB, 4GB, Ethernet, 17" display

Software: Windows NT Workstation, Microsoft Office 97

6x Notebooks for the program and project staff

3x Gericom 7200 

(Pentium 233, 13.3" display, 64MB, 2GB, CD, Ethernet, modem)

2x IBM Thinkpad 600E 

(Pentium II 3XX, 13.3" display, 128MB, 6GB, DVD, Ethernet, modem)

1x HP Omnibook 3000 

(Pentium 233, 13.3" display, 32MB, 4GB, CD, Ethernet, modem)

5x PC for the Auditorium (presentations, training)

These are generic PCs for presentation, lectures and training.

Hardware: Intel Pentium II, 128MB, 4GB, Ethernet, 15" LCD display

Software: Windows NT Workstation, IExplorer & Netscape, tools

5x PC for the Internet Lab

These are public access PCs.

Hardware: Intel Pentium II, 128MB, 3GB, Ethernet, 15" LCD display

Software: Windows NT Workstation, Internet Explorer

Printers - Printer-copier-fax for the office sorter, feeder, duplex unit - HP Laserjet 4M laser printer (600dpi) - Tektronix 560 color laser printer (1200dpi)

(all printers are accessible over the network and understand the Postscript language)

Hardware and software for projects, artists - Silicon Graphics Onyx Infinity Reality graphics computer

This is a high performance graphics workstation, it has built in Infinity Reality graphics and Sirius video digitizing and output option, 21" screen. 

Hardware: single R10000 CPU, 128 MB RAM, 6 GB HDD, Infinity Reality graphics with 1xRM6-64, 21" display, Sirius video option


Alias|Wavefront: Maya Unlimited 2.0 (Maya Fur, Maya Cloth, Maya Live), Maya Composer 5.5, Studiopaint 9.0

CosmoCode, CosmoWorlds, CosmoPlayer, Developer Magic, Inventor development toolkit - Silicon Grahics O2 workstation running Jaleo video editing software

Hardware: R5000 CPU, 128 MB RAM, 2x9+4x9 GB HDD, 20" display, video in-out option, external SDI (D1) interface

Software: Jaleo video editing, compositing software - Dual Pentium II computer running Windows NT

This is a high-performance graphics workstation for the project staff.

Hardware: dual Pentium II 400 CPU, 384 MB RAM, 4+10 GB HDD, Diamond TNT2/32 graphics card, 21" display

Software: Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Adobe Photoshop, Alias|Wavefront: Maya, various tools - Dual Pentium II computer running Windows NT

This machine is a special purpose workstation: we use it for live Realvideo or Netshow encoding and for MPEG1 or 2 decoding.

Hardware: dual Pentium II 266 CPU, 64 MB RAM, 12 GB HDD, Optibase Videoplex MPEG1 and 2 decoder card with composite and s-video out, Osprey 100 video encoder card

Software: Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0, RealEncoder, Optibase Commotion MPEG streaming software - Pentium Pro workstation for residents, artists

Hardware: Pentium Pro 200 CPU, 64 MB RAM, 3 GB HDD, Iomega Jaz and Zip drives, HP Scanjet 4c color flatbed scanner

Software: Microsoft Windows 98, Agfa Fotolook, Adobe Photoshop etc., - 2x Silicon Graphics Indy Studio computers

These are general purpose graphics workstations.

Hardware: R5000Sc 150 Mhz CPU, 64 MB RAM, 4 GB HDD, 24 bit graphics on 17" Trinitron display

Software: Alias|Wavefront, Adobe and SGI - Apple Macintosh 9600 computer

Hardware: Apple Powermac 9600 (64/4GB/CD) with 20" display, Digidesign sound/midi card

Software: Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Director 7, other tools - Apple Macintosh 7200 computer

Hardware: Apple Powermac 7200 (24/1GB/CD) with 17" display

Software: Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Director 7, other tools - video editing workstation with Matrox Digisuite LE

Hardware: dual Pentium II 400 CPU, 256 MB RAM, 4+2x18 GB HDD, Matrox Digisuite LE card with SDI and DV options, 21" display

Software: Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Matrox Digitools, Adobe Premiere, SpeedRazor,,,,,,, - various project and project staff PCs

These are generic PCs for generic development purposes.

Hardware: Pentium II 233-400 CPU, 64-128 MB RAM, 3 - 9 GB HDD, CD, 17" display

Software: Microsoft Windows 98 or Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Macromedia DreamWeaver 2, Macromedia Flash 4, Macromedia Director 7, Adobe Photoshop 4.0, QuarkXPress 4 and others

10x Silicon Graphics Indy computers (terminals)

These were the Internet terminals for public use, they were replaced by faster PCs. Now we use them for various projects.

Hardware: R4600PC 133Mhz CPU, 32Mb RAM, 540 Mb HDD, 8 bit graphics on 15" display

Software: IRIX 5.3, Netscape Navigator


Scanners: Agfa Duoscan, HP Scanjet 4c

Removable drives: Iomega Jaz, Zip, Syquest 200, DVD-RAM, DAT, DLT

Video: Optibase MPEG1 HW en- and decoder (Moviemaker, Videoplex)

Video mixing: Play Trinity video studio in a box system

Video and Audio equipment

Sony UW-1800 Beta recorder
Panasonic S-VHS recorder
Sony DHR1000VC DV recorder
Panasonic multi-format VHS recorder
various VHS players

Sony DCR VX 9000E DV camcorder
Sony DCR-PC10 mini DV camcorder
Panasonic AG-DP200 SVHS camcorder
Sony CCD-TR705E - Hi8 camcorder
2x Sony Video8 camcorders for projects

CD player
Dual casette player
Portable minidisc recorder
8 channel audio mixer
JBL mixer + 4 high-power speakers
Shure microphones

Video+audio matrix - Network V1616


Olympus C-1400XL digital camera

Software desciptions

Alias | Wavefront software:

Maya 2.0 Unlimited: Maya Unlimited includes the award winning animation, rendering and modeling functionality of Maya, plus: Maya Artisan, the revolutionary new modeling tool based on a paintbrush metaphor.

Maya F/X, industry leading Dynamation™ particles system for stunning atmospheric, explosive, liquid and pyrotechnic effects

MayaLive to extract camera movement for seamless bluescreen compositing.

Maya Cloth, the revolutionary cloth animation solution.

Maya Fur, to create realistic fur and short hair on multi-surface NURBS models with multiple, associated, fur types.

Maya PowerModeler: Ultimate control for building sophisticated models.

Maya Composer: Color quantizing and video compositing (Color Quantizer, Layering and Keying, Transitions, Inpur/Output, Audio support

StudioPaint: 3D paint system for texture generation (2D paint, NURBS and Polygon 3D Painting, Multisurface multi-texture painting, Texture generation, Shelf and Marking menu UI)

SGI software:

IRIX 5.3 & 6.1 & 6.5, Indigo Magic Desktop environment, C++, RapidApp Aplication Development Environment, WebMagic Pro HTML editor, Webspace Author VRML Editor, InPerson videoconferencing, NFS

Other software:

Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe Illustrator, Premier, After Effects, Acrobat 
Macromedia: Freehand, Director, Flash 4.0, Dreamweaver 2.0
in-sync Speed Razor 4.7
Microsoft Office

Internet service provider infrastructure (servers, WAN and dial-up) 

C3 is a non-profit Internet service provider with it's own IP network. We are members of RIPE and ISZT (the European and Hungarian ISP associations). Our network is AS6668, we are using the address range of All network related issues are handled by

Core network, external connections

1. International connections

Taide VSAT - main Internet backbone connection

Our main Internet link is a 1536/768 Kbps (asymetric download/upload) VSAT satellite link, which delivers Internet content from Nittedal and Stockholm through the Taide backbone and connects us to the rest of the world. The 2.4 m diameter dish is installed on the roof, it is automatically de-iced in winter.

Backup connections

We have a backup Internet link to Matávnet, the ISP company of Matáv.

ENCART - ATM/MBS connections

We are part of the ENCART network, which connects european media centers via dedicated high-bandwidth point-to-point links established on demand. The ATM connections are based on the MBS (Managed Bandwidth Services) of the TEN-155 network. We use 2x 2Mbps CBR ATM PVCs for various projects.

2. Local connections

BIX - Budapest Internet Exchange connection

We have direct peering connections with all hungarian ISPs who connect to the Budapest Internet Exchange. We have extended the BIX Ethernet segment to our location via a 10Mbps ATM PVC and use a bridging setup within our Cisco 7204 ATM router. BGP4 is used for the peering.

BIX backup + Computronic connection

We have a 512Kbps backup connection which is routed via Computronic, the company managing the network, on an alternate telecommunication path. These creates a fault tolerant setup.

Freemail direct link to Matávnet

Our Freemail service was acquired by Matávnet and because of this the Internet connectivity for the Freemail servers is provided via a 2Mbps ATM PVC from Matávnet. We use a redundant policy-routing setup here, which means our BIX and international connections provide backup for the freemail service.

Backup for Hungarnet

We provide limited backup connectivity for the Hungarian Academic Network. The backup connectivity is provided via a dedicated 2 Mbps HDSL connection, which bypasses all major telecom routes.

3. Our leased-line users

40 city libraries

We provide full Internet connectivity for 40 city libraries across Hungary (following our previous project where we connected 40 secondary schools). All libraries are connected via 64Kbps manaed links and Cisco routers.

Central European University and Open Society Institute

We provide the main Internet connection of the Central European University, the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Archives. The connection is a 768Kbps managed link provided by Matáv.

Various NGOs, schools, partners - detailed list with links

4. Core network elements

Cisco 7507 core router

This router is terminating the Taide VSAT link, the backup links and all leased lines via 8 Serial ports and 2 channelized E1 interfaces. The router connects to the backbone network via a VLAN enabled Fast Ethernet connection. The router holds the full Internet routing table.

Cisco 7204 ATM router

Our ATM links are terminated in this router: the BIX connection, the Encart PVCs and the experimental ADSL links. We have a Cisco PA-A3 enhanced ATM port adapter in the router, which connects via a VLAN enabled Fast Ethernet connection to the Ethernet backbone. The ATM links are provided by Matáv.

Cisco 2501 backup BIX router

This router is hanging off the BIX EThernet segment at the Matáv BIX node and terminates the 512Kbps backup line.

Cisco Cache Engine

The cache engine is a transparent caching solution, which delivers frequently accessed from its 24GB disk storage instead of accessing the same document several times from the far-away servers. We can reach 20-22% bandwidth saving this way. The users do not have to set anything in their browsers, everything is handled transparently via the WCCP (web cache control protocol) between the Cache Engine and the core router.

Akamai FreeFlow servers

We host an Akamai content distribution server farm at C3, which means we can speed up the download of huge websites, like CNN, Apple, Discovery Channel, NetAid, The New York Times etc. to our users.

Dial-up services

C3 provides unrestricted dial-up Internet access to NGOs, schools, partners and restricted dial-up access to the Freemail users. All dial-up users are authenticated via Radius and we collect detailed accounting data as well.

1. Cisco AS5200 with 2x ISDN30 lines and 60 V.90 modems

This access server provides digital ISDN and maximum 56Kbps modem based dial-up connections for 60 simultanous users. The built-in modems are compatible with any client-side modem and they can handle the most advanced V.90 modulations. ISDN connections can do multilink-PPP with 128Kbps bandwidth. 

We use the modem pooling services of Cisco IOS to balance the usage between normal, Freemail and staff users.

2. Cisco 2511 with 16 PSTN lines 

The old analog service is still working with 16 phone lines and 16 US Robotics Courier 28.8Kbps modems. These work with any phone line or modem and deliver stable performance with noisy or multiplexed circuits as well.

Public servers and services

C3 has several public services for the generic Internet user: 

This C3's main website with thousends of pages including all our user's homepages. There are categories, like events, collection, grants or specific subsites: SCCA, VRML, Demedusator, Scripta etc.

This is a full-text search system indexing all web content within the domain. It has normal and advanced search capabilities and has a huge index with daily updates.

This is a public ftp service for everyone. We host several large mirror sites, like,, Microsoft Windows NT service packs, GNU softwares, Linux, FreeBSD and SGI Irix files.

This is a public news server for the .hu domain with most Usenet groups, but excluding alt.binaries.

This is the first hungarian free email service with a lot of features (like WWW, POP3 and dial-up based access, forwarding, attachments etc.), it was recently acquired by Matávnet, but it is still operated and developed by C3.

This pages are dedicated to video and audio broadcast experiments, like live and recorded Realvideo, multicasting etc.

Akamai Freeflow

We host an Akamai content distribution server farm at C3, which means we can speed up the download of huge websites, like CNN, Apple, Discovery Channel, NetAid, The New York Times etc. The multimedia content of these sites is directly delivered from C3 to all hungarian Internet users via Akamai's special Freeflow service. 

ISP links

Here we collected a few links for ISPs:

BIX - Budapest Internet Exchange (list of connected ISPs, their networks, traffic statistics, contact addresses) - Home of ISZT, the Hungarian ISP Association and all .hu resources. - Looking glass server, perfect for looking at the Internet routing tables at various US exchange points

Dante looking glass - a looking glass service within TEN-155, the European Academic Network

Traceroute from Elender - a traceroute server at a Hungarian ISP

HBONE - the Hungarian Academic Network

Our supportersSoros Alapítvány  

 Last updated: December 31, 1999 by András Tüdős, C3 technical director