try this, this should give you just about everything:
sudo nmap -T Aggressive -O -v 192.168.1.*
this will give some info to the os if available, it picks up a bunch of stuff, the "*" glob at the end will try anything available whithin 192.168.2.1-255; i think its 255 For the os detection you have to run nmap with root privs... like mentioned above zennmap may be easier to use. Otherwise nmap has a long but nice man page. From what you described, nmap is exactly what you are looking for, you can even set up little script run from cron to check every so often, this could be put in a log file, this in turn could also be turned over to a series of tests(some regex per chance?)... happy computing
Last edited by hovzio; August 13th, 2009 at 07:09 PM.
Desktop; Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200@ 2.33GHz, 4 gb RAM, Geforce 9800GT and an Asus eeepc1000h