Linux Network Disappears

1. Local Network Over 200ft cable network disappearing

I created a local network between two machines that were connected via
a 200ft cable.

I used the following on the machines to set it up:

Machine 1:

/sbin/ifconfig eth0 192.168.1.1 netmask 255.255.255.0

Machine 2:

/sbin/ifconfig eth0 192.168.1.2 netmask 255.255.255.0

When I start a ping from machien 1 to machine 2 it works for a while
and then all of a sudden the host is no longer reachable

When I go over to machine 2 the ip address has been lost

Is this normal?  Should I have a background process which checks ifdown
and if the network is down it attempts to reestablish?

I am trying to get some useful network latency statistics out of this
whole exercise.

Thanks,

Ryan Burgess.

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