Possible to run custom DHCP and DNS with fall-back to Cable Modem?

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http://askubuntu.com – I am trying to accomplish a task that may, or may not, require a creative solution. Essentially, I want to run my own DHCPd and, more importantly, DNS for my home network. I want to run my own Name Server for the purpose of having *.local names assigned to our various computers and devices. I want to run my own DHCP Server so that any computers or devices that access our network will use my name server automatically. My cable modem does not offer this functionality and my "routers" are setup as "dumb" access points. For example, I don't expect my mother (no offense to moms) to remember an (HowTos)