Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fall and a Server

Today us in the National Capitol Region experienced the simple delight of cool, clean, crisp air in the morning. A forebearer of fall, the darktime cool will extend into the daytime hours. After plugging college applications for a good part of the afternoon, I decided to learn more about the heart of computer-to computer communication; ie, the basis of the internet.

A student whom some would attest is morally opposed to computers was plugging lines of code into Java for AP Comp Sci. It's easy to teach a young dog new tricks. On that basis, I quickly learned how the digital world works.

The internet is not exactly a bunch of tubes with trucks. It is, however, an efficient post office system of sorts. Your computer request information in a protocol manner and the server responds, possibly asking you for your credit card number. This back and forth happens frequently on your trip to the WWW. These days, the dialogue is continuous. The tube concept derives from this development. In more primitive days, the information would travel via regular phone lines (ohh- graphics were such a pain to load!) By the way, the computer would tie up the phone line while using the internet!

With the advent of DSL, this problem disappeared. I remember the surprise the first time a call came through while looking up info (that's all there was back then!) Back in the dial-up days, blogging might have been done on computer software, then with modem flipped on, the text would be transmitted to the server. Doing work online (ie writing blog posts) was, to my knowledge, not common. Back then we also relied on landline phones and couldn't tie them up for an hour.

Now who wants to be an internet historian?

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