25/100 Computer Networks

photo by NEC corportation

Okay, after 23 years of living in the dark, I have now been enlightened. I came across this knowledge while studying for certifications. Something I never really took time to understand, until now. A new field in the era of modern human life. Something called the computer network.

What is a computer network? Besides human network, computer network is the communication of two or more computers to send electronic information. How the information is sent through multiple computers is where the magic lies.

Before when not many people had computers, networks were relatively small. Fast forward today, in order to manage all of the people trying to reach the “internet” or Jan’s printer or look something up on Google, many organizations took charge of who gets what address and name. These set of rules, called protocols, are unique at every layer of data encapsulation and decapsulation in the process of sending electronic information.

Remember that term binary? It’s either a 1 or a 0. It’s a language that computers can understand(certainly better than humans). How? Because 1 will mean that there is a signal and 0 means no signal. As the information as complex as a Youtube video or an email needs to be sent as signals of 0s and 1s, the computers go through many steps to first organize the information in the right sequential order and to be able to send it in the right direction.

But wait, there’s more!

Actually many layers more. There’s a physical part and the logical part. I mean, somebody has to do the heavy-lifting and somebody’s gotta do the thinking.

At the physical level, there is a NIC(Network Interface Controller), a router, and an ethernet cable. Routers are the traffic signals, and the cars contain information. The cable is a road.

The addresses that the computers can recognize has three forms: physical(MAC address), logical(IP address) and name-based(Domain Name system). Getting access to the address itself must follow many regulations and must be approved by essentially the government of naming.

Nobody likes rules, but everyone has to sacrifice a little bit in order to get things to work. Nobody likes tests, but people like me would never study as hard if it weren’t for these tests.

Now, I am going to read a little more on networks then get back to studying the “cloud.” I will take a bit longer to explain that concept.

I can now recognize why the website address is the way it is, and visualize inside my head when I press the “publish” button all the background work that occurs in order to send this information.

The more you know, the more you can visualize. The more you can create. The more questions you can ask. If the answer is unknown to any, you can even create!

Happy Thursday.



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