INTRODUCTION OF NETWORKING One problem that I see with people today is that they are unaware what a computer network is. They might have heard of a computer network, but they are clueless as to how it works or why it works. People have basic questions that need to be answered. My goal is to give basic network information that will hopefully answer those questions. To give people an understanding about computer networks there are several areas that I must focus on.
I will give definitions of some network jargon. Many people may have heard or seen these words, but never knew what they meant. Another part that is important is the history of networking. By giving a brief history of networking, this will give the reader a good foundation to start on. They need to know how networking came around and why it is such a big part of our lives today.
Also, I will explain why it is important to understand networking. I will then explain what a network is made up. There is a lot of confusing hardware in a network, but it is relatively simple. Finally, I will tie everything together and explain how the network works. NETWORKING – WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Before I go into detail about networking and all the hardware that networks are made up, I must define a few terms. I want people to know what a word means when they see it.
Here are a few terms that I will have in my report as well as several other important ones. You can find these terms in the glossary of this report. THE HISTORY OF NETWORKS The next thing that I am going to talk about is the history of networking. I am going to tell how networking came about and who was the first to experiment with it. I will also show some statistics about the Internet and it’s growth. In the 1950s, there was no interaction between the users and their programs while they were running on the computers. No direct communications were involved. Jobs were brought to the machine to be run in a batch.
THE BEGINNING In the 1960s, time-sharing brought about the first interactive access to computers. This was a mix of data transmission technology and a teletypewriter. The result was an interactive terminal. These terminals were connected to a server with low-speed lines, allowing the users to interact with the computer and take advantage of its resources. Time-sharing gave multiple users the ability to use the computer at the same time, for completely separate tasks, and provided them with interactive feedback about what their programs were doing.
Demand for the services of these large computers increased which meant upgrades had to be made frequently to keep the processing power ahead of the user need. These systems, called Mainframes, had been designed to provide computing power, but did not have the flexibility to satisfy the growing set of applications. MILITARY ACTION Also, in the 1960’s the military used networks to communicate to one another. It worked like the time-sharing network. They needed this network to communicate between cities, bases, and states. There was also a concern about a nuclear war.
If there was a nuclear war how would people communicate? There needed to be a network that would be able to work after a nuclear strike. They came up with a hot potato network. Basically the information would be tossed like a hot potato from user to user until it reached its destination. The actual route it took was not important. This meant that if big parts of the network were destroyed the message would try another route.
As you can probable see this was not as efficient compared to the traditional telephone system. THE ALTAIR During the 1970’s and 1980’s, networking was continuously being upgraded. Businesses, schools, and the government needed faster networking capabilities to handle all the people that were using the basic time-sharing network. In 1975, the first personal computer was marketed in kit form. This computer was called the Altair.
The Altair features 256 bytes of memory. Bill Gates, with others, wrote a BASIC program for the machine so it could perform small tasks. The next year Apple began to market its PC’s, also in kit form. It included a monitor and keyboard. In 1976, Queen Elizabeth went on-line with the first royal email message. PUBLICITY During the next few years the personal computer gained the interests of many people. Microsoft, Apple, and many smaller PC related company’s formed.
By 1977 stores begin to sell PC’s. Continuing today, companies strive to reduce the size and price of PC’s while increasing capacity. IBM introduced its PC in 1981(it’s actually IBM’s second attempt, the first failed miserably). THE INTERNET The Internet as we know today as the Information Superhighway was introduced in 1989. It was formed through a long chain of networks.
It was a lot smaller back then. There was only a handful of people that had a computer, and some of these people were not familiar with a modem. In 1989 the Internet had about 3900 domains and 130,000 hosts. Today there are over 3 million domains and 36 million hosts. In reality the Internet formed through the formation of the ARPANET. The ARPANET was the first stage of networking, and the second stage was BITNET. These two early networks were the start of the Internet.
It can be said that the Internet is the third step of the network process. BIGGER AND BETTER You can see that ever since networking was first introduced people have been constantly trying to improve it and make it faster. This is going to continue for thousands of years. It is important to understand that networking plays an important part in your life. Networking does a lot of your banking. An ATM machine is connected to network. When you insert your ATM card or credit card to withdraw money, the ATM is checking to see if you have enough funds available.
It does this by sending information to your credit card bank or your local bank. It then confirms that there is money in your account and out comes your money. What people might not understand is that when they get a loan it is done by a computer network. Cash is not sent to the person in which you bought the product, the banks basically connect to one another and your lender sends them the money in the form of electronic cash. HARDWARE IN A NETWORK A network is made up of several pieces of hardware.
Each piece of hardware plays an important role in the network. There are 5 basic pieces of hardware that are in a LAN and WAN. Both LAN’s and WAN’s have network cards, hubs, cable, and a server. A WAN has one more thing than a LAN. This is a router. In the next section of my report I will explain how all this hardware works.
In order to explain how everything works, people must know what I am talking about. Here are pictures of the pieces of hardware that I will be talking about. NETWORK CARD (NIC) The network card is installed on a computer that wishes to be connected to a LAN or a WAN. After it is connected it allows a connection to a hub and then data can be shared amongst several computers. HUBS Hubs work directly with a network card.
If a computer has a network card plugged into it, then cable can be ran from the hub to the card. This will make the sharing of data between two or more computers possible. This hub has 8 ports on it. That means that it is possible to connect up to 8 computers together. Hubs come in different sizes. You can find 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, and 25 port hubs.
There are larger ones, but they would be used for big businesses with many computers connected to the network. ROUTERS The router enables several hubs to be connect …