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Essential Guide to Computing: The Story of Information Technology, The by E. Garrison Walters

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Chapter 11. Network Fundamentals

Networks are extraordinarily difficult to describe. While a reasonable person would think of computer communications as an area in which logic and order would be of paramount importance, the reverse seems to be true. The chaos is in part due to the proprietary nature of the computer and telecommunications businesses, but there are also more benign explanations. The fact is that there are a great many possible methods of transmitting information electronically, and different organizations have used pretty much all of them to deal with varying problems. For example, the most efficient software/hardware mechanism for getting data from A to B on a copper wire isn't the best means for getting there over fiber optic ...

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