Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.
—Andrew S. Tanenbaum
When a marketing type says “networking,” he probably means he wants to give you his business card. But when a programmer says it, he’s talking about electronic communication between physically separated machines—whether across the room, across the city, or across the world.
In the programmer’s world, networking usually implies TCP/IP, the native tongue in which millions of machines whisper back and forth across the Internet. I’ll say a few words about this before diving into some concrete examples.
Network communication is conceptualized at different levels (or layers) of abstraction. The lowest level ...