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  1. #1
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    www for almost dummies...

    Yesterday, I found myself talking to my father about his plans to move to Vermont in a year or so. One of the issues brought up with this was keeping some sort of broadband service should we actually go through with this. He said, at worst, we'd have a satellite connection, to which I replied the obvious caveats of expense and lack of half-decent up-speed...

    ...anyway, I don't quite remember how, but somehow, we eventually worked our way into talking about how, by his account, he knew of a company in the early 90s which would actually "hardwire" your network to the Internet, though he didn't quite understand how this worked. I went on to explain what they offered was probably a backbone connection, and then went on to touch on everything WAN IPs to the phone network as he nodded politely.

    "I still don't get it."

    Well, now, does anyone have an easy way I could explain this to a balding man in his late forties with an intermediate knowladge of computers in general and the world wide web? None of my explanations seem to have gottne through to him, and I'm at a loss to make it any clearer... what's worse is by now, he probably doesn't care
    \"We have electric cars, electric coffee grinders, and electric blankets, so I\'m gonna invent an electric chair.\" - Me ~ \"We newbies don\'t get all the jokes, but we luagh at every one of them\" - Unknown

  2. #2
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    Use metaphors/analogies. Try using references to something he is totally familiar with. If he's into medicine, use a nervous system analogy. If he's into cars, use a highway metaphor. you know?
    America - Land of the free, home of the brave.

  3. #3
    Old-Fogey:Addicts founder Terr's Avatar
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    Maybe draw analogies between the highway system. The backbone would be like having a multilane highway. A router would be a cloverleaf. networks would be at exit ramps. Maybe a satellite connection would be like a vehicular ferryboat. A modem would be a fair-length gravel driveway, broadband would be a paved and closer to the highway...

    Make sure he understands that all the information that is sent is in discrete chunks... Maybe another real-world metaphor would be the postal system! When you communicate over the internet, it's like a chess-by-mail game.
    [HvC]Terr: L33T Technical Proficiency

  4. #4
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    From Terr one of the nicest analogies I have read on packet switching that might be of help if you want to go into that is postal services, I got it form teach yourself networking in 24 hours by sams, good book for the basic flavour of things. Is one I used to my dad, a 50-year-old bolding computer literate wanabe.

    Its starts off will saying that you are an author and your writing an manuscript that need to be delivered to your editor thousands of miles away. Also assume that the postal service has a weight limit on packages. Unfortunate for you the author you manuscript is too large to be sent in one lump, what do you do? Say that the limit you can send is 50 pages though the post at a time so you break you down you manuscript in to 50 page chunks to be sent, the pages are numbered, so it does not matter if you break in the middle of the sentence paragraph or chapter, if the package is torn or damaged the page number will allow the editor to locate the missing page with ease. Breaking the data into set size chunks with a method of verifying the correctness of the data((i.e. the page numbers)) is the first part of packerizing. I.e. the page number are the checksum.

    Secondly you put the pages into an envelope numbering the envelopes sequentially i.e. the first 50 pages in envelope 1, the second 50 pages in number 2 etc. The number of the pages is also written on the outside of the envelope, this is the equivalent of the data checksum. Then you write on the front of the envelope you write the return address, i.e. the senders IP, and your editors address, the destination IP. If you draw a diagram of this is easy to see, you have the return address the top let corner which is the sender IP, you have the stamp in the right which is the price you pay you ISP for its service, in the centre you have the editors address the destination IP in the bottom left you have the number of pages included the check sum, and below that you have the page numbers included.

    This analogy works well for routing as well you can point out that if you sending mail form new York to San Francisco there are many routs in which it can get there, i.e. routing. Also to move onto the backbone though it does not stand up too well in some resects may be to show that dial up are normal post they take longer for the package to go though. Broadband is like express post a lot faster but carrying the same information. You might want to use an analogy of the postal service vehicles, say that dial ups are like small postal vans, can carry a limited amount of packages due to space. That the Internet backbone is like a transatlantic plane more space and in so can carry more pages at one time.

    Kindred69
    ForeverLearning

  5. #5
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    I wish I could have replied sooner... anyway, I think he gets it now...

    ...but now I'm wondering why I put so much effort into bothering with this. Oh well. Btw, kindred; very good explanation of exchanging packets. Maybe I'll use it to illustrate this sometime when the next poor misguided soul asks me why their AOL isn't working. Must think happy thoughts now
    \"We have electric cars, electric coffee grinders, and electric blankets, so I\'m gonna invent an electric chair.\" - Me ~ \"We newbies don\'t get all the jokes, but we luagh at every one of them\" - Unknown

  6. #6
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    It's called a dry-line connection. Basically same principle as DSL. The phone company has alot of dry-lines (unused lines) up that can be used for this purpose. As i said, it's basically a do-it-yourslef DSL. Look it up for more details.

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