Feedback about Internet show

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David Millsom

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Feedback about Internet show
« on: 08/12/2014 16:30:52 »
David Millsom asked the Naked Scientists:
In your program on the Internet you made a mistake, i.e. you said that a 'network is two or more computers'. This is not right. A network is one or more computers. You give the impression that the Internet's function is to exchange data between computer. In fact, the Internet provides a mechanism for programs (applications) to interact with each other. In a single computer, two applications can exchange data using TCP/IP the Internet protocol. One thing that makes this possible is that each host has a special address, called the loopback address. Any packets sent by an application to this address are immediately returned to the computer and back to the destination program within the same machine.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 08/12/2014 16:30:52 by _system »


Offline Georgia

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Re: Feedback about Internet show
« Reply #1 on: 08/12/2014 16:48:12 »
Hi David,

Thanks for your email. Andrew Rice provided this in response:

Thanks for your email.  What you say is technically correct (as I'm sure
you know!).  However, in order to provide an accessible description, to
a non-technical audience, in a brief period of time it is necessary to
make some simplifications.

Whether you think of the internet delivering data to programs or nodes
depends on your viewpoint.  If you consider the essential idea of the
internet to be IP then this is not the case.  Its only if you consider
the internet to be TCP/IP (or UDP/IP) that application level delivery is
supported.  And even then you could argue as to at what point the
internet ends and the local operating system begins.  From a technical
viewpoint TCP and IP are pretty hard to separate but from a conceptual
viewpoint they do different things.

I agree that a network can consist of just one machine but again one has
to make a decision as to what details to omit and what to include.  I
think that describing loopback interfaces was less important than the
elements that we did focus upon.