Wednesday, November 25, 2009

world wide what?

Can someone please explain the internet to me? And don't give me any crap. I've read a million pages about it but my brain can't wrap itself around it. It's like trying to imagine eternity or the face of god. Plus way too many, like, vocab words. And acronyms.

Nice diagram, asshole.

I know (ok actually just found this out in the last couple weeks) that information on websites is stored on giant underground computers, and that's what you're paying for when you buy hosting space, you're paying a company to store your website information on a big underground computer. I am barely ok with this concept because I get that I'm loading information somewhere. I don't really understand what the INTERNET part is. Like, how information even goes anywhere. I can understand telephones and televisions kind of. Or not really understand them but I BELIEVE in them. I believe in radio waves. Is it the same?

This is a picture of the internet, according to google images.


Andy Gabrysiak said...

whats that logo?

Nikki DeSautelle said...

In the address bar?

Heather Paske said...

I really like that picture of the internet. It makes me feel like I, too, can one day believe in it.

loqia said...

In a nutshell, "the internet" just refers to a system where any computer can talk to any other computer.

Think of it sort of like a city. If you (i.e. a packet) want to get from, say, your house (i.e. your PC) to the bookstore (i.e., you have to follow a series of roads (i.e. network links, from the blue cable connected to your PC to the fibre optic lines crossing the oceans) between here and there. The only piece of information you know about the bookstore is its address (i.e. its IP). Now, in order to get there, you have a traffic cop (i.e. a router) at each road intersection who can tell you which turn to make at that intersection in order to get closer to your destination.

So leave your house and walk down the first road. You tell the cop standing at the end, "I want to get to the bookstore."

He says, "This is not the bookstore, but if you go left you'll be closer."

So you go left, until the next cop at the next intersection. He tells you to go right, and so on and so forth. Eventually, you get to a cop who tells you, "This is the bookstore!" and bam, you're there. At the store, you pick up your book (i.e. email, webpage, whatever) then follow the whole process again in order to get back to your house so you can read it (there's no reading in the store or on the road!).

And that's basically it. There are a jillion layers of complexity on top of that like protocols (are you walking or driving a car) and ports (what number apartment in the building do you want to go to), but the cops-and-roads analogy is the TCP/IP Protocol 101, which is the system that makes the rest of it work. Multiply it by trillions of people walking trillions of roads, and you've got the internet.

Matt Chung said...


shelley said...

I read this article a couple monhts ago in Scientific American or something like that (I mean, someone sent it to me...I don't just read that normally) about how the internet is actually a bunch of wires under the ocean. I couldn't believe it! I'll try to track down said article. Sorry I'm just commenting on everything. I've never looked at your blog before!