Free Computer Networks Global Edition eBook

Networking

INTRODUCTION


Each of the past three centuries was dominated by a single new technology. The 18th century was the era of the great mechanical systems accompanying the Industrial Revolution. The 19th century was the age of the steam engine. During the 20th century, the key technology was information gathering, processing, and
distribution. Among other developments, we saw the deployment of worldwide telephone networks, the invention of radio and television, the birth and unprece- dented growth of the computer industry, the launching of communication satellites, and, of course, the Internet. Who knows what miracles the 21st century will bring? As a result of this rapid technological progress, these areas are rapidly con- verging in the 21st century, and the differences between collecting, transporting, storing, and processing information are quickly disappearing. Organizations with hundreds of offices spread over a wide geographical area routinely expect to be able to examine the current status of even their most remote outpost at the push of a button. As our ability to gather, process, and distribute information grows, the demand for more sophisticated information processing grows even

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