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Exploring the Internet: A Technical Travelogue Hardcover – September 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 379 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall (September 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132968983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132968980
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,528,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've written a few books, plus you can find my other writing sprinkled around bits of the net.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've owned this book since the early 1990s, back when it was new, and my appreciation of it has only deepened over time. It's a technical book in one sense: few non-geeks will know what all the acronyms stand for. I didn't know them all when I first read it, but by the end of the book my knowledge had increased considerably. Now, going back to read it is more than just nostalgic. It reminds me that the Internet is a physical entity occupying buildings, machines, offices, and strung together with more miles of cable than anyone could ever figure out. I've added a good quarter mile of the stuff myself. But more than all the above, the internet is people. People actually met in rooms, on phones, or over lunch and talked about how to make these machines talk to each other. Sometimes those talks were quite heated, as disagreements abounded. Standards sometimes seemed arbitrary back in the day. You could get a Hayes modem, and you knew the codes it would use for setting up your network protocols. But there were other modems and other standards. Companies that made these things sometimes acted as if their standards were trade secrets, valuable as the crown jewels. How, then, did anyone ever hope to piece together a world-wide network with standards that everyone could use? Well, the answer back then was something like "one computer at a time." Often it meant literally getting out and digging a trench between buildings, laying some cable, and covering it up. Phone companies had to have their arms twisted. Most telecommunications companies approached the internet with a naiveté that is astonishing in retrospect, so the actual creation of the internet depended on a handful of people, people who Carl Malamud calls by name in this book.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Widely available through 2nd hand shops at Amazon, this book provides a comprehensive look into "the internet that once was" in the early 90's of the last century.
This travelogue brings the reader to many nations that were then only at the beginning of the world's largest-ever communications network. Way before commercial breakthrough of the internet, this book is about building the basic infrastructure between computer centers, about getting the technical communications protocols right and about laying the foundations of today's internet.
Suitable for anyone interested in computer science that has a basic knowledge on computer networks, food and travelling places.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ralph E. Johnson on June 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It is out of print? I better keep my copy safe!
This is a great book, explaining why the TCP/IP standards killed off the OSI/ISO standards, why so many people don't get the internet, and what it takes to be a technical leader. It is written by somebody who knows networking inside and out, but who also understands politics. He is a very good writer, and has a deep understanding of his topic. You should read the book if you want to understand where the internet came from, and you should also read it if you want to help make the next technological revolution happen, and would like some hints on how to do it.
In spite of the other books that Malamud has written, this is not a technology book, but it is a book about technology. Historians and politicians can and should read it. But it will be enjoyed most by engineers, because it will tell them how to change the world.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "bchuang" on May 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Being somewhat of a historian, I gave this book high ranks simply because it goes where few books have gone before. Very little non-technical information about the Internet was available until it became THE Internet.
The author starts with what sounds like a relatively simple goal, publishing various communications standards on the Internet. His philosphy, sensible by today's standards: ¨Standards are laws and laws must be known to be observed."
This was 1991, the days when FTP was still king, before the WWW changed the way we thought about Internet, information access, and just about everything else. Even "old-timers" have trouble remembering the internet before the Web, so it is equally hard to remember the mindsets of the standards organizations of those days. When the ITU cancels online publication after 90 days, they (in typical bureaucratic fashion), also demand a report from him. This book is his report.
Hardcore network types will see how the Internet, as we know it, could have just as easily ended up X.25 and/or OSI based.
There are also precious stories, like why is ElevatorNET* better than X.400 **? Or, where were people using floppy-net to actually deliver email?
* Posting in the elevators of the ITU building. ** An email standard created by the ITU.
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