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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wanted more, and more polish, June 28, 2012
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This review is from: Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet (Hardcover)
I am apparently right up the alley of the target market, as I didn't find it boring or overly technical, but if anything too surface and narrowly-focused. I'd like to have seen some him tag along on more infrastructure work. How about a week on a cable laying ship? They are massive and weird compared to even other ships, so that would be fun. Or go all the way to the other end, and watch fiber being pushed through neighborhoods, as the world gets increasingly wired up with the last mile. Not just for NYC businesses, but somewhere there's grass. Or actually talk to not just important leaders in the industry, or past engineers, but some of those guys strung out on coffee in a cage, or installing the cable modem in your house. A more complete story could have been told with not too much extra effort.

Oh, and just not a thing about wireless. In this day and age? More people have wireless connections, so a discussion of how they are linked in might have been nice. Maybe visit not just the local telecom, but a remote, diesel-powered cellsite in Africa, following the wire all the way.

The other issue is that the author appears to truly not have a grasp of network technologies. Which is fine, if the publisher had found him a technical editor. A bit of it could have been better organized to tie the parts together, but there were specifics that felt odd, or were just in error. One example: He refers to the "typology" of a network at one point. Yes, even with the quotes, as it's apparently a made up word. because he got it wrong. It's "topology," a whole field of mathematics as well. And, only mentioned once, even though it's a key topic that would have fit neatly into the narrative (physical vs. information layout, and their close relationship).

Still, if you are remotely connected to the internet, professionally especially, it's the best you can do or expect for a long time. A worthwhile read if you ever wondered about this stuff.
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