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Book details of 'Internet Book, The: Everything You Need to Know About Computer Networking and How the Internet Works'

Cover of Internet Book, The: Everything You Need to Know About Computer Networking and How the Internet Works
TitleInternet Book, The: Everything You Need to Know About Computer Networking and How the Internet Works
Author(s)Douglas E. Comer
PublishedApril 1997
PublisherPrentice Hall
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Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
It is difficult to find books which give some background to the Internet. Most guides assume that readers are either already thoroughly familiar with computer communications, or are uninterested. The history of the Internet often vaguely mentions military or government projects without giving much idea of the problems which needed solving. Given the growth in computer networking, a reference is needed which lies between non-explanations ("This computer is connected to that computer and they talk to each other") and the TCP/IP programming manuals. This book fills a lot of those gaps. After an initial introduction to the current state of the Internet, chapters two through six give a very simple introduction to data communications and the need therefor. Those who have any kind of technical communications background may find the explanations a touch simplistic. On the other hand, I have frequently found that, even among the computer elite, telecommunications is a specialty and mystery area. With such rapid Internet growth, and for those who need some level of explanation without getting beyond their technical depth, this is likely to be very useful. It's easily readable. (It's also accurate.) Chapters seven to ten explain the drive for, and growth of, the Internet including excellent explanations of "why". The basic underlying concepts of the Internet protocols are covered in chapters eleven to seventeen, before nine chapters describe the primary application level tools of the system. These sections are written at a conceptual level, dealing with what the various tools can do, rather than the minutiae of what button to push to get a specific program to do it. This approach ensures that the book will be relevant in all situations, and will not go out of date quickly. A concluding chapter ties it all together with a look at both the benefits and some of the problems of the vast "digital library." This is an important addition to the library of Internet references. I heartily recommend it to those involved in network training, both as a resource, and as insurance that you truly understand what you are teaching. To date, the primary source material for the study of the development of the Internet, aside from the RFCs (Requests For Comments) themselves, has been the "Internet System Handbook" , but it tends to be written at a technical or academic level. For those at the non-technical level who are wondering what the heck the Internet is (and one of Comer's anecdotes points out the hilarious misconceptions that are abroad), and what it all means, this is your book. (Once again, I must declare a bias in regard to this book. I am mentioned in the acknowledgements, although my "contribution" to the book was simply to review an early draft of the first edition. An excerpt from my review of the first edition also appears in the cover blurbs. Nonetheless, I can honestly say that I have not found any other book that explains the concepts and principles behind the Internet as well as this one. With the passing of the years some of my "top four" Internet picks; "The Internet Navigator" [cf. BKINTNAV.RVW], "Finding it on the Internet" [cf. BKFNDINT.RVW], and "Zen and the Art of the Internet" [cf. BKZENINT.RVW]; have become, while still valuable, less immediately relevant. This text is still, and perhaps increasingly, important.) copyright Robert M. Slade, 1994

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