Eve Weinberg

Understanding Networks / Week 2







I tested a path from my laptop to Motionpgrapher.com from a few different locations.


Reading 1: The Dawn of the Stupid Network / 1998

My notes:

The Intelligent Network, some common Intelligent Network services include: routing calls to a number other than the one the caller originally dialed (the basis of 800 service); caller options (“press 1 for customer service,” etc.); and supplying calling party numbers directly to customers for database lookup.

A ‘stupid network’ is described as: “In a Stupid Network, control passes from the center to the edge, from the telco to users with an abundance of processing power at their fingertips. The center of the network is based on plentiful infrastructure – cheap bandwidth and switching – that is about as smart as a river. The water in a river, like a data object in a Stupid Network, gets to where it must go adaptively, with no intelligence and no features, using self-organizing engineering principles, at virtually no cost. Bits go in one end and come out the other. Data flows – like water – define the movements and channels within the system.”

Stupid Networks have three basic advantages over Intelligent Networks – abundant infrastructure; underspecification; and a universal way of dealing with underlying network details, thanks to IP (Internet Protocol), which was designed as an “internetworking” protocol. Some key “two-fers” emerge from these basics: Users gain end-to-end control of interactions, which liberates large amounts of innovative energy; innovative applications are rapidly tested in the marketplace; and innovative companies attract more capital and bright people.

The Stupid Network is underspecified – this means bits-in, bits-out. It is nothing special for underspecified networks to carry voice, music, bank balances, e-mail or TV on the same facilities. You stuff bits in one end of the network, and they find their way to the other end of the network. Packets carry their address with them, and out they come at the other end, right where you want them to be.


Reading 2: Mother Earth Mother Board / 1996

A fun read about Neal Stephenson’s quest to follow the “Fiberoptic Link Around the Globe” (FLAG). My takeaways:

Rubber was super important to protect the electrical wires.

Virtually all communications between countries take place through a very small number of bottlenecks, and the available bandwidth simply isn’t that great. – i don’t think this is true anymore though.

Fiber cables have amplifiers every 45-85 kilometers

There are many infrastructures like FLAG: SEA-ME-WE 3 (Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe #3); TPC-5 (Trans-Pacific Cable #5); APCN (Asia-Pacific Cable Network), which is a web of cables interconnecting Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, and the Philippines; and the latest TAT (Transatlantic) cable. So FLAG is part of a trend that will soon bring about a vast increase in intercontinental bandwidth.

Cables have always been financed and built by telecoms

Some other random videos I watched:


What is DNS?

Love this one too

How IP addresses work


More about the traceroute command in the terminal.

$traceroute -a www.motionographer.com > trace_Atlanta.txt

This page was helpful

The traceroute command displays the path across the IP network from one computer to a certain IP address, as well as the delay in milliseconds of the packets. the sum of the mean times in each hop is a measure of the total time spent to establish the connection

I tried tracing the url www.motionographer.com many times, from nay different computers, locations, and using different tools including the command line itself.



The traceroute attempts each hop three times and tells you how long each of the three times took. Looking at the 2nd image above, I see that the first hop was an internal network (LAN i think) because it starts with 192.168

This is a cool resource! http://iplocation.truevue.org/205

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