These 3 elements make up all networks

All networks are made up of the same three characteristics:

  1. Two (or more) parties that want to share some resources.

  2. A transmission medium to connect the parties.
  3. A common language for “talking.”

This can describe computer networks, telephone networks, any kind of network —

– even two tin cans connected by a string. Think about it: the tin cans are being held by two people who want to talk. The string is the transmission medium. And in order to be understood, the the two people have to be speaking the same language.

The telegraph was the first modern network. If you wanted to send a telegram, you went to the nearest telegraph office where a sender would transmit your message over the telegraph wires. Remember what language he used? That’s right: Morse Code. Dots and dashes. The telegraph office on the other end got the signal and decoded it, typing it up onto a blank telegram. Then the delivery boy pedalled out to the neighborhood where the recipient lived and delivered the message.

[Historical note: Abe Lincoln was the first President to follow the course of a war via instantaneous communications, having installed a telegraph office in the White House.]

Today, the Internet is not much different. Oh, it’s faster, and certain parts of it are wireless, but the language is still dots and dashes. Ooops — of course we call them something different: zero’s and one’s.

By the way, how can wireless be a transmission medium?

More on that the next time.

Here's A Few More Related Posts:
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