Computer Networking Technology Continues to Speed Forward

Who remembers the Commodore 64? Made public in the early 1980s, the Commodore 64 was the most popular computer on the market for several years. In fact, it remains the most sold computer system to date, with more than 17 million units sold.

The Commodore 64 featured revolutionary graphics and sound for a machine of its time and was therefore very popular for games. It also had an integrated data logger, recognized for its slow processing times and low storage space. Although an attachment to a floppy disk was eventually released, it did not increase storage capacity.

The networking capacity of Commodore 64 and other legacy single-user PCs has been minimal during this period. A dial-up modem is coming soon, allowing users to connect to bulletin boards to access the first online games. It also allowed users to “chat” and communicate messages, which basically paved the way for what is now called the Internet.

Computer Networks

The development of computer network technologies and early versions of the Internet began in the late 1950s and was used by the military and scientific communities over the next decade.

At the beginning, machines with the same functionality as today’s desktops were so large that they required multiple floors to work. The compact size of today’s computers can be attributed to the development and evolution of the microprocessor, which allows communications to take place at lightning speed using small practical peripherals.

Networking becomes the “norm”

In the 21st century, computer networks are now part of our daily lives. The Internet has been used extensively for about 20 years, allowing us to exchange messages, send large documents, share photos, and have the equivalent of a world-class library at hand. All of these things have become routine in our high tech world.

What is behind the network?

In simple terms, a computer network is made up of several interconnected computers. A local area network (LAN) is a computer network residing in a local environment, such as a building, an office, or a campus. A wide area network (WAN) is a computer network spread over a large geographical area. Internet can be considered the largest WAN in the world!

Connections and cabling in computer networks are often overlooked. It’s not the glamorous side of IT, but it’s the “lifeline” of a network. When networking was in its infancy, the transfer of information was very slow due to the fact that only one piece of information could be transferred at a time. This could also be attributed to the limitations of the wiring, which was essentially a telephone wire at that time.

With the advent of “packet transfer” technology, multiple pieces of information could be exchanged simultaneously. This has revolutionized the speed at which computer networks operate. In addition to computer technology, the current network connections have been improved; the wiring.

We now have the Cat5e bulk cable, which provides an incredible amount of bandwidth for transferring information compared to the original network cabling. And for jobs requiring higher speeds, the Cat6 bulk cable offers even more bandwidth. Fiber optic cable is used in the largest and fastest networks.

Like networking, technology does not slow down. We have come a long way in the last 20 years of “personal” computing. The perspective of what is coming is exciting to ponder.

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