Those nifty little pictures in the margin aren't there just to pretty up the place. They also have practical functions:
Hold it-technical details lurk just around the corner. Read on only if you have a pocket protector.
Pay special attention to this icon; it lets you know that some particularly useful tidbit is at hand-perhaps a shortcut or a little-used command that pays off big.
Did I tell you about the memory course I took?
Danger, Will Robinson! This icon highlights information that may help you avert disaster.
Yes, you can get there from here. With this book in hand, you're ready to plow right through the rugged networking terrain. Browse through the table of contents and decide where you want to start. Be bold! Be courageous! Be adventurous! Above all, have fun!
In this part …
One day the Network Thugs
If this has
What if you don't have a network yet and you're the one who's supposed to do the installing? Then the chapters in this part clue you in to what a network is all about. That way, you're prepared for the (
Computer networks get a bad rap in the movies. In the
movies, Skynet (a computer network of the future) takes over the planet, builds
Fear not. These bad networks exist only in the dreams of science
Now that you're over your fear of networks, you're ready to
A network is nothing more than two or more computers connected by a cable (or in some cases by radio connection) so that they can exchange information.
Of course, computers can exchange information in ways other than networks. Most of us have used what computer nerds call the
That's where you copy a file to a diskette, a CD-RW disc, or a removable flash drive, and then walk the data over to someone else's computer. (The
The whole problem with the sneakernet is that it's slow-plus, it wears a trail in your carpet. One day, some penny-pinching computer
You can create a computer network by hooking together all the computers in your office with cables and using the computer's
(an electronic circuit that resides inside your computer and has a special jack on the computer's
If you don't want to mess with cables, you can create a wireless network instead. In a wireless network, each computer is equipped with a special wireless network adapter that has little rabbit-ear antennas. Thus, the computers can communicate with each other without the need for cables.
Figure 1-1 shows a typical network with four computers. You can see that all four computers are connected by a network cable to a central network device: the
You can also see that Ward's computer has a fancy laser printer attached to it. Because of the network, June, Wally, and the Beaver can also use this laser printer. (Also, you can see that the Beaver stuck
Figure 1-1: A typical network.
Computer networking has its own,
LAN: Networks are often called LANs. The acronym LAN stands for local- area network. It's the first TLA, or three-letter acronym, that you see in this book. You don't really need to remember it, or any of the many TLAs that follow. In fact, the only three-letter acronym you need to remember is TLA.
You may guess that a
On the network: Every computer connected to the network is said to be on the network. The technical term (which you can forget) for a computer that's on the network is a node.
When a computer is turned on and can access the network, the computer is said to be
When a computer can't access the network, it's
A computer can be offline for several reasons. The computer can be turned off, the
Up: When a computer is turned on and working properly, it's said to be up. When a computer is turned off, broken, or being serviced, it's said to be down. Turning off a computer is sometimes called taking it down. Turning it back on is sometimes called bringing it up.