Diary for herman

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Older diary entries for herman (starting at number 33):

14 Dec 2002  »

Project Pointers

So far, I've gone though two student project demonstrations and also set up links to their web page documentation on the Projects page. As more students finish the documentation, I'll add to this list.

11 Dec 2002  »

Maybe the Last Time

I just read another, all to true article, making the point that so many different software authors "live in different worlds".

So it is with students in projects.

In years past, it was easy to plan for the support of projects because I could count on every student knowing a common programming language (it was C), and the Unix environment. Now, some students want to program with ASP/VBScript and include MS-based SQL services, others are content to use C, some only know Java, yet others have to use Labview, and so on it goes. Some have such little confidence in their ability to learn and master programming skills that they can only read papers and write about what they read.

How can I know that students are really confronting the network issues that matter? Are they dealing with the problems of the heterogeneous nature of networking (different formats, having to plan for and convert between architectures)? Are they constructing transition diagrams for FSMs and thinking through the protocol design? I suppose that in future these will have to become assignments rather than to allow students to be creative.

11 Dec 2002  »


Here are two references to ultrawideband (I'm not sure how much time we'll have in class for this topic).


There is so much information available on DSL now, and its many forms (ADSL, SDSL, HDSL-2, SHDSL, etc).

9 Dec 2002  »


As usual, students are requesting time slots for project demonstrations in chronologically reverse order (the last possible time is requested first).

So far, these students have requested the 20th for their demonstration dates: kcorr, camuelle, tkirby, nchopra, dselim. One student, vmarathe, requested time on the 18th.

As soon as I can resolve another schedule conflict on the 20th I will assign some specific hours for these requested appointments.

5 Dec 2002 (updated 5 Dec 2002)  »

More Difficult than Homework

I happened to see an Internet Puzzle by the brilliant Scott Kim (requires Flash).

4 Dec 2002 (updated 4 Dec 2002)  »

Links for MAC Lecture

Since I'm describing CSMA/CD today, here are some relevant links.

  1. The ideas of Aloha aren't just historically interesting. There is even a company trying to put these ideas into practice using satellites.
  2. Ethernet continues to evolve, and support higher bitrates. This is perhaps the best page about Ethernet.
  3. Wireless Ethernet? Sorry, there isn't a wireless Ethernet (being as it is CSMA/CD and wireless LANs typically don't have CD). But the 802.11 suite of protocols adapt Ethernet ideas to the wireless domain. These 802.11 networks are proliferating rapidly (consider, for instance, the franchise business of boingo or cafe), becoming interconnected, and even threaten to take over much traditional ISP business. This is an area where keeping up with the buzzwords is a full-time job.

1 Dec 2002  »

Second Exam Graded

Now students can concentrate on their projects and not worry about another exam. There will be another homework, but the main thing now is to finish up projects.

20 Nov 2002  »

Related Links

Related to today's lecture.

  1. dynamic DNS services
  2. Network Address Translation (under Linux)

14 Nov 2002  »

Other Sources

From time to time, I surf the Web looking for other material that might connect to the textbook. Now that we're looking at the network layer, I looked in How Stuff Works for information on routers, network address translation, and other stuff. It's a mixed bag. On one hand, there's a good deal of very specific information with examples and pointers to references; on the other hand, some topics are only superficially mentioned. The Ads are annoying.

13 Nov 2002  »


Here are three links for inspirational material about networks.

  1. Clay Shirky's Internet Writings describe, at a high level, what network does to our society and also the converse influences of societal trends on the business of networking.
  2. Frankston, Reed, Bricklin and others is less well written, but more topical and political.
  3. George Gilder's Telecosm is an almost poetic description of the dream of the Internet written in the height of the Internet bubble. Reading this explains much of the folly of exaggerated expectations.

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