Thursday, 14 March 2013

Algorhyme - poetic network protocols from 1985

Researching data centre networking at the moment, and reading up on the origins of the spanning tree protocol. It was proposed in an ACM SIGCOMM paper in 1985 by Radia Perlman, and the abstract went as follows:

I think that I shall never see
A graph more lovely than a tree. 
A tree whose crucial property
Is loop-free connectivity. 
A tree which must be sure to span
So packets can reach every LAN. 
First the Root must be selected,
By ID it is elected. 
Least cost paths from Root are traced.
In the tree these paths are placed. 
A mesh is made by folks like me
Then bridges find a spanning tree.

If more papers went like this I'd probably get through them faster.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Home networking explained

There is a mysterious wireless dead spot in our home network that just happens to be in the same space as the bed where I sit, so I've been looking into ways to improve this state of affairs. This three part tutorial on CNet seems pretty good, so I thought I'd share it here for posterity:

Part1 introduces the basics of home networking, explaining terms like 'router' and 'access point' and covers the types of wireless available, and the relatively new method of networking through your power socket.

Part 2 goes into more detail on wireless - how to set up a network with good security and how to extend your network's range.

Part 3 gets hardcore, with instructions on how to make your own Ethernet cable and wall sockets. Now that would be fine to try some day.

If you're looking for network tips, I hope these help!