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The Web

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Joseph Brown

on 29 January 2014

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Transcript of The Web

The Web and what it's made of.
The World Wide Web, doesn't/ hasn't just happened.

Hardware, more
than just a box

Clients are the everyday users and the Web capable devices they use, accessing websites and other online services. Despite the meteoric rise of social networks and similar user content sites, client actions mostly consume the resources on the web whilst providing little in return
The quality of files is always rising, especially those of graphics, meaning ever increasing files sizes of online content, and greater file sizes take more time to transfer and require more storage. Sometimes such file sizes are beyond the capacity of older devices, reducing some clients access to online content.
Whilst cable mediums employed today are more than capable of outpacing the speeds of other network devices, some clients are likely
to still use outdated models, restricting their personel access speeds,
but not that of the wider Web.
Servers are the heart of the web, storing every web page and its data. Whilst most servers utilize the latest and fastest technologies, demand is much greater then that of the average client, as potentially thousands of clients are requesting access at any time. Additionally, with the concentrated mass of data a server represents, some of which can quite easily be sensitive information, including financial details, make servers a prime target for attacks from virus’s and other malware, ramping up the requirements for extensive protection and even encryption of many communications, further increasing the amount of data sent and recieved.
The personal computer. When the initial examples appeared, they were lonely things, doing your bidding, in their own little space. Maybe they were lucky, and were bought by a business using the arcane magic of LAN's, but most likely, they had no friends.

But with the rise of web technology, any humble PC could now connect and communicate information with potentially any other PC on Earth.
A large percentage of the devices present on the Web are not the PC's you look at, or the servers that host all that stuff you look at. It is the huge amount of devices responsible for getting all that data where its meant to go; The Routers, Switches, Modems, Bridges and NICs. Without these that data is just flickering signals zipping all over the place going nowhere.
All web communications comprise of signals, and these signals travel between machines and devices, but how? Even today most of these signals are electrical pulses upon physical copper cabling, found as either the CAT standards, or occasionally on the older co-axial types in many homes.

Light has also long been harnessed as an alternative cable bound signal, but with the radio waves of wireless technologies, wire are not needed at all.
The Web may seem to be just what you see on the screen, but there is in fact millions of physical components, all ultimately connected in some way.
Get in Line
for a Tour
Internet service providers are just that. By providing a physical gateway, via the provision of cable connections, DHCP access and even hardware such as modems, a customer can access the internet from their own home or business.
Whilst an ISP such as I.O.L provides access capabilities, a user will actually use a web browser as their means and gateway to the Internet, the most used part of the World Wide web.
As detailed later, a website is actually addressed via a number sequence, but as human beings we more easily remember words, or names. Thus every website is given a name that is associated to that number, so you can call by name and the computer will look for that number. These are known as Domains and must meet strict standards to be viable, such as "www.rosettastone.co.uk" as above, or "www.google.com".
The World Wide
Web, .0?
2.0 :) #
3.0, now you see it... maybe.
The Web itself is a vast conglomeration of many examples of the hardware, software and services prior mentioned, all working together and playing their part in the Webs functionality.
The most common resource on the Web, websites and their pages are connected and available via dedicated servers.
2 Sides of the
same coin
The resources upon the Web are mostly divided between those who have them to provide, and those who wish to access and use them.
These are the Servers and clients.
Servers and
So whilst a server needs the capacity to provide for many, many client process's at once, only a much less technically impressive machine is required to provide a comparative capacity for a single user.
When the World Wide Web began to emerge in the early 90's, hardware limitations, as well as undeveloped understanding in the field, restricted the accessibility and content available, making it a different beast to that which is so familiar today. Text was predominant, whilst images were reduced to grainy, low colour rarities, with video almost non existent. Any real interaction with content was not possible as both hardware and code capabilities could not yet support this, making web pages very static affairs.
Whilst far from equivalent to a new software release, with a specific launch date and midnight releases, Web 2.0 is a fair identifier to mark a new Web age. With new evolutions in the versatility of code and software, as well as leaps in hardware capabilities, the Web could be transformed. No longer was content restricted to static blocks of text, users could now begin to interact, even dynamically, with content. Such interaction is well displayed by the rise of social networks, and other sites heavily dependent on user generated content. The Web was truly becoming a necessity in modern life.
Whilst still open to debate, some argue that web 3.0 is already here. However, as the transition will be as difficult to place as Web 2.0 was, some features of what 3.0 may entail are becoming reality, namely in the way content can now adapt dynamically to fit a myriad of devices, many of which are mobile.
Other ideas believe that devices themselves may become more responsible for content, though details are vague, as well as the semantic Web.
The majority of content on the web itself is a vast assortment of websites comprising of anywhere between one and many pages each. Along with other files and data, these can’t just be saved to a hard drive and put on a shelf; to be accessible they need to be connected continuously to the web, ideally using dedicated, secure hardware. Such hardware can be possessed by an individual for a personal website, but today it is more common for websites to be uploaded and hosted by a dedicated service provider.
LAN's and WAN's
LAN's, or Local Area Networks, are a common setup in businesses and schools, and describes the connecting of multiple PC's and devices in either a peer to peer, or a client server model. By forming such networks, information and other resources such as Modems and Printers can be shared quickly and efficiently with all other users. To allow data to move correctly between hosts, hosts identify themselves via the MAC address unique to their Network Interface Cards.
Wide Area Networks are best exampled by the Web and the Internet, but however have existed and been utilized before such application. Whereas a LAN connects individual computers within a relatively small space, a room or even a building, a WAN instead connect multiple LANS over much greater distances, up to global scales. Instead of using the unique MAC address each connected device, a different, logical address system is used, known as an IP Address.
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