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TCP/IP Guide by Charles M. Kozierok

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Internet Relay Chat Protocol (IRC)

The primary advantage that electronic mail (email) offers over conventional mail is speed. Instead of needing to wait for days or weeks for a message to be delivered, it usually arrives in minutes or even seconds. This makes email far more useful than the regular postal service for most types of information transfer. There are some cases, however, where speed of delivery is not sufficient to make email an ideal mechanism for communication. One such case is where a dialogue is required between two parties.

Consider that even though email may be delivered very quickly, it uses a decoupled model of communication. Say that Ellen sends an email to Jane. The message may show up in Jane's inbox in a matter of seconds, ...

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