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UNIX® System V Network Programming by Stephen A. Rago

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1. Introduction to Networks

This chapter discusses the motivation behind networking and some of the characteristics of various networks that we will encounter throughout the rest of this book.

1.1. Background

A network can be loosely defined as the hardware and software that enable two entities to communicate. Humans can communicate over a telephone network. Central processing units in a multiprocessor can communicate over internal system buses. While these systems can be considered networks, this text is concerned only with communicating entities that are independent computer systems (often called hosts).

Computer networks are popular for many reasons. They provide a cost-effective alternative to large computing facilities. Rather than place ...

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