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Computers in Communication by Gordon Brebner

By Gordon Brebner

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The details of how bits are transmitted, as signals, waveforms or whatever, are not relevant here. The service need not necessarily be completely reliable, in that some transmitted bits may be lost completely, changed in value or duplicated. However, it must be sufficiently useable that it can form a basis for reliable bit transmission. From the point of view of time, there are two main measures of interest. The first is the latency of the medium, that is, the time taken between a bit being transmitted and being received.

For the reader who is interested in the physical underpinning of computer communications, there is a great deal of technical literature. This book deliberately skims over the details of how bits can be transmitted; other books focus entirely on this issue. Basic technologies, such as electronics, photonics and radio, are 34 COMPUTERS IN COMMUNICATION covered in the electrical engineering or physics literature. Telecommunication System Engineering by Freeman (Wiley 1996) covers the technological bases for telecommunications and computer communications.

All of these are guided unicast media from a computer communications point of view. The telephone involves analogue transmission, and the others involve digital transmission. Note that this section only includes raw transmission capabilities provided by public carriers. Other, value added, services are described at other points in the book. Telephone system The worldwide telephone system, now sometimes known as the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS), was designed to transfer human speech. It allows a telephone user to make a call to the huge number of other telephones located around the world.

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