Monday, December 05, 2005

Networking with TCP/IP

I have been studying for the final exam for a class I am taking at UCLA extension called Networking with TCP/IP. This is my first UCLA extension course. I have definitely enjoyed it. I transitioned to the field of software development without having had a formal education in Computer Science, so I never had the opportunity to learn some low-level things like networking until now. I think everyone who works with or is interested in computers and/or the Internet should take this class. It totally cleared up most of the questions I had about how the Internet works.

It started with the basics about the different kinds of physical connections like Ethernet and Wireless and the function of hubs, bridges, and switches. It then moved into the Internet Protocol (IP) and how addressing and routing work. Next came the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) with details about sockets, connection establishment and termination, and achieving reliability. We covered User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and why it is appropriate for multimedia applications and ended with application-level protocols such as FTP, HTTP, and DNS. Along the way we also learned how to use basic networking tools like ping, tracert/traceroute, netstat, tcpdump, ipconfig/ifconfig, Ethereal, and nmap.

I think I am going to sign up for another extension class next quarter - maybe something on using Linux...

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