TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Kelly Hoffman's quote of a firewall is good info. However, I believe the
point the original quote was trying to get across is that only certain
machines can perform *all* the internet activities. E.g., I can send &
receive internet mail from my local login machine or whatever you want to
call it, but nobody can ftp to stuff on my machine, access a WWW homepage
there, etc. because it is *behind* a firewall to protect my personal files
from external intruders.
The machines *in front of* the firewalls *are* the internet itself. They
are the ones that run the listserv software, have WWW info on them, store
files that can be ftp'ed, etc. They are virtually "public" machines!
These internet machines are connected by a variety of means, which are
actually irrelevant; hence the use of the cloud image, as many have seen in
configuration diagrams. The cloud means a network of whatever type, we
don't care about the details.
This is the first time, however, that I've seen the cloud imagery used in
text as opposed to a graphic.
Sally Marquigny Network Imaging Systems
sallym -at- msmailhq -dot- netimage -dot- com Herndon, VA
>A *firewall*, on the other hand, is "a collection of components (not
necessarily a single computer, although a single computer is not an
uncommon configuration) that protects your company's internal networks
from attacks from the Internet. A firewall acts as a choke-point
through which all traffic to and from the Internet must pass; it
determines which types of traffic are allowed between the Internet and
the internal network, which types are not, and in which directions a
given type of traffic may flow. A firewall makes it easier to protect
internal networks, as it represents a single point of exposure - a
single machine can be secured more easily than an entire network, and
having all traffic pass through a single point makes it easy to
maintain audit trails of traffic to and from the Internet."
>This quote is from a 2-part article on firewalls by Jonathon Hue
<hue -at- island -dot- com>, published in the TidBITS electronic newsletter,
>Kelly K. Hoffman Hewlett-Packard, Network Test Division, Nashua, NH
>kelly -at- nashua -dot- hp -dot- com "Reading the manual is admitting defeat."