Re: What's Telecom?

Subject: Re: What's Telecom?
From: Sandy Harris <sharris -at- dkl -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 10:32:30 -0500

Michael Johnson wrote:

> Because I have a good understanding of electronics, radio communications,
> microwave communications, and satellite communications, I always thought
> that I could rightfully represent myself as one having a good knowledge of
> telecommunications. Not!
>
> Can anybody recommend a good book?

I'm not sure it is relevant, and it somewhat out of date by now, but it said
some important things and was beyond doubt the funniest technical book I've
ever read, so I'll suggest Padlipsky's "Elements of Networking Style".

This was a vicious critique of the ISO 7-layer "reference model" for "OSI"
computer networking, and related attempts at standards, written in the
mid-80s when the OSI stuff was very trendy. Oversimplified, Padlipsky's
position was that those standards were hopelessly flawed, and our best
hope was that they fail quickly without doing too much damage. In my view,
he was right and they have.

Last I looked, though, lots of telecom folk still took them seriously, and
were still talking about "layer 2 protocols" and such. For all I know, that
is entirely appropriate for their world, but if you're going to network
computers, I suggest reading Padlipsky to put it in perspective.

Several chapters of the book also appear as RFCs 871 to 875:

0871 Perspective on the ARPANET reference model.
0872 TCP-on-a-LAN.
0873 Illusion of vendor support.
0874 Critique of X.25.
0875 Gateways, architectures, and heffalumps.

URLs are things like:

http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/htbin/rfc/rfc874.html




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