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BCC201

Computer Awareness
and Internet

Edition: Summer 2011

Manipal
INSPIRED BY LIFE

Sikkim Manipal University


Directorate of Distance Education

B 1464

SIKKIM MANIPAL UNIVERSITY (SMU DDE)


Dean
Directorate of Distance Education
Sikkim Manipal University (SMU DDE)

BOARD OF STUDIES
Chairman
HOD Arts and Humanities
SMU DDE

Rajesh A.R., Head Employment,


Manipal Universal Learning Pvt Ltd

Additional Registrar
SMU DDE

Dr Gayathri Devi, Dean, SMU DE

Controller of Examination
SMU DDE

Srinath P.S., Additional Registrar, Student Evaluation,


SMU DDE

Dr Ramesh Murthy, Director, SMU DE


Dr Shivram Krishnan, Professor & HOD, A&H, SMU DDE

Ashok Kumar K., Additional Registrar, SMU DDE


Prof. Ramesh Murthy
Principal Academics
Manipal Universal Learning Pvt Ltd

Prof. S.N. Maheshwari, Director General, Delhi Institute of


Advanced Studies, Delhi (Formerly, Principal, Hindu College,
Delhi University & Professor & Dean, Faculty of Commerce and
Business Management , Goa University)
Dr Anil Singh, Associate Professor, University of Delhi

Authors:
Rajneesh Agrawal: Units (7.1-7.2, 7.4, 7.9, 8.4-8.7, 9.9, 9.11-9.12, 9.14-9.19, Unit-10, 12.1-12.6, 13.3, 13.5-13.6, 13.8-13.14,
Unit-14) Rajneesh Agrawal, 2011
T. Jeyapoovan: Units (1.1-1.4, 1.7-1.8, 2.4, 4.1-4.2) T. Jeyapoovan, 2011
Sanjay Saxena: Units (1.5-1.6, 1.10, 2.1-2.2, 2.5-2.11, 3.1-3.6, 3.8-3.13, 5.3-5.4, 7.14, 11.1-11.2, 11.4, 11.6, 11.9)
Sanjay Saxena, 2011
Alpana Kakkar: Units (1.9, 2.3, 3.7, 4.3-4.5, 5.1-5.2, 5.5-5.10, Unit-6) Alpana Kakkar, 2011
B. Basavaraj: Units (1.11-18, 4.6-4.11) B. Basavaraj, 2011
R.S Rajesh, K.S. Easwarakumar & R. Balasubramanian: Units (7.5-7.8, 7.11, 9.7, 13.1-13.2, 13.7)
R.S Rajesh, K.S. Easwarakumar & R. Balasubramanian, 2011
Vikas Publishing House: Units (7.3, 7.10, 7.12-7.13, 7.15-7.21, 8.1-8.3, 8.8-8.15, 9.1-9.6, 9.8, 9.10, 9.13, 11.3, 11.5,
11.7-11.8, 11.10-11.16, 12.7-12.13, 13.4) Reserved, 2011
All rights reserved. No part of this publication which is material protected by this copyright notice may
be reproduced or transmitted or utilized or stored in any form or by any means now known or hereinafter
invented, electronic, digital or mechanical, including photocopying, scanning, recording or by any
information storage or retrieval system, without prior written permission from the Publisher.
Information contained in this book has been published by VIKAS Publishing House Pvt. Ltd. and has
been obtained by its Authors from sources believed to be reliable and are correct to the best of their
knowledge. However, the Publisher and its Authors shall in no event be liable for any errors, omissions
or damages arising out of use of this information and specifically disclaim any implied warranties or
merchantability or fitness for any particular use.

Vikas is the registered trademark of Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd.


VIKAS PUBLISHING HOUSE PVT LTD
E-28, Sector-8, Noida - 201301 (UP)
Phone: 0120-4078900 Fax: 0120-4078999
Regd. Office: 576, Masjid Road, Jangpura, New Delhi 110 014
Website: www.vikaspublishing.com Email: helpline@vikaspublishing.com

Computer Awareness and Internet

Contents
Unit 1
Computer Basics and Data Representation

137

Unit 2
Computer Generation and Classification

3964

Unit 3
Input/Output Units and Computer Memory

6596

Unit 4
Processor and Binary Arithmetic

97125

Unit 5
Computer Languages and Operating System

127148

Unit 6
File Organization

149168

Unit 7
Networking

169213

Unit 8
Communication Protocols and Networking

215234

Unit 9
Connecting PCs

235277

Computer Awareness and Internet

Contents

Unit 10
Communication Channels

279299

Unit 11
The Internet

301339

Unit 12
Layered Protocols and the OSI Model

341385

Unit 13
Polling and Selection Protocols

387408

Unit 14
Security Measures

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SUBJECT INTRODUCTION
Computer Awareness and Internet
A computer is a programmable machine designed to carry out a sequence of
arithmetic or logical operations. Personal computers in their various forms are
icons of the Information Age sequentially and automatically. A computer network
is a collection of computers and devices interconnected by communication
channels that facilitate communication and allow sharing of resources and
information among interconnected devices. A communications protocol defines
the formats and rules for exchanging information via a network. A large proportion
of personal computers regularly connects to the Internet to communicate and
receive information. The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer
networks that uses the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions
of users worldwide. The Internet can also be defined as a worldwide
interconnection of computers and computer networks that facilitate the sharing
or exchange of information among users. The Internet carries a vast range of
information resources and services, such as the interlinked hypertext documents
of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the infrastructure to support electronic
mail.
This book, Computer Awareness and Internet, comprises fourteen units.
Unit 1 - Computer Basics and Data Representation: Explains the architecture
of computer system including hardware, software and different types of
computers. It also explains the characteristics of computer and representation
of characters in computers.
Unit 2 - Computer Generation and Classification: Discusses the first, second,
third and fourth generation of computers. It also explains Moores law,
classification of computers, distributed computer system and parallel computers.
Unit 3- Input/Output Units and Computer Memory: Defines the various types
of computer input and output units, memory organization, ROM, serial access
memory, and physical devices used to construct memories.
Unit 4 - Processor and Binary Arithmetic: Discusses the structure of
instruction, description of processor and algorithms to simulate the hypothetical
computer. It also explains binary arithmetic and 2 complement representation
of numbers.
Unit 5 - Computer Languages and Operating System: Explains the
significance and types of computer programming languages, need for operating
system, and the various types of operating system.

Computer Awareness and Internet

Subject Introduction

Unit 6 - File Organization: Defines the concept of file, file organization and
accessing techniques, and file handling functions.
Unit 7 - Networking: Explains the basics of computer network, types of networks:
LAN, WAN and MAN, transmission channel for LAN, servers and workstations,
Ethernet, token ring, network hardware, private and public networks, and
applications of computer network.
Unit 8 - Communication Protocols and Networking: Discusses connectionoriented and connectionless network, communications protocols, TDM, TDMA,
carrier sense (collision) system, token passing, peer-to-peer priority systems,
priority slot, carrier sense (collision free) systems, and token passing (priority)
systems.
Unit 9 - Connecting PCs: Explains the use of simple switches, printer sharing
buffers, zero-slot LANs, media sharing LANs, printer servers, client and servers,
OSI and TCP/IP models. It also defines data encoding and multiplexing.
Unit 10 - Communication Channels: Defines the various types of wire cables
used in data communication, telegraph and telephone. It also explains the basics
of microwave, communication satellites and channel sharing.
Unit 11 The Internet: Discusses the significant features and working of the
Internet, Internet browsers, ISP, search engines, URL, DNS, security concept,
digital signatures, e-mail, IPv6 and HTTP.
Unit 12 - Layered Protocols and the OSI Model: Explains the significance
and functioning of OSI, communication between layers of OSI, TCP/IP and
cryptography.
Unit 13 Polling and Selection Protocols: Defines the utility of character and
bit protocols, BSC, HDLC, SDLC, and protocol conversion.
Unit 14 - Security Measures: Discusses the basics of security concepts, need
of security and threats to users.
Objectives of studying the subject
After studying this subject, you should be able to:
Explain the basics of computer hardware, software and its functioning
Describe and identify various generations of computers and computer
languages
Discuss the significance of computer memory
Compute binary arithmetic

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Subject Introduction

Describe processor and file organization


Explain the significance of networking and the Internet
Describe communication protocols and channels
Explain various types of wires and switches
Explain the importance of OSI and TCP/IP
Define security issues

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Unit 1

Computer Basics and


Data Representation

Structure
1.1 Introduction
Objectives
1.2 Simple Model of Computer
1.3 Hardware
1.4 Software
1.5 Data
1.6 Users
1.7 Different Types of Computers
1.8 Characteristics of Computer
1.9 Problem Solving using Computers
1.10 Representation of Characters in Computers
1.11 Integers and Fractions
1.12 Decimal to Binary Conversion
1.13 Hexadecimal Representation of Numbers
1.14 Summary
1.15 Glossary
1.16 Terminal Questions
1.17 Answers
1.18 Further Reading

1.1 Introduction
A computer can be described as a programmable mechanical device used for
carrying out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations in a sequential manner.
There are five major units in a computer system namely, input unit, output unit,
control unit, memory unit, and arithmetic and logic unit. Computers consist of
two basic parts, i.e., hardware and software. Hardware is any part of your
computer which has a physical structure, like computer monitor or keyboard.
Software, on the other hand, is any set of instructions that explains the hardware
what to do and guides it to accomplish every task. Data refers to information in
a form suitable for use with a computer and data representation refers to the
methods used internally to represent information stored in a computer.
Computers use numeric codes to represent all the information they store. These
codes are sophisticated and are based on the binary number system (base

Computer Awareness and Internet

Unit 1

two) which represents numeric values using two symbols, 0 and 1. Binary is an
effective number system for computers because it is easy to implement with
digital electronics. The three most common number systems that are frequently
used in computers are binary, decimal and hexadecimal. The decimal numeral
system (base ten) has ten as its base where each position in the number
represents an incremental number with a base of 10. It includes the digits from
0 through 9. The hexadecimal numeral system (base 16), also known as just
hex, is a numeral system made up of 16 symbols. It uses the common symbols
in the decimal numeral system (0 through 9) and includes six extra symbols.
These symbols are characters taken from the English alphabet: A, B, C, D, E
and F.
In this unit, you will learn about computer basics and data representation.
You will be acquainted with computer hardware, software, data and users. The
binary, decimal and hexadecimal number systems and their conversion from
one form to other are explained with the help of examples.
Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Describe the model of a computer
Identify the hardware and software components of a computer
Define data and users
Discuss the various types of computers
State the characteristics of a computer
Solve problems using computers
Demonstrate the representation of characters in computers
Explain the concept of integers and fractions
Compute decimal to binary conversion
Interpret the hexadecimal representation of numbers

1.2 Simple Model of Computer


A computer is an electronic device capable of manipulating numbers and symbols
under the control of a set of instructions known as a computer program. The
computer program directs the computer to solve a particular problem and display
results. Computer programs are written using programming languages, such
as BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, PASCAL, C, ALGOL and so on.
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Hardware and Software Definitions


A computer basically consists of electronic components that are supported by
electrical devices and mechanical systems. All these electronic, electrical and
mechanical components used in a computer are called computer hardware.
Computer hardware components are actuated and controlled with the
help of computer programs called computer software. Computer software
are classified into two categories, (i) Application software and (ii) System software.
Application software are programs that are used to solve specific problems
(tasks) like railway reservation, banking and so on.
System software are programs that are used to handle the computer
hardware and to execute the application programs. Operating systems
and language processors (compilers) are examples of system software.
Block Diagram of Computer Organization
A computer system has following five major units:
Input unit
Output unit
Control unit

Central Processing Unit

Memory unit
Arithmetic and logic unit

Figure 1.1 A Computer Organization

The input and output units are devices that are used to receive inputs and
display result. Figure 1.1 shows a computer organization.

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Input Unit
The input device is used to enter data and information into a computer. Keyboard,
mouse and scanner are the commonly used input devices. The keyboard is
used to enter alphanumeric characters and symbols. The mouse is used to pick
or select a command from the monitor screen. The scanner is used to scan an
image, read a barcode and so on.
The functions of an input unit are as follows:
It accepts data from the user.
It converts data into computer acceptable form.
It supplies the converted data to the computer system for further
processing.
Central Processing Unit
The processing unit comprises a processor (usually Pentium IV) that interprets
the program instructions in the memory, controls the data flow into and out of
the memory, and performs arithmetic and logical operations. The program
instructions are processed one at a time from the memory along with the
necessary data. Then the results are sent to the memory and the next instruction
is processed. This method is repeated until the complete program is executed.
The Control Unit (CU), Memory Unit (MU) and Arithmetic and Logic Unit
(ALU) constitute the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer. Their purposes
are as follows:
The control unit controls the activities of the components of the computer.
It sends commands and signals and controls the sequence of instructions
to be executed.
The memory unit is the place where all input data and results are stored.
The CPU memory is also called Memory Register. Computer memory is
also available in the form of Random Access Memory (RAM).
The arithmetic and logic unit consists of circuits and registers that perform
arithmetic (+, -, *, /, etc.) and logic (<, >, <=, >=, etc.) operations.
Output Unit
The output device is used to display or print result from a computer. Monitor,
printer and plotter are the commonly used output devices. The monitor is used
to display the result in the form of text and graphics. The printer is used to print
the result. The plotter is used to plot or print graphical result from a computer.
Note that the result displayed on the monitor is temporary and it disappears

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when the next result is displayed, but the output printed using the printer or
plotter is permanent and these printouts can be used for any business
correspondence or documentation.
The functions of an output unit are as follows:
It accepts the results produced by the computer.
It converts these results into human understandable form.
It displays or prints out the results to the user.
All the units in a computer other than the central processing unit are called
peripherals.
Storage Unit
A computer stores the data entered into it for further processing. It also stores
the results and then passes them to an output device. The intermediate results
are also stored in the computer. Enough space is available in a computer to
store all these.
The functions of a storage unit are as follows:
It stores data for processing.
It stores the intermediate results too.
The results are stored and then passed to an output device.
The storage in a computer is of two types primary and secondary.
Primary Storage: The primary storage, also called the main memory, is
volatile. The primary storage is the RAM. Here all the program instructions,
data and the results are stored. The data stored in RAM disappears once
the electric power supplied to the computer is switched off. The capacity
of the primary storage is limited.
Secondary Storage: The secondary storage is also called auxiliary
storage. It is used as a supplement to the primary storage. The data
stored in the secondary storage stay for several years. They are used for
future data processing applications. The common secondary storage
media are floppy disk, hard disk, compact disk and magnetic tape.
Data Storage in a Computer
Storage of data in a computer is always in the form of binary digits (bits):
4 bits = 1 Nibble
8 bits = 1 Byte

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1024 Bytes = 1 k or 1 KB (Kilo Byte)


1024 KB = 1 MB (Mega Byte)
1024 MB = 1 GB (Giga Byte)

Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The computer program directs the computer to solve a particular
problem and display___________.
(b) The ___________ device is used to display or print results from a
computer.
2. State whether true or false:
(a) Computer hardware components are actuated and controlled with
the help of computer programs called computer software.
(b) Storage of data in a computer is always in the form of decimal digits.

1.3 Hardware
Personal computers (refer Figure 1.2) are microcomputers commonly used for
commercial data processing, Desktop Publishing (DTP), engineering applications
and so on. Figure 1.3 depicts computer and its peripherals.

Figure 1.2 Personal Computer

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Figure 1.3 Computer and Its Peripherals

Components of a Computer System


Personal computer systems that are currently available consist of a ROM (Read
Only Memory), RAM, a printer (Laser/Inkjet/Dot Matrix), a color monitor, a
Compact Disk Drive (CDD), a Hard Disk Drive (HDD), a Floppy Disk Drive (FDD),
a mouse, a keyboard and a processor (Pentium IV). The ROM, RAM, CPUmicroprocessor and other supporting circuitry can be found interconnected to
each other on the motherboard (refer Figure 1.4).

Figure 1.4 Motherboard and CPU

Processor
The processor is an electronic circuit that allows the processing of numeric data
and the execution of instructions stored in memory. The processor is refered to
as the brain of the computer.

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For example, the Pentium IV processor is the microprocessor that contains


the control unit, memory unit (register), and arithmetic and logic unit (refer Figure
1.5). Electronic engineers call this processor the computer. The processing
speed of a computer depends on the clock speed of the system and is measured
in MegaHertz (MHz).
Intel Corporations Pentium processors are used in most personal
computers. Motorola, Cyrix and AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) are other makers
of processors used in personal computers.

Figure 1.5 Microprocessor

Activity 1
Collect information and pictures on various categories of computer hardware
and prepare a comparative analysis chart.

1.4 Software
The computer software represents a set of programs that instruct the computer
in its operations and make the hardware work. Instructions to a computer should
take the form of a program. Note that the program is written in a programming
language. The program instructs the computer on how to solve a problem or
perform a task. The computer receives input data, and stores and processes
them to produce the desired output. A computer program is called software.
The computer is merely a general purpose machine that requires specific
software to perform a given task.
For example, if the temperature given in degree Fahrenheit is to be
converted to degree Celsius, we know that the equation
Celsius = (5/9)*(Fahrenheit 32)
is used to get the values converted using a calculator. The equation may
be repeated for various values. Similarly using a computer, a program may be

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run any number of times for various input values. A C-program for the above is
shown below.
Program 1.1
#include <stdio.h>
main()
{ float f,c;
printf(\n Enter temp.in degree Fahrenheit : );
scanf(%f,&f);
c = 5.0/9.0*(f - 32);
printf(\n Temp.in degree Celsius = %6.2f ,c);
}
When this program is executed, you have to enter the temperature in
degree Fahrenheit which will be converted and displayed in degree Celsius as
shown below:
Result of Program 1.1
Enter temp.in degree Fahrenheit: 103
Temp.in degree Celsius = 39.44
The output obtained can be printed or stored in a disk.
A computer software is a system component that consists of many program
modules. These programs instruct the hardware how to conduct processing.
The software determines the order in which these operations may be performed.
Categories of Software
Computer software can be broadly classified into two categories (refer Figure
1.6).
Application software
System software
Computer Software

Application Software
Software Packages
Utilities
Customized software

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System Software
Operating System
Language Processor

Figure 1.6 Computer Software


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Application Software
Application software are developed so that computers can be applied to everyday
tasks and problems. Personal productivity programming, engineering and
science applications, and business applications can avail of computers to simplify
their tasks. Personal productivity application programs are categorized on the
basis of the nature of their use in maintaining databases, presenting graphics,
generating spreadsheets and word processing. Application software are available
as a package or as a collection of programs.
Software Packages
The general purpose application software is called a software package. Since
the development of dedicated software for a specific application is very
expensive, software packages are developed to fulfill the needs of general
computer users. The important categories of software packages are given below.
Word processor
Electronic spreadsheets
Graphic, multimedia, presentation software
Database software.
The important features of these software are given below:
Word Processor: We use word processing software to prepare a
document such as a letter, memo or report. The document may be stored,
edited, formatted or printed.
Electronic Spreadsheets: A spreadsheet is a simple worksheet
comprising rows and columns of data. The data kept in a spreadsheet is
similar to the data written in a ledger book of a bank or the marksheet of
a student.
Graphic Software: Graphic software helps us to prepare automated
drawings using the computer and peripheral devices. The drawings may
be stored, edited or printed.
Database Software: Database refers to a collection of data sorted in a
desired order. For example, the names of students stored in alphabetical
order is a database. The data in the database can also be modified or
indexed using key fields like Name, ID Number and others.
Personal Assistance: Many software are available to store personal diary
information or keep records of schedules and contacts. Even an inventory
of items can be maintained using a computer.

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Education and Entertainment: Computers play a major role in education


and entertainment. A Computer Based Tutor (CBT) makes learning easy
and enjoyable. Today, the Web makes it possible to conduct tests online.
Software for video games are also available as software package.
Customized Software
The customized software is developed for a specific user. Larger organizations
like insurance companies, banks and universities can develop and use
customized software as per their requirements. A customized software developed
for one organization cannot be used by other organizations. However, it can be
modified for other users.
System Software
The system software controls the internal activities in a computer. The operating
system in a computer is called system software. It consists of a collection of
system programs that assist the operation of a computer regardless of the
application software in use. When the computer is switched on, the operating
system programs are loaded to the computer memory. The system software
contains information about memory capacity, processor type, disk and CD drives
and so on.
A system software is intended for a particular hardware type. For instance,
computer peripherals are coordinated through the Disk Operating System (DOS).
A computers activities, as well as disk storage, data flow to and from the memory,
and application programs are controlled by the system software (refer Figure 1.7).
Data that is present within the computer systems in network and
communication applications is also handled by the system software. Data is
transferred across computers through the communication software. Apart from
data transfer between computers, error checking and data security are also
provided by these programs.

Figure 1.7 System Software


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The general functions of system software are as follows:


It gives support to develop new application software.
It helps execute the application software.
It administers the activities of the computer and its peripherals.
It assists the user in communicating with the computer and its peripherals.
Activity 2
Collect information on different types of computer software along with their
significant features and present it in a tabular form.

Self-Assessment Questions
3. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The processing speed of a computer depends on the clock speed of
the system and is measured in___________.
(b) A computer software represents a set of ________that instruct the
computer in its operations and make the hardware work.
4. State whether true or false:
(a) The ROM, RAM, CPU microprocessor and other supporting circuitry
can be found interconnected to each other on the hard disk.
(b) Application software are developed so that computers can be applied
to everyday tasks and problems.

1.5 Data
Data refers to basic facts and entities such as names and numbers. Examples
of data are dates, weights, prices, costs, numbers of items sold, employee
names, product names, addresses, tax codes, registration marks and so on.
Sequences of statements or facts that might have been processed, stored,
manipulated but not contextualized or organized comprise data. Information
refers to data that has been organized. Once data becomes information, it is
possible to process it and draw generalized deductions from it. An example of
data would be a file that lists all the orders placed through an online service. If
this data were to be sorted by PIN code and the number of orders coming from
each city were to be summarized, then this data would become information.This
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would lead to knowledge, which would then make it possible for us to make
statements such as Most orders for Widget X come from Western India.
In a business, data input is a collection of facts about environmental
elements such as consumers, suppliers, competitors and government. Data
refers to the raw materials consumed in the production processes used in
factories or industries.
Information is data that is converted into a more useful form. Information
is used for direct utilization as it helps us in decision-making. Examples of
information are, time tables, merit lists, report cards, headed tables, printed
documents, pay slips, receipts, reports and so on. Information is obtained by
assembling items of data into a meaningful form. Other forms of information
are pay slips, schedules, reports, work sheets, bar charts, invoices and account
returns. The information may further be processed or manipulated to form
knowledge.

1.6 Users
A user, in computer terminology, refers to an individual who uses a computer or
network system. Computer users can be further classified according to the level
of data or security access they require or the applications or functionality that
they have access to.
In order to distinguish between different users, user accounts are created,
with each user account having a unique user ID (User Identification or User
Name) and a password. The systems or application software (or both) assign
access rights and responsibilities based on the way the user has been defined.
So once a user logs in using his unique user ID and password, the system
authenticates it and authorizes the user to access the system services allowed
in the user account.
The ability to define different users allows a single computer to be used
by several users, each having their own rights and privileges to ensure that
each have access only to authorized data and applications that they are supposed
to work on. This also prevents accidental or malicious deletion or corruption of
data created by different users.
Standard User Categories
In any multi-user system, users can be grouped together into different categories
as per their needs and access privileges. These categories or user groups are
defined by the system administrator, who is responsible for setting up the
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user network and its administration. Generally, these categories will fit into one
of the standard groups listed below:
Standard User: Also known as a Limited account, generally, they have
access to the majority of functions or applications within the system, can
make adjustments to their own personal work space (like changing the
wallpaper, screen saver) and have a section of data storage space for
their own use. These users are typically not allowed to add or remove
applications from the system or perform any system tasks or access any
other account.
Administrator: The user responsible for the day to day running and
upkeep of a user network system is known as the Administrator. Such a
user has the right to add, delete and change the status of all the user
accounts on the system. The administrator can adjust system settings
and add or remove application software. They can also browse and access
data storage spaces from other user accounts in the system.
Guest: The account, as the name suggests, is meant for guest users or
people who use the system very infrequently or even on a one-time basis.
The guest account is typically very restricted in terms of data access and
altering even basic settings on the system.

Self-Assessment Questions
5. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) Data refers to basic ___________ and entities such as names and
numbers.
(b) In order to distinguish between different users, user accounts are
created, with each user account having a unique user ID and a
____________.
6. State whether true or false:
(a) Information is obtained by disseminating items of data into a
meaningful form.
(b) In any multi-user system, users cannot be grouped together into
different categories, as per their needs and access privileges.

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1.7 Different Types of Computers


Computers are available in different shapes, sizes and weights. Because of
different shapes and sizes they perform different types of jobs from one another.
They can also be categorized in different ways as follows.
Analog Computer: Analog computers perform computations using electrical
resistance, voltage, etc. The use of electrical properties signifies that the
calculations can be performed in real time or even faster at a significant fraction
of the speed of light. In the analog computers, an analog signal is produced
which is composed of DC and AC magnitudes, frequencies and phases. The
starting operations in an analog computer are done in parallel. Data is
represented as a voltage that is a compact form of storage.
Digital Computer: A digital computer stores data in the form of digits (numbers)
and then processes it in the discrete form from one state to the next. In a digital
computer, letters, words, symbols and complete texts are digitally represented,
i.e., using only two digits 0 and 1. It has a large memory to store huge quantity
of data. The processing of data in a digital computer is done with the help of
logical circuits, which are also termed as digital circuits. The digital computers
operate on very high speed and are able to perform trillions of logical or arithmetic
operations per second to provide quick solution to problems, which is not possible
for a human being to do manually.
Hybrid Computer: The hybrid system is a digital computer equipped with an
analog-to-digital converter for input and a digital-to-analog converter for output.
The term hybrid computer signifies a mixture of different digital technologies to
process specific applications with the help of various specific processor
technologies.
Supercomputers: Supercomputers are the most powerful and expensive
computers available today. They are primarily used for processing complex
scientific applications that involve tasks with highly complex calculations and
solving problems with mechanical physics, such as weather forecasting and
climate research systems, nuclear weapon simulation and simulation of
automated aircrafts. Supercomputers use multiprocessing and parallel
processing technologies to solve complex problems promptly. They use
multiprocessors, which enable the user to divide a complex problem into smaller
problems.
Mainframe Computers: Mainframe computers are generally used for handling
the needs of information processing of organizations like banks, insurance

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companies, hospitals and railways. This type of system is placed in a central


location with several user terminals connected to it. The user terminals act as
access stations and may be located in the same building. A mainframe system
of lower configuration is often referred to as a minicomputer system.
Minicomputer: The minicomputers are comparatively smaller in size and have
lower processing speed and cost in comparison to mainframe. These are termed
as minicomputers because of their small size. The minicomputers are designed
for a single user as well as for complex systems having multiple terminals.
Minicomputers are frequently used as servers in network environment where
hundreds of personal computers are attached to the network.
Microcomputer: The microcomputers are also termed as personal computers
or simply PCs and have a microprocessor for processing the task. These are
very small in size and cost is also less as compared to other types. The first
microcomputer by IBM was designed in 1981 and was termed as IBM-PC. The
well known types of personal computers are the PC and the Apple. These types
of computers can work with different operating systems. Microcomputers are
further categorized as Laptop computer, Workstation, Network computer and
Hand-held computer.
Personal Computers/Desktop Computers: A Personal Computer (PC) is a
small single user microprocessor based computer that sits on your desktop and
is generally used at homes, offices and schools. As the name implies, PCs
were mainly designed to meet the personal computing needs of individuals and
are available in two modelsdesktop and tower.
Notebook/Laptop Computers: Notebook computers are battery operated
personal computers. Smaller than the size of a briefcase, these are portable
computers and are popularly known as laptop computers or simply laptops.
These can also be connected to a network to download data from other
computers or to the Internet.
Tablet PC: Tablet PC is a mobile computer that looks like a notebook or a small
writing slate but uses a stylus pen or your finger tip to write on the touch screen.
The same picture can than be converted to text with the help of a HR (Hand
Recognition) software.
PDA: A Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) is a small palm sized hand-held
computer which has a small color touch screen with audio and video features.
They are nowadays used as smart phones, Web enabled palmtop computers,
portable media players or gaming devices.

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Personal Computer XT: The IBM Personal Computer XT commonly known as


IBM XT, PC XT or just XT was created after IBMs basic IBM PC. The term XT
stands for X-tended Technology. IT was basically an enhanced machine that
was designed for the business purposes. PC/XT keyboard interface is
unidirectional.
Personal Computer AT: The IBM Personal Computer AT is also termed as IBM
AT or PC AT and falls under the category of IBMs second generation PCs. The
term, AT stands for Advanced Technology. The IBM PC AT was launched after
PC and PC XT.
Pentium: It is a family of microprocessors developed by Intel Corporation.
Introduced in 1993 as the successor to Intel 80486 microprocessor, the Pentium
contained two processors on a single chip and about 3.3 million transistors.
Using Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC) architecture, it was available
with processor speeds ranging from 60 megahertz (MHz) to 200 MHz. The
Pentium fast became the processor of preference for personal computers. It
was superseded by faster and more powerful processors, the Pentium Pro
(1995), the Pentium II (1997), the Pentium III (1999) and the Pentium 4 (2000).
Activity 3
Search on the Internet and collect relevant data on the various types of
computers discussed in this unit. List it in chronological order.

1.8 Characteristics of Computer


Computers are powerful because of the following characteristics they possess:
Speed: A computer can process data faster than any other machine. It
can perform a calculation many times faster than a human. A powerful
computer is capable of performing billion (109) operations in a second.
The speed of a computer is expressed in fractions of seconds like
milliseconds (10 -3), microseconds (10 -6), nanoseconds (10 -9) and
picoseconds (10-12).
Accuracy: Computers have high accuracy in arithmetic calculation than
human beings. A computer can do calculations with 8 or 16 decimal digit
accuracy.
Diligence: Computers can work continuously for months or even years,
and they do not get tired or feel monotony. They are consistent in all
operations for any number of repetitions or iterations.
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Automatic: The operations of a computer are controlled by a set of


instructions known as computer program. The program is coded exactly
as per the sequence of operations the computer should perform to
complete a task. Any error in the program disrupts the execution of the
task.
Versatility: Computers can perform any number of tasks either
sequentially or simultaneously. At one moment you can prepare a salary
bill of employees and next moment you may prepare and print a letter.
Memory and Storage: A computer can store a lot of information (data)
temporarily in the RAM. Storage devices like floppy disk, hard disk,
compact disk or magnetic tape are used to store data permanently. You
may retrieve data from a storage device even after several years.
The important features of a computer are summarized as follows:
A computer produces an exact solution using a set of instructions.
Instructions to a computer are written with simple operations like add,
subtract, read or display a character, etc.
A computer can execute millions of instructions per second.
A computer executes the instructions exactly as given.
The execution of instructions may be terminated automatically after the
required number of steps.
A computer uses generalized instructions for any problem. The result
obtained from a computer may be verified for known input values.
A computer can store and process large quantity of data.

1.9 Problem Solving using Computers


What is a problem? Problem here means your objective, the goal you want to
achieve.
Along with the introduction of computers, a variety of programming
languages and software packages were also developed. These helped solve
problems. Many analysis tools (tools to analyse the objective) and description
tools (to plan/map the sequence of steps) are available that help in solving
problems. Algorithm is one such example. Algorithm is defined as a sequence
of instructions designed in such a way that if the precise and unambiguous
instructions are executed in the specified sequence, the desired results will be
obtained.
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A computer cannot think as we humans can. Therefore, we have to provide


information to the computer in terms of input and provide instructions with input
data. These instructions, called program, is specifically made to solve a problem
after a through analysis of what is required to do.
The problem solving process follows the following steps:
Defining the problem: Everyonean individual or an organizationmust
be clear about ones problem and the kind of solution its wants.
Examples:
o An administrator wants backup data of a whole week and at the
same time wish that none could interrupt the process of data.
o An organization wants to predict the future sales of a product based
on the previous sales of the last 3 months.
o You, as a student, want to calculate the percentage in each of your
subject and your overall percentage in the semester.
Design a formula/method: Based on the above problems, design the
mathematical formula or non-mathematical method.
Develop an algorithm: This step involves expressing your precise plan,
your sequence of operations and instructions in the form of sentences
called Algorithm.
Translate algorithm into programming language: For a computer
system to understand an algorithm, it has to be translated into
programming language. It could be either a machine language or a high
level language. Only then would the computer implement the instructions
and give the precise and desired results.
Test your program:
o Test for any compilation errors and correct them where required.
o Your algorithm may have left out a crucial step out of the sequence
and though the program compiles, it does not give valid results.
o If the program compiles correctly, use a simple set of test values to
verify that the result is what you expected.
o If the results seem valid, test the program with a variety of real data
sets.
Solution to the Problem
The results you get after successfully compiling and running a program rarely
constitute the answer to your problem. You must interpret these results with
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respect to the definition of the problem. If the results consist of a long list of data
values, create a visualization of the data in order to interpret what you see.
Remember, the computer does not solve a problem; it is a tool that carries out
the instructions in the program.

Self-Assessment Questions
7. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) A digital computer stores data in the form of digits (numbers) and
then processes it in the __________ form from one state to the
next.
(b) Many ____________tools and description tools are available that
help in solving problems.
8. State whether true or false:
(a) The processing of data in a digital computer is done with the help of
logical circuits, which are also termed as digital circuits.
(b) The operations of a computer are controlled by a set of instructions
known as computer program.

1.10 Representation of Characters in Computers


Binary data is not the only data handled by a computer. We also need to process
alphanumeric data like alphabets (upper and lower case), digits (0 to 9) and
special characters like + , , *, /, (, ), space or blank, etc. These also must be
internally represented as bits.

1.10.1 Binary Coded Decimal


Binary Coded Decimal (BCD) is one of the early memory codes. It is based on
the concept of converting each digit of a decimal number into its binary equivalent
rather than converting the entire decimal value into a pure binary form. It further
uses 4 digits to represent each of the digits. Table 1.1 shows the BCD equivalent
of the decimal digits.
Converting 4210 into its BCD equivalent, would result in:
4210

0100
4

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0010 or

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Table 1.1 BCD Equivalent of Decimal Digits

Decimal Number
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

Binary Equivalent
0000
0001
0010
0011
0100
0101
0110
0111
1000
1001

As seen, 4-bit BCD code can be used to represent decimal numbers only.
Since 4 bits are insufficient to represent the various other characters used by
the computer, instead of using only 4 bits (giving 16 possible combinations),
computer designers commonly use 6 bits to represent characters in BCD code.
In this, the 4 BCD numeric place positions are retained but two additional zone
positions are added. With 6 bits, it is possible to represent 26 or 64 different
characters. This is, therefore, sufficient to represent the decimal digits (10),
alphabetic characters (26) and special characters (28).

1.10.2 Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code


The major drawback with the BCD code is that it allows only 64 different
characters to be represented. This is not sufficient to provide for decimal numbers
(10), lower-case letters (26), upper-case letters (26) and a fairly large number
of special characters (28 plus).
The BCD code was, therefore, extended from a 6-bit to an 8-bit code.
The added 2 bits are used as additional zone bits, expanding the zone bits to 4.
This resulting code is called the Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange
Code (EBCDIC). Using the EBCDIC it is possible to represent 2 8 or 256
characters. This takes care of the character requirement along with a large
quantity of printable and several non-printable control characters (movement of
the cursor on the screen, vertical spacing on printer and so on).
Since EBCDIC is an 8-bit code, it can easily be divided into two 4-bit
groups. Each of these groups can be represented by one hexadecimal digit.
Thus, hexadecimal number system is used as a notation for memory dump by

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computers that use EBCDIC for internal representation of characters.


Developed by IBM, EBCDIC code is used in most IBM models and many
other computers.

1.10.3 American Standard Code for Information Interchange


A computer code that is very widely used for data interchange is called the
American Standard Code for Information Interchange or ASCII. Several
computer manufacturers have adopted it as their computers internal code. This
code uses 7 digits to represent 128 characters. Now an advanced ASCII is
used having 8-bit character representation code allowing for 256 different
characters. This representation is being used in microcomputers.
Let us look at the encoding method. Table 1.2 shows the bit combinations
required for each character.
Table 1.2 Bit Combinations
0A

0B

0C

0D

0E

00 NUL SOH STX ETX EOT ENQ ACK BEL BS TAB LF

VT

FF

CR

SO

SI

10 DLE DC1 DC2 DC3 DC4 NAK SYN ETB CAN EM SUB ESC FSR GS

RS

US

00

20

02

01

03

04

05

06

07

08

09

0F

"

&

<

>

30

40

50

60

'

70

DEL

Thus, to code a text string Hello. in ASCII using hexadecimal digits:


H

48

65

6C

6C

6F

2E

The string is represented by the byte sequence 48 65 6C 6C 6F 2E.

1.11 Integers and Fractions


A number system that uses only two digits, 0 and 1, is called a binary number
system. The binary number system is also called a base two system. The two
symbols 0 and 1 are known as bits (Binary Digits).
The binary system groups numbers by twos and by powers of two, as
shown in Figure 1.8. The word binary comes from a Latin word meaning two at
a time.
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Most Significant Digit (MSD) is the leftmost, non-zero digit in a number. It


is the digit with the greatest value in the number. Least Significant Digit (LSD) is
the rightmost digit in the number.

Figure 1.8 Binary Position Values as a Power of 2

The weight or place value of each position can be expressed in terms of


2, and as 20, 21, 22 and so on. The least significant digit has a weight of 20 (= 1).
The second position to the left of the least significant digit is multiplied by 21 (=
2). The third position has weight equal to 22 (= 4). Thus, the weights are in the
ascending powers of 2 or 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 and so on.
The numeral 10two (one, zero, base two) stands for two, the base of the
system.
In binary counting, single digits are used for none and one. Two-digit
numbers are used for 10two and 11two (2 and 3 in decimal numerals). For the next
counting number, 100two (4 in decimal numerals), three digits are necessary.
After 111two (7 in decimal numerals), four digit numerals are used until 1111two
(15 in decimal numerals) is reached and so on. In a binary numeral every position
has a value 2 times the value of the position to its right.
A binary number with 4 bits, is called a nibble and binary number with 8
bits is known as a byte.
Example 1.1: The binary number 10101.011 can be written as
Solution:
1
0
1
0
1
.
0
1
1
4
3
2
1
0
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
.
2
2
2 3
(MSD)
(LSD)
4
3
2
1
0

10101.0112 = 1 2 + 0 2 + 1 2 + 0 2 + 1 2
+ 0 21 + 1 22 + 1 23
= 16 + 0 + 4 + 0 + 1 + 0 + 0.25 + 0.125 = 21.37510
In each binary digit, the value increases in powers of two starting with 0 to the
left of the binary point and decreases to the right of the binary point starting with
power 1.

1.11.1 Binary Fractions


A binary fraction can be represented by a series of 1 and 0 to the right of a
binary point. The weights of digit positions to the right of the binary point are
given by 21, 22, 23 and so on.
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Example 1.2: The binary fraction 0.1011 can be written as


Solution:
0.1011 = 1 21 + 0 22 + 1 23 + 1 24
= 1 0.5 + 0 0.25 + 1 0.125 + 1 0.0625
0.10112 = 0.687510

1.11.2 Mixed Numbers


Mixed numbers contain both integer and fractional parts. The weights of mixed
numbers are,
23

22

21

21

22

23, etc.

Binary point
Example 1.3: A mixed binary number 1011.101 can be written as
Solution: 1011.1012 = 1 23 + 0 22 + 1 21 + 1 20 + 1 21 + 0 22
+ 1 23
= 1 8 + 0 4 + 1 2 + 1 1 + 1 0.5 + 0 0.25
+ 1 0.125

[1011.101]2 = [11.625]10
When different number systems are used, it is customary to enclose the
number within big brackets and the subscripts indicate the type of the number
system.

1.11.3 Floating Point Representation of Numbers


In the decimal system, very large and very small numbers are expressed in
scientific notation as follows: 4.69 1023 and 1.601 1019. Binary numbers can
also be expressed in this same notation by floating point representation. The
floating point representation of a number consists of two parts. The first part
represents a signed fixed point number called the mantissa. The second part
designates the position of the decimal (or binary) point and is called the
exponent. The fixed point mantissa may be a fraction or an integer. The number
of bits required to express the exponent and mantissa are determined by the
accuracy desired from the computing system as well as its capability to handle
such numbers. For example the decimal number + 6132.789 is represented in
floating point as follows:
sign
0 .6132789

mantissa

sign
0
04


exponent

The mantissa has a 0 in the leftmost position to denote a plus. The mantissa
here is considered to be a fixed point fraction. So, the decimal point is assumed
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to be at the left of the Most Significant Bit (MSB). The decimal mantissa, when
stored in a register requires at least 29 flip-flops: four flip-flops for each BCD
digit and one for the sign. The decimal part is not physically indicated in the
register; it is only assumed to be there. The exponent contains the decimal
number + 04 (in BCD), to indicate the actual position of the decimal point which
is four decimal positions to the right of the assumed decimal point. The mantissa
is sometimes called the fraction part.
Consider the following decimal numbers to understand floating point notation.
(i) 42300

(ii) 369.4202

(iii) 0.00385

The above numbers can be written in floating point representation as follows:


(i) 42300 = 423 102
(ii) 369.4202 = .3694202 103
(iii) 0.00385 = 385 105
Here, the first or the integer part is known as mantissa. The mantissa is multiplied
by some power of 10 and this power is known as the exponent.
Consider, for example, a computer that assumes integer representation for the
mantissa and radix 8 for the numbers. The octal number + 36.754 = 36754
83, in its floating point representation will look like this:
sign

0 
36754

mantissa

sign
1
03

exponent

When this number is represented in a register, in its binary-coded form, the


actual value of the register becomes:
0011 110 111 101 100
1 000 011
The register needs 23 flip-flops. The circuits that operate on such data must
recognize the flip-flops assigned to the bits of the mantissa and exponent, and
their associated signs. Note that if the exponent is increased by one (to 2) the
actual point of the mantissa is shifted to the right by three bits (one octal digit).
Floating point is always interpreted to represent a number in the following form:
m re
Only the mantissa m and the exponent e are physically represented in the
register. The radix r and the radix-point position of the mantissa are always
assumed. A floating point binary number is represented in a similar manner
except that the radix assumed is 2, for example, the number + 1001.11 is
represented in a 16-bit register as follows:

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sign
0 100111000



mantissa

Unit 1

sign
0
00100



exponent

The mantissa occupies 10 bits and the exponent 6 bits. The mantissa is
assumed to be a fixed point representation. If the mantissa is assumed to be an
integer, the exponent will be 1 00101 (5).
A floating point number is said to be normalized if the most significant
position of the mantissa contains a non-zero digit, for example, the mantissa
035 is not normalized but 350 is. When 350 is represented in BCD, it becomes
0011 0101 0000 and although two 0s seem to be present in the two most
significant positions, the mantissa is normalized. Since the bits represent a
decimal number, not a binary number, and decimal numbers in BCD must be
taken in groups of four bits, the first digit is 3 and is non-zero.
When the mantissa is normalized, it has no leading zeros and, therefore,
contains the maximum possible number of significant digits. Consider, for
example, a register that can accommodate a mantissa of five decimal digits
and a sign. The number + 0.35748 102 = 35.748 is normalized because the
mantissa has a non-zero digit 3 in its most significant position. This number can
be represented in an unnormalized form as + .00357 10 4 = 35.7. This
unnormalized number contains two most significant zeros and, therefore, the
mantissa can accommodate only three significant digits. The two least significant
digits, 4 and 8, which were accommodated in the normalized form, have no form
in the unnormalized form because the register can only accommodate five digits.
Arithmetic operations with floating point numbers are more complicated
than arithmetic operations with fixed point numbers and their execution takes
longer and requires more complex hardware. However, floating point
representation is a must for scientific computations because of the scaling
problems involved with fixed point computations. Many computers and all
electronic calculators have built-in capability of performing floating point arithmetic
operations. Computers that do not have hardware for floating point computations
have a set of subroutines to help the user program his scientific problems with
floating point numbers.
Example 1.4: Determine the number of bits required to represent, in floating
point notation, the exponent for decimal numbers in the range of 10+86.
Solution: Let n be the required number of bits to represent the number 10+86.

2n = 1086
n log 2 = 86

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n = 86/log 2 =

Unit 1

86
= 285.7
0. 3010

1086 = 2285.7.

The exponent 285 can be represented by a 10-bit binary word. It has a


range of exponent (+ 511 to 512).

Self-Assessment Questions
9. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) BCD is based on the concept of __________each digit of a decimal
number into its binary equivalent rather than converting the entire
decimal value into a pure binary form.
(b) The binary number system is also called a _________system.
10. State whether true or false:
(a) The major advantage with the BCD code is that it allows only 64
different characters to be represented.
(b) In the binary system, very large and very small numbers are
expressed in scientific notation.

1.12 Decimal to Binary Conversion


There are several methods for converting a decimal number to a binary number.
The first method is simply to subtract values of powers of 2 that can be subtracted
from the decimal number until nothing remains. The value of the highest power
of 2 is subtracted first, then the second highest and so on.
Example 1.5: Convert the decimal integer 29 to the binary number system.
Solution: First the value of highest power of 2 that can be subtracted from 29
is found. This is 24 = 16.
Then, 29 16 = 13
The value of the highest power of 2 that can be subtracted from 13, is 23, then
13 23 = 13 8 = 5. The value of the highest power of 2 that can be subtracted
from 5, is 22. Then 5 22 = 5 4 = 1. The remainder after subtraction is 10 or 20.
Therefore, the binary representation for 29 is given by
2910 = 24 + 23 + 22 + 20 = 16 + 8 + 4 + 0 2 + 1
=1 1 1 0 1
[29]10 = [11101]2
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Similarly,

Unit 1

[25.375]10 = 16 + 8 + 1 + 0.25 + 0.125


= 24 + 23 + 0 + 0 + 20 + 0 + 22 + 23
[25.375]10 = [11011.011]2

This is a labourious method for converting numbers. It is convenient for


small numbers and can be performed mentally, but is less used for larger
numbers.

1.12.1 Double-Dabble Method


A popular method known as double-dabble method and also called divide-bytwo method is used to convert a large decimal number into its binary equivalent.
In this method, the decimal number is repeatedly divided by 2 and the remainder
after each division is used to indicate the co-efficient of the binary number to be
formed. Notice that the binary number derived is written from the bottom up.
Note: The Least Significant Bit (LSB) is the lowest bit in a series of numbers in binary, located at
the far right of a string. Most Significant Bit (MSB) is the highest bit in a series of numbers in
binary, located at the far left of a string.

Example 1.6: Convert 19910 into its binary equivalent.


Solution:

199 2
99 2
49 2
24 2
12 2
62
32
12

= 99 + remainder
= 49 + remainder
= 24 + remainder
= 12 + remainder
= 6 + remainder
= 3 + remainder
= 1 + remainder
= 0 + remainder

1
1
1
0
0
0
1
1

(LSB)

(MSB)

The binary representation of 199 is, therefore, 11000111. Checking the


result we have
[11000111]2 = 1 27 + 1 26 + 0 25 + 0 24 + 0 23 + 1 22
+ 1 21 + 1 20
= 128 + 64 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 4 + 2 + 1
[11000111]2 = [199]10
Notice that the first remainder is the least significant bit and last remainder
is the MSB. However, this method will not work for mixed numbers.

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1.12.2 Decimal Fraction to Binary


The conversion of decimal fraction to binary fractions may be accomplished by
using several techniques. Again, the most obvious method is to subtract the
highest value of negative power of 2 which may be subtracted from the decimal
fraction. Then, the next highest value of negative power of 2 is subtracted from
the remainder of the first subtraction and this process is continued until there is
no remainder or to the desired precision.
Example 1.7: Convert decimal 0.875 to a binary number.
Solution:

0.875 1 21 = 0.875 0.5 = 0.375


0.375 1 22 = 0.375 0.25 = 0.125
0.125 1 23 = 0.125 0.125 = 0

[0.875]10 = [0.111]2

A much simpler method of converting longer decimal fractions to binary


consists of repeatedly multiplying by 2 and recording any carriers in the integer
position.

1.13 Hexadecimal Representation of Numbers


The hexadecimal system groups numbers by sixteen and powers of sixteen.
Hexadecimal numbers are used extensively in microprocessor work. Most
minicomputers and microcomputers have their memories organized into sets of
bytes, each consisting of eight binary digits. Each byte either is used as single
entity to represent a single alphanumeric character or broken into two 4-bit
pieces. When the bytes are handled in two 4-bit pieces, the programmer is
given the option of declaring each 4-bit character as a piece of a binary number
or as two BCD numbers.
The hexadecimal number is formed from a binary number by grouping
bits in groups of 4 bits each starting at the binary point. This is a logical way of
grouping, since computer words come in 8-bits, 16-bits, 32-bits and so on. In a
group of 4-bits, the decimal numbers 0 to 15 can be represented as shown in
Table 1.3.
The hexadecimal number system has a base of 16. Thus, it has 16 distinct
digit symbols. It uses the digits 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 plus the letters A, B,
C, D, E and F as 16 digit symbols. The relationship among octal, hexadecimal,
and binary is shown in Table 1.3. Note that each hexadecimal number represents
a group of four binary digits.
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Table 1.3 Equivalent Numbers in Decimal, Binary,


Octal and Hexadecimal Number Systems
Decimal
(Radix 10)

Binary
(Radix 2)

Octal
(Radix 8)

Hexadecimal
(Radix 16)

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19

0000
0001
0010
0011
0100
0101
0110
0111
1000
1001
1010
1011
1100
1101
1110
1111
0001 0000
0001 0001
0001 0010
0001 0011

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
20
21
22
23

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
A
B
C
D
E
F
10
11
12
13

20

0001 0100

24

14

Counting in Hexadecimal
When counting in hex, each digit can be incremented from 0 to F. Once it reaches
F, the next count causes it to recycle to 0 and the next-higher digit is incremented.
This is illustrated in the following counting sequences: 0038, 0039, 003A, 003B,
003C, 003D, 003E, 003F, 0040; 06B8, 06B9, 06BA, 06BB, 06BC, 06BD, 06BE,
06BF, 06C0, 06C1.
Hexadecimal to Binary Conversion
Hexadecimal numbers can be converted into binary numbers by converting
each hexadecimal digit to 4-bit binary equivalent using the code given in Table

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1.3. If the hexadecimal digit is 3, it should not be represented by two bits [11]2,
but it should be represented by four bits as [0011]2.
Example 1.8: Convert [2AB.81]16 to binary.
Solution: Hexadecimal number
2
A
B
.

0010 1010 1011


[2AB.81]16 = [0010 1010 1011 .

1000
1000

0001
0001]2

Binary to Hexadecimal Conversion


Conversion from binary to hexadecimal is easily accomplished by partitioning
the binary number into groups of four binary digits, starting from the binary
point to the left and to the right. It may be necessary to add zero to the last
group, if it does not end in exactly four bits. Each group of 4-bit binary must be
represented by its hexadecimal equivalent.
Example 1.9: Convert [111101110111.111011]2 to hexadecimal number.
Solution: Binary number 111101110111.111011
Grouping into 4-bits we have
1111 0111 0111
.
1110 1100

Hexadecimal equivalent
F
7
7
.
E
C

[111101110111.111011]2 = [F77.EC]16

The conversion between hexadecimal and binary is done in exactly the


same manner as octal and binary, except that groups of four bits are used.
Hexadecimal to Decimal Conversion
As in octal, each hexadecimal number is multiplied by the powers of 16 which
represents the weight according to its position and finally adding all the values.
Another way of converting a hexadecimal number into its decimal
equivalent is to first convert the hexadecimal number to binary and then convert
from binary to decimal.
Example 1.10: Convert [2AB.8]H to decimal number.
Solution:

[2AB.8]H = 2 162 + A 161 + B 160 + 8 161


= 2 256 + 10 16 + 11 1 + 8 0.0625

[2AB.8]H = [683.5]10

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Decimal to Hexadecimal Conversion


One way to convert from decimal to hexadecimal is the hex dabble method.
The conversion is done in a similar fashion, as in the case of binary, taking the
factor for division and multiplication as 16.
Any decimal integer number can be converted to hex successively dividing
by 16 until zero is obtained in the quotient. The remainders can then be written
from bottom to top to obtain the hexadecimal results.
The fractional part of the decimal number is converted to hexadecimal
number by multiplying it by 16 and writing down the carry and the fraction
separately. This process is continued until the fraction is reduced to zero or the
required number of significant bits is obtained.
Example 1.11: Convert [106.0664]10 to hexadecimal.
Solution: Integer part
106 16 = 6 + with a remainder of 10
6 16 = 0 + with a remainder of 6
Fractional part
0.0664 16 = 1.0624 = 0.0624 + with a carry of 1
0.0624 16 = 0.9984 = 0.9984 + with a carry of 0
0.9984 16 = 15.9744 = 0.9744 + with a carry of 15
0.9744 16 = 15.5904 = 0.5904 + with a carry of 15
Fractional part
Thus, the answer is

[0.0664]10 = [0.10FF]16
[106.0664]10 = [6A.10FF]16

A typical microcomputer can store up to 65,535 bytes. The decimal


addresses of these bytes are from 0 to 65,535. The equivalent binary addresses
are from
0000 0000 0000 0000
to
1111 1111 1111 1111
The first 8 bits are called the upper byte and last 8 bits are called lower
byte.
When the decimal is greater than 255, we have to use both the upper
byte and the lower byte.

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Self-Assessment Questions
11. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) A popular method known as ___________method and also called
divide-by-two method is used to convert a large decimal number
into its binary equivalent.
(b) The hexadecimal system ____________numbers by sixteen and
powers of sixteen.
12. State whether true or false:
(a) The conversion of decimal fraction to binary fractions may be
accomplished by using several techniques.
(b) The hexadecimal number is formed from a binary number by grouping
bits in groups of 4 bits each starting at the binary point.

1.14 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:
A computer is an electronic device capable of manipulating numbers and
symbols under the control of a set of instructions known as a computer
program. The computer program directs the computer to solve a particular
problem and display results.
A computer basically consists of electronic components that are supported
by electrical devices and mechanical systems. All these electronic,
electrical and mechanical components used in a computer are called
computer hardware.
The processing unit comprises a processor that interprets the program
instructions in the memory, controls the data flow into and out of the
memory, and performs arithmetic and logical operations.
A computer stores the data entered into it for further processing. It also
stores the results and then passes them to an output device. The
intermediate results are also stored in the computer.
Storage of data in a computer is always in the form of binary digits.
Personal computers are microcomputers commonly used for commercial
data processing, Desktop Publishing (DTP), engineering applications and
so on.
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A personal computer, commonly available today, comprises a processor


(e.g., Pentium IV), a keyboard, a mouse, FDD, HDD, CDD, a color monitor,
a printer, RAM and ROM.
The computer software represents a set of programs that instruct the
computer in its operations and make the hardware work. Instructions to a
computer are written in the form of a programming language.
The general purpose application software is called a software package.
Customized software is developed for a specific user.
Data is transferred across computers through the communication software.
Information refers to data that has been organized into a more useful
form. Information is used for direct utilization as it helps us in decisionmaking.
A user, in computer terminology, refers to an individual who uses a
computer or network system. Computer users can be further classified
according to the level of data or security access they require or the
applications or functionality that they have access to.
In any multi-user system, users can be grouped together into different
categories as per their needs and access privileges. These categories or
user groups are defined by the system administrator, who is responsible
for setting up the user network and its administration.
Computers are available in different shapes, sizes and weights. Because
of different shapes and sizes they perform different types of jobs from
one another.
The speed of a computer is expressed in fractions of seconds like
milliseconds (10 -3), microseconds (10 -6), nanoseconds (10 -9) and
picoseconds (10-12).
A computer can store a lot of information (data) temporarily in the RAM.
Storage devices like floppy disk, hard disk, compact disk or magnetic
tape are used to store data permanently.
Algorithm is defined as a sequence of instructions designed in such a
way that if the precise and unambiguous instructions are executed in the
specified sequence, the desired results will be obtained.
Binary data is not the only data handled by a computer. We also need to
process alphanumeric data like alphabets (upper and lower case), digits

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(0 to 9) and special characters like +, , *, /, (, ), space or blank, etc.,


which must be internally represented as bits.
Binary Coded Decimal (BCD) is one of the early memory codes. It is
based on the concept of converting each digit of a decimal number into
its binary equivalent. It further uses 4 digits to represent each of the digits.
A computer code that is very widely used for data interchange is called
the American Standard Code for Information Interchange or ASCII.
A number system that uses only two digits, 0 and 1, is called a binary
number system. The binary number system is also called a base two
system. The two symbols 0 and 1 are known as bits or binary digits.
A binary fraction can be represented by a series of 1 and 0 to the right of
a binary point.
The floating point representation of a number consists of two parts. The
first part represents a signed fixed point number called the mantissa. The
second part designates the position of the decimal (or binary) point and is
called the exponent. A floating point number is said to be normalized if
the most significant position of the mantissa contains a non-zero digit.
The conversion of decimal fraction to binary fractions is accomplished by
subtracting the highest value of negative power of 2 which may be
subtracted from the decimal fraction.
The hexadecimal number system has a base of 16. Thus, it has 16 distinct
digit symbols. It uses the digits 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 plus the letters
A, B, C, D, E and F as 16 digit symbols.

1.15 Glossary
Hardware: All electronic/electric components and circuits used in a
computer system
Software: A set of programs which instruct the computer in its operations
Data: Basic facts and entities
Information: Data that is converted into a more useful form
Binary number system: A number system that uses only two digits, 0
and 1

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1.16 Terminal Questions


1. Explain the central processing unit and storage unit of a computer system.
2. Differentiate between hardware and software.
3. Explain the significance of data and information.
4. Discuss the various categories of computer users.
5. Describe the different types of computers.
6. Explain the characteristics of a computer system.
7. What is a problem? How a problem is solved using computers?
8. What are the different methods of representation of characters in
computers?
9. Explain the concept of floating-point representation of numbers.
10. Illustrate the decimal to binary conversion methods.
11. Explain hexadecimal representation of numbers using examples.

1.17 Answers
Answers to Self-Assessment Questions
1. (a) Results; (b) Output
2. (a) True; (b) False
3. (a) MegaHertz; (b) Programs
4. (a) False; (b) True
5. (a) Facts; (b) Password
6. (a) False; (b) False
7. (a) Discrete; (b) Analysis
8. (a) True; (b) True
9. (a) Converting; (b) Base two
10. (a) False; (b) False
11. (a) Double-dabble; (b) Groups
12. (a) True; (b) True

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Answers to Terminal Questions


1. Refer to Section 1.2
2. Refer to Section 1.3 and 1.4
3. Refer to Section 1.5
4. Refer to Section 1.6
5. Refer to Section 1.7
6. Refer to Section 1.8
7. Refer to Section 1.9
8. Refer to Section 1.10
9. Refer to Section 1.11.3
10. Refer to Section 1.12
11. Refer to Section 1.13

1.18 Further Reading


1. Forouzan, Behrouz A. Data Communications and Networking. New
Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Black, Uyless D. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,
1993.
3. Stallings, William. Data and Computer Communications. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall Inc., 1996.
4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Inc., 2002.
5. Douglas, E. C. Computer Networks & Internet. New Delhi: Pearson
Education.
6. Rajaraman, V. Fundamentals of Computers. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of
India, 1996.

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Unit 2

Computer Generation and Classification

Structure
2.1 Introduction
Objectives
2.2 Generations of Computers
2.3 Moores Law
2.4 Classification of Computers
2.5 Distributed Computer System
2.6 Parallel Computers
2.7 Summary
2.8 Glossary
2.9 Terminal Questions
2.10 Answers
2.11 Further Reading

2.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you read about some important terminology of computers
and data representation. In the current unit, you will read about the generations
of computers that have evolved over time and classification of computers based
on certain features.
Being an integral part of our lives today, computers have advanced from
large sized simple calculating machines to smaller yet more powerful, efficient
and faster machines. This evolution in technology is defined in the terms of the
generations of computer. The development of integrated circuits led to decrease
in the size of the chip. The density of transistors on the integrated circuits
increased exponentially thereafterspecifically doubling at regular intervals of
around two years as stated by Moore. Computers vary in utility, size, capacity,
speed, hardware facilities, price, etc. As per utility, computers can be classified
into digital, analog and hybrid. Digital computers can be mainframe,
minicomputers or microcomputers. Early computing was performed on a single
processor. A distributed system is a collection of independent computers,
interconnected via a network, capable of collaborating on a task. The area of a
network can be as small as a building or as large as entire country. A computer
network topology is the physical communication scheme used by connected
devicesthe main ones being star, ring and bus.

Computer Awareness and Internet

Unit 2

Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Explain the different generations of computers and their features
State Moores Law
Describe the classification of computers
Summarize the features of distributed computer systems
Discuss parallel computers

2.2 Generations of Computers


The history of computer development can be divided into distinct phases which
are often referred to as generations of computing devices. Generation in
computer terminology is a step in technology. Each generation of computers is
characterized by a major technological development that fundamentally changed
the way computers operate, resulting in increasingly smaller, cheaper, more
powerful, efficient and reliable devices with decreasing energy consumption
and lesser generation of heat.
Originally, the term generation was used to distinguish between varying
hardware technologies only, but nowadays, it is used to include both hardware
and software.
You will read about the many generations and the developments that led
to the devices we use today.

2.2.1 First-Generation Computers


First-generation computers used vacuum tubes in their circuitry and magnetic
drums for their memory. A vacuum tube was a fragile glass device that used
filaments as a source of electrons, and could control and amplify electronic
signals (refer Figure 2.1).

Figure 2.1 A Vacuum Tube


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These computers could perform computations in milliseconds but were


enormous in size, taking up almost an entire room. They were also very expensive
to operate and, in addition, used a great deal of electricity and generated a lot
of heat, resulting in malfunctioning.
The first-generation computers relied on machine language (binary-coded
programs) programs to perform operations and could solve only one problem
at a time. Input was through punch cards and paper tape, and the output was
displayed on printouts.
Early computers, such as the ENIAC, EDVAC and UNIVACI can be
classified as first-generation computers.

2.2.2 Second-Generation Computers


Transistors developed in 1947, replaced vacuum tubes and ushered in the
second-generation computers. The transistor was far superior to the vacuum
tube, allowing computers to become smaller, faster, cheaper, more energyefficient and more reliable than their first-generation predecessors. Although
transistors also generated a great deal of heat that could damage the computer,
it was a substantial improvement over the vacuum tube. The second-generation
computers still relied on punched cards for input and printouts for output.
The cryptic binary machine language gave way to symbolic or assembly
language that allowed programmers to specify instructions in words. High-level
programming languages such as COBOL and FORTRAN were also being
developed at this time.
These were also the first computers that stored instructions in their memory
that moved from magnetic drum to magnetic core technology.
The first computers of this generation were developed for the atomic
energy industry.

2.2.3 Third-Generation Computers


Transistors were clearly an improvement over the vacuum tube but were still
characterized by a great deal of heat generation resulting in computer damage.
The development of the Integrated Circuit (IC) by Jack Kilby, an engineer
with Texas Instruments, in 1958, was the hallmark of third-generation of
computers (refer Figure 2.2).

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Figure 2.2 An Example of an IC Chip

Instead of punched cards and printouts, users interacted with the thirdgeneration computers through devices like the keyboard and monitors. They
also interfaced with an operating system that allowed the device to run many
different applications at the same time with the help of a central program that
monitored the memory.
For the first time, computers became accessible to the masses because
they were substantially smaller and cheaper than their predecessors.

2.2.4 Fourth-Generation Computers


After integrated circuits, the only development could be reduction in the size of
the chip. Large-Scale Integration (LSI) could fit hundreds of components onto a
single chip. By the 1980s, Very Large-Scale Integration (VLSI) squeezed
hundreds of thousands of components onto a single chip. Ultra Large-Scale
Integration (ULSI) increased that number to millions.
The ability to fit so much processing capability in an area so small, helped
to reduce the size and price of computers. It also increased its power, efficiency
and reliability.
Initially, IC technology was used only for constructing the processor, but it
was soon realized that the same technology could also be used for the
construction of the computer memory. The first memory chip was constructed
in 1970 and it could hold 256 bits.
As more and more components were fabricated on a single chip, fewer
and fewer chips were needed to construct the processor. What, in the first
generation, filled the entire room could now fit in the palm of the hand. The Intel
4004 chip, developed in 1971, located all the components of the computer
from the CPU and memory to Input/Output (I/O) controls on a single chip.
This was the first microprocessor. Figure 2.3 shows the Intel Pentium Chip.

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Figure 2.3 The Intel Pentium Microprocessor Chip

In 1981, IBM introduced its first computer for the home user and in 1984
Apple introduced the Macintosh. Microprocessors also moved out of the realm
of desktop computers and into many areas of life as more and more everyday
products began to use microprocessors.
As the computing power of computers improved, it was possible to link
them together to form networks which eventually led to the development of the
Internet. Fourth-generation computers also saw the development of GUIs, the
mouse and various handheld devices.

2.2.5 Fifth-Generation Computers


Fifth-generation computing devices based on artificial intelligence are still being
developed. One does see glimpses of these today in the form of voice recognition
systems. The use of parallel processing and supercomputers has helped to
make artificial intelligence a reality. Quantum computation and molecular
technology will radically change the face of computers in the years to come.
The goal of fifth-generation computing is to develop devices that will respond to
natural language inputs and be capable of learning and self-organization.
The horizon is far off, and the end is nowhere in sight; the possibilities are
immense, as is the potential of computer technology to revolutionize human life.
Activity 1
Research on the Internet and prepare a chart on each generation of
computer including time frame, hardware, software, features and examples.

Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) Early computers, such as the ENIAC, EDVAC and UNIVACI, can be
classified as _________ generation computers.
(b) The first memory chip was constructed in the year __________.
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2. State whether true or false:


(a) The transistor used in fifth-generation computers was far superior to
the vacuum tube, allowing computers to become smaller, faster,
cheaper, more energy-efficient and more reliable than their firstgeneration predecessors.
(b) Fifth-generation computing devices are based on artificial intelligence.

2.3 Moores Law


You have read about the generations of computer hardware. The development
of computer hardware components has been fast and manifold, in fact the right
word isexponential. This justifies the law developed by Intel co-founder Gordon
E. Moore in 1965. Moore predicted that the density of transistors in integrated
circuits would double at regular intervals of around two years.
Starting from 1965 up till now, Moores prediction has proved to be accurate
about the capabilities of digital devices: processing speed, memory capacity,
resolution of digital cameras, or the latest technology products like Personal
Digital Assistants (PDAs), laptops, MP3 and so on. This has dramatically
increased the usefulness of digital electronics in nearly every segment of the
world economy. Moores law proved to be a driving force of technological and
social change in the late 20th and early 21st century as well.
Number of transistors doubling
every 10 months

Number of transistors on
an integrated circuit

10,000,000,000

Itanium2
(9 MB cacl)

1,000,000,000

Itanium 2
Number of transistors doubling
every 24 months

100,000,000

Pentium 4
Itanium

10,000,000

Pentium III
Pentium II
Pentium

1,000,000

486

100,000

386
286

10,000
8080

2,300
4004
1971

8008

1980

1990

2000 2004

Year

Figure 2.4 Graph for Moores Law

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The number of transistors per integrated circuits chip has approximately


doubled every 18 months. This observation of Moore is called Moores Law. As
shown in Figure 2.4, the y-axis gives the number of transistors per chip in the
Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) and the x-axis represents the year.
The y-axis is a logarithmic scale and the x-axis is a linear scale. The largest
DRAM chip had 16 KB in 1974; it increased to 256 MB in 1998an increase of
16,000 times in 24 yearsand today it is measured in Giga Bytes (GB)!
Estimations based on Moores law about the next generation microprocessor of
64 bit processors with clocks in the range of a few GHz proved right. You may
check the configuration of computers available in your laboratories, in your
workplaces and on your PCs or laptops and find it out. Computers from the
room-size version to laptops has become possible because of the exponential
growth of components on smaller and smaller ICs. The availability of much
better hardware in terms of speed, reduced size and price, every few months,
has led to the concept called software crisis. Development of software has not
kept pace with the development of hardware. The availability of large memories
and fast processors has also increased the size and complexity of systems and
applications software. This has kept up the demand for hardware, such as
increase in the disk capacity. In 1984, the disk capacity in PCs was around
20 MB, whereas it was 80 GB in 2004, a 8000-fold increase in about 20 years,
again doubling every 18 months. The hard disk capacity available in PCs in
2008 was 256 GB and it was between 500 GB to 1000 GB in 2010. One can
calculate the expected capacity based on Moores law in the next 18 months.
As mentioned earlier, it has been found that with reduced size, higher capacity
and faster processing speed, the price factor is also in favour of the usersit is
reducing.
The implications of Moores law are that in the foreseeable future, we will
be getting more powerful computers at reasonable prices. It will be up to our
ingenuity to use this increased power of computers effectively.

Self-Assessment Questions
Fill in the blank with the appropriate word:
3. The Moore law was developed by Intel co-founder ____________ in 1965.
State whether true or false:
4. Moore predicted that the density of transistors in integrated circuits would
triple at regular intervals of around two years.

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2.4 Classification of Computers


Computers are classified into three types:
Digital computers
Analog computers
Hybrid computers
Digital Computers: Digital computers are commonly used for data processing
and solving problems using programs. These operate by counting digits in the
binary form and processing data in discrete form. Digital computers have large
memories that enable them to store large quantities of data.
Analog Computers: Analog computers are generally used in industrial process
controls and to measure physical quantities such as pressure, temperature and
so on. These do not use binary digits for computation. They work on continuous
electrical signal inputs and the output is displayed continuously. Its memory
capacity is less and can perform only certain types of calculations. However,
they are faster than digital computers. The accuracy of result obtained from an
analog computer is about 99 per cent.
Hybrid Computers: Hybrid computers are the combination of digital and analog
computers. They use the best features of digital and analog computers. They
help the user to process both continuous and discrete data. Hybrid computers
are generally used for weather forecasting and industrial process control.

2.4.1 Classification of Digital Computers


Computers are classified on the basis of their speed of operation, memory
capacity, hardware facilities and price. In many cases, there is a considerable
amount of overlap among groups. The classification of the digital computer
based on the processing hardware is given below.
Mainframe computers
Minicomputers
Microcomputers
Mainframe Computers: Mainframe computers support a number of users to
access a variety of software applications. They are also called organizational
computers because they are used in large organizations. The major
characteristics of a mainframe computer are as follows:
It offers extensive problem-solving capabilities.
It works at a very high speed. A large mainframe computer can process
more than 100 MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second).
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It has a high memory capacity, measured in GB or more.


It is very expensive.
It can handle multiple applications within a timesharing environment. This
provides many users with the ability to perform different tasks.
It can serve as the heart of a teleprocessing system with remote
connections all over the world.
It can act as a database server and other computers can network with it.
Governments, universities and large business organizations use
mainframe computers. Such organizations have extensive processing
needs.
It is commonly used for complex problem solving or large-volume jobs.
Banks, insurance companies and large research projects involving
extensive processing demands and fast processing speeds use mainframe
computers.
Minicomputers: Minicomputers are a scaled-down version of mainframe
computers. The processing power and the cost of minicomputers are less than
that of mainframe computers. Minicomputers have larger memory sizes and
faster processing speeds than microcomputers. Minicomputers are also called
workgroup systems because they are well suited to the needs of smaller
workgroups within a large organization. The major characteristics of a
minicomputer are as follows:
They have extensive problem-solving capabilities.
They have moderate memory capacity measured in MBs or GBs.
They have high processing speeds and operating systems with
multitasking and network capabilities.
They can be equipped with drives for floppy disks, magnetic tapes,
compact disks and hard disks.
They can serve as network servers.
Large organizations use minicomputers instead of one mainframe
computer.
Microcomputers: Microcomputers are developed from advanced computer
technology. They are commonly used in homes, classrooms and in the
workplaces. Microcomputers can be home computers, personal computers,
laptops, PDAs, etc. They are powerful and easy to operate. In recent years,
computers have become portable and affordable. The major characteristics of
microcomputers are as follows:
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They are capable of performing data processing tasks and can solve
numerical programs. Microcomputers work faster like minicomputers.
They have moderate memory capacity measured in MBs.
They are inexpensive. A variety of microcomputers are available to suit
smaller business organizations and educational institutions.
The processing speed of microcomputers is measured in MHz. A
microcomputer running at 90 MHz works approximately at 90 MIPS.
Microcomputers are equipped with drives for floppy disks, compact disks
and hard disks.
Only one user can operate a microcomputer at a time.
They are normally dedicated to one job. Millions of people use
microcomputers to increase their personal productivity.
Useful accessory tools like clock, calendar, calculator, daily schedule
reminders, scratch pads and so on, are available in microcomputers.
Laptop computers, also called notebook computers, are microcomputers.
They use a battery power source. Laptop computers use a keyboard,
mouse, floppy disc drive, CD drive, hard disk drive and monitor. They are
costlier than personal computers.

Self-Assessment Questions
Fill in the blank with the appropriate word:
5. ___________computers are generally used in industrial process controls
and to measure physical quantities such as pressure, temperature and
so on.
State whether true or false:
6. The processing power of mainframe computers is less than that of
minicomputers.

2.5 Distributed Computer System


A computer network or network is a collection of two or more computers and
hardware components that are interconnected by communication channels so
that they can share resources and information. In a computer network, all the
computers in an office are connected through cables. You need to install a
special network adapter card, which is an electronic circuit card that goes inside

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your computer, to plug into the cable, set up and configure special network
software.

Server Computer

Figure 2.5 Networking of Computers

2.5.1 Shared Resources through Networking


Figure 2.5 shows a typical network with four PCs. You can see here that all four
computers are connected together with a network cable. Technically, a computer
connected to a network is called a node. A computer is said to be online, if it is
turned on and is able to access the network. However, if the computer is unable
to access the network, it is said to be offline. A computer can be offline due to
several reasons. It could be turned off, it could be broken or the cable that
connects it to the network could be unplugged.
In general terms, a computer network is an interconnection of various
computer systems located at same or different places. The interconnection is
done through a communication link, also known as the physical layer of the
network. This link is totally transparent to the users of the network. The interfacing
software, known as protocol, enables a user in one location to freely access a
computer system in another location, thus providing the transparency of the
communication link.
Computer networks include computers as well as intelligent peripheral
equipment such as automatic teller machines and point-of-sale terminals
equipped with microprocessors. The computers are interconnected by telephone
lines, microwave relays and other high-speed communication links for the
purpose of exchanging data and sharing equipment. Networking has been
implemented at all levels, from local to international, in diverse sectors of society.
Networks are used by government organizations for rapid retrieval of information
from databases at central locations, and by banks and retail merchants for the
transfer of funds or credit verification. If telephone lines are used for a computer
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network, each computer in the network must be connected to a telephone line


through a modem (modulator/demodulator).

2.5.2 Advantages of Networking


Setting up computer networks is not an easy task. However, the benefits of
having a network make up for the difficulty of setting up the networks. Networks
involve sharing three things: files, resources and programs.
Sharing Files: Networks enable you to share information with other
computers connected to the network. Depending on how you set up your
network, you can share information in different ways. The most direct
way is to send files from your computer directly to your friends computer.
The second way is to send your file to an intermediate resting place from
where your friend can pick it up later. A third way is to permanently store
the file in that intermediate place, from where both of you can get the file
whenever you want. One way or the other, the data travels to your friends
computer through the network cable.
Sharing Resources: This means that you can set up certain computer
resources such as a disk drive or a printer, so that all of the computers on
the network can access them; for example, a printer attached to server
computer is a shared resource. It means that anyone on the network can
use it.
Disk drives can also be a shared resource. In fact, a disk drive must
be set up as a shared resource in order to share files with other users.
Suppose Computer No. 3 wants to share a file with No. 4 and a shared
disk drive has been set up on No. 2 computer. Computer No. 3 has to
copy his file to the shared disk drive in No. 2 Computer and tell No. 4
where he has put it. Then, when No. 4 accesses it, he can copy the file
from Computer No. 1 to his own.
In addition, you can share other resources such as CD ROM (Compact
Disk Read Only Memory) drives or modems, which let you access other
computers that are not on your network.
Sharing Programs: Sometimes, it is better to save programs that
everyone uses on a shared disk, rather than keeping separate copies of
the programs on each computer. If you have ten computer users who all
use AutoCAD (Automatic Computer Aided Design), you can store AutoCAD
on each computer or you can store AutoCAD on a shared disk.

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Backups: As all data is stored on the server, backing up critical data


becomes a simple process.
Communication: The biggest benefit, however, comes in the form of
better communication facilities such as electronic mail and groupware
applications. Through electronic mail or e-mail, members of a network
can send messages and ensure safe delivery of data to other members,
even when they are not there. Groupware applications allow users to
work collectively on the same document or data.

2.5.3 Disadvantages of Networking


Crashes: The biggest disadvantage is on a server-based network. When
the server crashes, work gets disrupted as all network resources and
their benefits are lost. Unless proper precautions are taken to ensure
regular backups, the crash may result in the loss of critical data and time.
Data Security Problems: As all the data resources are pooled together,
it is possible for unauthorized personnel to access classified information
if network security is weak or poorly implemented.
Lack of Privacy: A network may also result in loss of privacy as anyone,
especially your boss, with the right network privileges may read your private
e-mail messages.

2.5.4 Types of Networks


Based on the geographical spread, networks can be classified into the following
three categories:
Local Area Network (LAN): A system of networked computers and other
hardware resources spread in a small area such as a building
Wide Area Network (WAN): A geographically dispersed communications
network, with many owners, linking computers for the purpose of
communicating with each other such as a national network for airline
reservations or the Internet
Metropolitan Area Network (MAN): A WAN limited to only one metropolis
A LAN consists of network interface cards that are fitted inside the
connected computers and cables (or an equivalent wireless connection) to
connect these computers. It also includes protocol software to move data from
one computer to another, user interface software to connect the user, and the
network and operating system software to actually service users needs for

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resources such as files and printers. Finally, you can say that a LAN runs enduser applications.
Once a network spans more than a few miles, such as a campus
environment, it is referred to as a MAN. A MAN spans a region such as a city. A
WAN brings companies into the sphere of networking by connecting computers
in the entire enterprise, which may span over several cities, states and countries.
In the last 15 years, LANs have become a key business tool used by
companies worldwide rather than just an experimental technology. A LAN is a
high-speed communications system designed to link computers and other data
processing devices within a small geographical area such as a workgroup,
department or a single floor of a multi-storey building. Several LANs can also
be interconnected within a building or campus of buildings to extend connectivity.
LANs have become popular because they allow users to share vital
computing resources, including expensive hardware such as printers and CD
ROM drives, application programs and most importantly, the information the
users need to do their jobs. Prior to the development of LAN technology, individual
computers were isolated from each other and limited in their range of applications.
By linking these individual computers over LANs, their usefulness and productivity
have increased enormously. However, a LAN is a local network by its very nature.
It is confined to a fairly small area such as a building or even a single floor of a
building. To realize the full benefit of computer networking, it is critical to link
individual LANs into an enterprise-wide backbone network that connects all the
employees and computing resources of an enterprise, no matter how
geographically dispersed they may be.
Todays LANs and LAN internetworks are powerful, flexible and easy to
use, but they incorporate many sophisticated technologies that must work
together flawlessly. For a LAN to really benefit an organization, it must be
designed to meet the organizations changing communications requirements.
Building a LAN is a process of choosing different pieces and matching them
together.

2.5.5 Network Topologies


The word topology is commonly used to discuss the properties of various types
of networks. Topology is the branch of mathematics that examines the
characteristics of geometric shapes. Networks have shapes and the shape a
network takes has much to do with the way it functions. The physical topology
of a network is the layout or actual appearance of the cabling scheme used for

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a network. The logical topology of a network describes how data flows through
the physical topology.
Physical Topologies
All physical topologies are variations of two fundamental methods of connecting
devices: point-to-point and multipoint. After examining these two fundamental
topologies, several variations are examined.

Mainframe FEP

Terminal

Laser Printer

Figure 2.6 Point-to-Point Topology

Point-to-Point Topology
The Point-to-Point (PTP) topology connects two nodes directly together.
The following examples are pure point-to-point links:
Two computers communicating via modems
A mainframe terminal communicating with a front-end processor
A workstation communicating along a parallel cable with a printer
In a point-to-point link, two devices monopolize a communication medium.
Since the medium is not shared, a mechanism is not needed to identify the
computers. Therefore, a simple two-device point-to-point network has no need
for addressing as seen in Figure 2.6.
Point-to-point links can be simplex, half duplex or full duplex. When devices
must engage in bi-directional communication on a half duplex link, some
turnaround mechanisms must be in place to switch the roles of the sending and
receiving devices.
Multipoint Topology
Multipoint topologies link three or more devices through a single communication
medium. Multipoint topologies work much like a party-line telephone service
where several subscribers are connected to the same telephone line.

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Since multipoint topologies share a common channel, each device needs


a way to identify itself and the device to which it wants to send information. The
method used to identify senders and receivers is called addressing.
Types of Physical Topologies
The following four types of physical topologies are frequently used in computer
networking:
Star

Ring

Mesh

Bus

Star Topology
A star topology is a popular method of connecting computers and resources in
a network through cables. In the star topology, each device connects to a central
point via a point-to-point link. Depending on the logical architecture used, several
names are used for the central point including the following:
PC

PC

Passive
Hub

PC

File Server

Figure 2.7 Star Topology

Passive hub: A passive hub is a simple signal splitter. Its main function is to
connect the arms of the star while maintaining the proper electrical
characteristics. Figure 2.7 shows a star topology and a passive hub.
A passive hub routes traffic to all nodes. This means that a tremendous
load is created when much communication takes place between computers.
Every computer has the additional burden of reading the address of each piece
of information it receives to determine if the information is intended for that
computer. Information containing other addresses is discarded.
Active hub: An active hub performs the same function as a passive hub, but
contains electronic circuits that regenerate and retransmit the information. Thus,
active hubs can be used to extend the size of a network.

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Intelligent hub: Intelligent hubs perform the same functions as passive and
active hubs. However, they can make informed path selections and perform
some network management. Intelligent hubs route traffic only to the branch of
the star on which the receiving node is located. If redundant paths exist, an
intelligent hub can route information around normally used paths when cable
problems occur.
Routers, bridges and switches are examples of hub devices that can route
data packets intelligently. Intelligent hubs can also incorporate diagnostic features
that make it easier to troubleshoot network problems.
Hub
Node 5

Node 1

Node 4

Node 2

Node 3

Figure 2.8 A Star Topology in LAN

In a star topology, all stations are wired to a central wiring concentrator


called a hub. Similar to a bus topology, data packets sent from one station to
another are repeated to all ports on the hub. This allows all stations to see each
packet sent on the network, but only the station to which the packet is addressed
pays attention to the packet.
Figure 2.8 illustrates a star topology in a LAN which is a more robust
topology than the bus topology. In a star topology, each station is connected to
a central wiring concentrator or hub with an individual length of twisted pair
cable. The cable is connected to the Network Interface Cards (NIC) of a terminal
computer at one end and to a port on the hub at the other end. The hubs are
placed in wiring closets that are centrally located in a building.
Most modern cabling systems are designed in a star physical topology.
The advantages of the star topology are many, including the following:

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Each device is isolated on its own cable. This makes it easy to isolate
individual devices from the network by disconnecting them from the wiring
hub.
All data goes through the central point which can be equipped with
diagnostic devices that make it easy to troubleshoot and manage the
network.
The hierarchical organization allows isolation of traffic on the channel.
This is beneficial when several, but not all, computers place a heavy load
on the network. Traffic from those heavily used computers can be
separated from the rest or dispersed throughout for a more even flow of
traffic.
The star topology has the following disadvantages:
As point-to-point wiring is utilized for each node, more cabling is required.
Hub failures can disable large segments of the network.
Examples of star topology
The following types of networks are examples of star topologies:
ARCnet
10Base-T, 100Base-TX
StarLAN
Ring Topology
The ring topology is a physical topology in which the devices are connected in
a closed loop using point-to-point links. In Figure 2.9, you can see how each
node on the ring acts as a repeater. It receives transmission from the previous
node and amplifies it before passing it on.

Receipt

To

ke

Transmit

Figure 2.9 A Ring Topology

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The ring topology has the following advantage:


Each repeater duplicates the data signals so that very little signal
degradation occurs.
It has the following disadvantages:
A break in the ring can disable the entire network. Many ring designs
incorporate extra cabling that can be switched on if a primary cable fails.
Since each node must have the capability of functioning as a repeater,
the networking devices tend to be more expensive.
Examples of ring topology
The following are examples of ring topologies:
IBM Token Ring (although wired as a star)
Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI)
Mesh Topology
In a mesh network, each pair of nodes is connected by means of an exclusive
point-to-point link. Each node requires a separate interface to connect with the
other device. Mesh networks are seldom constructed in practice. They are useful
in situations, where one node or station frequently sends messages to all other
nodes. Otherwise, a considerable amount of network bandwidth is wasted. The
advantages are excessive amount of bandwidth and inherent fault tolerance.
The structure of a mesh network is shown in Figure 2.10.

Figure 2.10 Mesh Network

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Self-Assessment Questions
7. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) A computer connected to a network is called a ___________.
(b) __________ is a system of networked computers and other hardware
resources spread in a small area such as a building.
8. State whether true or false:
(a) In a star topology, each device connects to a central point via a
point-to-point link.
(b) StarLAN is an example of ring topology.

2.6 Parallel Computers


2.6.1 Bus Topology
In a bus topology, all the devices are attached to the same transmission medium.
The medium has a physical beginning and end. All buses are implemented
using electrical cables, usually coaxial, and the ends of the cable must be
terminated with a terminating resistor that matches the impedance of the cable.
The terminating resistor prevents data reflections that come across as data
corruption. The bus is considered as a multipoint system because all the devices
tap the same backbone cable. Figure 2.11 shows a bus topology.
File Server
PC

PC

PC

Figure 2.11 A Bus Topology

An important characteristic to remember in bus topologies is that all data


signals are broadcast throughout the entire bus structure. In Figure 2.12, if
node B sends a signal to node C, the signal propagates for the length of the
cable and is seen by nodes A and D as well. It is necessary to have an addressing
mechanism so that each node understands which messages it is to receive and
which to ignore.

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2.6.2 Bus Type LAN


When Station B sends a packet to another station on the LAN, it passes by all of
the stations connected to that LAN. On the bus network shown in Figure 2.12,
the electrical signal representing the packet travels away from the sending station
in both the directions on the shared cable. All stations will see the packet, but
only the station it is addressed to will pay attention to it.
In a shared media network, when one station wishes to send a message
to another station, it uses the software in the station to put the message in an
envelope. This envelope, called a packet, consists of the message data
surrounded by a header and trailer that carry special information used by the
network software to identify the destination station. One piece of information
placed in the packet header is the address of the destination station.
Preamble

7 bytes

SFD

1 bytes

Destination
Address
Source
Address
Length Indicator

2 or 6 bytes
2 or 6 bytes
2 bytes

Data
Padding
FCS
Station A

Station B

4 bytes
Station C

Station D

Packet

Figure 2.12 A Bus Type LAN

The NIC then transmits the packet onto the LAN. The packet is transmitted
as a stream of data bits represented by two different voltages of electrical signals.
As it travels along the shared cable, all the stations attached to it can see the
packet. As it goes by the NIC in each station, the NIC checks the destination
address in the packet header to determine if the packet is addressed to it.
When the packet passes the station to which it is addressed, the NIC at that
station copies the packet, takes the data out of the envelope and gives it to the
computer.
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Figure 2.13 shows a source station sending a single message packet to a


destination station. If the message that the source station wants to send is too
big to fit into one packet, then the message is sent in a series of packets. On a
shared access LAN, however, many stations share the same cable. Since each
individual packet is small, it takes very little time to travel to the ends of the
cable where the electrical signal dissipates. So after a packet carrying a message
between one pair of stations passes along the cable, another station can transmit
a packet to whatever station it needs to send a message. In this way, many
devices can share the same LAN medium.
A bus topology has the following advantage:
Cabling costs are minimized because of the common trunk.
Disadvantages of bus topology are as follows:
It is difficult to troubleshoot because no central distribution points exist.
If the cable breaks, it can disable the entire segment of the network
because they remove the required termination from each of the two cable
fragments.
Examples of bus topology
The following networks are examples of bus topology:
ARCnet, (Token bus)
Ethernet, (10Base2)

Bus Connecting Two Stars


Star

Star

Figure 2.13 A Bus Connecting Two Stars

Activity 2
Is it possible to connect a ring network and a bus network? If yes, is that an
effective solution or should a single network topology is the best way of
handling it?

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Self-Assessment Questions
Fill in the blank with the appropriate word:
9. In a _________ topology, all the devices are attached to the same
transmission medium.
State whether true or false:
10. In bus topology, if the cable breaks, it can disable the entire segment of
the network because of the removal of the required termination from each
of the two cable fragments.

2.7 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:
Each generation of computers is characterized by a major technological
development that fundamentally changed the way computers operate,
resulting in increasingly smaller, cheaper, more powerful, efficient and
reliable devices with decreasing energy consumption and lesser generation
of heat.
First-generation computers used vacuum tubes in their circuitry and
magnetic drums for their memory. Transistors developed in 1947, replaced
vacuum tubes and ushered in the second- generation computers.
The development of integrated circuit was the hallmark of third-generation
computers. Fourth-generation computers saw the development of
microprocessors and GUIs while fifth-generation computing devices based
on artificial intelligence are still being developed.
Moore predicted that the density of the transistors in integrated circuits
would double at regular intervals of around two years.
Computer can be classified as digital, analog and hybrid.
Digital computers can be further classified as mainframe computers,
minicomputers and microcomputers.
A network is a connection of two or more computers together so that they
can exchange information. Networks involve sharing three things: files,
resources and programs.
Disadvantages of networking are crashes, data security problems and
lack of privacy.
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Based on the geographical spread, networks can be classified into LAN,


WAN and MAN.
Networks have shape and the shape of the network effects the way it
functions.
The physical topology of network is the layout or actual appearance of
the cabling scheme used for the network.
The logical topology of a network describes how data flows through the
physical topology.
Star, ring, mesh and bus are the commonly used physical topologies.
In the star topology, each device connects to a central point via a point-topoint link.
The ring topology is a physical topology in which the devices are connected
in a closed loop using point-to-point links.
In a mesh network, each pair of nodes is connected by means of an
exclusive point-to-point link.
In a bus topology, all the devices are attached to the same transmission
medium.

2.8 Glossary
Digital computer: A computer that is used for data processing and to
solve problems using programs
Analog computer: A computer used in industrial process controls and to
measure physical quantities
Network: The connection of two or more computers connected by a cable
so that they can exchange information
LAN: A system of networked computers and other hardware resources
spread in a small area, such as a building
Topology: A branch of mathematics that examines the characteristics of
geometric shapes

2.9 Terminal Questions


1. Explain the history behind generations of computers.
2. What is the relevance of Moores law?
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3. Differentiate between digital, analog and hybrid computers.


4. Name any three types of topologies. Explain utility of each.
5. Explain the concept of parallel computers.

2.10 Answers
Answers to Self-Assessment Questions
1. (a) First; (b) 1970
2. (a) False; (b) True
3. Gordon E. Moore
4. False
5. Analog
6. False
7. (a) Node; (b) LAN
8. (a) True; (b) False
9. Bus
10. True

Answers to Terminal Questions


1. Refer to Section 2.2
2. Refer to Section 2.3
3. Refer to Section 2.4
4. Refer to Section 2.5.5
5. Refer to Section 2.6

2.11 Further Reading


1. Forouzan, Behrouz A. Data Communications and Networking. New
Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Black, Uyless D. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,
1993.

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3. Stallings, William. Data and Computer Communications. New Jersey:


Prentice Hall Inc., 1996.
4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Inc., 2002.
5. Douglas, E. C. Computer Networks & Internet. New Delhi: Pearson
Education.
6. Rajaraman, V. Fundamentals of Computers. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of
India, 1996.

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Unit 3

Input/Output Units and


Computer Memory

Structure
3.1 Introduction
Objectives
3.2 Description of Computer Input Units
3.3 Other Input Methods
3.4 Computer Output Units
3.5 Memory Organization
3.6 Read Only Memory
3.7 Serial Access Memory
3.8 Physical Devices Used to Construct Memories
3.9 Summary
3.10 Glossary
3.11 Terminal Questions
3.12 Answers
3.13 Further Reading

3.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you read about various generations of the computer as well
as its classifications. In the present unit, you will read about the various input
and output devices as well as the different types of memory used in the computer.
A computer is of no use if it is not able to communicate with the external
world. It must, therefore, have a system to receive information from the outside
world and be able to communicate results to the external world. Thus, every
computer has an input/output subsystem referred to as an I/O subsystem that
provides efficient communication to and from the computer. Programs must be
entered into the computer memory for processing and the results obtained from
computations must be displayed or recorded for the users benefit. An output
device accepts data from the computer and translates them into a form that can
be understood by the user. Memory is required for storage and subsequent
retrieval of instructions and data. Every computer requires storage space where
instructions and data of a program can reside temporarily or permanently when
a program is being executed. You will be acquainted with different types of
memory systems. A read only memory is used to store programs that permanently
reside in the computer and do not change once the manufacture of the computer
is complete. This unit also examines serial access memory. In contrast to the

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random access memory, serial access memory is a category of data storage


devices that reads data serially. There are many physical devices that are used
to construct memories such as magnetic disk, hard disk, floppy disk, CD ROM,
etc.
Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Describe various input units of the computer
Discuss about the output units of the computer
Explain the memory organization of the computer
Define read only memory
Explain serial access memory
Classify the different physical devices used to construct memories

3.2 Description of Computer Input Units


A computer will be of no use if it is not able to communicate with the external
world. It must, therefore, have a system to receive information from the outside
world (users and other computers) and must be able to communicate results to
the external world. Computers have an input/output subsystem, referred to as I/
O subsystem, which provides an efficient mode of communication between the
central system and the outside world. Programs and data must be entered into
the computer memory for processing, and results obtained from computations
must be displayed or recorded for the users benefit.
This can be explained through a very common scenario. Suppose the
average marks of a student need to be calculated, based on the marks obtained
in various subjects by the student. The marks would typically be available in the
form of a document containing the students name, roll number and marks scored
in each subject. This data must first be stored in the computers memory after
converting it into machine-readable form. The data will then be processed
(average marks calculated) and sent from the memory to the output unit that
will present the data in a form that can be read by users.
The I/O devices that provide a means of communication between the
computer and the outside world are known as peripheral devices. This is because
they surround the CPU and the memory of a computer system. While input
devices are used to enter data from the outside world into the primary storage,

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output devices are used to provide the processed results from primary storage
to users. Figure 3.1 shows the role of input/output devices in a computer system.

Data
Input
from
External
World

Input
Device

CPU &
Memory

Output
Device

Data
Processed
Data
Coded
Data in
Converted
Internal
in
to HumanInternal
Form
Readable
Form
Form
Figure 3.1 Role of I/O Devices in a Computer System

In this unit, we will discuss the various input devices available for data
input. The most commonly used input devices can be classified into the
categories of:
Keyboard device
Point-and-draw devices (mouse, trackball, joystick, light pen, touch
screen, etc.)

3.2.1 Keyboard Device


Keyboard device allows input into the computer system by pressing a set of
keys, mounted on a board connected to the computer system.
The most familiar means of entering information or data into a computer
is through a typewriter-like keyboard that allows a person to enter alphanumeric
information directly.
Function Keys

Shift Key

Numeric Keypad

Space Bar Enter Key

QWERTY Keyboard Cursor Movement Keys


Figure 3.2 QWERTY Keyboard Layout

The most popular keyboard used today is the 101-keys with a traditional
QWERTY layout, having an alphanumeric keypad, 12 function keys, a variety
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of special-function keys, numeric keypad and dedicated cursor-control keys. It


is so called due to the arrangement of its alphanumeric keys in the upper left
row (refer Figure 3.2).
Alphanumeric keypad: Contains keys for the English alphabets, 0 to
9 numbers, special characters like , +, , /, [, ], etc.
12 Function keys: These are keys labeled F1, F2, ..., F12 and are a
set of user programmable function keys. The actual function assigned
to a function key differs from one software package to another. These
keys are also called soft keys since their functionality can be defined
by the software.
Special-function keys: Have special functions assigned to each of
these keys, for example, the enter key is used to send the keyed-in
data into the memory.
Numeric keypad: Consists of keys having numbers (0 to 9) and
mathematical operators (+, , * / ) defined on them. It is usually located
on the right side of the keyboard and supports quick entry of numerical
data.
Cursor-control keys: Defined by the arrow keys used to move the
cursor in the direction indicated by the arrow (top, down, left, right).

3.2.2 Point-and-draw Devices


The keyboard facilitates input of data in text form only. While working with display
based packages, we usually point to a display area and select an option from
the screen. For such cases, the sheer user-friendliness of input devices that
can rapidly point to a particular option displayed on screen and support its
selection, resulted in the advent of various point-and-draw devices.
Mouse
A mouse is a small device that a computer user pushes across a desk surface
in order to point to a place on a display screen and to select one or more actions
possible from that position. The mouse first became a widely used computer
tool when Apple Computer made it a standard part of the Apple Macintosh.
Today, the mouse is an integral part of GUI of any personal computer. The
mouse apparently got its name by being about the same size and color as a toy
mouse. The most conventional kind of mouse has two buttons on top of which
the left one is used most frequently. In the Windows operating systems, it lets
the user click once to send a Select indication that provides the user with

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feedback that a particular position has been selected for further action. The
next click on a selected position or two quick clicks on it causes a particular
action to take place on the selected object, for example, in Windows operating
systems, it causes a program associated with that object to be started. The
second button, on the right, usually provides some less-frequently needed
capability, for example, when viewing a Web page, you can click on an image to
get a pop-up menu that, among other things, lets you save the image on your
hard disk. Some models have a third button for additional capabilities. Some
mouse manufacturers also provide a version for left-handed people.
Trackball
A trackball is a pointing device that is much like an inverted mouse. It consists
of a ball inset in a small external box, or adjacent toand in the same unit as
the keyboard of some portable computers. It is more convenient and requires
much less space than the mouse since here the whole device is not moved (as
in the case of a mouse). Trackballs come in various shapes but support the
same functionality. Typical shapes used are a ball, a square and a button (typically
seen in laptops).
Joystick
A joystick is a vertical stick that moves the graphic cursor in the direction the
stick is moved. It consists of a spherical ball, which moves within a socket and
has a stick mounted on it. The user moves the ball with the help of the stick that
can be moved left or right, forward or backward, to move and position the cursor
in the desired location. Joysticks typically have a button on top that is used to
select the option pointed by the cursor. Video games, training simulators and
control panels of robots are some common uses of the joystick.
Light Pen
A light pen is a pen-shaped device allowing natural movement on the screen. It
is made up of a light sensitive cell and a lens assembly designed in such a way
that it focuses onto itself any light in its field of view. The pen contains a light
receptor and is activated by pressing the pen against the display screen. The
receptor is the scanning beam that helps in locating the position of the pen (X
and Y coordinates on screen). Suitable system software is provided to initiate
the desired action once the area on the display screen is located with the help
of the light pen.
Light pens are typically used in Computer Aided Design (CAD) applications
to directly draw on screen.

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Touch Screen
A touch screen is probably one of the simplest and most intuitive of all input
devices. It uses optical sensors in, or near, the computer screen that can detect
the touch of a finger on the screen. Once the user touches a particular screen
position, sensors communicate the position to the computer. This is then
interpreted by the computer to understand the users choice for input.
The most common usage of touch screens is in information kiosks where
users can receive information at the touch of a screen. These devices are
becoming increasingly popular today.

Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) ___________ is a pointing device which consists of a ball inset in a
small external box or adjacent to the keyboard of some portable
computers.
(b) ___________uses optical sensors in or near the computer screen
that can detect the touch of a finger on the screen.
2. State whether true or false:
(a) A joystick is a horizontal stick that moves the graphic cursor in the
direction the stick is moved.
(b) The light pen contains a light receptor and is activated by pressing
the pen against the display screen.

3.3 Other Input Methods


Apart from those that you have studied, there are some other input methods
that will be expalined here.

3.3.1 Scanning Devices


Scanning devices are input devices that are used for direct data entry from the
source document into the computer system. Scanners facilitate the capturing
of information and storing it in a graphical format for displaying it back on the
graphical screen. They consist of two components, one to illuminate the page
so that the optical image can be captured and the other to convert the graphical
image into a digital format for storing. The graphical images thus scanned can
be seen and processed directly by the computer.
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There are two types of scanners, CONTACT and LASER. Both bounce a
beam of light off an image and then measure the reflected light to determine
the value of the image. Hand-held contact scanners make contact as they are
brushed over the printed matter to be read. Laser-based scanners are more
versatile and can read data passed near the scanning area. Hand-held scanners
are used where the information to be scanned or the volume of documents to
be scanned is very low. They are much cheaper as compared to the flat-bed
scanners. Capturing information using scanners reduces the possibility of human
error typically seen during large data entry. The reduction in human intervention
improves the accuracy of data and provides for timeliness of the information
processed. Most recent trends for data input is towards source data automation.
The equipment used for source data automation capture data as a by-product
of a business activity thereby completely eliminating manual input of data.

3.3.2 Optical Mark Recognition


Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) devices can sense marks on computer readable
paper. This kind of device is typically used by academic institutions to grade
aptitude tests where candidates need to mark the correct option from a number
of alternatives, on a special sheet of paper. These answer sheets can then be
directly read by the device (OMR) and can be used for further processing by the
computer.
The actual technique used by an OMR device once again involves focusing
light on the page being scanned thereby detecting the reflected light pattern for
the marks. Pencil marks made by the user reflect light determining which
responses are marked.

3.3.3 Magnetic Ink Character Recognition


Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) is similar to optical mark recognition
and is used exclusively by the banking industry. MICR devices are used by the
banking industry to read the account numbers on cheques directly and
subsequently to do the necessary processing.
Banks using the MICR technology print cheque books on special types of
paper. The necessary details of the bank (like the banks identification code,
relevant account number and cheque number) are pre-printed on the cheques
using an ink that contains iron oxide particles that can be magnetized (refer
Figure 3.3).

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Magnetic Ink Characters

Figure 3.3 A Bank Cheque using MICR Technology

MICR readers are used to read and sort cheques and deposits. An MICR
reader-sorter reads the data on the cheques and sorts the cheques for distribution
to other banks and customers for further processing.

3.3.4 Optical Barcode Reader


Data coded in the form of small vertical lines forms the basis of barcoding.
Alphanumeric data is represented using adjacent vertical lines called barcodes.
These are of varying widths and spacing between them is used to uniquely
identify books, merchandise in stores, postal packages, etc.
Figures 3.4 (a) and (b) give an example of a bar code used on the books
for its unique identification.

Figure 3.4 (a)

Barcode Example

Figure 3.4 (b)

Barcode Reader

An Optical Barcode Reader (OBR) uses laser beam technology. The laser
beam is moved across the pattern of bars in a barcode. These bars reflect the
beam in different ways. The reflected beam is then sensed by a light-sensitive
detector which then converts the light patterns into electrical pulses thereby
transmitting them to logic circuits for further conversion to alphanumeric value.
Barcode devices are available as hand-held devices.

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3.3.5 Digitizer
Digitizers are used to convert drawings or pictures and maps into a digital format
for storage into the computer. A digitizer consists of a digitizing or graphics
tablet, which is a pressure sensitive tablet, and a pen with the same X and Y
coordinates as on screen. Some digitizing tablets also use a crosshair device
instead of a pen. The movement of the pen or crosshair is reproduced
simultaneously on the display screen. When the pen is moved on the tablet, the
cursor on the computers screen moves simultaneously to the corresponding
position on screen (X and Y coordinates). This allows the user to draw sketches
directly or input existing sketched drawings easily. Digitizers see most common
usage by architects and engineers as a tool for CAD.

3.3.6 Electronic Card Reader


Card readers are devices that also allow direct data input into a computer system.
The electronic card reader is connected to a computer system and reads the
data encoded on an electronic card and transfers it to the computer system for
further processing.
Electronic cards are plastic cards with data encoded on them and meant
for a specific application. Typical examples of electronic cards are the plastic
cards issued by banks to their customers for use in Automatic Teller Machines
or ATMs. Electronic cards are also used by many organizations for controlling
access of various types of employees to physically secured areas.
Depending on the manner in which the data is encoded, electronic cards
may be either magnetic strip cards or smart cards. Magnetic strip cards have a
magnetic strip on the back of the card. Data stored on magnetic strips cannot
be read with the naked eye and hence is a useful way to maintain confidential
data.
Activity 1
Prepare a chart on the input devices that are must for a computer user.

Self-Assessment Questions
3. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) ________________ devices can sense marks on computer readable
paper.
(b) Banks using the _______________technology print cheque books
on special types of paper.
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4. State whether true or false:


(a) Card readers are devices that do not allow direct data input into a
computer system.
(b) Webcams and video cameras are most commonly used electroniccard reader.

3.4 Computer Output Units


An output device is an electromechanical device that accepts data from the
computer and translates them into a form that can be understood by the outside
world. The processed data, stored in the memory of the computer, is sent to an
output unit, which then transforms the internal representation of data into a
form that can be read by the users.
The output can normally be produced in two ways on a display unit/
device or on paper. Other kinds of output like speech output and mechanical
output are also used in certain applications. Output produced on display units
or speech output that cannot be touched, is referred to as soft copy output while
output produced on paper or material that can be touched, is known as hard
copy output.
A wide range of output devices are available today and can be broadly
classified under the categories of:
Display devices (monitors, multimedia projectors, terminals dumb,
smart, intelligent, X terminals)
Printers (dot matrix, inkjet, laser)
Plotters (flatbed, drum)

3.4.1 Display Devices


One of the most common and important peripherals in a computer system is
the display device. Conventional computers used display terminals known as
alphanumeric terminals. These used a form of multi-dot (7 5 or 9 7) array to
display characters. These were used to read text information displayed on screen.
The increasing demand for displaying graphs and pictures, for visual presentation
of information (more effective for user interaction), brought about the advent of
graphic display devices.
Graphic display is typically made up of a series of dots called pixels
(picture elements) whose pattern produces the image. Each dot on the screen

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can be addressed uniquely and directly. Owing to the fact that each dot can be
addressed as a separate unit, it provides greater flexibility for drawing pictures.
Display screen technology may be one of the three categories:
Cathode Ray Tube (CRT): The main components of a cathode ray terminal
are the electron gun, the electron beam controlled by an electromagnetic
field and a display screen which is phosphor-coated. The screens
phosphor-coating is organized into a grid of dots called pixels.
The electron gun emits an electron beam, which is directed towards the
phosphor-coated display by the electromagnetic field and this in turn
creates the image.
There are two types of CRT displays:
o Vector CRT display: In which the electron beam is directed only to
places where the image is to be created.
o Raster scan display: In which image is projected on screen by
directing the electron beam across each row of the picture elements
from top to the bottom of the screen. This type of display provides a
high dynamic capability since the image is continuously refreshed. It
offers full colour display at a relatively low cost and is, therefore,
becoming increasingly popular.
The quality of display is indicated by the resolution of the display device.
The number of horizontal and vertical pixels determines resolution. Typical
resolutions in graphic display range from (800 600) to (640 768) to
(1024 1024) pixels.
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD): Introduced in watches and clocks in the
1970s and is now applied to the display terminals. In this, the cathode ray
tube was replaced by liquid crystal to produce the image. It does not has
color capability and the image quality is relatively poor. The main advantage
of LCD is its low energy consumption. It finds its most common usage in
portable devices where compactness and low energy requirements are
of prime importance.
Projection Display: Projection display technology is characterized by
replacing the personal size screen with large screens upon which the
images are projected. These systems are connected to the computer,
and whatever appears on the computer terminal gets enlarged and
projected on a large screen. These are being used today for large group
presentations.

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Monitors
Monitors use a CRT to display information. It resembles a television screen and
is similar to it in other respects. The monitor is typically associated with a keyboard
for manual input of characters. The screen displays information as it is keyed
in, enabling a visual check of input before it is transferred to the computer. It is
also used to display the output from the computer and hence serves as both an
input and an output device.
The monitor along with the keyboard is called a Visual Display Unit (VDU).
This is the most commonly used input/output device today and is also known as
a soft copy terminal. A printing device is usually required to provide a hard copy
of the output.

3.4.2 Printers
Printers are used for producing output on paper. There are a large variety of
commercially available printers today (estimated to be 1,500 different types).
These printers can be classified into categories based on:
Printing technology
Printing speed
Printing quality
Printing technology: Printers can be classified as impact or non-impact printers,
based on the technology they use for producing output.
Impact printers use variations of standard typewriter printing mechanism
where a hammer strikes the paper through an inked ribbon. These printers
have a mechanism that touches the paper in order to create an image. Dot
matrix printers and character printers fall under this category.
Non-impact printers do not touch the paper when creating an image. They
use chemical, heat or electrical signals to etch symbols on paper. Many of these
require special coated or treated paper. Inkjet, laser and thermal printers fall
under this category of printers.
Printing speed: Refers to the number of characters printed in a unit of time.
Based on speed these may be classified as character printer (prints one character
at a time), line printers (print one line at a time) and page printers (print the
entire page at a time). Printer speeds are, therefore, measured in terms of
characters-per-second or cps for a character printer, lines-per-minute or lpm
for a line printer and pages-per-minute or ppm for a page printer.

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Printing quality: It is determined by the resolution of printing and is characterized


by the number of dots that can be printed per linear inch, horizontally or vertically.
It is measured in terms of dots-per-inch or dpi. Printers can be classified as
near-letter-quality or NLQ, letter-quality or LQ, near-typeset-quality or NTQ and
typeset-quality or TQ based on their printing quality. NLQ printers have
resolutions of about 300 dpi, LQ of about 600 dpi, NTQ of about 1200 dpi and
TQ of about 2000 dpi. NLQ and LQ printers are used for ordinary printing in
day-to-day activities, while NTQ and TQ printers are used to produce top-quality
printing, typically required in the publishing industry.
The section that follows explains the working of some commonly used
printers.
Dot Matrix
Dot matrix printers were the most popular impact printers used in personal
computing. These printers use a print head consisting of a series of small pins
to strike a ribbon coated with ink, causing the ink to transfer to the paper at the
point of impact. Characters thus produced are in a matrix format. The shape of
each character, i.e., the dot pattern, is obtained from information held
electronically (refer Figures 3.5 (a) and (b)).

Figure 3.5 (a)

Characters Formed using Dots

Figure 3.5 (b) An Dot Matrix Printer

The speed, versatility and ruggedness, combined with low cost, tend to
make such printers particularly attractive in the personal computer market.
Typical printing speeds in case of dot matrix printers range between 40
1000 cps (characters-per-second). The one major disadvantage of this
technology is that the print quality is low.
Inkjet
Inkjet printers use a series of nozzles to spray drops of ink directly on the paper.
These, therefore, fall under the category of non-impact printers. Figure 3.6
shows an inkjet printer.
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Figure 3.6 An Inkjet Printer

The print head of an inkjet printer consists of a number of tiny nozzles


that can be selectively heated up in a few microseconds by an IC register.
When this happens, the ink near it vapourizes and is ejected through the nozzle
to make a dot on the paper placed in front of the print head. The character is
printed by selectively heating the appropriate set of nozzles as the print head
moves horizontally. Inkjet printers are slower than dot-matrix printers (40 300
cps), cheaper to buy but are more expensive in running costs (the ink cartridge
cost is considerably higher than that of the DMP ribbon) and are used by people/
organizations where speed of printing is not the most important factor.
Laser
Laser printers use dry ink (toner), static electricity, and heat to place and bond
the ink onto the paper. They use a combination of laser and photocopier
technology. Printing is achieved by deflecting laser beam onto the photosensitive
surface of a drum after which the latent image attracts the toner to the image.
The toner is then electrostatistically transferred to the paper and fixed into a
permanent image. Figure 3.7 shows a laser printer.

Figure 3.7

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Laser printers are capable of converting computer output into print, page
by page. Since characters are formed by very tiny ink particles, they can produce
very high quality images (text and graphics), generally offer a wide variety of
character fonts, and are silent and fast in use.
Laser printers are faster in printing speed than other printers discussed
above. Their speeds can range from 10 pages a minute to about 200 pages per
minute, depending upon the make/model. Laser is high quality, high speed,
high volume and non-impact technology that works on plain paper or pre-printed
stationary. This technology is relatively expensive but is becoming very popular
because of the quality, speed and noiseless operations.

3.4.3 Plotters
Plotters are used to produce graphical output on paper. It is a device capable of
producing charts, drawings, graphics, maps, etc. It is much like a printer but is
designed to print graphs instead of alphanumeric characters.
Based on the technology used, plotters may be pen plotters or electrostatic
plotters. While pen plotters have an ink pen attached to draw the images,
electrostatic plotters work similar to a laser printer. Image is produced by charging
the paper with a high voltage. This voltage attracts the toner, which is then
melted on the paper with heat. Electrostatic plotters are fast, but the quality is
generally considered to be poor when compared to pen plotters. This is why
pen plotters are more extensively used as compared to electrostatic plotters.
Flatbed plotters and drum plotters constitute the most commonly used
plotters.
Flatbed Plotters
Flatbed plotters have a flat base like a drawing board on which the paper is laid
(refer Figure 3.8 (a)). One or more arms, each of them carrying an ink pen,
moves across the paper to draw. The arm movement is controlled by a
microprocessor (chip). The arm can move in two directions, one parallel to the
plotter and the other perpendicular to it (called the x and y directions). With this
kind of movement, it can move very precisely to any point on the paper placed
below.
The computer sends the commands to the plotter which are translated
into x and y movements. The arm moves in very small steps to produce
continuous and smooth graphics. The size of the plot in a flatbed plotter is
limited only by the size of the plotters bed. The advantage of flatbed plotters is
that the user can easily control the graphics. He can manually pick up the arm
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anytime during the production of graphics and place it on any position on the
paper to alter the position of graphics to his choice. The disadvantage here is
that flatbed plotters occupy a large amount of space.
Drum Plotters
Drum plotters use a drum revolver to move the paper during printing (refer
Figure 3.8 (b)). The arm carrying a pen moves only in one direction, perpendicular
to the direction of the motion of the paper. Thus in drum plotters, the pen is
moved in a single axis track and the paper itself moves on a cylindrical drum to
add the other axis or dimension. The combination of the pen and paper movement
creates the graphics.

Figure 3.8 (a)

Top View of a Flatbed Plotter

Figure 3.8 (b)

A Drum Plotter

The size of the graph is, therefore, limited only by the width of the drum
and can be of any length. Drum plotters are very compact and lightweight as
compared to flatbed plotters. This is one of the advantages of such plotters.
The disadvantage, however, is that the user cannot freely control the graphics
when they are being created. Plotters are more expensive when compared to
printers. Typical application areas for plotters include: Computer-Aided
Engineering (CAE ) applications like CAD and Computer-Aided Manufacturing
(CAM), architectural drawing, map drawing, etc.
Activity 2
Collect information on the significant features of output devices of a computer
system and present it in a tabular form.

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Self-Assessment Questions
5. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The screens phosphor coating is organized into a grid of dots called
___________.
(b) The print head of an inkjet printer consists of a number of tiny nozzles
that can be selectively heated up in a few microseconds by
an_____________.
6. State whether true or false:
(a) Non-impact printers do not touch the paper when creating an image.
(b) Plotter is much like a printer but is designed to print graphs instead
of alphanumeric characters.

3.5 Memory Organization


The memory in a computer system is required for storage and subsequent
retrieval of instructions and data. The CPU contains several registers for storing
data and instructions. However, these can store only few bytes. If all the
instructions and data being executed by the CPU would reside in secondary
storage (like magnetic tapes and disks) and loaded into the registers of the
CPU as the program execution proceedes, it would lead to CPU being idle for
most of the time since the speed at which the CPU processes data is much
higher than the speed at which data can be transferred from disks to registers.
Every computer thus requires storage space where instructions and data of a
program can reside temporarily when the program is being executed. This
temporary storage area is built into the computer hardware and is known as the
primary storage or main memory. Devices that provide backup storage (like
magnetic tapes and disks) are called secondary storage or auxiliary memory.
Thus, a memory system can be considered to consist of three groups of
memories:
Internal processor memory consists of a small set of high-speed
registers that are internal to a processor and are used as temporary
locations where the actual processing is done.
Primary storage or main memory is a large memory, which is fast, but
not as fast as internal processor memory. This memory communicates
directly with the CPU and is mainly based on integrated circuits.
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Secondary storage or auxiliary memory or backing store is much


larger in size than the main memory but is slower than the main memory.
It typically stores all the system programs and other software.
Another kind of memory that is increasingly being used in modern
computers is called the cache memory. It is logically positioned between the
internal memory (registers) and the main memory. It stores and caches some
of the content of the main memory that is currently in use by the processor.
CPU Registers

Cache Memory

Main Memory

Secondary Memory
Figure 3.9 The Memory Hierarchy

The total memory capacity of the computer can, therefore, be visualized


as being a hierarchy of components consisting of all storage devices employed
in a computer system from the slow but high-capacity auxiliary memory to a
relatively faster main memory, to an even smaller and faster cache memory
accessible to the high-speed processing logic (refer Figure 3.9).

3.5.1 Storage Evaluation Criteria


The most common properties used for classifying and evaluating the storage
unit of a computer system are expressed below:
Storage capacity: It represents the size of the memory. It is the amount
of data that can be stored in the storage unit. Primary storage units have
less storage capacity as compared to secondary storage units. While the
capacity of internal memory and main memory can be expressed in terms
of number of words or bytes, the capacity of external or secondary storage
is measured in terms of bytes.
Storage cost: Another key factor that is of prime concern in a memory
system is cost. It is normally expressed per bit. It is obvious that lower

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costs are desirable. It is worth noting that as the access time for memories
is increasing, the cost is decreasing.
Access time: It is the time required to locate and retrieve data from the
storage unit. Its depend on the physical characteristics and access mode
used for that device.
Primary storage units have faster access time as compared to secondary
storage units.
Access mode: Memory is considered to be consisting of various memory
locations. Access mode refers to the mode in which information is accessed
from the memory.
Permanence of storage: If the storage unit can retain the data even
after the power is turned off or interrupted, it is termed as non-volatile
storage. While, if the data is lost once the power is turned off or interrupted,
it is called volatile storage. It is obvious from these properties that the
primary storage units of the computer systems are volatile, while the
secondary storage units are non-volatile. A non-volatile storage is definitely
more desirable and feasible for storage of large volumes of data.

3.5.2 Memory Capacity


Capacity, in a computer system, is defined in terms of the number of bytes that
it can store in its main memory. This is usually stated in terms of Kilobytes (KB)
which is 1024 bytes or Megabytes (MB) which is equal to 1024 KB (10,48,576
bytes). The rapidly increasing memory capacity of computer systems has resulted
in defining the capacity in terms of Gigabytes (GB) which is 1024 MB
(1,07,37,41,824 bytes).
Thus, a computer system having a memory of 256 MB is capable of storing
(256 1024 1024 ) 26,84,35,456 bytes or characters.

Self-Assessment Questions
7. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) _____________is the time required to locate and retrieve data from
the storage unit.
(b) A computer system having a memory of 256 MB is capable of storing
____________ bytes or characters.

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8. State whether true or false:


(a) A non-volatile storage is definitely more desirable and feasible for
storage of large volumes of data.
(b) The rapidly increasing memory capacity of computer systems has
resulted in defining the capacity in terms of Megabytes.

3.6 Read Only Memory


Read only memory is a class of storage medium in computers on which data is
prerecorded during production. Data on a ROM chip can be accessed and read
but cannot be changed by a computer. Originally, RAM was used to refer to
random access memory, but now we use the term read/write memory to
distinguish it from read only memory (since ROM is also random access). RAM
is used for storing bulk of the programs and data that are subject to change,
while ROM is used to store programs that permanently reside in the computer
and do not change once the production of the computer is completed.
Among other things, the ROM portion of the main memory is used for
storing an initial program called the bootstrap loader. The bootstrap loader is a
program whose function is to start the computer software operation when power
is turned on. Since RAM is volatile, its contents are destroyed when power is
turned off. The contents of ROM remain unchanged even after the power is
turned off and on again.
Read only memories can be manufacturer-programmed or userprogrammed. When the data is burnt into the circuitry of the computer by the
manufacturer, it is called manufacturer-programmed ROM, for example, a
personal computer manufacturer may store the boot program permanently in
the ROM chip of the computers manufactured by it. Note that such chips are
supplied by the manufacturer and are not modifiable by users. This is an inflexible
process and requires mass production. Therefore, a new kind of ROM called
Programmable Read Only Memory (PROM) was designed. This is also nonvolatile in nature and can be written only once using some special equipment.
The writing process in PROM can be performed electrically by the supplier or
the customer.
In both ROM and PROM, the write operation can be performed only once
and whatever is written cannot be changed. But what about the cases where
you mostly read but also write a few times? Another type of memory chip called
Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EPROM) was developed to take

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care of such situations. EPROMs are typically used by R&D personnel who
experiment by changing micro-programs on the computer system to test their
efficiency.
Further, EPROM chips are of two types: Electrically EPROM (EEPROM)
in which high voltage electric pulses are used to erase stored information and
Ultra Violet EPROM (UVEPROM) in which stored information is erased by
exposing the chip for some time to ultraviolet light.

3.7 Serial Access Memory


Serial access or sequential access means serial or sequential access of data,
i.e., right from the starting address to the end address, data is serially picked up
from the memory and transmitted one by one.
Serial means No Random Access which implies that if a required data is
present in the last address cells of the memory then the data that is present in
the target address could only be fetched after all the data located in the initial
addresses is read. An example of serial access memory is the tape device.
Another example is audio cassettes, if you wish to listen to the fifth song
then you have to either listen to the first four songs or you have to forward four
songs to listen the trackthe fifth song. The process is called serial or sequential
method because the tape memory that stores the songs is to be read from the
start address each time.
Advantages of Serial Access Memory Devices
Serial access memory is used for backups and data transfers. Tape device is a
data storage device that reads and writes data on magnetic tapes. It is used for
archiving huge amount of data at low cost of storage. For a business organization
to run successfully, information or data is very necessary. Hence, important
data is organized and stored carefully in the tape device. The tape drive
technology provides stability, safety and low cost technique to archive data for
a long period.
The capacity of the tape drives ranges from a few Megabytes to hundreds
of Gigabytes, e.g., 1600 GB of compressed capacity is available today. These
tape drives are supplied by many brands, such as IBM, SONY, HP, QUANTUM
and so on.
Since the tape devices have huge storage capacity and are of low cost
they are a popular media for serial access memory and are favoured by those
who find it convenient. The companies that produce these serial memory devices
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continuosly try to improve the features of the device through research and
developments.
Disadvantages of Serial Access Memory Devices
Tape drives provide serial access or sequential access of data but considerable
amount of time is taken in forwarding and rewinding a tape to store or read any
one particular piece of data. As a result, tape drives are said to have very slow
average seek time. Tape drives can be found inside tape libraries and autoloaders
which help in loading, unloading and storing multiple tapes to further increase
archive capacity. Tape drives are connected to a computer using any of the
following interfaces, such as Small Computer System Interface (SCSI),
Integrated Development Environment (IDE), Serial Advanced Technology
Attachment (SATA), Universal Serial Bus (USB) and so on.

Self-Assessment Questions
9. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) When the manufacturer burns the data into the circuitry of the
computer, it is called ___________.
(b) Serial means no __________which implies that if a required data is
present in the last address cells of the memory then the data that is
present in the target address could only be fetched after all the data
located in the initial addresses is read.
10. State whether true or false:
(a) In both ROM and PROM, the write operation can be performed only
once and whatever is written cannot be changed.
(b) Tape device is a data storage device that reads and writes data on
hard disk.

3.8 Physical Devices Used to Construct Memories


The RAM is a volatile memory having limited storage capacity. The cost of RAM
is also relatively higher as compared to secondary memory. Logic dictated that
a relatively cheaper media, showing some sort of permanence of storage, be
used. As a result additional memory called external or auxiliary memory or
secondary storage is used in most computers.

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The magnetic medium was found to be long lasting and fairly inexpensive,
and therefore became an ideal choice for large storage requirements. Magnetic
tapes and disks are commonly used as storage media. With the advancements
in optical technology, optical disks are making inroads as one of the major
secondary storage devices.

3.8.1 Magnetic Disk


Magnetic disks are a direct-access medium and hence the most popular online
secondary storage devices. Direct-access devices are also called random access
devices because information is literally available at random or in any order.
Access to any location on the device is direct and so approximately equal access
time is required for each location. An example of this is a music CD where if you
wish to listen to the 5th song, you can directly select the 5th track. It does not
require you to fast forward the previous four songs.

Track

Sector

Inter track
Gap
Figure 3.10 Logical Layout of a Magnetic Disk

A magnetic disk is a circular plate made of metal or plastic, coated with


magnetized material. Often both sides of the disk are used. Data is recorded on
the disk in the form of magnetized and non-magnetized spots (not visible to the
naked eye) representing 1s and 0s.
Data is stored in concentric rings or tracks. To minimize the interference
of magnetic fields, the adjacent tracks are separated by inter-track gaps. Tracks
are commonly divided into sections called sectors. In most systems, the minimum
quantity of information that can be transferred is a sector. Usually 8 or more
sectors per track are found. Figure 3.10 shows a layout of a magnetic disk.

3.8.2 Hard Disk


Unlike floppy disks, hard disks are made up of rigid metal. The sizes for the disk
platters range between 1 to 14 inches in diameter. Depending on the way they
are packaged, hard disks can be categorized as disk packs or Winchester disks.
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Disk packs consist of two or more hard disks mounted on a single central
shaft; because of this, all disks in a disk pack rotate at the same speed. It
consists of separate read/write heads for each surface (excluding the
upper surface of the top most disk platter and the lower surface of the
bottom most disk platter). Disk packs are removable in the sense that
they can be removed and kept offline when not in use (typically stored
away in plastic cases). They have to be mounted on the disk drive before
they can be used. Thus, different disk packs can be mounted on the
same disk drive at different instances, thereby providing virtually unlimited
(modular) storage capacity. Figure 3.11 shows a disk pack.
Winchester disks also consist of two or more hard disk platters mounted
on a single central shaft but are of the fixed type. The disk platters are
sealed in a contamination-free container. Due to this fact all the disk
platters, including the upper surface of the top most disk platter and the
lower surface of the bottom most platter, are used for storing data. So,
even though Winchester disks have limited storage capacity as opposed
to disk packs, they can store larger amounts of data as compared to the
same number of disk platters. Figure 3.12 shows a Winchester disk.

Figure 3.11 A Disk Pack

Figure 3.12 A Winchester Disk

3.8.3 Floppy Disk


The disks used with a floppy disk drive are small removable disks made of
plastic coated with magnetic recording material. There are two sizes commonly
used, with diameters of 5 and 3 inches. Figure 3.13 shows a floppy disk.

3.8.4 CD ROM
Optical disks are storage devices with huge storage capacity. It is a relatively
new storage medium and uses laser beam technology for writing and reading
of data.

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Sliding
metal piece
cover

Label for
Identification
Write-protect tab

Figure 3.13 A 3 Inch Floppy Disk

Figure 3.14 An Optical Disk and Disk Drive

Optical disks consist of one large track that starts from the outer edge
and spirals inward towards the centre (this is unlike the magnetic disk in which
tracks are concentric circles on the disk platter). An optical disk is also split up
into sectors but these are of the same length regardless of its location on the
track. Data is, therefore, packed at maximum density over the disk.
The technology used in optical disks uses laser beams to write and read
data as opposed to the read /write head used in magnetic disks. Data is recorded
by etching microscopic pits (burnt surface) on the disk surface. A high intensity
laser beam is used to etch the pits while a low intensity laser beam is used for
data retrieval. Figure 3.14 shows an optical disk and a disk drive.
Three optical memory devices that are becoming increasingly popular in
various computer applications are CD ROM, WORM (Write Once Read Many)
and Erasable Optical disks. We shall discuss these below.
CD ROM: The CD ROM is a direct extension of the audio CD. It is usually made
from a resin named polycarbonate that is coated with aluminium to form a highly
reflective surface. The information on a CD ROM is stored as a series of
microscopic pits on the reflective surface (using a high-intensity laser beam).
The process of recording information on these disks is known as mastering.
This is so-called because this master disk is then used to make a die, which is
used to make copies.
The information is retrieved from a CD ROM using a low-powered laser,
which is generated in an optical disk drive unit. The disk is rotated and the laser
beam is aimed at the disk. The intensity of the laser beam changes as it
encounters a pit. A photo-sensor detects the change in intensity, thus recognizing
the digital signals recorded on the surface of the CD ROM and converts them
into electronic signals of 1s and 0s.
As the name suggests, information stored in CD ROM can be read only.
It cannot be modified in any way. It is, therefore, useful for applications in which
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there is a database of information that is useful as it is and does not need


changing in any way, e.g., a directory such as Yellow Pages. CD ROMs are
very useful for distributing large amounts of information to a large number of
users.
WORM: The drawbacks of CD ROM were partially resolved by the introduction
of WORM.
In certain applications, only a few copies of compact disks are required to
be made which makes the CD ROM production economically unviable from a
commercial point of view. This is because manufacturers do CD ROM duplication
by using expensive duplication equipment. For such cases, WORM CDs have
been developed.
WORM disks allow users to create their own CDs by using a CD-Recordable
(CD-R) drive. This can be attached as a peripheral device to the computer system.
WORM disks recorded like this can be read by any CD ROM drive.
Erasable optical disk: The most recent development in optical disks is the
erasable optical disk. The data in these can be changed repeatedly as in the
case of magnetic disks. Erasable optical disks are, therefore, also known as
rewritable optical disks.
These disks integrate the magnetic and optical disk technologies to enable
rewritable storage with the laser-beam technology and so are also called
magneto-optical disks. In such systems, a laser beam is used along with a
magnetic field to read or write information on a disk which is coated with a
magnetic material.
To write, the laser beam is used to heat a specific spot on the magnetic
coated material. At this elevated temperature, a magnetic field is applied so
that the polarization of that spot can be changed thereby recording the desired
data. This process does not cause any physical changes in the disk and so can
be repeated many times. Reading is done by detecting the degree of rotation of
the polarized laser beam reflected from the surface. This implies that as the
disk spins, the polarized spots pass under the laser beam and depending on
their orientation or alignment some of them reflect the light while others scatter
it. This produces patterns of on and off that are converted into electronic
signals of binary 1s and 0s.

3.8.5 Magnetic Tape


Magnetic tapes are used for storing files of data that are sequentially accessed
or not used very often and are stored offline. They are typically used as backup
storage for archiving of data.
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In case of magnetic tapes, a tape (plastic ribbon usually 1/2 inch or 1/4
inch wide and 50 to 2400 feet long) is wound on a spool and its other end is
threaded manually on a take-up spool. The Beginning Of Tape (BOT) is indicated
by a metal foil called a marker. When a write command is given, a block of data
(records are usually grouped in blocks of two or more) is written on the tape.
The next block is then written after a gap (called Inter Block Gap or IBG). A
series of blocks are written in this manner. The End Of Tape (EOT) is indicated
by an end-of-tape marker which is a metal foil stuck in the tape. After the data is
written, the tape is rewound and kept ready for reading. Figures 3.15 (a), (b)
and (c) show magnetic tape reel and tape cartridge.
BOT
Marker IBG IBG
Unused
Tape

IBG

IBG IBG

Unused
Tape

Block of
Records
Tape
File
Header Header
Label Label

Figure 3.15 (a)

Figure 3.15 (b)

IBG

EOT
File
Trailer Marker
Label of
Last File
Data Organization on a Magnetic Tape

Magnetic Tape Reel

File
Trailer
Label

Figure 3.15 (c)

Magnetic Tape Cartridge

The tape is read sequentially, i.e., data can be read in the order in which
the data has been written. This implies that if the desired record is at the end of
the tape, all the earlier records have to be read before it is reached. A typical
example of a tape can be seen in a music tape cassette where to listen to the
5th song one must listen to, or traverse, the earlier 4 songs. The access time of
information stored on tape is therefore, very high as compared to that stored on
a disk.

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The storage capacity of the tape depends on its data recording density
and the length of the tape. The data recording density refers to the amount of
data that can be stored or the number of bytes that can be stored per linear inch
of tape. The data recording density is measured in BPI (Bytes Per Inch).
Some commonly used magnetic tapes are:
1/2 inch tape reel
1/2 inch tape cartridge
1/4 inch streamer tape
4 mm DAT (Digital Audio Tape) typical capacity of 4 GB to 14 GB
Activity 3
List the storage devices of a computer system in the increasing order of
accessing speed and capacity.

Self-Assessment Questions
11. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) To minimize the interference of magnetic fields, the adjacent tracks
are separated by __________.
(b) __________ consist of two or more hard disks mounted on a single
central shaft; because of this, all disks in a disk pack rotate at the
same speed.
12. State whether true or false:
(a) Tracks are commonly divided into sections called gaps.
(b) Magnetic tapes are used for storing files of data that are sequentially
accessed or not used very often and are stored offline.

3.9 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:
Computers have an input/output subsystem, referred to as I/O subsystem
which provides an efficient mode of communication between the central
system and the outside world. Programs and data must be entered into
the computer memory for processing, and results obtained from
computations must be displayed or recorded for the users benefit.
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The I/O devices are also known as peripheral devices because they
surround the CPU and the memory of a computer system. While input
devices are used to enter data from the outside world into the primary
storage, output devices are used to provide the processed results from
primary storage to users.
Keyboard devices allow input into the computer system by pressing a set
of keys, mounted on a board connected to the computer system. The
most familiar means of entering information or data into a computer is
through a typewriter-like keyboard that allows a person to enter
alphanumeric information directly.
A mouse is a small device that a computer user pushes across a desk
surface in order to point to a place on a display screen and to select one
or more actions possible from that position. A trackball is a pointing device
that is much like an inverted mouse. It consists of a ball inset in a small
external box or adjacent to/and in the same unit as the keyboard of some
portable computers.
A joystick is a vertical stick that moves the graphic cursor in the direction
the stick is moved and consists of a spherical ball, which moves within a
socket, and has a stick mounted on it.
Scanning devices are input devices that are used for direct data entry
from the source document into the computer system. Scanners facilitate
the capturing of information and storing it in a graphical format for
displaying it back on the graphical screen. There are two types of scanners,
contact and laser.
Digitizers are used to convert drawings or pictures and maps into a digital
format for storage into the computer. A digitizer consists of a digitizing or
graphics tablet, which is a pressure sensitive tablet, and a pen with the
same X and Y coordinates as on screen.
An output device accepts data from the computer and translates them
into a form that can be understood by the outside world. The output can
normally be produced in two ways on a display unit/device or on paper.
Capacity, in a computer system, is defined in terms of the number of
bytes that it can store in its main memory. This is usually stated in terms
of Kilobytes which is 1024 bytes or Megabytes which is equal to 1024 KB
(10,48,576 bytes).
The bootstrap loader is a program whose function is to start the computer
software operation when power is turned on. Since RAM is volatile, its
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contents are destroyed when power is turned off. The contents of ROM
remain unchanged even after the power is turned off and on again.
Serial access or sequential access means serial or sequential access of
data, i.e., right from the starting address to the end address data is serially
picked up from the memory and transmitted one by one.
Magnetic disks are a direct-access medium and hence the most popular
online secondary storage devices. Direct-access devices are also called
random-access devices because information is literally available at random
or in any order.
Magnetic tapes are used for storing files of data that are sequentially
accessed or not used very often and are stored offline. They are typically
used as backup storage for archiving of data.

3.10 Glossary
Input/Output devices: A means of communication between the computer
and the user
MICR: A technology used by the banking industry for processing large
volumes of cheques
Read only memory: A memory used to store programs that permanently
resides in the computer and does not change once the production of the
computer is completed
Random access memory: A memory used for storing bulk of the
programs and data that are subject to change

3.11 Terminal Questions


1. What are the major input devices and what are their functions?
2. Explain the types and functions of scanning devices and electronic-card
reader.
3. What are the main output devices? Explain their functions.
4. Discuss the functions and types of memories.
5. Explain the significance of read only memory.
6. Serial access memory is not only helpful, it is necessary. Explain the
usefulness of serial access memory.
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7. Explain the working of magnetic disks. Why is it a popular medium?


8. Discuss the functions of a CD ROM.

3.12 Answers
Answers to Self-Assessment Questions
1. (a) Trackball; (b) Touch screen
2. (a) False; (b) True
3. (a) Optical mark recognition; (b) MICR
4. (a) False; (b) False
5. (a) Pixels; (b) IC register
6. (a) True; (b) True
7. (a) Access time; (b) 26, 84, 35, 456
8. (a) True; (b) False
9. (a) Manufacturer-programmed ROM; (b) Random access
10. (a) True; (b) False
11. (a) Inter-track gaps; (b) Disk packs
12. (a) False; (b) True

Answers to Terminal Questions


1. Refer to Section 3.2
2. Refer to Section 3.3.1 and 3.3.6
3. Refer to Section 3.4
4. Refer to Section 3.5
5. Refer to Section 3.6
6. Refer to Section 3.7
7. Refer to Section 3.8.1
8. Refer to Section 3.8.4

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3.13 Further Reading


1. Forouzan, Behrouz A. Data Communications and Networking. New
Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Black, Uyless D. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,
1993.
3. Stallings, William. Data and Computer Communications. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall Inc., 1996.
4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Inc., 2002.
5. Douglas, E. C. Computer Networks & Internet. New Delhi: Pearson
Education.
6. Rajaraman, V. Fundamentals of Computers. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of
India, 1996.

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Unit 4

Processor and Binary Arithmetic

Structure
4.1 Introduction
Objectives
4.2 Structure of Instruction
4.3 Description of a Processor
4.4 A Machine Language Program
4.5 Algorithms to Simulate a Hypothetical Computer
4.6 Binary Arithmetic
4.7 Summary
4.8 Glossary
4.9 Terminal Questions
4.10 Answers
4.11 Further Reading

4.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you read about the input/output units and memory
organization of computer system. In the present unit, you will be read about
computer instruction, algorithm, processors, machine language program and
binary arithmetic. An instruction is an order given to the processor of a computer
by a computer program. A computer program is a sequence of instructions that
enable a computer to solve a specific problem. In computing, an algorithm is a
rough writing of a program. There are two commonly used tools to help to
document the algorithm. These are flow charts and pseudocode. A flow chart is
a symbolic representation of an algorithm showing the steps as boxes of various
kinds, and their order by connecting these with arrows. A pseudocode is a
description of an algorithm using structured English. With the developments in
the architecture of CPU, the terminologies used for processors have changed.
The language understood by the computer is the machine language. It consists
of the instructions and data that are executed directly by the CPU. A computer
understands only two states, 0 and 1. So the machine language is written using
these two digits. The task of the processor is decided by the currently executing
program. The manner in which the processor executes each machine code
instruction in a program is called fetch/execute cycle. This process is a continuous
cycle which is used until the computer is turned off or there are no more
instructions to process. The arithmetic operations in computers are performed
in binary number system. The arithmetic operationsaddition, subtraction,

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multiplication and divisionperformed on the binary numbers is called binary


arithmetic. Digital computers have the facility of storing the sign of a number (+
or ) as well. For representing signed binary numbers, the most commonly
used system is the 2s complement system.

Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Describe the structure of instructions
Compose program code using algorithm
Explain the architecture of a processor
Create machine language programs
Discuss how algorithms simulate a hypothetical computer
Compute binary arithmetic

4.2 Structure of Instruction


The instruction set architecture is the code that a central processing unit reads
and acts upon. It can be the machine language or assembly language, including
the instruction set, word size, memory address modes, processor registers,
and address and data formats.
Designing a program requires program specifications. It includes technical
interpretation of the programming requirement. The design of an output prepared
by report generators and input screen prototypes are considered part of the
program specifications. It also includes a set of test data to be processed by the
program. Testing helps to ensure quality, accuracy and acceptance of the
program for use within a system.
In the early years of programming, unstructured programs were written
without any standard technique or design method. Programs were written mostly
to solve current problems, without much consideration of future needs. An
unstructured program uses a linear or top-down approach to solve problems. In
this approach, the instructions are sequentially followed until a particular condition
is reached. The program logic branches off to another part of the program and
continues sequentially from there. In a complex program, the branching overlaps.
Nowadays, structured programs are written with three simple structures
as given follows:

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Sequence
Selection
Iteration (Repetition)
Any program could be written with these structures. Programming
languages like C and C++ are commonly used to write structured programs.
In a sequence, instructions are followed one after the other in the preset
order in which they appear within the program.
Example:
printf(\n Enter value to N:);
scanf(%d,&n);
printf(\n Enter value to X:);
scanf(%f,&x);
Selection means that one of two alternative sequences of instructions is
chosen based on a logical condition.
Example:
if (n > 0)
y = 1 + n*x;
else
y = 1 n*x;
printf(\n Value of Y = %f, y);
Iteration or repetition means that the sequence of instructions is executed
and repeated any number of times in a loop until the logical condition is true.
Example:
do
{ printf(\n Enter value to N:);
scanf(%d,&n);
printf(\n Enter value to X:);
scanf(%f,&x);
if (n > 0)
y = 1 + n*x;
else
y = 1 n*x;

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printf(\n Value of Y = %f, y);


}
while(x != 0);

The three structures are effectively used to organize into modules or


routines. A module is a set of instructions that performs one specific function or
action within a program. A structured application program contains separate
modules for data entry, error checking, processing and screen or printer output.
A module is a small program unit which can be developed by a single programmer
and tested separately before combining with the final program. When the
program needs modification, only those modules that are affected have to be
changed. This reduces the programming effort and cost.
Unstructured programs are executed in a linear fashion, whereas
structured programs execute modules of code.
The logic of unstructured program may be difficult to maintain and any
changes needed to be done are possible only by the person who developed the
program. The structured approach permits flexibility in which programmers may
design the same program differently and the designer can link them to form a
workable, modifiable program.

4.2.1 Algorithm
An algorithm is a rough writing of a program. It contains step-by-step instructions
to solve a given problem. The steps must appear in the order in which they are
executed. The information to be given (input), computed (processing) and printed
are identified.
The sequence of instructions in an algorithm is written in the following
manner:
Instructions should are written in the correct sequence in which they are
to be executed.
Instructions should be precise and unambiguous.
Instructions should be executed or repeated only a finite number of times.
Check for possible infinite loop.
Make sure the instructions in the algorithm are written in the correct order.
Example 4.1: Write the algorithm to find the biggest of the given two numbers.
Solution: For this problem, a new name big is used to store the biggest value.
Initially a is assumed as big, then b is compared with the existing big to get
the biggest value.
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1. Read a, b
2. big

3. If b > big then


big b
4. Print big
5. Stop

4.2.2 Flow Chart


Before writing the program code, the sequence of statements and the relationship
between various elements are shown with the help of a flow chart or pseudocode.
The flow chart is a common method to define the logical steps of flow within the
program. It uses various symbols to represent the functions within the program.
A flow chart shows the sequence, selection and iterations within a program.
Rules for Flow Charting
Use consistent methods in drawing a flow chart.
Use common and easily understandable words.
Use consistent words or names in the flow chart.
Avoid crossing flow lines in the flow chart.
Draw the flow chart from top to bottom and left to right.
Flow charts that exceed a page should be properly linked using connectors
to the portions of the flow chart on different pages.
Advantages of a Flow Chart
A flow chart can easily explain the program logic to the program
development team.
It is useful in preparing a detailed program documentation.
The flow chart details help prepare efficient program coding.
It helps detect and remove the mistakes in a program.
A flow chart is useful in testing the logic of the program.
Limitations of a Flow Chart
Flow charting is a laborious process when proper symbols are used.
Modifications in flow charting are very difficult and it consumes more time.

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Redrawing the flow chart is also a tedious task.


No standards are strictly followed to draw a flow chart.
Example 4.2: Draw a flow chart to find the biggest of the given two numbers.
Solution:

Pseudocode
Pseudocode is a tool used for planning a computer program logic or method.
Pseudo means imitation and code refers to the instructions written in a computer
language. The pseudocode instructions may be written in English, French,
German or any vernacular.
Some programmers prefer to write the actual words or pseudocode to
represent the various steps rather than drawing the flow chart. Pseudocode is
useful to design structured programs. A pseudocode looks similar to the actual
coding. Consider the following pseudocode to find the biggest of given two
numbers.
Start program
Read Number1, Number 2
If Number 1 > Number 2 then
Print Number 1

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Else
Print Number 2
Endif
End of program

The steps in a flow chart or pseudocode can be easily translated into a


program code for any high level programming language, independent of specific
language rules.
Advantages of Pseudocode
Flexibility is a great advantage in using pseudocode.
Pseudocode provides a basis for reviewing the program design among
all members of a program development team and its users.
Pseudocode instructions may be easily converted into programming
language instructions.
Pseudocode instructions can be easily modified.
Preparing the pseudocode requires less time than drawing a flow chart.
Limitations of Pseudocode
Reading pseudocode instructions takes more time.
There is no standard procedure for preparing pseudocode instructions.
Beginners find it difficult to write pseudocode than drawing a flow chart.

Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) A/an __________ is a rough writing of a program.
(b) The __________ is a common method to define the logical steps of
flow within the program.
2. State whether true or false:
(a) Testing helps to ensure quality, accuracy and acceptance of the
program for use within a system.
(b) Algorithm is a tool used for planning a computer program logic or
method.

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4.3 Description of a Processor


The study of the processor or CPU is the core of any course dealing in computer
science, whether it is hardware computer engineering or any course in computer
applications. Earlier, computer architecture was explained through series, such
as 8085, 8086 and 8088. These were the CPU numbers through which a
computer system was recognized. However, with new developments in the CPU
architecture, new terminologies are used for processors. Some of them are:
Pentium IV
Pentium Pro
Intel Core2 Quad Processor
Intel Core2 Duo Processor
Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor
Intel Pentium D Processor
Intel Pentium 4 Processor
Celeron
XEON
These processors vary in their architectures, features and capabilities.

4.3.1 CPU Registers


The X86 CPUs have exactly four registers, all 16-bit wide. All arithmetic and
logical operations take place in the CPU registers. The four general registers
have their generic names as follows:
AX: The accumulator register
BX: The base address register
CX: The count register
DX: The data register
The other register that the X86 processors comprise is an Instruction
Pointer Register (IPR) also called the Program Counter Register (PCR). It
contains the address of the next instruction to be executed.
Another important CPU register is the Instruction Register (IR) that is
temporarily used to store the instruction being executed. It consists of two parts:
(i) An operation code (OPCODE) and (ii) An OPERAND (address).

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Yet another category of CPU registers are the flags register that hold
the result of a comparison or information about carry as in carry flag, information
about overflow as in overflow flag and similarly there exists a zero flag.
As all these registers discussed above are on the CPU-chip; they are
much faster than the computer memory. Accessing a memory location requires
one or more clock cycles whereas accessing data in a register usually takes
zero clock cycles. Thus, the CPU registers are the best place to store temporary
data.
Some more terminology, which you may find in other texts, associated
with the registers are listed as follows:
AX/EAX/RAX: Accumulator register
BX/EBX/RBX: Base register
CX/ECX/RCX: Counter register (loop counter)
DX/EDX/RDX: Data register
SI/ESI/RSI: Source Index for string operations
DI/EDI/RDI: Destination Index for string operations
SP/ESP/RSP: Stack Pointer for top address of the stack
BP/EBP/RBP: Stack Base Pointer for holding the address of the current
stack
IP/EIP/RIP: Instruction Pointer to hold the current instruction address

4.3.2 The Arithmetic and Logical Unit


The ALU is where most of the operations, such as arithmetic and logical
calculations take place inside the CPU (refer Figure 4.1). Consider, for example,
if you want to add the value 7 to the AX register then the CPU:
Copies the value from AX into the ALU
Sends the value 7 to the ALU
Instructs the ALU to add these two values together
Moves the result back into the AX register

4.3.3 The Bus Interface Unit


The Bus Interface Unit (BIU) is responsible for controlling the address and data
buses when accessing the main memory. Now let us have a look at these two
important terms, the address bus and the data bus.

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Figure 4.1 Schematic Diagram of ALU for Calculation

Address buses are those parallel lines (each line carrying 1-bit) that consist of
the bit combination specifying the address of the memory location from where
the instruction or data is to be fetched.
Data buses are those parallel lines (again each line carrying 1-bit) that carry
the data to be written to the memory location or read from the memory location
that is addressed by the address bus.
If a cache is present on the CPU chip, then the BIU is also responsible for
accessing data in the cache.

4.3.4 The Control Unit and Instruction Sets


The CU fetches instruction codes also known as operation codes
(OPCODE) from the memory and moves them to the instruction decoding
register.
The control unit contains a special registerthe instruction pointer
registerthat contains the address of an executable instruction.
The control unit fetches this instruction code from the memory and places
it in the decoding register for execution.
After executing the instruction, the control unit increments the instruction
pointer and fetches the next instruction from the memory for execution,
and so on.
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The X86 Instruction Set


The X86 CPUs provide 20 basic instruction classes.
Seven of these instructions have two operands.
Eight of these instructions have a single operand.
Five instructions have no operands at all.
Addressing Modes on the X86
The X86 instructions use five different operand types: registers, constants and
three memory-addressing schemes. Each form is called an addressing mode.
The X86 processors support:
Register addressing mode
Immediate addressing mode
Indirect addressing mode
Indexed addressing mode
Direct addressing mode
Activity 1
Collect information on various types of processors used in computer
systems. Prepare a chart on their architecture and features.

Self-Assessment Questions
3. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The X86 CPUs have exactly four registers, all ________bit wide.
(b) The instruction pointer register is also called the _______________.
4. State whether true or false:
(a) The arithmetic and logical unit is where most of the operations, such
as arithmetic and logical calculations take place inside the CPU.
(b) The bus interface unit is responsible for controlling the address and
data buses when accessing the main memory.

4.4 A Machine Language Program


As the name implies, machine language means a language for the machine,
i.e., a language understood by a computer. Electronic devices have two states
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switch off (0) and switch on (1), therefore, a computer only understands these
two states 0 and 1 (binary digits). Hence, combinations of 0 and 1 are used to
make different strings for different operations, and they are the key to understand
computer language or what we call as the machine language.
Operation Code
(OPCODE)

Address/Data
(OPERAND1)

Address/Data
(OPERAND2)

Figure 4.2 Instruction Format

An instruction in a machine language program has a format as shown in


Figure 4.2. The OPCODE part is a necessity; the rest is optional or depends on
the type of OPCODE used.
The first part, i.e., the OPCODE specifies the command or the operation
to be performed. This part of the instruction instructs the computer about the
action to be takenthe function to be performed on the data present in next part
of the instruction. The second part is the OPERAND part. It specifies either the
data or the location of the data in the memory (memory address) on which the
action is to be performed. It could be one operand or two operands (refer Figure
4.2) as per the requirement of OPCODE. The ADD function, for example, requires
two numbers (data) to be added, so OPERAND 1 will give the data or address
of the data where it is stored and OPERAND 2 will give the second data to be
added to the first data.
Other operations such as READ and WRITE need one OPERAND only,
as shown in the instruction format in Figure 4.3.
Operation Code
(OPCODE)

Address/Data
(OPERAND)

Figure 4.3 Instruction Format

Can you explain why only one operand is required in these cases? This is
because the read command wants to read the data present in some location of
the memory; hence its operand would consist of memory address where the
data is located. It is the same case with the write command that says that the
address mentioned in the Operand field is the address of the memory location
where data is to be stored.
As you are aware that a computer understands only binary digits 0 and 1,
hence, the above instructions may look like thisas strings of 0s and 1s:
00100001 00001111 00001000
01001001 00000001 00011001
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11100000 11000000
00011100 1101100
Advantages of Machine Language Programs
Programs written in machine language could be executed very fast by
the computer, because the CPU directly understood the machine
instructions and no translation time was required.
Translator system software, such as interpreters or compilers was not
required.
Disadvantages of Machine Language Programs
Difficult to program: A programmer had to memorize the complete
instruction set for the OPCODE utilization. Only then could he use the
right command in the right place. Thus, it was very difficult for a
programmer to learn the long combinations of 0s and 1s.
For efficient and error free programs, the programmers had to constantly
refer to the instruction set card.
Programmers had to be hardware experts, as they had to perfectly know
the memory location addresses where the data was to be stored or from
where the data was to be read.
Error prone: For any programmer to remember such a large instruction
set and to track the memory addresses, it became difficult for him to fully
concentrate on the logic of the problem, thus programming errors occurred,
and since it was difficult to correct an error, the program code had to be
rewritten.
Machine dependent: As explained earlier, the machine language was
machine specific. That meant the address of the memory, size and word
length of the memory, the registers in the CPU, ALU, and so on, decided
the format of the machine instructions. If the machine was changed, it
was necessary for the programmer to understand the new architecture of
the CPU. Henceforth, a new instruction set for the new machine was
required to be memorized. Thus, each machine language program was
machine dependent, i.e., machine specific.
Difficult to modify: The machine language program was manually fed
to each address sequentially. However, if one had to add any instruction
between any two instructions at a specific address, the complete program
from that address onwards had to be deleted and written again with
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reference to the new memory address. Thus, it was difficult to modify


machine language programs.
A machine language program is time consuming and is no longer used.
Many translators are available today to convert any known programming
language into machine language, such as assemblers, interpreters and
compilers.
Activity 2
Search on Internet and find that why machine language is regarded as a
primitive and cumbersome programming language.

Self-Assessment Questions
Fill in the blank with the appropriate word:
5. __________ devices have two states switch off (0) and switch on (1).
State whether true or false:
6. In machine language, translator system software, such as interpreter or
compiler was required.

4.5 Algorithms to Simulate a Hypothetical Computer


Suppose, we write the following program instructions:
Z = Y + 240
1. Load the value of Y in the accumulator.
2. Add the value of the given constant, that is, 240 in this case, to the value
of the accumulator.
3. Store the sum value in memory address Z.
4. Halt.
The corresponding program would be as follows:
Address Instruction

Mnemonic

Comments

000

01005

LDA Y

A=Y

001

30004

ADD 240

A= A + 240

002

02006

STA Z

Z=A

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003

46007

004

00240

005

Unit 4

JMP 007

Go to address 7

240

00240

Constant 240

03300

03300

Variable Y

006

00557

00557

Variable Z

007

99000

HLT

Halt Execution

The address column shows the memory addresses where the


instructions, constants and variables are stored.The instruction column shows
the instruction code. It shows a value 01005 for the mnemonic code LDA Y
written in the mnemonic column, wherein 01 is the code for the operation
Load the Accumulator with the value present at address 005, which is named
as variable Y, in this case. The last column shows the comments to simply
explain what each statement is doing.
Further, Constant 240 is stored at memory location 004 and the variable
Y is stored at 005. The variable Z is stored at 006. Here, in this algorithm 01 for
LDA, 30 is the code for ADD, 02 for STA, 46 for JMP. JMP instruction takes the
control of the program to address 007, where the instruction to Halt execution is
written.
To start this program, the simulator executes the fetch/execute cycle for
the hypothetical machine. The implementation starts by fetching the LDA Y
instruction and executing it. The simulator program simply implements the
hypothetical machine fetch/execute cycle as follows:
Algorithm
Explained simply, a CPU runs a program by repeatedly fetching an instruction
from the memory and executing that instruction in continuous cycle. This is
called the fetch/execute cycle. To simulate the CPU, the software simulator
must execute this cycle as follows:
1. Fetch instruction at PC by: MAR = PC
MDR = Memory [MAR]
IR = MDR
2. PC = PC + 1

PC = next instruction address

3. Decode instruction:

OP = IR operation field
Addr = IR address field

4. Execute operation OP.


5. Go to 1.

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Data
You may have observed that the CPU architecture, i.e., the internal memory,
such as the PC, IR, A, MDR and so on, and the external memory are simulated
using variables to hold the data of each register. The hypothetical CPU internal
memory is accurately represented as follows:
PC

3 digits, holds address in the range of 000 to 999 of next


instruction.

IR

5 digits, holds instruction (2-digit operation and 3-digit operand).

A, Y, Z

5 digits, holds numerical value in range -99999 to 99999.

MAR

3 digits, holds address in range 000 to 999 of memory index.

MDR

5 digits, holds numerical value accessed to/from the memory


[MAR].

Self-Assessment Questions
Fill in the blank with the appropriate word:
7. To simulate the CPU, the software simulator must execute the ____ cycle.
State whether true or false:
8. A CPU runs a program by fetching an instruction from the memory once
and executing that instruction in continuous cycle.

4.6 Binary Arithmetic


Arithmetic operations are done in a computer not by using decimal numbers, as
we do normally, but by using binary numbers. Arithmetic circuits in computers
and calculators perform arithmetic and logic operations. All arithmetic operations
take place in the arithmetic unit of the computer. The electronic circuit is capable
of doing addition of two or three binary digits at a time and the binary addition
alone is sufficient to do subtraction. Thus, a single circuit of a binary adder with
suitable shift register can perform all the arithmetic operations.
Arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and
division can be performed on binary numbers.

4.6.1 Binary Addition


Binary addition is performed in the same manner as decimal addition. Binary
addition is the key to binary subtraction, multiplication and division. There are
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only four cases that occur in adding the two binary digits in any position. This is
shown in Table 4.1.
1 + 1 + 1 = 11 (i.e., 1 carry of 1 into next position)
1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 100
10 + 1 = 11
The rules (1), (2) and (3) in Table 4.1 are just decimal addition. The rule
(4) states that adding 1 and 1 gives one zero in binary (meaning decimal 2 and
not decimal 10).
There is a carry from the previous position. Carry overs are performed in
the same manner as in decimal arithmetic. Since 1 is the larger digit in the
binary system, any sum greater than 1 requires that a digit be carried out.
Table 4.1 Binary Addition
Sl. No.

Addend
(A)

Addend
(B)

Carry
(C)

Sum
(S)

Result

10

Example 4.3: Add the binary numbers (i) 011 and 101 (ii) 1011 and 1110
(iii) 10.001 and 11.110 (iv) 1111 and 10010 (v) 11.01 and 101.0111.
Solution: (i) Binary number
11

Sum =

Carry

011

+ 101

1000

(ii)

Binary
Decimal
11
Carry
1011
11
+ 1110
+ 14
Sum = 11001
25
(iv)

Equivalent decimal number

Binary
Decimal
11
Carry
1111
15

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(iii) Binary
Decimal
1
Carry
10.001
2.125
+ 11.110
+ 3.750
Sum = 101.111
5.875
(v) Binary
Decimal
11 1 Carry
11.01
3.25

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+ 10010
Sum =100001

Unit 4

+ 18
33

101.0111
Sum = 1000.1011

+ 5.4375
8.6875

Since the circuit in all digital systems actually performs addition that can
handle only two numbers at a time, it is not necessary to consider the addition
of more than two binary numbers. When more than two numbers are to be
added, the first two are added together and then their sum is added to the third
number, and so on. Almost all modern digital machines can perform addition
operation in less than 1 ms.
Larger Binary Numbers
Column by column addition applies to binary as well as decimal numbers.
Example 4.4: Add the following binary numbers:
(i) 1101101 and 1001110
(iii) 110011 and 111000
Solution:
1
1 1

(ii) 1111001 and 1100101


carry

(iv) 1111110 and 11100111


1 1
1 carry

1 1 0 1 1 0 1
(i)

1 0 0 1 1 1 0

1 1 1 1 0 0 1
(ii)

1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1
1

1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0

carry

1 1 1 1 1 1 carry

1 1 0 0 1 1
(iii)

1 1 1 0 0 0
1 1 0 1 0 1 1

1 1 0 0 1 0 1

0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0
(iv)

1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1
1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1

Example 4.5: Add these 8-bit numbers : 0110 1011 and 1011 0110. Then, show
the same numbers in hexadecimal notation.
Solution: 8-bit binary
Hexadecimal equivalent
1111 11
0110 1011
+ 1011 0110
10010 0001

carry
6 B H
+B 6 H
1 2 1 H

Logic equations representing the sum S for addends A and B is also


known as the exclusive OR function and can also be represented in Boolean
ring algebra as S = AB + BA = A B.

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4.6.2 Binary Subtraction


Subtraction is the inverse operation of addition. To subtract, it is necessary to
establish procedure for subtracting a large digit from a small digit. The only
case in which this occurs with binary numbers is when 1 is subtracted from 0.
The remainder is 1, but it is necessary to borrow 1 from the next column to the
left. The rules of binary subtraction are shown in Table 4.2.
00=0
10=1
11=0
0 1 = 0 with a borrow of 1
10 1 = 01
Table 4.2 Binary Subtraction
Sl. No. Minuend
A
1

Subtrahend
B

Result

0 with a borrow of 1

Example 4.6:(i) Binary


Solution:
1001
101

Decimal
9
5

(ii) Binary
10000
011

Decimal
16
3

100

1101

13

(iii) Binary
110.01
100.1

Decimal
6.25
4.5

(iv) Binary
1101
1010

Decimal
13
10

1.75

0011

Difference =

Difference =

1.11

Example 4.7: Show the binary subtraction of 12810 from 21010.


Solution: Converting the given decimal numbers into corresponding
hexadecimal number we have
210 D 2 H 1101 0010
128 8 0 H 1000 0000
1101 0010
D2H
1000 0000
80H
0101 0010
52H
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4.6.3 Binary Multiplication


The multiplication of binary numbers is done in the same manner as the
multiplication of decimal numbers. The following are four basic rules for
multiplying binary digits:
(i) 0 0 = 0
(ii) 0 1 = 0
(iii) 1 0 = 0
(iv) 1 1 = 1
In a computer the multiplication operation is performed by repeated
additions, in much the same manner as the addition of all partial products to
obtain the full product. Since the multiplier digits are either 0 or 1, we always
multiply by 0 or 1 and no other digit. The following example illustrates this:
Example 4.8: Multiply the binary numbers 1011 and 1101.
Soluiton: 1011
1101

Multiplicant = 1110
Multiplier
= 1310
14310
1011

0000

Partial product = 14310

1011
1011
10001111

Final product = 14310

Example 4.9:
(i)
1 1 0 0
1 0 1 0
0 0 0 0
1 1 0 0
0 0 0 0
1 1 0 0
1 1 1 1

12
10
= 120

0 0 0

(ii)
1 0 1 1
1 1 0 0
0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0
1 0 1 1
1 0 1 1
1

0 0 0

11
12
= 132

0 1 0 0

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(iii)
1 . 0 1
1 0 . 1
1 0 1
0 0 0
1 0 1
1 1 .

1.25
2.5
3.125

0 0 1

Typical 8-bit microprocessor 6502 is used in software multiplication. In


other words, multiplication is done with addition instructions.

4.6.4 Binary Division


The processes of dividing one binary number (the dividend) by another (the
divisor) is the same as that which is followed for decimal numbers that which we
usually refer to as the method of long division. The table of binary division is
01 = 0
11 = 1
0 0 = no meaning as in decimal system
1 0 = no meaning
In considering division we will assume that the dividend is larger than the division.
The following are the rules for binary division:
Start from the left of the dividend.
Perform a series of subtractions in which the divisor is subtracted from
the dividend.
If subtraction is possible, put a 1 in the quotient and subtract the divisor
from the corresponding digits of the dividend.
If subtraction is not possible (divisor greater than remainder), record a
zero in the quotient.
Bring down the next digit to add to remainder digits. Proceed as before in
a manner similar to long division.

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Example 4.10:
(i) Binary

Decimal

Unit 4

(ii) Binary

101
101 11001

5
5 25
25

101
0101
101

1100
110 1001000

12
6 72

0110

00110
110

12
12

000

00

00

000

Example 4.11: (i)

Binary

Decimal

1.011
10010 11010.0000
10010

1.444

0100000
10010
11100
10010
010100

(ii)

Decimal

18 26
18
80
72
80
72
80

10010

72

00010

Binary

Decimal

10.01
1100 11101.00

2.4166

1100

12 29
24

0010100

50

1100

48

10000
1100

20
12

10000

80

1100

72

1000

08

Typical 8-bit microprocessor 8085 is used in software for doing division. In


other words, division is done with subtraction instructions. Therefore, an addersubtractor is all that is needed for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

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4.6.5 Signed Numbers


In digital computers, the binary numbers are represented by a set of binary
storage devices such as flip-flops. Each device represents one bit, for example,
a 6-bit FF register could store binary numbers ranging from 000000 to 111111
(0 to 63 decimal). This represents the magnitude of the number. Since digital
computers and calculators handle positive as well as negative numbers, some
means is required for representing the sign of the number (+ or ). This is
usually done by placing another bit called sign bit to the left of the magnitude
bits. A 0 in the sign bit represents a positive number and a 1 in the sign bit
represents a negative number. Therefore 101, 100 and 010 are coded as
1101, 1100 and 1010, respectively.
The sign bit is used to indicate whether a stored number is positive or
negative. The numbers in Figure 4.4 consist of a sign bit and seven magnitude
bits. The magnitude bits are true binary equivalent of the decimal value being
represented. This is called the sign-magnitude system for representing signed
binary numbers.
Sign

Magnitude

= + 5210

= 3110

= +4610

Figure 4.4 Representation of Signed Numbers in Sign-Magnitude Form.

Three main signed number binary codes are used : (i) sign magnitude
(ii) 1s complement code and (iii) 2s complement code. The most commonly
used system for representing signed binary numbers is the 2s complement
system.

4.6.6 2's Complement Representation of Numbers


The 2s complement form of a binary number is simply formed by taking the 1s
complement of the number and adding 1 to the Least Significant Bit (LSB)
position.
As a formula: 2s complement = 1s complement + 1

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Example 4.12: Write 2s complement of a binary number 1101.


Solution:
1101 Binary number
0010 1s complement of 1101
+ 1 Add 1
0011 2s complement
Example 4.13: Write 2s complement for the following binary number:
(i) 11011 (ii) 1110101 (iii) 1011 1011 (iv) 1011 0110
Solution: Binary number
1s complement
2s complement
(i) 11011
00100
00101
(ii) 1110101
0001010
0001011
(iii) 1011 1011 0100 0100
0100 0101
(iv) 1011 0110 0100 1001
0100 1010
Example 4.14: Find 2s complement of the following numbers:
(i) 9 (ii) 12 (iii) 15 (iv) 21
Solution:
Decimal
Binary
1s complement
2s complement
number
number
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)

9
12
15
21

1001
1100
1111
10101

0110
0011
0000
01010

0111
0100
0001
01011

4.6.7 Addition/Subtraction of 2's Floating Point


Representation of Numbers
Addition in 2s Complmement System
There are four possible cases:
Both numbers positive.
A positive number and a smaller negative number.
A negative number and a small positive number and
Both numbers negative.

Figure 4.5 A Binary Odomater

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The binary odometer is a marvelous way to understand 2s complement


representation. There are two important ideas to notice about these odometer
readings: (i) The MSB is the sign bit : 0 for a + sign and 1 for a sign. (ii) The
negative numbers shown in Figure 4.5 represent the 2s complements of the
positive numbers.
Except for the magnitude the positive and negative numbers are 2s
complements of each other. Hence, we can take the 2s complement of a positive
binary number to find the corresponding negative binary number.
Case 1: Two positive numbers
Consider the addition of +29 and +19
+29 0001 1101 (addend)
Adding +19 0001 0011 (addend)
+48 0011 0000 (sum = 48)

Case 2: Positive and small negative number


Consider the addition of + 39 and 22. Remembering that the 22 will be in its
2s complement form. Thus + 22 (0001 0110) must be converted to 22 (1110
1010).
+ 39 0010 0111
Adding 22 1110 1010
171 0001 0001

This carry is disregarded, so the result is 10001.


In this case the sign bit of the addend is 1. The sign bits also participate in
the process of addition. In fact a carry is generated in the last position of addition.
This carry is always disregarded.
Case 3: Positive and larger negative number
47 1101 0001
Adding 29 0001 1101
18 1110 1110
The result has a sign bit of 1, indicating a negative number. It is in 2s
complement form. The last seven bits 110 1110, naturally represent the 2s
complement of the sum. To find the true magnitude of the sum, we must take
the 2s complement of 1110 1110; the result is 10010 (+18). Thus 1110 1110
represents 18.

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Case 4: Two negative numbers


Consider the addition of 32 and 44.
32 1110 0000 (addend)
Adding 44 1101 0100 (addend)
76 11011 0100 (sum = 76)

This carry is disregarded, so the result is 1011 0100.


Activity 3
Prepare a list of operations that can be performed with signed numbers.

Self-Assessment Questions
9. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The process of dividing one binary number (the dividend) by another
(the divisor) is the same as that which is followed for decimal numbers,
which we usually refer to as the method of ______________.
(b) The most commonly used system for representing signed binary
numbers is the _______________complement system.
10. State whether true or false:
(a) To subtract, it is necessary to establish procedure for subtracting a
large digit from a small digit.
(b) In a computer, the multiplication operation is performed by repeated
subtraction, in much the same manner as the addition of all partial
products to obtain the full product.

4.7 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:
Designing a program requires program specifications.
An algorithm contains step-by-step instructions to solve a given problem.
The steps must appear in the order in which they are executed.
Before writing the program code, the sequence of statements and the
relationship between various elements are shown with the help of a flow
chart or pseudocode.

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The flow chart uses various symbols to represent the functions within the
program. A flow chart shows the sequence, selection and iterations within
a program.
Pseudocode is a tool used for planning a computer program logic or
method. Pseudo means imitation and code refers to the instructions
written in a computer language. The pseudocode instructions may be
written in English, French, German or any vernacular.
The terminologies used for processors today are Pentium IV, Pentium
Pro, Intel CoreTM2 Quad Processor, Intel CoreTM2 Duo Processor, Intel
CoreTM2 Dual-Core Processor, etc. These processors vary in their features
and capabilities.
The X86 CPUs have exactly four registers, all 16-bit wide. All arithmetic
and logical operations take place in the CPU registers.
The four general registers are AX, BX, CX and DX.
The ALU is where most of the operations, such as arithmetic and logical
calculations take place inside the CPU. The BIU is responsible for
controlling the address and data buses when accessing the main memory.
In machine language, combinations of 0 and 1 are used to make different
strings for different operations.
A CPU runs a program by repeatedly fetching an instruction from the
memory and executing that instruction in continuous cycle. This is called
the fetch/execute cycle.
Arithmetic operations are done in a computer by using binary numbers. A
single circuit of a binary adder with suitable shift register can perform all
the arithmetic operations.
Arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and
division can be performed on binary numbers.
Since digital computers and calculators handle positive as well as negative
numbers, a bit called sign bit is placed to the left of the magnitude bits for
representing the sign of the number. A 0 in the sign bit represents a positive
number and a 1 in the sign bit represents a negative number.
The most commonly used system for representing signed binary numbers
is the 2s complement system. The 2s complement form of a binary
number is simply formed by taking the 1s complement of the number
and adding 1 to the least significant bit position.

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4.8 Glossary
Sequence: A structure in which instructions are followed one after the
other in the preset order in which they appear within the program
Algorithm: A rough writing of a computer program
Flow chart: A method used to define the logical flow of steps within the
program

4.9 Terminal Questions


1. What key points should be kept in mind while writing an algorithm?
2. Differentiate between flow chart and pseudocode.
3. What is a processor? What are the new terminologies used in processors
today?
4. What is the significance of machine language programs?
5. Describe the fetch/execute cycle.
6. Illustrate various binary arithmetic operations.

4.10 Answers
Answers to Self-Assessment Questions
1. (a) Algorithm; (b) Flow chart
2. (a) True; (b) False
3. (a) 16; (b) program counter register
4. (a) True; (b) True
5. Electronic
6. False
7. Fetch/Execute
8. False
9. (a) Long division; (b) 2s
10. (a) True; (b) False

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Answers to Terminal Questions


1. Refer to Section 4.2.1
2. Refer to Section 4.2.2
3. Refer to Section 4.3
4. Refer to Section 4.4
5. Refer to Section 4.5
6. Refer to Section 4.6

4.11 Further reading


1. Forouzan, Behrouz A. Data Communications and Networking. New
Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Black, Uyless D. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,
1993.
3. Stallings, William. Data and Computer Communications. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall Inc., 1996.
4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Inc., 2002.
5. Douglas, E. C. Computer Networks & Internet. New Delhi: Pearson
Education.
6. Rajaraman, V. Fundamentals of Computers. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of
India, 1996.

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Unit 5

Computer Languages and


Operating System

Structure
5.1 Introduction
Objectives
5.2 Programming Language
5.3 Computer Languages
5.4 Categories of Languages
5.5 Need for an Operating System
5.6 Summary
5.7 Glossary
5.8 Terminal Questions
5.9 Answers
5.10 Further Reading

5.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you read about the description of processors, the machine
language program as well as binary arithmetic. In the present unit, you will read
about the various types of computer languages and the need for an operating
system.
A programming language refers to the language designed to communicate
instructions to a machine, particularly a computer. Programming languages help
in creating programs that control the behaviour of a machine and/or to express
algorithms precisely. The term computer language includes a wide variety of
languages used to communicate with computers. It is broader than the more
commonly-used term programming language. Programming languages are a
subset of computer languages. Computer language or programming language
is a coded syntax used by computer programmers to communicate with a
computer. It is the only language that computers, software programs and
computer hardware can understand. Computer language establishes a flow of
communication between software programs. The language enables a computer
user to dictate what commands the computer must perform to process data.
Computer language comes in various types that employ different sets of syntax.
The operating system is the interface between the hardware and the user. If
there were no operating system, the computer would be an expensive door
stop. It manages the hardware and software resources of the system. In a
desktop computer, these resources include things such as the processor,

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memory, disk space, etc. It provides a stable, consistent way for applications to
deal with the hardware without having to know all the details of the hardware.
Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Describe programming language
Classify computer languages
Discuss the various categories of computer languages
Explain the need for an operating system

5.2 Programming Language


A programming language is an artificial language designed to communicate
instructions to a machine, particularly a computer. Programming languages can
be used to create programs that control the behaviour of a machine and/or to
express algorithms precisely. Thousands of different programming languages
have been created, mainly in the computer field, with many more being created
every year. All programming languages have some primitive building blocks for
the description of data and the processes or transformations applied to them
(like the addition of two numbers or the selection of an item from a collection).
These primitives are defined by syntactic and semantic rules which describe
their structure and meaning respectively.
It was necessary for the programmer either to memorize the loads of
code numbers for the commands in the machines instruction set or to constantly
refer to a reference card. Moreover, as the machine language was machine
based, the machine language programmer had to be an expert who knew about
the hardware structure of the computer. Therefore, it was difficult for the
programmer to concentrate on the logic of the problem. Moreover, it was hard
to correct or modify machine language programs.
Later on, to remove these difficulties, more programming options were
given to the programmers. Instead of learning the long codes of 0s and 1s, now
the programmer had only to learn some codes for the long combinations of 0s
and 1s called mnemonic codes. These mnemonic codes were symbolic
instruction language called Assembly Language. However, the computer had
to understand the program, hence with the advent of any new programming
language, a translator of that language was required that could convert the
respective language into machine language so that the machine could
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understand the instructions. Hence for the assembly language to be understood


by the machine, the assembler was designed. Similarly, with improvement in
hardware technology, continuous efforts were made to develop natural language
programs that could be easily understood and remembered by the programmer,
such as BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), FORTRAN
(FORmula TRANslation), Pascal, C, C++, Java, etc. Thus, the programmer
was left to concentrate on solving a problem by developing better possible
algorithms. The complete instruction set written in one of these languages is
called a computer program or source program.
In order that the machine executed these programs written in different
languages, it was necessary that the machine on which the program was running
understood what to do. This was made possible by developing respective
translators, i.e., compilers of those specific languages, converting the
programming language to machine language. As for instance, for a program
written in BASIC an interpreter was developed that accepted the source code
and the output it gave was in the machine code. Later on programs using natural
languages, such as English, were developed. And in parallel with this their
compilers were also developed. Now the machine could easily understand these
programs written and understood by the programmer.
Thus, the compilers and interpreters freed the programmers from the
rigours of understanding the intricacies of computer architecture on which they
were working. Figure 5.1 shows the development of programming language
from source language program to machine language program.
Source Language
Program

Translator
(Interpreter/Compiler)

Machine Language
Program

Figure 5.1 Machine Language Development

Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The compilers and _______________freed the programmers from
the rigours of understanding the intricacies of computer architecture
on which they were working.
(b) The complete _____________ set written in one of natural language
programs is called a computer program or source program.
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2. State whether true or false:


(a) As the machine language was machine based, its programmer had
to be an expert who knew about the hardware structure of the
computer.
(b) With improvement in hardware technology, continuous efforts were
made to develop natural language programs that could not be easily
understood and remembered by the programmer.

5.3 Computer Languages


A computer language is a language that can be understood by the computer. It
is the computers native language. Computer languages serve the same purpose
as human languages. They are a means of communication. Let us look at the
similarities and differences between computer languages and human languages.
A natural or human language is the language that people speak daily,
such as English, Hindi, French or German. It is made up of words and rules
known as lexicon and syntax, respectively. These words are joined to make
meaningful phrases according to the rules of the syntax. A computer language
also consists of lexicon and syntax, i.e., characters, symbols and rules of usage
that allow the user to communicate with the computer.
The main difference between a natural language and a computer language
is that natural languages have a large set of words (vocabulary) to choose from
while computer languages have a limited or restricted set of words. Thus, fewer
words but more rules characterize a computer language.
Each and every problem to be solved by the computer needs to be broken
down into discrete logical steps before the computer can execute it. The process
of writing such instructions in a computer or programming language is called
programming or coding.
Just as computer hardware has improved over the years, programming
languages have also moved from machine-oriented languages (that used strings
of binary 0s and 1s) to problem-oriented languages (that use common English
terms). All computer languages can, however, be classified under the following
categories:
Machine Language (First-Generation Language)
Assembly Language (Second-Generation Language)
High Level Language (Third-Generation Language)
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Activity 1
Visit the site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programming_language. Collect
data that how a programming language specification provides a definition
that the language users and the implementors can use to determine whether
the behaviour of a program is correct given its source code.

Self-Assessment Questions
3. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) A _______________is a language that can be understood by the
computer.
(b) Each and every problem to be solved by the computer needs to be
_____________into discrete logical steps before the computer can
execute it.
4. State whether true or false:
(a) A computer language is the language that people speak daily.
(b) A computer language also consists of lexicon and syntax, i.e.,
characters, symbols, and rules of usage that allow the user to
communicate with the computer.

5.4 Categories of Languages


The computer languages can be categorized as follows:

5.4.1 Machine Language


The computer can understand only binary-based languages. As already
discussed, this is a combination of 0s and 1s. Instructions written using
sequences of 0s and 1s are known as machine language. First-generation
computers used programs written in machine language.
Machine language is very cumbersome to use and is tedious and time
consuming for the programmer. It requires thousands of machine language
instructions to perform even simple jobs like keeping track of a few addresses
for mailing lists.
Every instruction in machine language is composed of two parts the
command itself, also known as the operation code or OPCODE (like add,

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multiply, move, etc.) and the operand which is the address of the data that has
to be acted upon. For example, a typical machine language instruction may be
represented as shown in Figure 5.2.
OPCODE

Operand

001

010001110

Figure 5.2 Machine Language Instruction

The number of operands varies with each computer and is therefore


computer dependent.
It is evident from above that to program in machine language, the
programmer needs information about the internal structure of the computer. He
will also need to remember a number of operation codes and will need to keep
track of the addresses of all the data items (i.e., which storage location has
which data item). Programming in machine language can be very tedious, time
consuming and still highly prone to errors. Further, locating such errors and
effecting modifications is also a mammoth task. Quite understandably,
programmers felt a need for moving away from machine language.

5.4.2 Assembly Language


Assembly language was the first step in the evolution of programming languages.
It used mnemonics (symbolic codes) to represent operation codes and strings
of characters to represent addresses. An example of instructions in assembly
language is shown in Figure 5.3.
Operation

Operation address

READ

ADD

Figure 5.3 Assembly Language Instruction

Assembly language was designed to replace each machine code by an


understandable mnemonic and each address with a simple alphanumeric string.
It was matched to the processor-structure of a particular computer and was
therefore (once again) machine dependent. This meant that programs written
for a particular computer model could not be executed on another one. In other
words, an assembly language program lacked portability.
A program written in assembly language needs to be translated into
machine language before the computer can execute it. This is done by a special
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program called assembler, which takes every assembly language program


and translates it into its equivalent machine code. The assembly language
program is called the source program, while the equivalent machine language
program is called the object program. The assembler is a system program
supplied by the computer manufacturer.
Second-generation computers used assembly language.

5.4.3 High Level Languages


High level languages developed as a result of the lack of portability of programs
(written using machine or assembly language) from one computer to another.
They derive their name from the fact that they permit programmers to disregard
a number of minor (low level) hardware related details. Also, it is apparent that
the closer the mnemonics, rules and syntax of programming language could
be to natural language, the easier it would be for programmers to program,
and less would be the possibility of introducing bugs or errors into the program.
Hence, third-generation languages came into being in the mid-1950s.
These procedural or algorithmic languages are designed to solve particular
types of problems. They contain commands that are particularly suited to one
type of application. For example, a number of languages have been designed
to process scientific or mathematical problems. Others place an emphasis on
commercial applications and so on.
Unlike symbolic or machine languages, there is very little variation in these
languages between computers. But it is necessary to translate them into machine
code using a program known as an interpreter or a compiler. Once again, the
high level program is called the source code while its equivalent machine
language program is referred to as the object code.
As they are easy to learn and program, machine independent, easy to
maintain, and portable, high level languages are very popular. Slow program
execution is the main disadvantage since programs need to be converted into
machine language (by an interpreter or a compiler) before they can be executed.
Interpreter vs Compiler
Programs written in high level languages need to be converted into machine
language before the computer can execute them. Interpreters and compilers
are translation or conversion programs that produce the machine code from
high level languages.
The original program is called a source program and after it is translated
by the interpreter or compiler, it is called an object program.
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The interpreter and compiler perform the same function but in


fundamentally different ways. An interpreter translates the instructions of the
program one statement at a time. This translated code is first executed before
the interpreter begins work on the next line. Thus instructions are translated
and executed simultaneously (refer Figure 5.4). The object code is not stored
in the computers memory for future use. The next time the instruction is to be
used, it needs to be freshly translated by the interpreter. For example, during
repetitive processing of instructions in a loop, every instruction in the loop will
need to be translated every time the loop is executed.
Program in Input
Interpreter
Result of
Output
High Level
(Translates and Executes
Program
Language
One Statement at a Time)
Execution
(Source Program)
Figure 5.4 Translation Process using an Interpreter

A compiler, on the other hand, takes an entire high level language program
and produces a machine code version out of it. This version is then run as a
single program.
Generally, language statements are written by programmers in languages
such as C or COBOL using editors. The source statements are contained within
the file that thus gets created. Following this, the suitable language compiler is
run by the programmer, who specifies the file name within which the source
statements are contained. These statements are converted into their
corresponding machine code, which can then be executed by the computer.
(refer Figure 5.5)
The object code can be stored in the computers memory for executing in
future. A compiler does not need to translate the source program every time it
needs to be executed, thereby saving execution time.
Program in
High Level
Language

Input

Compiler

Output

Program
in Machine
Language

(Source Program)
(Object Program)
Figure 5.5 Translation Process using a Compiler

To summarize, an interpreter allows the programmer to have online


interaction with the computer, i.e., the program can be corrected/modified while
it is running, which means that it is possible to debug the program as it is being

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executed. This however results in slower execution speed. On the contrary, a


compiler permits offline interaction, i.e., it is not possible to make changes while
the program is running. The source program will need to be modified offline and
compiled every time a change is made, however minor the change may be.
This can be quite frustrating for new programmers but is good for those needing
fast execution speed.
Third-Generation Languages
FORTRAN: Early computers were almost exclusively used by scientists. The
first high level language, FORTRAN was developed in about 1956 by John
Backus at IBM. This language was designed for solving engineering and scientific
problems and is still one of the most popular languages for such applications.
FORTRAN has a number of versions with FORTRAN IV being one of the
earlier popular versions. In 1977 the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
published standards for FORTRAN with the view to standardize the form of the
language used by manufacturers. This standardized version is called
FORTRAN 77.
COBOL: COBOL (COmmon Business Oriented Language), the initial language
designed for commercial applications, was developed in 1959 under the direction
of Grace Hopper (a programmer in the US Navy) by a team of computer users
and manufacturers. The maintenance and further growth of the language was
handed over to a group called CODASYL (COnference on DAta SYstems
Languages).
It is written using statements that resemble simple English and can be
understood easily. For example, to add two numbers (stored in variables A and
B) a simple statement in COBOL would be: ADD A TO B GIVING C.
COBOL was standardized by ANSI in 1968 and in 1974. COBOL became
the most widely used programming language for business and data processing
applications.
BASIC: BASIC was developed in 1966 by Thomas Kurtz and John Kemeny,
two professors at Dartmouth College, as a means of instruction for
undergraduates. This language was primarily designed for beginners and is
very easy to learn. It was immediately picked up for most business and generalpurpose applications, particularly on small computers. BASIC later ended up as
the chief language at the centre of the personal computer revolution.

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A minimum version of BASIC was standardized by ANSI and is so simple


that it has been incorporated in every subsequent version of BASIC. Some
versions of BASIC include MBASIC (Microsoft BASIC) and CBASIC (Compilerbased BASIC).
One of the newer versions of BASIC, commonly known as Visual Basic
has also evolved from the original BASIC language. It contains various
statements and functions that can be used to create applications for a Windows
or GUI environment.
Pascal: Pascal was designed by Nicholas Wirth, a Swiss professor, in 1971.
He created a far more structured language for teaching and christened it Pascal
(after Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician who built the first successful
mechanical calculator). His primary aim was to provide a language that supported
beginners in learning good program solving and programming techniques.
In addition to manipulation of numbers, Pascal supports manipulation of
vectors, matrices, strings of characters, records, files and lists, thereby supporting
non-numeric programming. Hence it has proved to be an attractive language
for professional computer scientists.
Pascal has been standardized by ISO (International Standards
Organization) and ANSI.
Ada and PL/1: Ada (named after Charles Babbages biographer, the countess
of Lovelace, Ada Augusta) was developed by the US Department of Defence in
1981 and PL/1 (Programming Language 1) was developed by IBM in the late
1960s. Both these languages were developed with both a scientific and business
use in mind.
LISP: LISP (LISt Processing) was developed in the early 1950s by John McCarthy
of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was put into practice in 1959
and was better equipped to deal with recursive algorithms. It has become the
standard language within the artificial intelligence community.
C and C++: The C language was developed by Dennis Ritchie of Bell
Laboratories for implementing the UNIX operating system. An extension of it
was developed by Bjarne Stroustrup of Bell Laboratories, that he called C++.
C++ is also used to write procedural programs like C but the reason for its
increased popularity is perhaps because it is capable of handling the rigours of
object-oriented programming. C and C++ are extensively used by professional
programmers as general-purpose languages.

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Java: Similar to C++, Java is a simplified object-oriented language in which the


attributes that are susceptible to programming errors have been removed. It
was specifically designed as a network-oriented language to write programs
that would not run the risk of transmitting computer viruses and could therefore
be safely downloaded through the Internet. Applets or small Java programs can
be used to develop Web pages including a wide variety of multimedia functions.
Java is a secure to use over the Internet and platform-independent
language.
Fourth-Generation Languages
Fourth-generation languages refer to software packages which are mostly written
in one of the languages (FORTRAN, C and so on) for any specific application.
It is very useful for the user to perform a task without writing programs. The
user has to enter the command to call the program which is readily available in
the package. This language is also called command line language.
Some of the commonly used fourth-generation languages packages are
dBase, FoxPro, Oracle, SQL (database management); WordStar, MS Word,
PageMaker (desktop publishing); Lotus 123, MS Excel (electronic spreadsheets);
AutoCAD (computer aided design and drafting); IDEAS, PRO/E, Unigraphics,
Solidworks (computer aided design and solid modelling); ANSYS, NASTRAN
and ADINA (finite element analysis for engineering components). These
programs, specially produced for specific tasks are called Application Software.
Fifth-Generation Languages
Fifth-generation languages are an outgrowth of research in the area of artificial
intelligence. They are however, still in their infancy. PROLOG (PROgramming
LOGic) was designed in the early 1970s by Alain Colmerauer, French computer
scientist, and Philippe Roussel, a logician. Logical processes can be programmed
and deductions can be made autmatically by using PROLOG..
A number of other fifth-generation languages have been developed for
meeting specialized needs. Some of the more popular ones include PILOT
(Programmed Instruction Learning Or Testing) used to write instructional
software; Logo, a version of LISP, developed in the 1960s to help educate children
about computers; SNOBOL (String-Oriented Symbolic Language), designed
for list processing and pattern matching; and GPSS (General Purpose System
Simulator), used for modelling environmental and physical events.

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Activity 2
Explain the features of the packages available for fourth-generations
computer programming languages.

Self-Assessment Questions
5. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) Machine language program is called the __________________ code.
(b) First-generation computers used ________________written in
machine language.
6. State whether true or false:
(a) Machine language is very cumbersome to use, and is tedious and
time consuming for the programmer.
(b) High level languages developed as a result of the lack of portability
of programs from one computer to another.

5.5 Need for an Operating System


An operating system is a program that connects the user and the electronic
hardware in a computer. It has a set of programs that supervise the activities of
a computer and activate/control the operations of the hardware components
such as the CPU, main memory, disk drives, keyboard, monitor, printer and so
on (refer Figure 5.6).

Figure 5.6 An Operating System


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Some of the startup programs initially loaded in the RAM are stored in the
ROM-mainly the BIOS programs which are recorded by the manufacturers of
the computer system. Service programs available in the operating system for
operations like copying a file, deleting a file, formating a disk, printing a file and
so on, are usually stored in the disk. Any malfunctioning of hardware components
is instructed to the user by displaying error messages on the screen. Operating
system programs are also called System Software.
There are many operating systems used in computers. The commonly
used operating systems are MS DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System),
Windows 95/98/2000, Windows NT, UNIX and so on. Nowadays, Windows 2000
operating system is widely used in personal computers, and UNIX is used in
Mainframes, Servers, Graphic Workstations and also personal computers. The
operating system UNIX itself is written using C language.

5.5.1 Functions of an Operating System


The Operating System (OS) supervises the entire working of the computer. It
consists of a collection of programs that control the activities of the computer
hardware. These OS programs oversee the resources, manage files and control
tasks. In the case of a network environment, the network operating system will
control the memory resources and the sharing of input/output hardware like CD
drives, printer plotter and so on. The functions of an operating system are
summarized here as follows:
It displays instructions on the monitor screen and the user can interact
with the computer.
It loads the application programs such as MS Word, AutoCAD and so on
from the disk to the computer memory.
It manages the information stored on disk and retrieves the same whenever
required.
It supervises and coordinates the activities of the hardware and peripherals
such as CPU, keyboard, mouse, monitor, printer, RAM, disk drives and
so on.
It utilizes the power of the CPU for multitasking and time-sharing.

5.5.2 Batch Processing


It is a process for executing programs one after the other using a batch file
program. A batch file contains instructions and names of the executable programs
written sequentially in the order to be executed. When the execution of one
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program is complete, the system control is transferred automatically to the next


program in the batch file. After all the programs in the batch file are executed,
the control is transferred to the operating system.

5.5.3 Multiprogramming
It is the name given to the interleaved execution of two or more programs in a
computer. Multiprogramming refers to the loading of two or more programs in
the main memory of the computer and executing them concurrently. We know
that the speed of the CPU is much more than the I/O devices. Hence, the idle
time of the computer while waiting for input or output operations can be utilized
to execute some other program. Figure 5.7 shows how multiprogramming is
done.
Main Memory
Operating System
Programs
Secondary
Storage
Device

Reading Input Data


Job 1
1
Job 2

Storing Results

Executing
this Job

Job 3
3

CPU

Figure 5.7 Multiprogramming

While Job 1 is receiving data from the input device, the computer executes
Job 2 and Job 3 is sending the results to the storage device.

5.5.4 Multitasking
It is the ability of the computer to handle several application programs
concurrently. For example printing a document, solving a set of equations and
any other operation can be done simultaneously to reduce the idle time of the
processor. The multitasking capability of the operating system will utilize the
processor efficiently, thus reducing the user waiting time.
The concept of multitasking is no different from that of multiprogramming.
Programmers use both the terms synonymously. However, the difference is
that multitasking is applicable to single-user systems (DOS based) and
multiprogramming is applicable to multi-user systems (UNIX based).
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5.5.5 Time-Sharing
It is the ability of the CPU to serve many users connected to it through a network.
The operating system will assign each user a slice of processor time in a roundrobin pattern. Since the CPU has a high processing speed, it can process the
information of many users.
The term time-sharing is used in the context of multiprogramming, where
users in the network environment can work simultaneously on the system. In a
time-sharing system, the CPU scheduling algorithm allocates CPU time to various
users. The time allotted to each user is usually in the order of 10 to 100
milliseconds.
The three states in a time-sharing system are Ready, Running and Blocked.
Jobs 1, 2 and 3 are in the three states of Ready, Running and Blocked in
the cycle, respectively. Job 3 is in Ready state for execution as soon as Job 2 is
executed and Job 1 completes its output. In a time-sharing system, the CPU
will never be idle as long as there is some job to be executed. Figure 5.8 shows
time-sharing.
New
job

Ready

Job allocated to CPU


for execution

Running

Job
processing
completed

Return when allotted time is over

I/O completed
Blocked

Job waits for completion


of I /O

Figure 5.8 Time-Sharing

5.5.6 Personal Computer OS


These days a Personal Computer (PC) has become a basic need for not only
computer professionals but also for other professionals. And if we have a PC,
we need to have an OS on the computer system to provide an easy and flexible
interface to run software applications. A computer professional might need to
run simple to complex programming applications database applications, and so
on, but a layman may need to play games on the PC or maintain a record of his/
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her household jobs on an Excel spreadsheet, write documents, or browse on


the Internet to do research work. Thus, the needs of a person might vary.
Therefore, the selection of the OS depends on certain factors as listed below:
Interface
Security
Software
Price
Performance expected
A wide range of OS is available in the market and one has to select an OS
according to ones need. However, the basic functions of OS remain the same
as listed under:
File management
Memory management
CPU scheduling
Input/Output management
Some of the common operating systems for PCs are discussed here,
and based on which software you want to run, how much security issues you
have and so on, you may select an OS for your personal computer.
Windows XP Professional: This is built on Windows 2000 architecture and is
ideal for business and advanced home computing. It helps your PC from external
threats by a Windows Firewall. In addition, it regularly scans and protects your
computer for spyware. You have a Windows Photo Gallery for your favourite
photographs.
Windows 2000: This is built on the Windows NT architecture and is the best
choice for most business uses. It is not an upgraded version of Windows 98. It
supports multilingual feature by offering Unicode.
Windows ME: Windows Millennium Edition is a stand-alone OS designed for
home use only. It is not much used, as its successor Windows XP has taken
over the PC market.
Windows CE: It is designed for handheld or palmtop PCs that use a stylus or
keyboard for input.
Windows Vista: It provides all the features of Windows XP and has many
more to attract users. In addition, this OS has a strong backup and restore
facility. It has special accessibility settings for people with visual difficulties, and

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impaired hearing. Speech recognition, a very interesting and useful feature, is


also available in Windows Vista.
UNIX OS: The first UNIX system was developed at AT&T Bell Laboratories,
USA, in 1969. Ken Thomson along with Dennis Ritchie developed it from
MULTICS (MULTiplexed Information and Computing Service) operating system.
By 1980, UNIX had been completely rewritten using C language that helped
port UNIX onto virtually any computer. The primary objective of the UNIX system
is to make use of the computer resources and hardware efficiently; its secondary
objective is to make computer convenient to use.
According to a current estimate, over a million people use the UNIX
operating system. It is available on more than 100 diverse hardware platforms
ranging from supercomputers to microcomputers.
Linux: Linux is an operating system similar to UNIX. It was created by Linus
Torvalds. It has all the complexities of commercial versions of UNIX (such as
multitasking, networking and so on) and is available free of cost. An outstanding
feature of Linux is that it can coexist with other operating systems. All UNIX
commands work on the Linux operating system as well.

5.5.7 Microkernal based OS


An OS is a system software that is required to start a computer system. It
provides an interface for the application programs to run on the machine. It also
hides the complex hardware architecture details from the user. The core function
of any OS is to enable the user applications to work easily on the computer
system and for this to happen successfully, the other important function of any
OS is to allocate the required resources for that application. Thus, it can be
described it as a resource allocator, resource manager or facilitator to work on
the computer system.
With new developments in hardware technology, there arose the need for
developing an OS that could harness the full power of these new technologies.
The development of OSs has been from batch operating to multiprogramming
system, multitasking, multiprocessing and time-sharing. Portability was the need
of the hour, which meant software that could run on different architectures with
no major changes. UNIX was the first known OS in which the portability feature
was achieved. Since, the kernel of UNIX was very large and provided low level
machine dependent functions such as device management, memory
management, interprocess communication and so on, UNIX was not easily
portable. For an OS to be portable, its machine dependent part had to be as
small as possible.
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A microkernel (abbreviated K) was the answer to this issue. A compact


kernel was designed to perform only the basic functions common to all computers
in contrast to the monolithic OS where the kernel was very large consisting of
substantial codes and was, therefore, large in design.
The microkernel, a component-based structure, is a very small core of an
OS that is integrated into different OS. It provides the important feature of
portability. The main bulk of the OS is then made up of components that
communicate with each other and the hardware and pass messages through
the microkernel.
In most microkernel-based designs, low level memory management,
interprocess communication, I/O and interrupt management are all handled by
microkernel itself. The remaining OS functions are generally handled by outside
components. When the system is moved across platforms, only the microkernel
needs to be modified.
Another advantage of a microkernel OS is its extensibility and scalability.
The user-level components of the kernel can be added or removed without
having to redesign the base kernel or having to alter other components. This
allows developers to customize the OS to the users needs. The microkernel is
also very flexible as individual components can be modified to fit a specific
purpose, or simply to optimize or reduce the code. Reliability is a very important
aspect to be considered in OS design. Microkernel-based designs are more
reliable than monolithic ones if properly implemented.
Operating systems with a core microkernel are also a lot more robust
than the conventional monolithic ones. If a user-level component of the OS
needs to be configured, recompiled, or even if it fails, it can usually be repaired
and re-loaded without having to reboot the system. This reduces down time,
which is very important in many industries. Only the microkernel needs to be
fixed in the RAM. This means that the OS functions which are not being used
very frequently can be swapped out, leaving more space for the running
processes.
The modularity of a microkernel-based architecture gives it a number of
advantages over a monolithic OS. These include distributed system support,
multiprocessor support and object-oriented support.
It is difficult to fully utilize the power of a multiprocessor system with a
monolithic system. Adapting the large amounts of code in the monolithic kernel
to run on multiple processors is difficult. When all the components are treated
as separate threads, much more effective use of the multiple processors can
be made.
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5.5.8 Online and Real-Time Systems


In real-time processing, a computer system processes a user request as soon
as it is input. The user waits only as long as the computer processes the input
and outputs the results. The time gap between the users request and the
computers output is referred to as response time. An example of real-time
processing is the ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) in banks. Research shows
that users become impatient with real-time processing when the response time
is longer than three seconds.
Real-time processing requires a dialog between the user and the computer.
When the user requests service from the computer, the latter often responds by
producing a dialog box, menu or screen display. The computer often prompts
the user for more data or instructions, as necessary. The series of exchanges is
characteristic of real-time processing. Different types of input peripherals are
available for real-time processing. Devices commonly used in real-time
processing include keyboard, mouse, trackball, light pen, scanner, sensors,
touch-sensitive screen and voice-recognition devices.

Self-Assessment Questions
7. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The term _______________________ is used in the context of
multiprogramming, where users in the network environment can work
simultaneously on the system.
(b) Real-time processing requires a dialog between the user and the
______________.
8. State whether true or false:
(a) There is only one operating system used in computers.
(b) Batch processing is a process for executing programs one after the
other using a batch file program.

5.6 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:
In order that the machine executed programs written in different languages,
it was necessary that the machine on which the program was running
understood what to do.
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A natural or human language is the language that people speak daily,


such as English, Hindi, French or German. It is made up of words and
rules known as lexicon and syntax, respectively. These words are joined
to make meaningful phrases according to the rules of the syntax.
Computer languages can be classified as machine language, assembly
language and high level language.
A computer understands binary-based language, which is a combination
0s and 1s.
Assembly language was the first step in the evolution of programming
languages.
Assembly language used mnemonics to represent operation codes and
strings of characters to represent addresses.
A program written in assembly language needs to be translated into
machine language before the computer can execute it with the help of a
special program called Assembler.
An interpreter translates the instructions of the program one statement at
a time. This translated code is first executed before the interpreter begins
work on the next line.
Third-generation languages used many languages such as FORTRAN,
COBOL, BASIC, Pascal, C and C++.
Fourth-generation languages refer to software packages which are mostly
written in one of the languages for any specific application.
An operating system is a program that connects the user and the electronic
hardware in a computer.
A batch file contains instructions and names of the executable programs
written sequentially in the order to be executed.
Multitasking is the ability of the computer to handle several application
programs concurrently.
In real-time processing, a computer system processes a user request as
soon as it is input. The user waits only as long as the computer processes
the input and outputs the results.

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5.7 Glossary
Computer language: A language that can be understood by the computer
Batch processing: A process for executing programs one after the other
Multitasking: The ability of the computer to handle several applications
concurrently

5.8 Terminal Questions


1. What is the need for programming language? Comment.
2. Describe the various computer languages that are used in todays world.
3. Discuss the features and utilities of assembly language.
4. Differentiate between the interpreter and compiler.
5. List the various third-generation languages.
6. What is the need for an operating system?
7. Explain the usage of a personal computer.

5.9 Answers
Answers to Self-Assessment Questions
1. (a) Interpreters; (b) Instruction
2. (a) True; (b) False
3. (a) Computer language; (b) Broken down
4. (a) False; (b) True
5. (a) Object; (b) Programs
6. (a) True; (b) True
7. (a) Time-sharing; (b) Computer
8. (a) False; (b) True

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Answers to Terminal Questions


1. Refer to Section 5.2
2. Refer to Section 5.3
3. Refer to Section 5.4.2
4. Refer to Section 5.4.3
5. Refer to Section 5.4.3
6. Refer to Section 5.5
7. Refer to Section 5.5.6

5.10 Further Reading


1. Forouzan, Behrouz A. Data Communications and Networking. New
Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Black, Uyless D. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,
1993.
3. Stallings, William. Data and Computer Communications. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall Inc., 1996.
4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Inc., 2002.
5. Douglas, E. C. Computer Networks & Internet. New Delhi: Pearson
Education.
6. Rajaraman, V. Fundamentals of Computers. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of
India, 1996.

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Unit 6

File Organization

Structure
6.1 Introduction
Objectives
6.2 Concept of File
6.3 File Organization and Accessing Techniques
6.4 File Handling Functions
6.5 Summary
6.6 Glossary
6.7 Terminal Questions
6.8 Answers
6.9 Further Reading

6.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you read about the various categories of computer languages
and the concept of operating system. In the present unit, you will be reading
about the file and its accessing techniques.
File is a computer record which can be in the form of a document or
information stored in a certain way for later retrieval and organization refers to
logical arrangement. Therefore, file organization refers primarily to the logical
arrangement of data (which can itself be organized in a system of records with
correlation between the fields/columns) in a file system. A file should be organized
in such a way that the records are always available for processing with no
delay. There are four methods of organizing files. They are serial, sequential,
indexed sequential, and direct or hashed access organization. In this unit, you
will also learn about the various file handling functions, such as sorting, merging,
indexing and updating.
Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Explain the concept of file
Define file organization
Classify various accessing techniques
Discuss different file handling functions

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6.2 Concept of File


A file is maintained so that people can store data in a systematic and organized
manner for quick and easy retrieval and updating. Employee name, address,
number, hourly rate, gross salary, income tax reference number and so on,
form the logical unit that describes an employee in an organization. Such a
logical unit comprising related data items is called a record. The data items
within the record are called fields. The employees name is a field, so is the
employees address. A collection of such a logical related records is then called
a file. A logical file contains an entity set, entities and attributes. An entity is
simply something about which we store facts. Say, for example, a college may
keep information about the particulars and grades of a student. In this case, the
entity in question is the student. The facts that describe the properties of the
entity in question are called the attributes of the entity. A collection of logically
related entities is then termed as an entity set.
For example, Entity Set: Student File
Entity: A particular students record
Attributes: Name
Roll No
DOB
Course
Semester
Subjects
Address
We see two types of file concepts here:
Logical file
Physical file
The relationship of data items to one another can be viewed as physical
or logical.
Physical data relationships refer to the actual arrangement of the
data in a storage device.
Logical data relationships refer to how a programmer or user sees
the data and relate the meaning of the data elements to one another.

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Thus, a physical file is a file viewed in terms of how it is stored and its
physical details, and a logical file is a file viewed in terms of what a file contains
and how these data items should be processed.
Key Field
One or more of the data elements will act as the key field of the record that is
used for identifying the record for location and processing purposes. The key
field for a particular file is shown on the file specification. In a student file, the
key field could be the student enrolment number. The term field, which is
sometimes used as a synonym for a data element, more specifically defines
the space which an item occupies in terms of its data type.
Record Length
It is possible to store records in fixed or variable format and length.
Fixed-Length Records
A file is said to consist of fixed-length records when each record has the same
length. This can be achieved in two ways: either all the records are identical in
layout or where the layout is different each record is padded. The first is common
on most master files while the second approach is often found in transaction
files where the data is required for different transactions.
Fixed-length records are usually easier to design and write programs for,
but can be more wasteful in backing storage than variable-length records.
Variable-Length Records
A file is said to have variable-length records when the records have different or
varying lengths, i.e., records in a file consists of fixed number of fields but one
or more field varies in its length, e.g., the name and address fields in a student
record.
File Processing
Informational retrieval refers to any file processing for the purpose of retrieving
data to produce useful information. Some of this information retrieval may include:
Retrieval: The act of transferring a record from a secondary storage to
the main memory so that the data in its fields can be accessed
Writing: The act of transferring a record from the main memory to the
secondary storage
Insertion: Adding a new record to an existing file
Deleting: Removing a record from the file

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Updating: Making changes to the contents of a record to reflect the new


status of information maintained in the file
Sorting: Rearranging the records in a file for the purpose of producing
ordered reports
Merging: Combining two or more files in the same sequence into a single
output file. Merging could be record merging or file merging
Matching: When two or more input files are compared, record against
record, in order to ensure that there is a complete set of records for each
key. Mismatched records are highlighted for subsequent action
Searching: A searching process involves looking records with a certain
key value or satisfying specific criteria
Types of Data Processing Files
Master file: It is a file containing permanent or semi-permanent data
consolidated for reference and updating. The master file will have to be
updated so that it reflects the current status of the data it contains. For
example, stock master file, payroll master file, etc.
Transaction file: A file containing source data or transaction data about
recorded events used for updating the master file. For example, a sales
transaction file is used to update the stock master file.
Work file: A temporary file used for the storing of intermediate data for
further processing. For example, the work files created by the sort utility
during an external sort.
Transition file: A temporary file created during processing for a specific
use. For example, electricity meter readings and a customers details
extracted from master and transaction files to form a statement details
file. This is then used for the printing of monthly customer statements.
Security or backup file: An extra copy of any file to safeguard against
the damage or loss of current versions.
Audit file: They are a particular type of transaction files. They play the
same role as the posting in a traditional ledger. For example, in a sales
ledger system the transactions recorded might include invoice number,
date, invoice, amount, date and amount of cash received, cheque number
and date credited. They will enable the auditor to check the correct
functioning of computer-based procedures by keeping a copy of all the
transactions that cause the permanent files to be changed.

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Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The data items within the record are called _________.
(b) __________ relationships refer to the actual arrangement of the data
in a storage device.
2. State whether true or false:
(a) A file is said to have fixed length records when the records have
different or varying lengths.
(b) A file containing permanent or semi-permanent data consolidated
for reference and updating is called a work file.

6.3 File Organization and Accessing Techniques


File organization refers to the physical arrangement of data on the backup storage
devices, e.g., magnetic tapes or disks. There are several different ways in which
files can be organized and for each a separate method of accessing the record
must be defined. The choice of organization method is often a compromise
between the requirement for efficient maintenance of files (keeping them up-todate) and fast retrieval. It is also generally necessary to achieve a practical
balance between storage and processing costs. The cost of data processing
can be reduced if the data organization suits the characteristics and applications
of logical data. Storage costs can sometimes be reduced only at the expense of
processing costs.
There are basically four types of file organization:
Serial organization
Sequential organization
Indexed sequential organization
Hashed/Random/Direct Organization

6.3.1 Serial Organization


It is the simplest and most elementary type of file organization. It is created by
placing the record in turn in the next available storage space, leaving no gap,
apart from non-data areas between records, thus, storing records into the file
when they occur from the beginning to the end of the file.

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The records are written in no particular order. Such an organization is


suitable for:
Unsorted transaction files
Print files
Dump files
Files where data is held temporarily
However, it is unsuitable for master files or directly access devices, where
it is necessary to insert keys into an existing sequence.
Access Mode
Records can only be accessed in the order in which they occur in the storage
medium.
Advantages
File design is simple.
It is efficient for high activity file.
It uses low-cost file media effectively and is suitable for batch transactions.
Serial organization maximizes the utilization of space on the device. In
normal use, these files are processed from beginning to end and sequence is
not important. The real access time to search the record is always the next one
on the physical device.
Disadvantage
Files have to be processed from beginning to end.

6.3.2 Sequential Organization


In sequential organization, however, the records are written in some meaningful,
defined order. It is done by designating a field within the record and using it as
a basis of ordering of records in the file. This field is known as the record key or
key field. An example of a key field in a record is the student enrolment number,
a field which is unique to distinguish the records in a student file.
The records may be ordered in ascending or descending order by the key
field. Hence, a key field or record key is the one that is designated as the basis
of ordering the records in a sequential file or as a means of direct access.
Sequential organization is suitable for most master files in a normal batchprocessing environment. It is not normally used for fast response, on line enquiry
systems.
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A good example of a sequential file would be a payroll transaction file that


is arranged in ascending order of employee number, the employee number
being the key field. Another example is student attendance record file that is
arranged in ascending order of student roll number.
Access Mode
Sequential: To read a sequential file, the system always starts at the
beginning of the file and the records are read one by one till the required
record is reached or end of the file is encountered. For example, if the
desired record happens to be the 100th record in a file, the system starts
at the first record and reads one by one record at a time until the 100th
record is reached. Finding a record goes in sequence as said and one by
one each records key field is matched with the key field of the desired
record and if the match is found the desired record is read, updated or
deleted as the case may be. The End Of File (EOF) indicates that all the
records in the file have been read.
After creating a sequential file on magnetic tape or disk, the other functions
like reading and searching a sequential file, appending a sequential file,
and updating (inserting a record, deleting a record, modifying a record) a
sequential file need the transaction file, old master file and new master
file.
Advantages
The file design is simple.
It is very efficient when most of the data must be processed again and
again during a computer run.
It is very efficient if the key field is in some chronological order or numerical
order.
Effective use of low cost media is suitable for batched transactions.
Sequential files stored on magnetic tapes are an inexpensive way of data
storage.
Disadvantages
Entire files must be processed even if an activity is low, i.e, even if a
single record is to be searched.
Sorting of transactions required before it can affect the master files.

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The file is never up-to-date.


Overall processing is slow.

6.3.3 Indexed Sequential Organization


In an indexed sequential organization, the records are stored in physical
sequence according to the primary key. The file management system builds an
index separate from the data records and contains key values together with
pointers to the data records themselves. This index permits individual records
to be accessed at random without accessing other records. The entire file can
also be accessed sequentially.
This type of file consists of three main parts, namely the file index, the
prime or home area and the overflow area. The prime area is where the data
records are loaded in sequential order when the file is first created. The overflow
area is where additions to the file that cannot be accommodated in the prime
area are stored. The index area holds the set of pointers to enable individual
records to be located. A set of index contains the relevant record keys and
corresponding record addresses. Access and retrieval of a specific record is
affected through the use of the index. The overflow area is linked to the rest of
the file through a system of pointers maintained in the index. There are two
basic implementations of the indexed sequential organization as given below:
Hardware Dependent: The access method that supports this organization
is called Indexed Sequential Access Method (ISAM).
Hardware Independent: The access method that supports hardware
independent organization is Virtual Sequential Access Method (VSAM).
File organization using the ISAM provides the essential benefits of both
the sequential and random methods. The indexed organization is similar to a
telephone directory wherein one can retrieve a telephone number by using an
index provided at the beginning. In this organization, the records of the file are
stored sequentially in blocks on the disk. Each block can store a specified number
of records. The records in this file can be accessed through an index. An index
is a separate file from the original file. Each entry into the index contains only
two items of data: the value of a key field and its corresponding storage address
(refer Figure 6.1).

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Figure 6.1 Indexed Sequential Organization

The magnetic disks are the most suitable storage media for indexed
sequential files. A cylinder on the disk is accordingly divided into three parts:
index area, prime area and overflow area as shown in Figure 6.2.
Index
Track

Track no

Data Tracks

Overflow Track

Figure 6.2 ISAM on a Cylinder of a Magnetic Disk

Index Area: The first track in each cylinder is used for an index file. This index
describes the storage of records on the various tracks of the cylinder.
Prime Area (Data tracks): The various records of the file are written on this
area on a cylinder always starting from the second track. The records are written
sequentially along the various tracks. The highest key on the track and the
track address are the fields of index.
Overflow Area: The area is created to accommodate the overflowed records in
the file. The overflow area is the last track on the same cylinder. This area is
unoccupied at the time of creation of file.

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Access Mode
Indexed sequential files support three main types of accessing or processing:
Sequential Accessing: Where records are read and updated one after
another according to their key sequence beginning from the first record
in the file to the last
Selective Sequential Processing: Where selective groups of records
are read and processed sequentially skipping groups of unwanted records
Direct Access: Where block consisting the record is searched directly
and then one by one the record is read in the block until the desired
record is found.
Advantages
It proves best for the applications that require working both ways, direct
access as well as sequential access.
Accessing a record is fast because of indexing records.
Transactions may be sorted or unsorted.
Only the affected master records are processed during updating.
It facilitates file enquiry.
Disadvantages
Extra storage space is required for indexes when multilevel indexes are
maintained.
ISAM files generate excessive overflows and storage space is wasted.
The overflow areas sometimes overflow to other cylinders and thus cause
much read/write head movement making the access very slow. Therefore,
the file has to be reorganized and indexes rearranged accordingly, which
is a time consuming process.

6.3.4 Hashed/Direct Access or Random Organization


These are given different names based on the activities or access criteria; these
random files are the files that have a predictable relationship between the record
key and the records location (address) on the disc .The logical records do not
necessarily have to be in sequence physically. In other words, the records may
be scattered in random order on the disc (hence the name random access file).
Now to read any record from the file, it is not necessary to access the file
sequentially from the start/beginning of the file; the record can be read directly
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from the file. The same is the case if writing a record to a file is required hence
the namedirect files or direct access files.
If a desired record is to be accessed, a relationship must first be established
between the record key and the corresponding address of the record, i.e., to
access (read or write) a record an address is first calculated by applying a
mathematical function to the key field of the record. The mathematical function
is known as Hash function.
The simplest relationship that can be established is called direct addressing
where the key value is used as the physical address of the record. Although this
is the fastest and the simplest method of accessing a particular record, there
are many serious drawbacks. One of them is that the absolute addresses are
device dependent. Should there be the need to upgrade or change the device
on which the file resides, it is most likely that the key values will have to be
changed. The next is that the size of the record key seldom matches the number
of digits required for a disc address.
Hashing Techniques: Hashing means Key Transformation
In order to overcome the disadvantages of the former method, a very common
approach is hashing where a calculation is done on the key value to obtain the
address of the record. Note that hashing can be applied to non-numeric keys as
well as numeric keys.
Mid Square Hashing
In this technique, the key (K) is squared and then specified digits are
extracted from the middle of the result (K2) to yield the address of the
records. The following examples show how mid square hashing is
performed on key values given as under:

K
:
3248
2
K
: 10549504
Hash Address :
49

5212
27164944
64

Division Remainder Method


One of the earliest and most effective hashing methods is the division
remainder method. The basic idea is to divide the key value by an
appropriate number then use the remainder of the division as the address
of the record.
The divisor (number used to divide) is usually a prime number.
Let K= 4150 divisor (prime no. p) = 11

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Hash Address = K mod p


= 4150 mod 11
= 3(remainder)
Folding Method
In this method, the key is split into two or more parts and a suitable
arithmetic operation is performed on the parts. The operation can be added,
subtracted, divided, etc. See the examples given below:
Let Key (K) = 113425
Let us split into two parts 113 and 425
Now performing Add operation on two parts we get the Hash address as
given under:
113
+ 425
_______
Hash Address
538

Let K= 891473995 may be folded by splitting it into 3 groups of 3 digits


and adding the group
891
374
995
____
Hash Address 2260
In this technique, there are chances that the records with different key
values may Hash to the same address, for example, with folding
technique the keys
891473995 and 473995891 will generate the same address, i.e., 2260.
Such mapping of keys to the same address is known as a collision
and the keys are called as synonyms.
A separate overflow area is reserved in the disk for record storage
when a collision occurs. When a record is to be stored, the Hashing
function is applied on the key of the record and an address is generated.
The program accesses that storage area, and, if it is used, the record
is stored there. If there is already a record stored, the new record is
written in the overflow area. When the record is to be retrieved, the
same process is repeated. The record is checked at the address
generated. If it is not the desired one, the system looks for the record
in the overflow area and retrieves the record from there.
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Access Mode
Direct access by the way of establishing a relationship between the desired
record key field and the corresponding address of the record, i.e., find the address
and access directly from the location.
Advantages
Records can be accessed directly.
File processing activities, such as insertion, deletion, modification and so
on can be performed without new master file concept.
File is up-to-date now.
Accessing the records even in large files is very fast as compared to
sequential files.
Disadvantages
Variable length records are difficult to handle.
Often, the generated addresses are not in key sequence that creates
difficulties for serial processing (it may be necessary for the input to be
sorted to the address sequence).
Gaps in keys can cause wastage of space.
Synonyms can occur and that can cause loss of time in searching the
records.
Allocation of efficient overflow areas to a randomly organized file is difficult.
It could lead to large areas of the disc being empty, with overflow areas
being set up as areas of the file.
Activity 1
Search the Web and collect data on methods and design paradigm of file
structure. Prepare visual presentation from the data collected.

Self-Assessment Questions
3. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) _____________ refers to the physical arrangement of data on the
backup storage devices.
(b) The mapping of keys to the same address is known as a _________.

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4. State whether true or false:


(a) The cost of data processing can be reduced if the data organization
suits the characteristics and applications of logical data.
(b) The end of the file indicates that all the records in the file have been
deleted.

6.4 File Handling Functions


The following are file handling functions:

6.4.1 Sorting
As we know that file is a group of records, now the need arises to arrange these
records in a file in any order, either ascending or descending order. To arrange
these records in any specific order in a file is called sorting. Sequencing is
based on some key of the record that could be numeric like enrolment number
of a student or alphabetic like names of the students following ASCII sequence.
The simplest case is sorting the records using one field of the record as the
primary key, so that the key must be unique, i.e., no two students can have
same enrolment number, hence a file of student records in a university may be
sequenced by ascending order of student enrollment number.
By introducing a further key in the sorting process, a more complex order
may be produced, for example, suppose each record of the student file also
contains a field for the course code in which course the student is enroled. Now
the order of sorting may be student enrolment number within course. This means
that all the records for one course code are presented first, each one in ascending
sequence of enrolment number; then all the records for the next course code
are presented in sequence and so on. In this example, two keys have been
used in the sorting processcourse code is called primary key and student
enrolment number is known as the secondary key.
Since sorting is a very common data-processing requirement,
manufacturers provide sort utility software which enables users to specify their
particular sequencing requirements by means of simple parameters. Software
is usually available for sorting files held on all types of storage devices. The
user specifies the sort keys and also the details about the type of file, such as
storage device, file labels, record structure. The sort utility program reads the
un-sequenced input file, and by means of various copying techniques ultimately
produces as output a copy of the input file in the required sequence (refer
Tables 6.1 (a) and (b)).
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Table 6.1 (a) An Unsorted Table

Enrolment_No
1001
1005
1003
1004
1002

Name
Ankit
Sahil
Cimone
Dolly
Ankita

Table 6.1 (b) A Sorted Table

Enrolment_No
1001
1002
1003
1004
1005

Name
Ankit
Ankita
Cimone
Dolly
Sahil

Note: Enrolment_No is the primary key on which sorting is done.

6.4.2 Merging
Let us take an example to understand the concept of merging two files. Let
there be one file by the name File1 and the other file be named as File2. Both
the files have student records of Class VII, say, arranged in increasing order of
enrolment number.
File1 is a file maintaining the records of the students participating in sports
competition and File2 maintains the records of students of the same class but
participating in music competition. Both the files have records arranged in
ascending order of enrolment number.
Now, Class_7_file must consist of all the records of all the students studying
in that class, in spite of what hobby class they choose. Merging the above said
two files File1 and File2 could create this file and as mentioned above; the two
files to be merged must be sorted in the same specific order before we could
merge them. Now, File1 (students of 7th participating in sports) and File2
(students of 7th participating in music), are merged and we will get the file
named Class_7_file consisting of all the names of the students who are studying
in that class. Tables 6.2 (a) and (b) are shown as examples:
Table 6.2 (a) File1 Students Participating in Sports

Enrolment_No
1001
1003
1004

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Name
Ankit
Cimone
Dolly

Activity
Music
Sports
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Table 6.2 (b) File2 Students Participating in Music

Enrolment_No
1002
1005
1006

Name
Ankita
Sahil
Deepa

Activity
Music
Sports
Music

Now if you could observe that after the enrolment number 1001, the next
key 1002 is present in File2, hence merging the two files will order the records.
That means both the files are opened to read, and record is read one by one
and the keys are compared, whichever is less in order value is being written
into a new file, i.e., in this case Class_7_file. In this way when End Of File
(EOF) is reached for both the files the result file Class_7_file will consist of all
records for all the students of that class. In case EOF for any one file reaches
first then the left over records in second file are written to the result file.
To summarize, it may be said that merging of files involves the combining
of records from two or more ordered files into a single ordered file. Each of the
constituent files must be in the same order. The output file will be in the same
order as the input files, placing records from each in their correct relative order.

6.4.3 Indexing
The records in a file are stored for immediate access and speedy reference;
hence to organize the records in a file it is important to index. Now indexing
means that a table of index is maintained which is storing the information of the
record (key) and the block address on which it is stored. Thus, when a record is
to be searched, the record key of the required record is compared with the keys
in the index table one by one, as soon as the key matches; the address from the
corresponding column is tracked to pick up the desired record from the file into
the buffer. This way the required record is read; if any modification is required it
is done and the record is written back on the same location. If it is to be deleted,
the record entry is deleted from the index table. Lastly the index is updated
according to the actions done on file and file is closed.

6.4.4 Updating
Updating a record is also known as modifying a record existing in a file. When
the value for any field in the record is to be changed or any such specific record
modification requirements comes and the following steps take place:
Search the record based on the record key
Read the record when the key matches

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Change the record as per requirement


Rewrite the changed record in its original location
The following are the examples of updation:
Suppose there is a student file consisting of student records. One student
has to request for change of his school transport because he has shifted
to a new area. The school authorities check the files for the previous
address (mentioned earlier) and now it is required to change the address
to the new address of the student.
There is an employee file consisting of employee personal records. One
employee has been promoted to a higher designation, hence it is required
to update the employee record. Or any employee is being transferred
from one department to another department or from one branch office in
Delhi to its other branch in Mumbai. So the department field value is to be
updated for that employee and the address field value is to be updated
for the employee being shifted to Mumbai from Delhi in the case given.
Activity 2
Prepare a file containing records on four different fields and use the file
handling functions that you have learnt in this unit.

Self-Assessment Questions
5. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) To arrange the records in any specific file is known as __________.
(b) __________ of files involves the combining of records from two or
more ordered files into a single ordered file.
6. State whether true or false:
(a) The sort utility program reads the un-sequenced input file and by
means of various copying techniques ultimately produces as output
a copy of the input file in the required sequence.
(b) Updating a record is also known as modifying a record existing in a
file.

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6.5 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:
File is a collection of logical records. A file consists of records, fields,
entity set, entities and attributes. There are two types of file: logical file
and physical file.
A file is said to consist of fixed-length records when each record has the
same length, whereas, a file is said to have variable length records when
the records have different or varying lengths.
There are four types of file organization: serial organization, sequential
organization, indexed sequential organization and hashed/random/direct
organization.
In serial organization, file is created by placing the record in the next
available storage space, leaving no gap, apart from non-data areas
between records. In sequential organization, however, the records are
written in some meaningful, defined order. In an indexed sequential
organization, the records are stored in physical sequence according to
the primary key. Random files are the files that have a predictable
relationship between the record key and the records location (address)
on the disc.
There are two types of file handling functions: Sorting, merging, indexing
and updating.
To arrange the records in any specific order in a file is called sorting.
Merging is the combining of records from two or more ordered files into a
single ordered file. Indexing means maintaining the information of record
and the block address on which it is stored, and updating refers to
modifying a record in an existing file.

6.6 Glossary
Record: A logical unit comprising of related data items
Fields: Data items within the record
Entity: Something about which or when we store facts
Retrieval: The act of transferring a record from a secondary storage to
main memory

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Master file: A file containing permanent or semi-permanent data


consolidated for reference and updating
Merging of files: Combining of records from two or more ordered files
into a single ordered file

6.7 Terminal Questions


1. Define file. Distinguish fixed-length and variable-length records.
2. What do you understand by file processing? Explain the types of data
processing files.
3. Describe serial organization of files.
4. State the advantages and disadvantages of sequential file organization.
5. Discuss the various hashing techniques.
6. Explain the file handling functions with the help of examples.

6.8 Answers
Answers to Self-Assessment Questions
1. (a) Fields; (b) Physical data
2. (a) False; (b) False
3. (a) File organization; (b) Collision
4. (a) True; (b) False
5. (a) Sorting; (b) Merging
6. (a) True; (b) True

Answers to Terminal Questions


1. Refer to Section 6.2
2. Refer to Section 6.2
3. Refer to Section 6.3.1
4. Refer to Section 6.3.2
5. Refer to Section 6.3.4
6. Refer to Section 6.4
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6.9 Further Reading


1. Forouzan, Behrouz A. Data Communications and Networking. New
Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Black, Uyless D. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,
1993.
3. Stallings, William. Data and Computer Communications. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall Inc., 1996.
4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Inc., 2002.
5. Douglas, E. C. Computer Networks & Internet. New Delhi: Pearson
Education.
6. Rajaraman, V. Fundamentals of Computers. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of
India, 1996.

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Unit 7

Networking

Structure
7.1 Introduction
Objectives
7.2 Introduction to Computer Network
7.3 Criteria for Classification of Computer Network
7.4 Types of Network: LAN, WAN and MAN
7.5 Local Area Network (LAN): Hardware and Software
7.6 Servers and Workstations
7.7 Introduction to Ethernet
7.8 Token Ring
7.9 Bridges
7.10 Private Networks
7.11 Public Networks
7.12 Network Topology
7.13 Network Protocol
7.14 Applications of Computer Networks
7.15 Distributed Data Processing
7.16 Teletext and Videotext Networks
7.17 Summary
7.18 Glossary
7.19 Terminal Questions
7.20 Answers
7.21 Further Reading

7.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you read about file organization and its accessing techniques.
In the present unit, you will read about networking.
Networking is the practice of linking two or more computing devices
together for sharing data. Networks are built with a mix of computer hardware
and computer software. Network can be categorized in three different ways:
LAN, WAN and MAN. In networking, the communication language used by
computer devices is called the protocol. Yet another way to classify computer
networks is by the set of protocols they support. Networks often implement
multiple protocols to support specific applications. TCP/IP is the most common
protocol found on the Internet and in home networks.

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A network topology represents its layout or structure from the point of


view of data flow. In so-called bus networks, for example all of the computers
share and communicate across one common channel, whereas in a star network,
all data flows through one centralized device. Common types of network
topologies include bus, star, ring and mesh.
Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Define and classify computer network
Differentiate between LAN, WAN and MAN
List hardware and software for LAN
Compare servers and workstations
Explain Ethernet
Paraphrase token ring
Discuss bridges
Distinguish between private and public network
Describe network topology and network protocol
State the applications of computer networks
Explain distributed data processing
Describe teletext and videotext network

7.2 Introduction to Computer Network


In the mainframe and minicomputer environment, each user is connected to
the main system through a dumb terminal that is unable to perform any
processing task. In the present computing environment, processing and memory
are centralized. This type of centralized processing system differs from the
distributed processing system that is used by LANs. In a distributed processing
system, most of the processing is done in the memory of the individual PCs or
workstations besides sharing the expensive computer resources like software,
disk files, printers, plotters, etc.
Figure 7.1(a) illustrates that two computers need only one connection,
three computers need three connections 7.1 (b) and four computers need six
connections 7.1 (c). Mathematically, the number of connections needed for N
computers is proportional to the square of N. This implies that point-to-point
connections required = (N2N)/2.
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Figure 7.1 Number of Connections for Computers

Adding the Nth computer requires N1 new connections, which becomes


a very expensive option. Moreover, many connections may follow the same
physical path. Figure 7.2 shows a point-to-point connection for five computers
located at two different locations, say, the ground and first floor of a building.

Figure 7.2 Five PCs at Two Different Locations

As there are five PCs, therefore, a total of ten connections are required
for point-to-point connection. Out of these ten connections, six pass through
the same location thereby making the point-to-point connection an expensive
one. By increasing the PC by one in this configuration, at location 2, the total
number of connections will increase to fifteen. Out of these connections, eight
connections will eventually pass through the same area.

7.2.1 Need for Computer Network


There are many reasons for having a network. Most important of all these, is
the basic need for sharing of information. A network is a common place where
different users can come together to share and access the information. A user
can access the resources available at other users computer if there is an
agreement between the two for such sharing. To facilitate sharing of information,
one or more servers are kept in a network containing important data and

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information. This relieves individual users from the burden of storing data and
related applications on their own computers. Information needed, can be
accessed from the server by connecting to the network.
When there is sharing of information through networking, the question of
security arises automatically. Thus, sharing data and program can also share
malicious programs either destroying or stealing critical data that may be
detrimental to the data owner. This is achieved by restricted access and restricted
operation between the users by giving the log in user ID and password for
validation and verification.

7.2.2 Key Issues for a Computer Network


As already discussed the sole purpose of networking is sharing of information.
However, before establishing a network of computers, there are certain issues
that need to be addressed. The scale of operation is one issue that needs a
careful analysis. Every organization or individual user needs a networking of
computers but his needs may be different. Users whether individual or a business
establishment, will like to have a fast medium to connect. The following are the
significant key issues:
Type of Network: Use of LAN is made by most of the users, whether
small offices or corporate offices. Here, the issue is selection of technology.
Media, Topology and Design: Next issue is related to medium, whether
wired or unwired. Ethernet protocol is designed to work on different
topologies, such as linear bus, star or tree. It can handle various types of
physical media, such as wireless access points, twisted pair, coaxial or
fibre optic cables and speeds ranging from 10 Mbps up to 1000 Mbps.
Wired network provides reliable and fast communication in comparison
to wireless media.
Addressing: This is another key issue. This decides criterion on which
the systems are assigned. Addresses and the manner in which the systems
locate each other within the network. There is a unique address for each
node. Thus, a hierarchy is decided. Some redundancy is also required so
that when a system goes out, another system can be put in its place.
Routing: This issue is related to addressing. It is about the manner in
which data transfer takes place from one system to another which
determines a path and provides a criteria for selecting a special hardware
device router.

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Reliability: Reliability issue is related to data integrity after an operation


is performed on data. Data should be received as transmitted. There should
be no error.
Security: Network security is one of the most important issues. Users
should be able to assess threat. Suitable measures must be taken to
safeguard the system against unauthorized access to the network.
Validation and verification is one way of restricting access and preventing
unauthorized access.
Standard: Selection of standard for networking is very important issue.
Standards in case of networking provide interoperability of network
technologies. Selection of standard should be done such that easy
replacement and upgrading is possible without much problem without
affecting performance and security issues in any manner.
Activity 1
Search on the Web and prepare a report on the key issues that are significant
for a computer network.

Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) In a distributed processing system, most of the processing is done
in the ___________of the individual PCs or workstations besides
sharing the expensive computer resources.
(b) A ____________is a common place where different users can come
together to share and access the information.
2. State whether true or false:
(a) When there is sharing of information through networking, the question
of security arises automatically.
(b) The scale of operation is one issue that needs no analysis.

7.3 Criteria for Classification of Computer Network


The following are various criteria for classifying a computer network:
Method of Connection: This classification is based on hardware and software
technology for interconnecting individual devices in the network. These devices
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may be wired or wireless. Example of wired technology is optical fibre. Copper


cables are used for Ethernet. Wireless LAN technology connects devices without
wiring, using radio waves as the transmission medium. Infrared is also used for
wireless connections, but these work for a short range.
Scale of Operation: This is another way of classification on the size of the
network and distance between nodes. Thus, depending on the distance covered
by the network in connecting computers a network is classified as:
LAN (Local Area Network)
MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
WAN (Wide Area Network)
PAN (Personal Area Network)
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
LAN, the local area network, is confined to a small area, a room, an office,
an apartment building, etc. LANs interconnect peripherals and computers through
a common medium for sharing resources of host computers.
MAN, the metropolitan area network covers a larger geographic area,
such as districts or cities. Information is exchanged easily throughout the network
by interconnecting smaller networks within a larger geographic area. Such
networks are used by government agencies and local libraries to connect to
private industries and citizens.
WAN, the wide area network unites sites that are located at diverse
geographic locations, such as New Delhi, India or the world. It has no
geographical limits. To connect this type of network, either dedicated transoceanic
cabling or satellite uplinks are used.
PAN, the personal area network is used for establishing connection among
computer devices in the close vicinity, typically few meters. PANs can connect
personal devices for intrapersonal communication or to connect to a higher
level network.
VPN, the virtual private network is a computer network implemented
through an additional software layer built at the top of an existing larger network
to create a private network inside a network that is not secured, such as the
Internet. Nodes of a virtual private network are linked with logical connections
or virtual circuits between hosts of the larger network.

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Network Architecture: Based on network architecture or functional relationship


among elements of network, computer networks are classified as client-server
and peer-to-peer.
Network Connections and Protocols: The network connection and protocol
factor is also to be considered as a type of internetworking. The two prime
types of network protocols are as follows:
OSI: The Open Systems Interconnection Reference Model also known to
be OSI Reference Model or OSI Model is an abstract description for layered
communications and computer network protocol design. A layer is a
collection of conceptually similar functions that provide services to the
layer above it and receives service from the layer below it.
TCP/IP: The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol
(IP), which were the first two networking protocols are defined in this
standard. The Internet Protocol Suite, like many protocol suites, may be
viewed as a set of layers. Each layer solves a set of problems involving
the transmission of data and provides a well-defined service to the upper
layer protocols. Upper layers are logically closer to the user and deal with
more abstract data relying on lower layer protocols to translate data into
forms that can eventually be physically transmitted.
Network Services: The network services are also considered to be an important
criterion for the internetworking system. This mechanism can be divided into
following three types of networking:
Connection oriented networking: For communication-oriented services,
a client sends packets to the server via three-way handshake. It supports
acknowledgements between end-systems, flow control during data
exchange and congestion control. For example TCP, frame relay and
ATMs come under the category of connection-oriented networking.
Connectionless networking: In connectionless, no handshake, no flow
control, no congestion control are used. Instead, datagrams (streams of
packets) are used to send packets and to make the connection between
packet systems. For example, UDP or User Datagram Protocol.
Packet switching network: In this networking system, if the message is
large, then it is broken into several small packets. It contains the source
and the destination network address of two communicating end-systems.
Each packet sent on the communication must link with the packet switching
(configured in routers). Packet switching network is referred to as packet
networks.
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Self-Assessment Questions
3. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) Wireless LAN technology connects devices without wiring, using radio
waves as the ______________medium.
(b) Scale of operation is another way of classification depending on the
____________of the network and distance between nodes.
4. State whether true or false:
(a) The personal area network is used for establishing connection among
computer devices in the remote vicinity.
(b) For communication-oriented services, a client sends packets to the
server via three-way handshake.

7.4 Types of Network: LAN, WAN and MAN


Computers are connected by many different technologies. A network is an
interconnection between two or more computers in a peer-to-peer or client to
server manner over a shared and virtual connection. In other words, networks
provide the connection between computer resources in order to accommodate
the flow of information. This is just the opposite of the old terminal-to-host
hardwired connection. Although a network can support terminal-to-host
connections through terminal emulators or terminal server, it offers more flexibility
in switching connections. Communication networks are broadly categorized into
following three categories:

7.4.1 Local Area Network (LAN)


Local Area Network (LAN) technology connects people and machines within a
site. A LAN is a network that is restricted to a relatively small area as shown in
Figure 7.3. LANs can be defined as privately owned networks offering reliable
high speed communication channels that are optimized to connect information
processing equipment in a small and restricted geographical area. Thus, a LAN
is a form of local (limited-distance), shared packet network for computer
communications. LANs interconnect computers and peripherals over a common
medium so that users are able to share access to host computers, databases,
files, applications and peripherals. They can also provide connection to other
networks either through a computer, which is attached to both networks or
through a dedicated device called a gateway.
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Figure 7.3 Local Area Network

The components used by LANs can be categorized into hardware, cabling


standards and protocols. Various LAN protocols are Ethernet, Token Ring, TCP/
IP, NetBIOS, NetBeui, IPX/SPX, Fiber Distributed Data Interchange (FDDI) and
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).

7.4.2 Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)


A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) covers large geographic areas, such as
towns, cities or districts. By linking or interconnecting smaller networks within a
large geographic area, information is conveniently distributed throughout the
network. It may also connect MANs together within a larger area than a LAN.
The geographical limit of a MAN may span a city. Figure 7.4 depicts how a MAN
may be available within a city.

Router

Local
Telephone
Exchange

Router
Ethernet

Ring Network

Figure 7.4 Metropolitan Area Network

In MAN, different LANs are connected through a local telephone exchange.


Some of the widely used protocols for MAN are RS-232, X.25, Frame Relay,
ATM, ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), OC-3 lines (155 Mbps), ADSL
(Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line), etc. These protocols are quite different
from those used for LANs.

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7.4.3 Wide Area Network (WAN)


This technology connects sites that are in diverse locations. Wide Area Networks
(WANs) connect larger geographic areas, such as New Delhi, America or even
the world. The geographical limit of WAN is unlimited. Dedicated transoceanic
cabling or satellite uplinks may be used to connect this type of network. Hence,
a WAN may be defined as a data communications network covering a relatively
broad geographical area to connect LANs together between different cities with
the help of transmission facilities provided by common carriers, such as telephone
companies. WAN technologies operate at the lower three layers of the OSI
reference model.
Figure 7.5 explains the WAN, which connects many LAN together. It also
uses switching technology provided by local exchange and long distance carrier.

Figure 7.5 Wide Area Network

Packet switching technologies, such as ATM, Switched Multimegabit Data


Service (SMDS), Frame Relay and X.25 are used to implement WAN along
with statistical multiplexing to allow devices to use and share these circuits.
Activity 2
Classify the networks according to characteristics, such as medium used
to transport the data, communications protocol used, scale, topology and
organizational scope.

Self-Assessment Questions
5. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) A network is an ________ between two or more computers in a peerto-peer or client-to-server manner over a shared and virtual connection.

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(b) LAN technology connects people and machines within


a________________.
6. State whether true or false:
(a) LAN is a form of local (limited-distance), shared packet network for
computer communications.
(b) The geographical limit of WAN is unlimited.

7.5 Local Area Network (LAN): Hardware and Software


LANs connect personal computers and workstations. Each node (individual
computer) in a LAN has its own CPU with which it executes programs and to
access data and devices anywhere on the LAN. For this it requires specific
hardware and software as follows:

7.5.1 Hardware Requirements


In general, a computer network is composed of one or more servers,
workstations, network interface cards, active and passive hub, routers, bridges,
gateways, modem, software components like network operating systems and
other application software. The following components are widely used for the
construction of networks:
Server: It is the most powerful computer of the network. In a local area network,
usually a powerful microcomputer or a super microcomputer with the power of
a minicomputer is used as a server. There are two types of servers normally
employed in a local area network. They are dedicated servers and non-dedicated
servers. In a dedicated server, the server computer performs functions and
services of the whole network. It helps to efficiently run user applications and
increases the overall system cost. In a non-dedicated server, apart from the
role of a network controller, a server also acts as an individual workstation. The
server is equipped with large memory. Network operations demand only a portion
of server memory. The remaining portion of the memory may be used for the
user applications.
File Server: The file server is a powerful computer, which runs special software.
It provides the files and other shared resources to different users in the network.
It provides facilities like user authentication, security to various user programs
and data. It can be accessed through Network Operating System (NOS). All
activities of a file server can be monitored and controlled from the monitor called
console. The file server has a large memory, which is used for caching directories
and files, and hashing directories.
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Workstation: Another important component of a network is the workstation or


a client. A workstation is an individual computer with capabilities to communicate
with other machines. It must be equipped with the hardware and software
necessary to connect to a LAN. Usually a Network Interface Card (NIC) or an
Ethernet card or an ARCNET (Attached Resource Computer NETwork) card is
used for this purpose. Part of the network operating system is also available in
the workstation. A workstation can communicate with other workstations or with
the server. The hardware requirement for a workstation depends on the
application and the size of the network.
Network Interface Unit: Every computer on the network needs one add on
card called Network Interface Card (NIC) or Ethernet Adapter or Network
Interface Adapter. The role of NIC is to move the serial signals on the network
cables or media into parallel data stream inside the PC. In some cases, two or
more such NICs are used in the server to split the load. These interface units
also have the important jobs of controlling access to the media. This includes
activities known as carrier sense (listen before transmit), sequential station
number and token passing.
Transmission Media: The data signal travels through this medium. There are
two general categories. They are bounded (guided) and unbounded (unguided)
medium. Twisted pair, coaxial cable and fibre optic cables are all bounded media.
In it the data signals travel within the boundaries of the transmission media. On
the other hand, microwave and satellite transmissions both travel through the
air which has no boundaries, hence called unbounded transmission.
Hub: The hub is a common connection point for devices in a network. Hubs are
commonly used to connect segments of a LAN. The network hub is a centralized
distribution point for all data transmission in a network. Data packet from a NIC
arrives at the hub. The hub receives and rebroadcasts them to other computers
connected to it. In general, the hub network is a passive device. Hubs can be
classified into the three categories as active, passive and intelligent.
Repeater: A repeater is a network device that connects multiple segments of
network cable. It retimes and regenerates the digital signals on the cable and
sends them on their way again. Repeaters attempt to preserve signal integrity
and extend the distance over which data can safely travel. Repeaters are often
used to extend the cable length to enlarge LANs. Wide area networks contain
many repeaters. Ethernet also frequently uses repeaters to extend the length
of the bus.
Bridge: A bridge connects a local area network to another local area network
that uses the same protocol, for example Ethernet or token ring. Bridge is more
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sophisticated than a repeater. A bridge reads the destination address of the


received packet and determines whether the address is on the same segment
of the network cables of the originating station. If the destination is on the other
side of the bridge, the bridge transmits the packet into the traffic on that cable
segment. Local bridges are used to connect two segments of a same LAN.
Remote bridges are used to link local LAN cables to long distance cables to link
two physically separated networks. Network administrators often use bridges
to split the big networks into number of small networks.
A bridge reads the outermost section of data on the data packet, to tell
where the message is going. It reduces the traffic on other network segments,
since it does not send all packets. Bridges can be programmed to reject packets
from particular networks. There are two types of bridges local bridges and remote
bridges. Local bridges have two or more LAN ports and act as a bridge between
two or more LANs. A remote bridge has a LAN and a WAN port and is actually
not a bridge. Its a half-bridge. Only together with its counterpart on the remote
LAN it is a full bridge. This means that the bridge on the local LAN plus the
bridge on the remote LAN plus the wires (leased lines) that connect the two are
an entire bridge.
Router: A router transfers data between networks. It is also possible for a router
to transfer data between different compatible network technologies, such as
Ethernet and IBM token ring. Since the Internet consists of thousands of different
network technologies, routers are an integral part of the Internet. A router has
the address on the network. A bridge does not have an address. Hence, a
router can act as an intermediate destination. In other words, a computer can
send a data packet to the router of another network. The router will transfer the
packet to the other network. On the other hand, the bridge must examine all the
packets to determine which packets to transmit between networks. As such,
computers never send packets directly to a bridge. A router examines a packet
only if it contains the routers address.
A router also can act as a bridge. Such a router is known as a brouter.
The brouter receives the packet and examines whether it supports the protocol
used by the packet. If not, it simply drops the packet. The packet is bridged
using the physical address information.
Gateway: Two dissimilar networks can be connected by means of a gateway.
For example, a mainframe can be connected and accessible to a PC network
by means of a gateway. Unlike routers, a gateway converts the format of the
data sent between two networks. A router adds only addressing information to
the data packet. Routers never change the content of the message. But a
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gateway has to identify the protocols used in the networks, and recognize the
data format and convert the message format into suitable format to be accepted
by the other network. Wide area networks often use gateways because there is
a large number of dissimilar networks present in a WAN. Gateways provide
good connectivity to different kinds of networks on the Internet.
Modem: Another significant network component is modem. The term Modem
is the shortened version of the name MOdulator/DEModulator. Modem provides
two-way communication facility between a computer network and telephone
network. As WAN uses the existing telephone network to connect to a distant
network, it always uses a modem to dial up the telephone network. Modem
converts the digital data from the computer into useful analog signals that can
be transmitted through a telephone network. Similarly, signals from the telephone
channels are converted back into digital data suitable for a computer.

7.5.2 LAN Software and Method of Access


As known, LAN is a data communication network that connects terminals,
computers and printers. The software that runs inside the local network is known
as the LAN software. No hardware device can function without software. Software
that drives physical devices in LAN comes under this category.
IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is the leading
organization defining most of the LAN protocols that configure LAN devices.
Any computer system whether networked or single user, is a combination of
hardware and software. In LAN, various physical devices, such as the computers,
network interface cards and cables are connected. Software is a protocol that
configures these computers into a system forming an integrated network. Various
standard protocols for configuring LAN are well known. These are IEEE 802.3
for Ethernets (with many variations), IEEE 802.4 for token bus, IEEE 802.5 for
token ring, IEEE 802.11 and 802.16 for Wireless LAN (WLAN). All these provide
a method of access and are defined in these protocols. WiFi product specification
is based on WLAN specifications. protocols work in Data Link Layer of the OSI
reference model.
LAN protocols function at the lowest two layers of the OSI reference model
as shown in Figure 7.6. It also illustrates how several popular LAN protocols are
mapped to the OSI reference model. Hardware devices are also needed with
the corresponding software in the form of a protocol to connect these LANs to
form a bigger network and convert into a MAN or WAN. LAN software refers to
a class of software that functions within LAN for establishing communication
between interconnected computers (nodes).
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Figure 7.6 LAN Protocols Mapped to the OSI Reference Model

A multi-user operating system is an operating system that is used to


manage the resources of computers via LAN software. Network servers store
LAN software to manage communication between computers on the network.
LAN software is the focal point of a network operating system. Novell NetWare
3, 4, 5 and 6 are used for connecting computers as a local network and they
also contain such software. Windows NT and 2000, UNIX/Linux and Mac OS/X
also have LAN software as their focal point.
A LAN messenger is a software package, an instant messaging program
that works within a single LAN. These offer advantages in comparison to a
normal instant messenger as it runs inside the local network without needing an
Internet connection or a central server. This also offers secured internal
communication. In case it is installed by a company, it keeps internal matter
within the private LAN. A firewall may be put between the outside network and
this private LAN and only people inside the firewall will be able to access the
system. Data in such communications does not go outside the LAN and hence
there is no chance of spam. Such LAN messengers offer basic functionality for
sending messages, transferring file, using chatrooms and graphical smileys,
all within the LAN.

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Self-Assessment Questions
7. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) ______________is the most powerful computer of the network.
(b) IEEE is the leading organization defining most of the
_____________protocols that configure LAN devices.
8. State whether true or false:
(a) A multi-user operating system is an operating system that is used to
manage the resources of computers via WAN software.
(b) A LAN messenger is a software package, an instant messaging
program that works within a single LAN.

7.6 Servers and Workstations


In computer networking, a server computer is a computer that links other
computers or electronic devices together. The servers are classified into the
following categories:
File server
Application server
Data server
Compute server
Communication server
Database server
File servers are Input/Output (I/O) oriented. A client requests the data;
the server transmits the data/records in the file along with the necessary index
table. Now, at the client side, either the client selects the data/record based on
the index entries or keeps this information and processes as required. Since
more than one client can make a request to a particular server, the server must
be capable of accepting all the requests. Hence, to achieve efficiency and
availability, the server may require several slots for network connection and
consequently have a larger memory.
In case of application server, the applications are downsized to a smaller
machine that runs the same software and connects all the users. In this case,
no modification is required in the application software.

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Data server is used only for storage and management of data. That is,
the processing carried out at the data server are rule-based procedures, such
as data validation and data management. These servers must be capable of
searching a large amount of data and updating tables with numerous data.
Certainly, to perform these tasks, the data servers requires high speed
processing, sufficient internal memory and substantial amount of hard disk space.
Computer server is in conjunction with the data server. When the client
requests data from the server, the server processes the query and before
supplying the result to the client, the compute server performs necessary
processing on the requested data with the application logic. It then sends it to
the client. Similar to the data servers, the compute server also requires
processors with high performance capabilities and large amount of memory.
Here, the processing of data is separated from the data. This optimizes the
processing capabilities and also permits availability of the more than one compute
server for a data server.
The communication server acts as a gateway for transmitting network
protocols. The network computers communicate through a server that has
multiple slots and fast processors. In the database server, the client system
sends requests to the database server for data retrieval or modification. The
server then accepts the request and processes of the data accordingly and
sends the results back to the client. In a database server concept, the client
machine has application specific logic and presentation logic. The server does
all the database management activities, such as data locking, multi-user cache
management and scheduling.
Workstations
Workstations are a type of personal computer that intended for professional
use. Workstations have higher performance than other types of personal
computers as they have higher graphics, CPU, memory capacity and multitasking
capability. They help connect local area networks and they support multi-user
operation systems. In fact, workstations are designed for more powerful scientific
and technical applications.
A workstation offers technical users a cost effective way to better utilize
desktop visualization. Workstations use a keyboard and mouse just like a
personal computer. They are used intensively in the corporate world, and they
help organizations to increase productivity and reduce cost. For example, instead
of spending money on different desktops, you can simply do all the tasks on
one piece of hardware - the workstation. Workstations come handy in

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applications, such as video editing, graphic design, AutoCAD, and other RAM
and CPU intensive programs.
Technically, workstations are used by professionals for high-powered
design work, multi-media production, engineering stimulation and for business
use. Workstations usually run on UNIX, Windows, Mac OS X and Solaris 9
operation systems.
Activity 3
Prepare a list on the types of servers and workstations available in the
market.

Self-Assessment Questions
9. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) Data server is used only for storage and _______________of data.
(b) A workstation offers technical users a cost effective way to better
utilize desktop____________________.
10. State whether true or false:
(a) Computer server is in conjunction with the data protocol.
(b) In database server, the client system does not send requests to the
database server for data retrieval or modification.

7.7 Introduction to Ethernet


The best alternative to high-speed and cost-effective LAN is Ethernet. Data is
transmitted and received at the rate of 10 million bits per second. Heavy coaxial
cables (thick net) or fibre optic cables are used for transferring data between
wiring closets. Thick net coaxial is used of for medium-to-long distances, where
the level of reliability needed is medium. At an upper cost, the fibre has higher
reliability. A light duty coaxial cable known as thin net is normally used to connect
workstations within the same room. These mirror a bigger picture of the
workstations in laboratory surroundings. Figure 7.7 shows the scheme of
Ethernet where a sender transmits a modulated carrier wave that propagates
from the sender towards both ends of the cable.

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Figure 7.7 Signal Flow Across an Ethernet

Ethernet was first designed and installed by Xerox Corporation at its Palo
Atto Research Center (PARC) in the mid-1970s. In the year 1980, DEC Intel
and Xerox came out with a joint specification which has become the de facto
standard. Ethernet was named DIX from this period onwards. It gained this
name after its business sponsors Digital, Intel and Xerox.
Fast Ethernet
100Base-T is a high-speed LAN standard and is considered to be a variation of
10BaseT. This is standardized as IEEE 802.3u. This operates with an access
mechanism as CSMA/CD and provides a transmission speed of 100 Mbps
through an Ethernet switching hub. Multiple 10 Mbps connections are supported
through multiple ports on the switch.
Gigabit Ethernet
When the IEEE approved the fast Ethernet standard, it offered ten times greater
bandwidth with other innovative attributes, such as autonegotiation and full duplex
operation. This made Ethernet a scalable technology and with the emergence
of Gigabit Ethernet standard, scalability is expected to go further. Fast Ethernet
Alliance, an industry consortium enhanced the Fast Ethernet standard. The
IEEE 802.3 committee approved the 802.3z Gigabit Ethernet Standardization
project in the year 1996. In May 1996, eleven companies got together and
formed the Gigabit Ethernet Alliance. These eleven companies were Bay
Networks Inc., 3Com Corp., Compaq Computer Corp., Cisco Systems Inc.,
Intel Corporation, Granite Systems Inc., Packet Engines Inc., LSI Logic, UB
Networks, Sun Microsystems Computer Company and VLSI (Very Large Scale
Integration) Technology.
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7.8 Token Ring


A ring topology is a collection of point-to-point links that may form a circle. The
LAN of IBM follows the ring topology. The IEEE 802.5 standard committee,
along with a substantial number of representatives from IBM, has developed a
standard called token ring. In a token ring, stations are connected to the logical
ring. Each station in the logical ring transmits the received data to the next
station on the ring until the addressed destination station receives it. When the
transmitted data circulates around the ring and returns to the sending station, it
removes it from the ring.

7.8.1 Basics and Working of the Token Ring


To control the access of the network, a control frame called token is used. This
frame circulates around the ring when all the stations are idle. When a station
wants to transmit anything then it has to acquire a token. It removes the token
from the network by changing a single bit in the token. After completing the
transmission the station reforms the token and inserts it to the network. Each
station is connected to the ring through a ring interface. The interface simply
copies the incoming bit to a single bit buffer and then to the output line. Thereby,
the ring interface generates a single bit delay. A ring interface operates in following
two different modes:
1. Listen mode: In this mode, the station interface simply copies the incoming
bits to the output line.
2. Talk mode: The ring interface is set to the talk mode, when the station
connected to the ring interface, has acquired a token. The direct input to
output connection through the single bit buffer is disconnected.
The listen and talk modes of a station interface are illustrated in
Figure 7.8.

7.8.2 Physical Layer of Token Ring


The cable recommended for a token ring by IEEE 802.5 contains two pairs of
twisted cables covered by a shield. The signal speed of this media is 1 Mbps or
4 Mbps. However, IBM released a token ring version that can operate at a
speed of 16 Mbps. The adapter for this also supports 4 Mbps. Differential
Manchester encoding scheme is used for encoding digital data. Any single
point failure on the cable may cause the ring to disappear instantly. Special
devices called wire centers are used to bypass the bad segment of the cable or
the problematic stations.
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Ring Interface
Input

Output

Input

Output

1 Bit

To
Station

From
Station

(i) Listen Mode


B

To
Station

From
Station

(ii) Talk Mode

H
A
(a) Unidirectional ring network

(b) Ring interface

Figure 7.8 Listen and Talk Modes of a Station Interface

7.8.3 Token Ring Maintenance


The following are a few ring management activities:
Monitor Stations: Each ring has a monitor station that performs monitoring
the ring. It also takes appropriate action when the ring is broken. It also
clears the ring when there are garbled frames on the ring. If the monitor
station fails some other station is chosen by means of a special contention
protocol.
Ring Initialization: When the network is powered up, initially there is no
monitor. The first station on the network transmits a claim-token frame. If
there is nothing else, a claim-token frame is setup and the first station
becomes the token owner as well as the monitor.
Lost Tokens: The monitor station has an internal timer that is set for the
longest possible time interval without a token. If the token is not produced
within the specified period then the monitor station clears the ring and
issues a new token.

7.8.4 Cables
Networks are connected to each other in order to allow communication with a
wide range of media. These include optical fibre, twisted copper wire cable,
coaxial cable and other types of cables. Cable is the medium through which
information usually moves from one network device to another. There are several
types of cable which are commonly used with LANs. In some cases, a network
will utilize only one type of cable, other networks will use a variety of cable
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types. The type of cable chosen for a network is related to the networks topology,
protocol and size.
The following types of cables are used in networks:
Twisted Pair Cables
Twisted pair cabling comes in two varieties: Shielded and Unshielded.
Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP): Unshielded Twisted Pair or UTP is the
most popular and is generally chosen as the best option for school
networks. Figure 7.9 shows UTP.

Figure 7.9 Unshielded Twisted Pair

The quality of UTP may vary from telephone-grade wire to extremely


high-speed cable. The cable has four pairs of wires inside the jacket.
Each pair is twisted with a different number of twists per inch to help
eliminate interference from adjacent pairs and other electrical devices.
Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) Cable: Although UTP cables are the least
expensive cable, it may be susceptible to radio and electrical frequency
interference (it should not be too close to electric motors, fluorescent
lights, etc.). Shielded cables also help extend the maximum distance of
the cables. Shielded twisted pair cables are available in three different
configurations:
o Each pair of wires is individually shielded with foil.
o There is a foil or braid shield inside the jacket covering all wires as a
group.
o There is a shield around each individual pair, as well as around the
entire group of wires and it is referred to as double shield twisted pair.
Coaxial Cable: Coaxial cabling has a single copper conductor at its center.
A plastic layer provides insulation between the center conductor and a
braided metal shield. The metal shield helps to block any outside
interference.

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Fiber Optic Cable: Fiber optic cabling consists of a center glass core
surrounded by several layers of protective materials. It transmits light
rather than electronic signals eliminating the problem of electrical
interference. This makes it ideal for certain environments that contain
large amounts of electrical interference. Fiber optic cable has the ability
to transmit signals over much longer distances than coaxial and twisted
pair. It also has the capability to carry information at greater speeds. This
capacity broadens communication possibilities to include services such
as video conferencing and interactive services. The center core of fibre
cables is made from glass or plastic fibres. A plastic coating then cushions
the fibre center and Kevlar fibres help to strengthen the cables and prevent
breakage. The outer insulating jacket is made of Teflon or PVC (Polyvinyl
Chloride).

7.8.5 Ring Speed


The token ring is created by IBM and is one of the IEEE standards (IEEE 802.5).
The token ring network (refer Figure 7.10) is related to the concept of ring
topology. The process goes in the way that LAN setup as a token passing ring
is a set of computers linked in a loop. The set uses a token passing entrance
device. Any system that needs to acquire the permission before sending the
data and only after getting the same can send a frame. Every frame on the ring
is sent around to every system connected to the ring until it reaches back to the
system from where it started.
Local
Workgroup

Workstation (Client)

Main Ring
In

O
ut

Multi-Station
Access Units
(MAUs)

O
ut

In

Token Ring Networks


use two types of
connectors: Type 1
IBM connectors or
Type 3 RJ45 connectors

Server

Figure 7.10 Token Ring Network


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This process looks very time consuming but the data transfer speed is
very fast and the tokens movement can be calculated in microseconds. A new
standard of token ring named as the High Speed Token Ring (HSTR) has
increased the token ring speeds to 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps.

Self-Assessment Questions
11. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The best alternative to high-speed and cost-effective LAN
is______________.
(b) To control the access of the network, a control frame called
_____________ is used.
12. State whether true or false:
(a) A light duty coaxial cable known as thin net is normally used to connect
workstations within the same building.
(b) The cable recommended for a token ring by IEEE 802.5 contains
two pairs of twisted cables covered by a shield.

7.9 Bridges
Like repeaters, bridges are used to connect similar LANs together, for example,
Ethernet-to-Ethernet and operate at the bottom two layers of the OSI model,
the physical layer and the data link layer. As it operates on the second layer of
the OSI model, it relays only on the necessary data to other signals. MAC
addresses (physical addresses) are used to determine whether the data is
necessary or not. It passes information from one LAN segment to another based
on the destination address of the packet. In other words, when a bridge receives
data through one of its ports, it checks the data for a MAC address. If this
address matches that of the node connected to the other port, then the bridge
sends this data through this port. This action is called forwarding. If the address
does not match with any node connected to the other port, then the bridge
discards it. This action is called filtering. This is shown in Figure 7.11. Unlike
repeaters, bridges have buffers to store and forward packets, in case the
destination link is congested due to traffic.
The main advantage of a bridge over a repeater is that it has filtering
action. If any noise on Ethernet occurs because of collision or disturbance in

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electrical signals, the bridge will consider it as an incorrectly formed frame and
will not forward it to the segment connected to the other port of the bridge. Note
that a bridge can relay broadcast packets and packets with unknown destinations.
Application layer
Presentation layer
Session layer
Transport layer
Network layer
Data link layer
Physical layer

Bridge

Application layer
Presentation layer
Session layer
Transport layer
Network layer
Data link layer
Physical layer

Figure 7.11 Correspondence between Bridge and OSI Reference Model

The maximum number of bridges is not limited. Figure 7.12 shows a


bridged LAN network architecture. From an architecture point of view, bridges
are protocol independent devices and are very simple. They do not perform
complex processes on the data packets travelling through them, such as the
evaluation of the network as a whole to make end-to-end routing decisions.
They simply read the destination address of the incoming data packet and forward
it along its way to the next link. Therefore, bridges are inexpensive and fast.
There are bridges called cascading bridges that are used to support multiple
LANs connected by multiple media.

Figure 7.12 Bridged LAN Network

Dissimilar LANs such as Ethernet-to-token ring can also be connected


with the help of a bridge known as encapsulating bridge. The function of an
encapsulating bridge is also very simple. It encapsulates the originating LAN
data along with control information of the end-user LAN. Bridges with a routing
function between LANs are also available.

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Figure 7.13 Filtering and Forwarding in Bridged Network

Computer 1 in the Figure 7.13 wants to talk to computer 3, which is on the


same network. The packet sent by computer 1 will contain the physical address
of computer 3. This will also be received by the bridge device connecting the
two LAN segments. The bridge will read the physical address contained in the
packet and observe that this address belongs to the computer on the same
LAN segment. Hence, a bridge will filter this packet and will not allow it to be
transmitted to the other side of the network. In case computer 1 wishes to talk
with computer C on the other segment, the bridge will know from its table of
addresses that this address belongs to the computer attached to the other
segment of the network. In this case, this will be forwarded to the other segment
of the LAN. The bridge knows about the location of computers attached to the
network by watching frames.

7.10 Private Networks


A private network is designed, maintained and used by a single organization.
Communication equipments used for the private networks are purchased or
leased from the public telephone authority or from other private organizations.
Though a private network is extremely expensive, but it provides high reliability,
security and control for data traffic. The organization that establishes the private
network has to maintain and manage the entire network. Employing a private
network may be cost effective than using a public network.
A network will be categorized as private only if a user or application
designates it as private. Only networks located behind a private gateway device
should be designated as private networks. Private network works with Domain
Name System (DNS) hierarchy and network server. Fast Internet works at the
speed of 250 Kbps. This helps you enjoy download speed up to 1 Mbps which
it can reach up to 128 Kbps. In peak hours, the speed can vary from 70 Kbps to
80 Kbps. In case the Private Network (PN) is run for satellite service, then the
data speed can be reduced up to 50 to 75 per cent. The upload speed is very

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close with respect to dial up speeds. The tower of an Internet connection


considers the maximum speed as the actual speed.

Self-Assessment Questions
13. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The main advantage of a bridge over a __________ is that it has
filtering action.
(b) ____________networks are designed, maintained and used by a
single organization.
14. State whether true or false:
(a) A bridge can relay broadcast packets and packets with unknown
destinations.
(b) The tower of an Internet connection considers the minimum speed
as the actual speed.

7.11 Public Networks


Public networks, also known as packet switched data networks, are wide area
telecommunication facilities owned by common carriers and sold to users by
subscription. In public networks, the subscribers tariff is determined by the
amount of time the user is connected to the network and the number of data
packets sent and received. The following are the types of public network:

7.11.1 ISDN
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a new communication standard
for providing an end-to-end connectivity over a digital link. It is basically a circuit
switched digital network. Conventional telephone lines that are used to carry
the ISDN data are called as ISDN lines. In an ISDN line, a wide range of digital
services such as voice, data, image, video, facsimile, etc., can be integrated. It
provides efficient and cost effective solution to connect office LANs.
The CCITT (Consultative Committee for International Telegraphy and
Telephone), renamed in 1993 as International Telecommunication Union (ITU),
is a worldwide body that governs telecommunications. The United Nations has
drafted the ISDN standards by defining physical interfaces, message formats,
switching mechanisms, communication protocols and service capabilities. With
these standards, telephone companies, computer and communications
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equipment suppliers, software vendors and service organizations are able to


design and develop systems that provide ISDN users with easy-to-use, highspeed access to a new generation of network-based information services.

Features of ISDN
The main features of ISDN are as follows:
Helps the implementation of digital network services on the existing
telephone network.
Provides a data rate of 2 Mbps on a local link and 64 Kbps/128 Kbps over
a wide area link.
Facilitates in connecting remote users to a LAN.
Helps in LAN-to-LAN linking.
Provides high bandwidth interoffice FAX.
Gives high-speed Internet access.
Another important feature of ISDN is its flexibility. It automatically switches
among different devices attached to it. A typical ISDN interface consists of a
phone, FAX machine and a PC. ISDN also can be used as a local access link in
frame relay and X.25 networks.
The ISDN integrates customer services with the integrated digital network.
In addition, digital services are much more efficient and flexible than analog
services. To receive the maximum benefit from the integrated digital networks,
the next step is to replace the analog local loops with digital subscriber loops.
Figure 7.14 shows the conceptual ISDN network. With ISDN, all the customer
services become digital rather than analog, and the flexibility allows the customer
services to be made available on demand.
Pkt. switched
Network
Digital pipe

Ckt. switched
Network

Telephone
Terminal

ISDN
interface

PBX Alarm
LAN

Other ISDN
interfaces

ISDN
central office
Data from
other sources
Other networks

Figure 7.14 The Conceptual ISDN Network Design

ISDN incorporates all the communication connections in a home or building


into a single interface. Each user in an ISDN network is linked to the central

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office through a digital pipe. These pipes are of different capacities that allow
different rates of transmission and support different subscriber needs.

7.11.2 PSTN
PSTN or Public Switched Telephone Network relates to the public telephone
network. It is based on circuit switched connection and can be compared to the
Internet terms, referring to a public IP network based on a packet switched
connection. The term PSTN was initially used for fixed-line analog telephone
system but nowadays due to the advancement in technology, it is also referred
for digital circuit switched telephone network including both mobile and fixed.
ITU-T technical standard and an addressing rule (telephone number) E.163/
E.164 are followed by the PSTN.
PSTN is the global compilation of interconnects made for assisting circuit
switched voice communication. The conventional Plain Old Telephone Service
(POTS) is provided by PSTN to dwellers and to various enterprises. Some of
the DSL, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and other Internet based network
technologies also make use of some parts of PSTN .
Almost 64 Kbps bandwidth is supported by the basic PSTN network link.
The PSTN lines, in case of residences, are in the form of copper cables
transferring the data in such a bandwidth. The dial up modems make use of 56
Kbps of the total bandwidth while joined to the phone line. In the Signalling
System#7 (SS7), signalling protocol is used by the PSTN.
ISDN and other non-PSTN services have comparatively more speed and
unique features due to which they are prefered for using the Internet. For
example, while using a non-PSTN service like ISDN or DSL, voice and data can
be used simultaneously with the use of only one line instead of getting another
phone line for accessing the Internet which is the case with other services.

7.11.3 PSDN
Public Switched Data Network (PSDN) is a network that is accessible to the
public. It assists packet switched data as well as PSTN.
Earlier PSDN was termed as PSS (Packet Switch Stream) that was a
X.25-based packet switched network. The basic purpose of PSS was to present
leased line connections between LANs and also the Internet with the help of
PVCs (Permanent Virtual Circuits). Now, as technology is advancing day by
day, PSDN is not only limited to frame relay and ATM (Asynchronous Transfer
Mode) that are as providers of PVCs, but also extended to various other packet
switching methods like IP, GPRS, etc.
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By watching the working of PSDN, one may consider it to be a replica of


the data networks such as ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), ADSL
(Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line), SDSL (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
and VDSL (Very-high bitrate DSL). However, a closer study of PSDN shows
that it is a lot more than these. The PSTN circuit switched network is used by
ISDN whereas, DSL is point-to-point circuit mode communication services
imposed over the PSTN local loop copper wires, commonly used for entry to a
network of packet switched broadband IP.

7.11.4 Value Added Networks


Value added network or VAN is a public network, designed, maintained and
owned by a single organization and provided to other organizations and many
other subscribers under the rented or leased category. It also permits the users
to link their own equipment. The main advantage to users of a value added
network is the saving of time and cost to design and maintain their own networks.
Major corporate WANs use value added carriers, i.e., public data networks.
VAN supports circuit switching and packet switching.

7.12 Network Topology


Network topology is the layout pattern of interconnections of the various elements
(links, nodes, etc.) of a computer network. Network topologies may be physical
or logical. Physical topology refers to the physical design of a network including
the devices, location and cable installation. Logical topology refers to how data
is actually transferred in a network as opposed to its physical design. Technically,
the topology is the shape or structure of a network. Any specific network topology
is determined only by the graphical mapping of the configuration of physical
and/or logical connections between nodes. A LAN is one example of a network
that exhibits both a physical topology and a logical topology. The physical and
logical topologies may or may not be identical in any particular network.

Physical Topologies
The shape of the cabling layout used to link devices is called the physical topology
of the network. This refers to the layout of cabling, the locations of nodes and
the interconnections between the nodes and the cabling. The physical topology
of a network is determined by the capabilities of the network access devices
and media, the level of control or fault tolerance desired, and the cost associated
with cabling or telecommunications circuits.

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Logical Topologies
The logical topology is the way that the signals act on the network media or the
way that the data passes through the network from one device to the next
without regard to the physical interconnection of the devices. A networks logical
topology may not necessarily be the same as its physical topology. Token ring
is an example of a logical ring topology. Technically, the logical classification of
network topologies describes the path that the data takes between nodes being
used as opposed to the actual physical connections between nodes. Hence,
the logical topologies are determined by network protocols as opposed to being
determined by the physical layout of cables, wires and network devices or by
the flow of the electrical signals. Logical topologies can be reconfigured using
routers and switches.
The network topologies include bus, star, ring, mesh, etc. This is discussed
in Unit 2 in detail.

Self-Assessment Questions
15. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) In public networks, the subscribers ____________is determined by
the amount of time the user is connected to the network and the
number of data packets sent and received.
(b) Network topology is the layout pattern of interconnections of the
various _________________of a computer network.
16. State whether true or false:
(a) Almost 82 Kbps bandwidth is supported by the basic PSTN network
link.
(b) The logical topology is the way that the signals act on the network
media or the way that the data passes through the network from one
device to the next without regard to the physical interconnection of
the devices.

7.13 Network Protocol


The rules of the language in which one computer communicates with another
are called network protocols. The language that both systems are using must
be the same. These rules also relate to procedures for regulating some of the

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features of a network, such as access techniques, physical topologies permitted,


various kinds of cabling and data transfer speed. In network protocol, the
organization of a packet of information is described along with the rules followed
by it during its transfer through the network.

7.13.1 Types of Network Protocols


Due to a variety in the forms of the protocols, there can be a lot of confusion.
Usually, in a regular network, protocols can be teamed up into three basic groups:
lower level protocols, upper level protocols and application protocols.
Lower level protocols are associated with the network media and are also
named as hardware protocols and sometimes as physical level protocols. ATM,
token ring, Ethernet, IEEE 802.3 and frame relay are some of the examples of
lower level protocols.
Like the lower level, the upper level protocols are also sometimes called
software protocols.
Some of the most common network protocols are described as follows:
Ethernet: An access method known as CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense
Multiple Access/Collision Detection) is used by the Ethernet as it is
the most popular form of network protocol. In such a system, every
computer follows the commands given by the cable and then only
sends the data or information across the network. The computer will
only send the data if the network is clear, otherwise, it will wait till the
line is clear in case the transmission is already occurring on the
cable through any node. There are cases when clashes occur
between two transmissions when two systems simultaneously send
data. Such collisions are common in access method. In such cases,
both the systems have to wait for a few minutes before attempting
to send it again. As the time taken or delay is only for a few minutes,
it hardly affects the transmission speed.
Local Talk: Local talk network protocol was created by Apple
Computers, Inc., that made use of the CSMA/CA (Carrier Sense
Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance) method. This method is
almost the same as CSMA/CD excluding the fact that in this, the
system indicates its plan for transmission prior to sending. For the
purpose of connecting a sequence of systems by a serial port, local
talk adapters and special twisted pair cables are used. This type of
protocol was specifically made for the Macintosh operating system

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which permitted it to establish a peer-to-peer network devoid of any


other software.
Token Ring: In this protocol, the systems are linked, therefore making
every signal transmit from one system to another across the network
in a logical ring. Basically, only one electronic token travels throughout
the ring from system to system. A system may pass the token to the
next system if there is no transmission information with it. If a system
wants to send or receive an empty token, it may link the data to the
token. After doing so, the token again starts travelling around the
ring until it reaches the system, the data was meant for.
FDDI: Another network protocol named as Fiber Distributed Data
Interface (FDDI) is required basically to join the multiple LANs spread
over remote distances. FDDI also uses the method of token passing
and also utilizes a dual ring physical topology. The transmitting of
data usually happens through one of the rings but a major difference
between FDDI and a token ring is that in case one ring breaks during
a transmission, then the information is still made to travel by the
system through the automatic use of the segments of the second
ring in order to form a whole new complete ring. The main benefit of
using the FDDI protocol is that it provides speed.
ATM: Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is yet another network
protocol sending data and information at a 155 Mbps and higher
speed. The basic function of ATM is to send the entire data in the
form of small packets of fixed sizes contrary to other protocols that
send the information in variable length packets. Various kinds of
media are supported by the ATM like, video, imaging, CD-quality
audio, etc. A star topology is put to use by the ATM that can be used
with both the fiber optic as well as the twisted pair cable. The basic
purpose of using ATM is linking the multiple LANs and is usually
used by the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for providing fast
speeds for access to their clients.

7.13.2 Comparing Different Protocols


Although, the functions of all network protocols are nearly the same, there are
some noticeable differences between each.
Therefore, to highlight all such differences, Table 7.1 depicts constructed
for bringing out the dissimilarities.

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Table 7.1 Comparison of Different Protocols


Protocol

Cable

Speed

Topology

Ethernet

Twisted Pair, Coaxial, Fiber

10 Mbps

Linear Bus, Star, Tree

Fast Ethernet

Twisted Pair, Fiber

100 Mbps

Star

LocalTalk

Twisted Pair

.23 Mbps

Linear Bus or Star

Token Ring

Twisted Pair

4 Mbps 16 Mbps

Star Wired Ring

FDDI

Fiber

100 Mbps

Dual Ring

ATM

Twisted Pair, Fiber

155 Mbps 2488 Mbps

Linear Bus, Star, Tree

7.14 Applications of Computer Networks


Computer is a powerful digital device and a programmable machine that eases
the difficult tasks taken by human beings. Networking of computers has added
further dimension to its use. Through networking it is possible to exchange
information beyond the limits of geographical barriers and this has given birth
to Information Technology (IT). IT has dramatically changed the way of our life.
After the discovery of electricity, the computer ranks as one of the most important
breakthroughs of the modern era. Like electricity, IT has impacted all facets of
life and, in fact, its usage is so ubiquitous that it is hard for todays generation to
even visualize how our ancestors lived without computers. From medicine to
transportation, from banking to the entertainment industry, there is hardly any
industry or sector that does not deploy IT in a fundamental manner to achieve
one of the following three goals:
1. Reducing the cost of operations by increasing operational efficiency and
staff productivity.
2. Improving revenues and bottom lines by helping the management in
informed decision-making and focusing on priority areas.
3. Improving customer satisfaction by providing better, faster and value added
services.
IT has opened up several allied industries and employment opportunities
which never existed before. There are various areas where computer networking
is used.

Applications in Railways
The railroad industry is the backbone of the countrys economy. Some of the
major IT initiatives taken by Indian Railways are as follows:

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All India centralized reservation system provides the facility for the
passenger to book tickets from any destination and is one of the most
successful examples of computerization in the country.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is an online
railway ticket booking portal which enables the passenger to book railway
tickets for any destination in India from anywhere in the world. It also
provides very useful information like computerized reservation-related
enquiries about passenger status, train schedule and trains between pairs
of stations.
Indian Railways has also started a pilot project for issuing periodical season
tickets through the ATM and another pilot project for buying tickets through
smart cards.
The Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) has also been introduced
to update the passengers with railway inquiry and other related information.

Application in Airlines
The airline business is one of the largest users of computers. Computers have
been deployed in almost all aspects of the airline business for increasing
revenues, reducing cost and enhancing customer satisfaction.
Some of the major IT initiatives taken by the airline industry are as follows:
Online Ticket Booking Through the Internet: Almost all the airline
companies, may it be domestic or international are selling air tickets
online. Air tickets can be booked online by paying through credit card
and e-tickets can be printed on your printer.
Flight and Seat Availability Information: Flight and seat availability
information along with the cost of the ticket is now easily available
online with an option to compare it with other available airlines, making
it easier to choose the airlines according to the time and price that
best suits an individual.
All these facilities would not have been possible for airline companies
without the use of computer networks.

Application in Banking
With the increasing number of branches, banks had to simply recruit more
manpower to cope up with the additional workload which requires more
operational cost. To reduce this operational cost, banks computerized all the
customer accounts. However, computerization reduces the back office

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operational cost only but banks still needed manpower as customer relation
officers for the front office. To deal with this problem, banks played a smart
move by introducing the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). With the introduction
of the ATMs, customer interaction with the bank staff was drastically reduced
and customers had the privilege of 247 banking.

Application in Telecommunication
Use of computer network has made voice communication very easy and at
affordable cost. Revolution has come in conventional telephone industries as
well as in mobile telephony.
Telephone Exchanges: The conventional telephones had to be directly
connected by telephone wire in order to make a call. This system was adequate
when the number of phone users was very few and the scale of the telephone
network was very small but the consequences of implementing this system on
a larger scale became apparent very quickly.
Now telephone exchanges are automated and computerized not only for
switching calls but also for passing information to a user regarding the status of
their call. They can switch and connect numerous calls at a time with no delays
or mistakes. These systems removed the need for human operators to connect
calls or perform other related services. In fact modern telephone networks would
cease to function if they relied on a human component for switching or
connection. Computerization and digitization of telephone exchanges have
allowed the integration of other systems into the telephone network making a
variety of services and functionality available to users.

Mobile Phones: The perfect solution for providing connectivity is a mobile phone.
It works on the fundamental concept of a radio. Increased coverage can be
provided while keeping cost and power expenditure at a minimum by dividing
coverage area into cells. Each cell contains a base station within its area of
coverage. The base station hosts an antenna and other radio equipment which
wirelessly connects with the mobile phones located in its proximity. Mobility
beyond the coverage of a cell is achieved by allowing inter-cell communication
and transfer of connection from one cell to another.
Activity 4
Prepare a report on the areas where computer is used. Also mention the
name of application software for each type.

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Self-Assessment Questions
17. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The rules of the language in which one computer communicates
with another are called ______________protocols.
(b) Computer is a powerful digital device and a programmable
_____________that eases the difficult tasks taken by human beings.
18. State whether true or false:
(a) Only one electronic token travels throughout the ring from system to
system.
(b) With the increasing number of branches, banks had to simply recruit
more manpower to cope up with the additional workload which
requires more operational cost.

7.15 Distributed Data Processing


The Distributed Data Processing (DDP) can be described as the organizing of
networked computers wherein the data processing capabilities are extended
throughout the network. In DDP, particular jobs are handled by skilled computers
that can be away from the user or other skilled computers. This assembling, is
quite opposite to centralized computing where a single server is shared by
numerous client systems that can either be mini or mainframe computers or a
group of servers. Apart from requiring greater network administration resources,
higher scalability is provided by the DDP.
The DDP systems include computers established at various sites where
every system performs data processing free from the other systems. In other
words, the DDP systems achieve the information services on their own.
Commonly, every DDP system is skilled to carry out a series of functions or
assist a particular workplace.

7.15.1 Features of Distributed Systems


Due to the ability of the distributed systems to perform a variety of tasks,
independently, it has numerous features. Some of the features of the DDP system
are listed as follows:
1. DDP systems comprise of a group of systems established at various sites
and are connected through specialized links.

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2. In DDP systems, for finding a solution for a specific problem, a single,


multiple or every system can be put to use.
3. In DDP systems the data executed through a system can be spread to
numerous systems and is available from any of them.
4. Generally, there is no centralized control over the DDP systems. The
controlling power usually lies in the hands of the users working over those
systems. The distributed control may be linked with a centralized one.
The DDP systems are usually spread almost everywhere in the
organization. This is done to provide more flexibility, redundancy as well as
autonomy to the stucture.
The basic reason for the continuous growth of DDP is due to the reduction
in the hardware costs. Due to the advancement in technology, the power of the
desktop has increased drastically and the performance of user interfaces has
also improved. Also, the ability of the DDP systems of sharing the data throughout
many servers has increased the usage of the systems.

Networking Requirements of DDP


Being a multi-functional system, the DDP systems have various requirements
needed for functioning efficiently and effectively. Some of the major networking
requirements needed by the DDP systems are listed as follows:
Requirements Related to Connectivity: The recognition of the
connections between the various components of the DDP system is
necessary.
Availability Related Requirements: The percentage of time
application or availability of data to the users should be evaluated.
Requirements Related to Performance: The time taken by every
DDP system to respond should also be calculated.

7.16 Teletext and Videotext Networks


Teletext Networks
Any type of text that is sent by the means of telecommunication can be termed
as teletext. In cases of mobile communication, teletexts mobile alerts are in the
form of Short Messaging Service (SMS) text messages sent to the mobile
phones. It is a fast and affordable technique of sending or receiving information
which in case of mobile communication is limited to the maximum of 160

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characters and basically depends upon the telecommunication networks


developed by the mobile phone companies.
Teletext technology involves a portion of broadcast signal known as Vertical
Blanking Interval (VBI). The teletext adaptor can be used by being connected
with the ordinary television receiver. It is composed of a data separating device,
a data receiving device and a data processing device. The data separating
device separates the teletext data compounded within a vertical blanking interval
of the composite video signal and supplies it to the data receiving device.
Basically, teletext makes it possible to transmit the digital text and graphics with
normal television programming. Two ways are used to access the teletext. One
way is used via CATV (Community Antenna Television) station and other way is
approached via VHF (Very High Frequency) television signal (this signal is
transmitted through air).

Videotext Networks
An interactive electronic system that permits the users for transmitting and
receiving data from a PC (Personal Computer) or a dedicated terminal can be
termed as a videotext. The information and transactional services like banking,
shopping, etc., are provided by the videotext system.
Earlier, only text format was available in the videotext systems. Due to
the rising rate of technological advancement, the systems started offering
Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) that added audio and were visually outstanding
displays of computer graphics.
The videotext services can be divided into three categories namely,
services related to information recovery like weather forecasts, services
regarding transactional messages that allows the merchandize acquisition
through the network and the interpersonal exchange of messages that also
involve conferencing, electronic mail or chat channels.

Self-Assessment Questions
19. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The ___________systems include computers established at various
sites where every system performs data processing free from the
other systems.
(b) Any type of text that is sent by the means of ______________can
be termed as teletext.

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20. State whether true or false:


(a) The basic reason for the continuous growth of DDP is due to the
increase in the hardware costs.
(b) The information and transactional services like banking, shopping,
etc., are provided by the teletext system.

7.17 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:
In the mainframe and minicomputer environment, each user is connected
to the main system through a dumb terminal that is unable to perform any
processing task. In the present computing environment, processing and
memory are centralized.
A network is a common place where different users can come together to
share and access the information. A user can access the resources
available at other users computer if there is an agreement between the
two for such sharing. To facilitate sharing of information, one or more
servers are kept in a network containing important data and information.
The sole purpose of networking is sharing of information. However, before
establishing a network of computers, there are certain issues that need
to be addressed. The scale of operation is one issue that needs a careful
analysis. Every organization or individual user needs a networking of
computers but his needs may be different.
There are various criteria for classifying a computer network such as
method of connection, scale of operation, network architecture, network
topology, network connections and protocols, and network services.
Computers are connected by many different technologies. A network is
an interconnection between two or more computers in a peer-to-peer or
client-to-server manner over a shared and virtual connection.
The file server is a powerful computer, which runs special software. It
provides the files and other shared resources to different users in the
network.
A LAN messenger is a software package, an instant messaging program
that works within a single LAN. These offer advantages in comparison to
a normal instant messenger as it runs inside the local network without
needing an Internet connection or a central server.
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File servers are I/O oriented. A client requests the data; the server transmits
the data/records in the file along with the necessary index table. Now, at
the client side, either the client selects the data/record, based on the
index entries or keeps this information and processes as required.
In computer networking, a server computer is a computer that links other
computers or electronic devices together.
A workstation is a type of personal computer that is intended for
professional use and has higher performance than other types of personal
computers. A workstation has higher performance and speed compared
to other PCs as they have higher graphics, CPU, memory capacity and
multitasking capability. They help connect local area networks and they
support multi-user operation systems.
The best alternative to high-speed and cost-effective LAN is Ethernet.
Data is transmitted and received at the rate of 10 Million bits per second
(Mbps).
A ring topology is a collection of point-to-point links that may form a circle.
The LAN of IBM follows the ring topology. The IEEE 802.5 standard
committee, along with a substantial number of representatives from IBM,
has developed a standard called token ring. In a token ring, stations are
connected to the logical ring.
Networks are connected to each other in order to allow communication
with a wide range of media. These include optical fibre, twisted copper
wire cable, coaxial cable and other types of cables. Cable is the medium
through which information usually moves from one network device to
another.
Bridges are used to connect similar LANs together, for example, Ethernetto-Ethernet and operate at the bottom two layers of the OSI model the
physical layer and the data link layer.
A network will be categorized as private only if a user or application
designates it as private. Only networks located behind a private gateway
device should be designated as private networks. Users likely designate
home or small business networks as private networks.
Public networks, also known as packet switched data networks, are wide
area telecommunication facilities owned by common carriers and sold to
users by subscription. In public networks, the subscribers tariff is
determined by the amount of time the user is connected to the network
and the number of data packets sent and received.
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The shape of the cabling layout used to link devices is called the physical
topology of the network. This refers to the layout of cabling, the locations
of nodes and the interconnections between the nodes and the cabling.
The rules of the language in which one computer communicates with
another are called network protocols. The language that both systems
are using must be the same.
Information Technology has dramatically changed the way of our life. After
the discovery of electricity, the computer ranks as one of the most important
breakthroughs of the modern era.
DDP can be described as the organizing of networked computers wherein
the data processing capabilities are extended throughout the network. In
DDP, particular jobs are handled by skilled computers that can be away
from the user or other skilled computers.
Any type of text, sent by the means of telecommunication, can be termed
as teletext. In cases of mobile communication, teletexts mobile alerts are
in the form of Short Messaging Service (SMS) text messages sent to the
mobile phones. An interactive electronic system that permits the users
for transmitting and receiving data from a PC (Personal Computer) or a
dedicated terminal, can be termed as a videotext.

7.18 Glossary
Network: The arrangement of data communication systems that serves
as a hardware and software communication system
Ring topology: A collection of point-to-point links that may form a circle
Physical topology: The shape of the cabling layout used to link devices
Distributed data processing: The organizing of networked computers
wherein data processing capabilities are extended throughout the network
Fiber optic cabling: A cabling center glass core surrounded by several
layers of protective materials

7.19 Terminal Questions


1. Define computer network.
2. What is the need for computer network?

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3. What are the key issues for a computer network?


4. Classify computer networks depending on the distance covered by the
network in connecting computers.
5. Explain the various types of network.
6. List the hardware and software used for LAN.
7. List the various classifications of servers and explain each of them.
8. Who designed Ethernet? Compare fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet.
9. State some of the ring maintenance activities.
10. Why are bridges used in networking?
11. Differentiate between private and public network.
12. Describe the various types of network topology.
13. What are the different types of network protocols? Explain.
14. Write the various applications of computer networks.
15. What do you understand by distributed data processing? Write down its
features.
16. Define teletext and videotext networks.

7.20 Answers
Answers to Self-Assessment Questions
1. (a) Memory; (b) Network
2. (a) True; (b) False
3. (a) Transmission;(b) Size
4. (a) False; (b) True
5. (a) Interconnection; (b) Site
6. (a) True; (b) True
7. (a) Server; (b) LAN
8. (a) False; (b) True
9. (a) Management; (b) Visualization
10. (a) False; (b) False
11. (a) Ethernet; (b) Token
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12. (a) False; (b) True


13. (a) Repeater; (b) Private
14. (a) True; (b) False
15. (a) Tariff; (b) Elements
16. (a) False; (b) True
17. (a) Network; (b) Machine
18. (a) True; (b) True
19. (a) DDP; (b) Telecommunication
20. (a) False; (b) False

Answers to Terminal Questions


1. Refer to Section 7.2
2. Refer to Section 7.2.1
3. Refer to Section 7.2.2
4. Refer to Section 7.3
5. Refer to Section 7.4
6. Refer to Section 7.5
7. Refer to Section 7.6
8. Refer to Section 7.7
9. Refer to Section 7.8.3
10. Refer to Section 7.9
11. Refer to Sections 7.10 and 7.11
12. Refer to Section 7.12
13. Refer to Section 7.13
14. Refer to Section 7.14
15. Refer to Section 7.15
16. Refer to Section 7.16

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7.21 Further Reading


1. Forouzan, Behrouz A. Data Communications and Networking. New
Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Black, Uyless D. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,
1993.
3. Stallings, William. Data and Computer Communications. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall Inc., 1996.
4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Inc., 2002.
5. Douglas, E. C. Computer Networks & Internet. New Delhi: Pearson
Education.
6. Rajaraman, V. Fundamentals of Computers. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of
India, 1996.

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Unit 8

Communication Protocols
and Networking

Structure
8.1 Introduction
Objectives
8.2 Connection Oriented and Connectionless Networks
8.3 Classification of Communications Protocols
8.4 Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)
8.5 Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA)
8.6 Carrier Sense (Collision) System
8.7 Token Passing
8.8 Peer-To-Peer Priority Systems
8.9 Carrier Sense (Collision Free) Systems
8.10 Token Passing Priority Systems
8.11 Summary
8.12 Glossary
8.13 Terminal Questions
8.14 Answers
8.15 Further Reading

8.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you read about networking. In the present unit, you will
read about the various types of communication protocols related to networking.
A communications protocol is a system of digital message formats and
rules for exchanging those messages in or between computing systems and in
telecommunications. A protocol may have a formal description. Protocols may
include signaling, authentication, error detection and correction capabilities. A
protocol defines the syntax, semantics and synchronization of communication.
It includes the considerations for networking real time embedded systems. The
protocols discussed in this unit are connection oriented protocols, Time Division
Multiplexing (TDM), Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), token passing,
Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) and Carrier
Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA).

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Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Describe connection oriented and connectionless networks
Classify communication protocols
Discuss TDM and TDMA
Explain carrier sense system
Summarize token passing and peer-to-peer system
Define token passing priority systems

8.2 Connection Oriented and Connectionless Networks


Connection oriented communication is a data communication mode in
telecommunications whereby the devices at the end points use a protocol to
establish an end-to-end logical or physical connection before any data may be
sent. In case of digital transmission, in-order delivery of a bit stream or byte
stream is provided. Connection oriented protocol services are often but not
always reliable network services, that provide acknowledgment after successful
delivery, and automatic repeat request functions in case of missing data or
detected bit-errors. Circuit mode communication, for example the public switched
telephone network, ISDN, SONET/SDH and optical mesh networks, are
examples of connection oriented communication. Circuit mode communication
provides guarantees that data will arrive with constant bandwidth and at constant
delay. Packet mode communication may also be connection oriented, which is
called virtual circuit mode communication. Due to the packet switching, the
communication may suffer from variable bit rate and delay, because of varying
traffic load and packet queue lengths. A connection oriented transport layer
protocol, such as TCP, may be based on a connectionless network layer protocol
(such as IP), but still achieve in-order delivery of a byte-stream, by means of
segment numbering on the sender side and data packet reordering on the
receiver side. In a connection oriented packet switched data link layer or network
layer protocol, all data is sent over the same path during a communication
session. The protocol does not has to provide each packet with routing
information (complete source and destination address), but only with a channel/
data stream number, often denoted as Virtual Circuit Identifier (VCI). Routing
information may be provided to the network nodes during the connection
establishment phase, where the VCI is defined in tables in each node. Thus,

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the actual packet switching and data transfer can be taken care of by fast
hardware, as opposed to slow software based routing.
The alternative to connection oriented transmission is connectionless
communication, also known as datagram communication, in which data is sent
in the form of packets from one end point to another without prior arrangement
or signaling. This mode operates, without guarantees of delivery, according to
a best-effort policy. Each data packet must contain complete address information,
since packets are routed individually and independently of each other and
possibly transmitted along different network paths. Connectionless protocols
are usually described as stateless because the end points have no protocoldefined way to remember where they are in a conversation of message
exchanges. Because they can keep track of a conversation, connection oriented
protocols are sometimes described as stateful.
Examples of connection oriented packet mode communication, i.e., virtual
circuit mode communication:
The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is a connection oriented
reliable protocol that is based on a datagram protocol (the IP protocol).
X.25 is a connection oriented reliable network protocol.
Frame relay is a connection oriented unreliable data link layer protocol.
General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
Multiprotocol Label Switching
Activity 1
List the significant features of connection oriented and connectionless
networks in telecommunications. Also prepare a list of connection oriented
and connectionless protocols.

8.3 Classification of Communications Protocols


In telecommunication technology, communication protocol is defined as the
characteristic set of standard norms and rules used for connection,
communication, data representation, data transfer, signalling, authentication
and error detection that help in sending data or information through a specific
communication channel. Basically, it follows standard rules so that the network
systems work properly. These protocol rules govern the syntax, semantics and
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synchronization of communication and are implemented by hardware, software


or a combination of both. It also defines the working behaviour of a hardware
connection.
Nowadays, telecommunication technology has connectionless
networking system to communicate between two networks end points for sending
messages from one end point to another. The device configured at one end of
the network transmits data to any connected recipient even without confirming
that the recipient is there to receive the data. Problems may be encountered
during transmission and the data may have to be sent several times. This is not
the case with connection oriented protocols. The network administrators avoid
the use of connectionless protocols because it is not easy to filter malicious
packets using a Firewall. While TCP/IP is a connection-oriented protocol, IP
and UDP are connectionless protocols.
A wide range of communication protocols were defined by authentic and
standard organizations throughout the world. The most common and well-known
protocol suite is TCP/IP, which is termed as the base of Internetworking
communications. The IP exchanges information between routers and helps the
routers to select the proper path for network traffic, whereas the TCP ensures
that the data packets are smoothly and reliably transmitted across the network
without any error. LAN and WAN are considered as critical protocols in network
communications. The LAN protocols are authentic for the physical and data link
layers of communication over other specified LAN media, i.e., Ethernet wires
and wireless radio waves. The WAN protocol is authentic for the three lowest
layers of the OSI model and helps in communication with the help of other widearea media, i.e., fibre optic and copper cables. The OSI model protocols for
data communication perform the communication functions over one or more
layers of the seven layers of the OSI model.
Protocols can be grouped into different suites according to their technical
functions. A protocol can define one or multiple protocol suites. For example,
the Gigabit Ethernet protocol IEEE 802.3z which is basically a LAN protocol is
also used for MAN communications.
The following are the characteristic properties of communication protocols:
They help detect the physical connection (connection or connectionless)
and the existence of the end-points or nodes.
They negotiate with different connected nodes.
They check for how to start and end a message.
They help in formatting a message.
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They identify corrupted messages and help in error correction.


They terminate the session or connection.
Common Communication Protocols
The following are the common communication protocols:
IP (Internet Protocol)
UDP (User Datagram Protocol)
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)
DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol)
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
Telnet Remote Protocol
SSH (Secure SHell) Remote Protocol
POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3)
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)
Types of Network Communication Protocols
The network communication protocols also have standard sets of rules that
govern the communication process between computers which are connected
to or defined on a network. These are in the form of basic guidelines which help
to regulate the access method, physical topologies, types of cabling and speed
of data transfer on a network. The following are the common network protocols:
Ethernet
Local Talk
Token Ring
FDDI
ATM

Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) Connection oriented communication is a ________ communication
mode in telecommunications.
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(b) Telecommunication technology has connectionless networking


system to communicate between __________networks.
2. State whether true or false:
(a) The network layer protocol has to provide each packet with routing
information.
(b) The network communication protocols also have standard sets of
rules that govern the communication process between computers
which are connected to or defined on a network.

8.4 Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)


For digital sources, two alternative technologies have evolved for multiplexing.
These are Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) and Code Division Multiplexing
(CDM). TDM offers a way to merge data from multiple sources into a single
channel for communication over telephone lines, satellite system or a microwave
system. TDM can be implemented in two ways. These are synchronous TDM
and asynchronous TDM. Asynchronous TDM is popularly known as Statistical
TDM (STDM).
In synchronous TDM, a single channel is broken into time slots and each
transmitting device is given or alotted at least one of the time slots for its
transmission as shown in Figure 8.1.

Figure 8.1 Time Division Multiplexing

Time slots are assigned in such a way that each transmitting device gets
its required share of the available bandwidth. TDMs are not sensitive to protocol
and have the capability to combine various protocols onto a single high-speed
transmission link. Because of this, time-bandwidth multiplexing technique,

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irrespective of whether the device is active or idle, the multiplexer allocates


similar time slots to each device at all times.
Voice and video systems as well as other similar devices may need more
slots to ensure that when the data arrives at the distant link-end, it is not distorted
from slower data rates.

Figure 8.2 Time Slots in TDM

Alternatively, Figure 8.2 explains more clearly the concept of TDM in a


data communication environment where three PCs are sharing the common
circuit. The packets generated by each PC are multiplexed on the common line
as A1, B1, C1, and so on.
The main disadvantage of this scheme is that a precise synchronization
between different senders is necessary to avoid co-channel interference.
Statistical Time Division Multiplexing (STDM)
In case of TDM, time slots are allocated to channels, even if they have no
information to transmit. This is just wastage of the bandwidth and to overcome
this inefficiency of standard TDM, a technique known as STDM has been
developed where time is allocated to lines only when it is required. This is
achieved with the use of intelligent devices that are capable of identifying when
a terminal is idle. The intelligent device statistically compensates for normal idle
time and hence more lines can be connected to a transmission medium.
During the peak traffic period, a buffer memory temporarily stores the
data; so high-speed line time can be effectively utilized with active channels. It
adopts a methodology where each transmission has an identification information
(a channel identifier). This increases the overheads, which are handled by
grouping a number of characters for each channel together for transmission. It
is also referred as Intelligent TDM. In this case, data rate capacity is a lot lower
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than the sum of connected capacity of each channel because it utilizes the idle
time very effectively. Since it is digital, more complicated framing of data is
required.
It is commonly used for remote communications with multiple terminals.
The additional services such as data compression, line priority, mixed speed
lines, host ports sharing, network port control, automatic speed detection, etc.,
are available with STDM techniques.

8.5 Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA)


TDMA refers to digital transmission technology that enables a number of
channels to access a single Radio Frequency (RF) channel without interference
by allocating unique time slots to each channel. Obviously, the data rate capacity
of the single RF channel is greater than the data required by each channel at
the sending and receiving end. In TDMA the audio signal is digitized and broken
into a fixed length of packets in time domain. TDMA technology, which works on
the principle of TDM, as explained earlier, where a single frequency channel is
accessed by the different packets from different channels for a short time. This
technique makes the bandwidth utilization at the maximum efficiency. In this
manner the different packets from each channel simultaneously occupy different
time slots in several bands. It is very clearly explained in Figures 8.1 and 8.2.
A 30 kHz carrier frequency is used by three channels in TDMA. Some
popular examples of TDMA are the European digital standard, GSM (Global
System for Mobile) and the Japanese digital standard, Personal Digital Cellular
(PDC). The advantages of digital technology, which has been harnessed by
TDMA have made it well-proven technique in commercial operation in many
systems. TDMA supports data rates of 64 Kbps to 120 Mbps (expandable in
multiples of 64 Kbps).
TDMA has wastage of bandwidth in case of the time slot allocated to a
user is not being effectively utilized during the idle condition. This inefficiency
can be overcome by the use of Extended TDMA (ETDMA) where each channel
has been allocated a time slot dynamically based upon the need of the user.
When you as a user have something to transmit, you simply inform the channel
by putting a bit in the buffer queue, which is scanned by the system and this
results in the allocation of a bandwidth.
The advantages of TDMA may be counted from increasing the efficiency
of transmission to easy adaptation for both the transmission of data as well as
voice communication. The data and voice communication includes services
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such as fax, Short Message Services (SMSs), and bandwidth-intensive


applications in multimedia and videoconferencing. The major disadvantage of
TDMA is that each user has a predefined time slot. Another problem with TDMA
is that it is susceptible to multipath distortion.

8.6 Carrier Sense (Collision) System


Non-deterministic media access control, places access control responsibilities
on the individual stations. This is popularly known as Carrier Sense Multiple
Access (CSMA) and is most effective in low-traffic environments. There are two
variations, CSMA/CD (Collision Detection) and CSMA/CA (Collision Avoidance).
CSMA is a decentralized, contentious media access control method used
in Ethernet and other bus oriented LANs. Each of the numerous stations or
nodes, must sense the carrier in order to determine network availability before
accessing the medium for data transmission. Collisions render the transmission
invalid and therefore, retransmission is required. In case of a busy condition,
the station will withdraw from the network for a specific time period (calculated
at random) before trying for access again.
CSMA is implemented in two standard means, CSMA/CD and CSMA/CA.
In either case, latency and throughput degrade under heavy loads of traffic. For
example, an Ethernet network running at a theoretical speed of 10 Mbps typically
provides about 4 to 6 Mbps throughput. While it is less costly than Token Ring
networking, it also delivers less efficient use of bandwidth.
Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection (CSMA/CD):
This is the common media access control technique in bus networks.
At that point, all devices back off the network, calculating a random
time interval before attempting a retransmission.
Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA):
This includes a priority scheme that guarantees the transmission
privileges of high-priority stations. CSMA/CA needs a delay in network
activity at the end of each transmission. This delay is proportionate to
the degree of priority of each device with high-priority nodes
programmed for short delays. For relatively long delays, low-priority
nodes are programmed. As collisions may still take place, they are
managed either through Collision Deter or through retransmission after
a NAK or Negative AcKowledgement is received. It is more expensive
to bring into use because it requires that additional programmed logic

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be embedded in each device or NIC. However, CSMA/CA offers the


benefit of improved access control which helps to decrease collisions.
This also improves the overall performance of the network.

Self-Assessment Questions
3. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) ______________refers to digital transmission technology.
(b) Asynchronous TDM is popularly known as _________TDM.
4. State whether true or false:
(a) Time slots are assigned in such a way that each transmitting device
gets its required share of the available bandwidth.
(b) CSMA/CA needs a delay in network activity at the end of each
transmission.

8.7 Token Passing


Deterministic access is the term given to a media access control convention
that enables both the centralized master station and individual slaved stations
to determine the length of time which will pass before access is provided. That
is, there is a guarantee that each station will get the right to communicate within
a certain time period. Deterministic access is also referred to as noncontentious
because the devices do not contend for access. In fact, access is centrally
controlled.
Deterministic access involves token passing. The token comprising of a
specific bit pattern, indicates the status of the network, that is, whether the
network is available or not. A centralized master control station generates the
token and transmits it across the network. The station possessing the token
controls the access to the network. It may transmit or may want other stations
to respond. Once transmitted, the token is passed by the station to a successor
station in a predetermined order or sequence. Although the procedure is
complicated and overhead intensive, it provides careful and effective control
over the network.
Deterministic access is especially effective in high-traffic environments
where a lack of control would cause chaos in the form of frequent data collisions.

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General characteristics of token based networks include a high-level of


access control, which is centralized. Access delay is measured and assured,
with priority access being supported. Throughput is very close to raw bandwidth,
as data collisions are avoided; throughput also improves under load, although
absolute overhead is higher than is the case with non-deterministic access
techniques. Deterministic access standards include Token Passing Ring, IBM
Token Ring and Token Passing Bus.
Token based LAN technologies are somewhat overhead intensive, due to
the token passing and management processes. However, they can more than
compensate for that fact by virtue of the avoidance of data collisions. Token
Ring, comes in 4, 16 and 20 Mbps. In each case bandwidth utilization is virtually
100 per cent.
Activity 2
Prepare a list on the token passing characteristics, protocols and
applications.

8.8 Peer-To-Peer Priority Systems


Peer-to-peer priority system is a system used as an interrupted priority control
structure (refer Figure 8.3). It suspends transmission of packets from the lower
priority nodes to the higher priority nodes. This system is obtained as rapid
access to the transmission medium. Then it sends a message to the destination.
The priority of nodes is managed by the network manager.

Figure 8.3 Peer-to-Peer Priority System arrangement


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8.8.1 Priority Slot


When data packets are sent over a network, they are broken into equal-size
pieces. The message and header are attached to each packet which tell the
size of the packet. When network equipment routes the packets from the source
(server) to the destination (client), headers include three priority slots based on
bits. The three priority bits enable eight levels of priority but sometimes only
four are used. Real-time files such as video is given high priority and non-real
time data is given low priority. Network equipments (switches and routers) use
various techniques to deliver high priority data over low priority. Priority QoS
(Quality of Service) prioritizes the type of information when two similar types of
data streams are sent together.
CPU1

CPU3

CPU2

Bus
Collision

CPU2 & 3
Collide
Jam

PSlot

Priority Slot

Rotating Slots
Slot1

Slot2
Message: CPU2

PSlot

Slot2
Message: CPU3

PSlot

Time

Figure 8.4 Slot Progression and Prioritization over LAN

In the Figure 8.4, the number of slots are allocated on LAN/WAN randomly to
minimize collisions. Slots are prioritized and based on expected traffic prediction.
There is some collision detection hardware, such as sending dummy messages,
that keep slots going in the absence of network traffic.
Time Slots
The transmission time of a fixed-length physical frame is defined and prioritized
as a time slot and is used for multiplexing of user data switching over WAN. The
maximum length of an Ethernet MAC frame is exactly fixed into a physical frame
time slot. It is sent to a time-critical user data stream followed by the required
QoS parameters such as throughput and time delay.
For example, the DS0 (Digital Signal 0) time slot is used for WAN interface.
All are checked by default and arranged as slot priority. In the T1/E1 carrier, T1
provides 24 time slots of 64 Kbps for each which in total is 1536 Kbps. For E1,
there are 31 time slots of 64 Kbps each for a total of 1984 Kbps.

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Figure 8.5 Time Slots over WAN

Figure 8.5 shows that frame formats such as DS1 and E1 each have a reserved
time slot for framing information. The structured frame format is repeated every
125s. By using framing information, the receiving node separates bits into
individual time slots according to the priority slot for data.

Figure 8.6 Time Slot over DS1 Link

The Figure 8.6 shows the time slot arrangement over DS1 link which prioritizes
allotment of slots and transmission.

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Self-Assessment Questions
5. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a _________ is the term given to a media access control convention
that enables both the centralized master station and individual slaved
stations to determine the length of time which will pass before access
is provided.
(b) Peer-to-peer priority system is a system used as an
______________priority control structure.
6. State whether true or false:
(a) Token-based LAN technologies are somewhat overhead intensive,
due to the token passing and management processes.
(b) The transmission time of a fixed-length physical frame is not defined
and prioritized as a time slot.

8.9 Carrier Sense (Collision Free) Systems


The CSMA/CD-Based LAN
To understand the CSMA/CD protocol well, it is required to have some knowledge
about the earlier access techniques. A brief overview of the evolution of media
access techniques is given below:
ALOHA: In packet radio networks of the earlier days, transmission media
was shared by a number of stations; ALOHA technique provided a fair conflictfree channel access to stations. This scheme is suitable for any system, using
shared media. Whenever a station has frames to send, it sends them
immediately. It listens for an acknowledgement for a certain duration, equal to
the maximum round trip delay for the farthest station on the network, plus some
latency time. If the acknowledgement is not received during this interval, it sends
the next frame. Otherwise it resends the same. If the station fails to receive the
frame, it defers the transmission process. The receiving station checks the frame
for its correctness. If the destination address field of the frame matches with the
receiving station address then it sends an acknowledgment. For the receipt of
incorrect frame, a station simply ignores it. Noise or collision may cause a frame
to be invalid. The disadvantage of the ALOHA access method is that when
more and more users start accessing the network, there is more chance of two
people transmitting simultaneously. A collision is representative of wasted

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capacity. Here, none of the transmissions is successful and both need to be


retransmitted.
With time, the number of collisions increases and due to the increase in
retransmissions, the possibility of further collisions also goes up. Calculations
show that the optimum utilization of an ALOHA network is just 18 per cent. As
the number of collisions increase, there comes a certain point when the network
throughput begins to decline. With further increase in the frequency of
transmission and retransmission, the throughput will collapse. This is because
the network is saturated with collisions.
Slotted ALOHA: ALOHA scheme provides poor collision control. Efficiency
of the ALOHA can be further improved by organizing the channel time into
equal time slots. A centralized clock is used to control all stations. Stations are
permitted to transmit only at the beginning of every clock. This scheme provides
better collision prevention capability than pure ALOHA scheme.
CSMA: Both ALOHA and slotted ALOHA schemes do not provide the
expected channel utilization. In both schemes, none of the stations worry about
what the other stations are doing before start transmission. CSMA scheme is
known as Carrier Sense Multiple Access, in which a station willing to transmit
data first listens to the channel to know whether someone is already transmitting
or not. This property is known as Carrier Sense. If the station hears a
transmission, it must wait. If the channel is idle, then the station starts
transmission. But there are still chances for collision. This may happen when
two or more stations simultaneously sense the idle channel and start transmission
at once. The data from the channel is garbled. The station transmitting the
frame waits for an acknowledgement. The waiting time can be decided, based
on the round trip propagation delay. If no acknowledgement is received within
this time, the station assumes a collision and retransmits the frame again. If the
channel is busy, then the station waits until the channel is sensed as idle.
CSMA/CD: In all the schemes discussed so far, when a frame transmission
is started, whether the transmission is completed successfully or not, the frame
is transmitted completely. Even if there is a collision detected by the transmitting
station during the transmission process, the station continues the frame
transmission. If length of the frame is long, the channel capacity wasted is also
more. It is meaningful to stop the transmission abruptly after hearing the collision
information. The CSMA/CD algorithm performs this. The working of the CSMA/
CD can be best described, using the following steps.
Step I: Before starting the transmission, station senses the medium for the
presence of any transmission from other stations.
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Step II: If the medium is idle, the station starts transmission and goes to
Step IV; otherwise it goes to Step III.
Step III: If the medium is busy, it continuously listens until the channel
becomes idle, then it starts immediately.
Step IV: If collision is detected during the transmission, a brief jamming signal
is transmitted to inform all the stations to stop transmission
immediately.
Step V: After transmitting the jamming signal, the station waits for a random
time and attempts to start from Step I again.
This CSMA/CD is a significant protocol. It has been included in the IEEE
standard.
CSMA/CD Bus-Based LAN: It is also known as Ethernet. Base band
coaxial cables are used to construct Ethernet LAN. Typical operating speeds of
these LANs are in the order of 10 Mbps.

8.10 Token Passing Priority Systems


Token passing is a process in which each workstation passes a permission
known as token to the closest neighbour (refer Figure 8.7). In a token passing
priority system, the token is passed with transmitted data over a network. When
a workstation with data is sent with a token, it means it is carrying a message.
The token is passed around the network and each network checks the message.
The receiving station copies the message and the token and checks whether
the message has been passed across the network. The priority totally goes to
the tokens.

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Figure 8.7 Token Passing Priority Systems

Self-Assessment Questions
7. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The disadvantage of the ____________access method is that when
more and more users start accessing the network, there is more
chance of two people transmitting simultaneously.
(b) _____________is a process in which each workstation passes a
permission known as token to the closest neighbour.
8. State whether true or false:
(a) ALOHA scheme provides efficient collision control.
(b) A token is passed around every network.
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8.11 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:
Connection oriented communication is a data communication mode
whereby the devices at the end points use a protocol to establish an endto-end logical or physical connection before any data may be sent.
Protocols can be grouped into different suites according to their technical
functions. A protocol can define one or multiple protocol suites.
Some of the common network protocols are Ethernet, Local Talk, token
ring, FDDI and ATM.
In synchronous TDM, a single channel is broken into time slots and each
transmitting device is given or allotted at least one of the time slots for its
transmission.
The advantages of TDMA may be counted from increasing the efficiency
of transmission to easy adaptation for both the transmission of data as
well as voice communication.
Non-deterministic media access control, places access control
responsibilities on the individual stations. This is popularly known as Carrier
Sense Multiple Access (CSMA) and is most effective in low-traffic
environments. There are two variations, CSMA/CD and CSMA/CA.
Deterministic access is the term given to a media access control convention
that enables both the centralized master station and individual slaved
stations to determine the length of time which will pass before access is
provided.
Peer-to-peer priority system is a system used as an interrupted priority
control structure. It suspends transmission of packets from the lower priority
nodes to the higher priority nodes. This system is obtained as rapid access
to the transmission medium. Then it sends a message to the destination.
In packet radio networks of the earlier days, transmission media was
shared by a number of stations; ALOHA technique provided a fair conflictfree channel access to stations. This scheme is suitable for any system,
using shared media.
Token passing is a process in which each workstation passes a permission
known as token to the closest neighbour. In a token passing priority system,
the token is passed with transmitted data over a network.

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8.12 Glossary
Code division multiplexing: A form of multiplexing where the transmitter
encodes the signal using a pseudo-random sequence
Deterministic access: A media access control convention that enables
both the centralized master station and individual slaved stations to
determine the length of time which will pass before access is provided to
the network
Time slot: The transmission time of a fixed-length physical frame
Token passing: A process in which each workstation passes a permission
known as token to the closest neighbour

8.13 Terminal Questions


1. Compare connection oriented and connectionless networks citing suitable
examples.
2. Describe the various types of network communication protocols.
3. Explain how the time slots are allotted in time division multiplexing.
4. State the uses of time division multiple access.
5. Discuss the variations of CSMA.
6. Write the characteristics of token-based networks?
7. Distinguish priority slots and time slots.
8. List the steps required in the working of CSMA/CD.
9. Illustrate the token passing priority system.

8.14 Answers
Answers to Self-Assessment Questions
1. (a) Data; (b) Two
2. (a) False; (b) True
3. (a) TDMA; (b) Statistical
4. (a) True; (b) True

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5. (a) Deterministic access; (b) Interrupted


6. (a) True; (b) False
7. (a) ALOHA; (b) Token passing
8. (a) False; (b) True

Answers to Terminal Questions


1. Refer to Section 8.2
2. Refer to Section 8.3
3. Refer to Section 8.4
4. Refer to Section 8.5
5. Refer to Section 8.6
6. Refer to Section 8.7
7. Refer to Section 8.8
8. Refer to Section 8.9
9. Refer to Section 8.10

8.15 Further Reading


1. Forouzan, Behrouz A. Data Communications and Networking. New
Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Black, Uyless D. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,
1993.
3. Stallings, William. Data and Computer Communications. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall Inc., 1996.
4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Inc., 2002.
5. Douglas, E. C. Computer Networks & Internet. New Delhi: Pearson
Education.
6. Rajaraman, V. Fundamentals of Computers. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of
India, 1996.

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Connecting PCs

Structure
9.1 Introduction
Objectives
9.2 Simple Switches
9.3 Printer Sharing Buffers
9.4 Zero-Slot LAN
9.5 Media Sharing LAN
9.6 Printer Servers
9.7 Client and Servers
9.8 Interface Cards
9.9 Media Access Control
9.10 Operating System Features
9.11 OSI Model
9.12 TCP/IP Model
9.13 Data Encoding
9.14 Multiplexing, Communication Techniques and Hardware
9.15 Summary
9.16 Glossary
9.17 Terminal Questions
9.18 Answers
9.19 Further Reading

9.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you read about communication protocols and networking.
In the present unit, you will be reading about how to connect PCs. A network
switch is a small hardware device that joins multiple computers together within
one local area network. Unlike hubs, network switches are capable of inspecting
data packets as they are received, determining the source and destination device
of each packet and forwarding them appropriately. To connect many personal
computer and printers, a printer buffer system is also used.
Media sharing LAN means involving various sharing of music files, video
files and images. Printer server is also used to connect two PCs and can be
attached directly to the network, which enables user on the network to access

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printer, even if one of the PC connected to the printer is switched off. In this unit,
you will also read about various other devices used for connecting one or more
PCs followed by different OSI model, TCP/IP, data encoding and various
multiplexing communication techniques.
Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Define simple switches, printer sharing buffer and zero-slot LAN
Differentiate media sharing LAN, printer servers, and client and servers
Explain interface cards
Discuss the concept of media access control
State the features of various operating system
Recognize OSI and TCP/IP models
Describe different encoding techniques
Explain various multiplexing communication techniques and its hardware

9.2 Simple Switches


In electronics, switch is an electrical component used for connecting or breaking
an electrical circuit to interrupt current or divert it from one conductor to another.
Thus, it is a control unit turning flow of electricity in a circuit on or off. It may also
be used to route information patterns in streaming electronic data sent over
networks. Switch, in context of a network, is a small hardware device for
connecting many computers within one local area network or segments of
computer networking. In fact, it is an alternative to a hub and provides higher
performance. For this reason, in spite of higher cost of switches than those of
hubs, they are preferred. Basic difference between hubs and switches is that
hubs use broadcast model whereas switches use a virtual circuit model for its
operation. Switches are preferred when there are more than four computers or
if the network is used for applications generating high quantum of network traffic
such as, games involving many players or sharing of voluminous music files.
When a network has four or more computers connected to a hub and if two of
such computers establish communication with each other, a hub will simply
move through entire network traffic to every computer whereas, in similar
situation, a switch will determine the destination of individual traffic elements,
may be an Ethernet frame, with selective forwarding of data to the computer

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that is the intended recipient. This way of operation reduces network traffic for
message delivery and hence, performance of a switch is superior to a hub on
busy networks.
A LAN switch prevents collision of data packets, maximizes bandwidth
allocation as well as transmission speed. It is a good replacement to a network
hub and solves problems associated with expanding networks.
By using a LAN switch in the network, every node is directly connected to
a switch, and there is a dedicated connection to each node, which makes it
possible for a node to maximize the bandwidths use, since other nodes are not
competing for bandwidth. This results in data transmission at higher speed.
Use of a switch eliminates data collision as connection between a node and the
switch is made by cable having separate route for transmitting data sent by that
node.
The LAN switches have the capability of reading addresses of source
and destination node of a data packet, forwarding the packet to the destination
node only. While transmitting data by one node to another node in local area
network, a switch intercepts the data, reads the address of the destination and
then forwards transmission to the intended recipient. This way data packet is
not broadcasted to unnecessary segments, resulting in minimization of network
congestion leading to conservation of bandwidth.
In Figure 9.1, a simple switch is shown. This connects two PCs through a
switch. This switch, in turn, is connected to the Internet through a modem or
router.
Internet

Phone line
Modem/Router
Cat5
Cable
Cat5
Cable

Cat5
Cable
Network Switch

PC1

PC2

Figure 9.1 A Simple Switch


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Different types of switches are used in different networks. LAN switch is


the name given to that switch that provides separate connection for every node
in the internal network. This may be an internal network of an organization. LAN
switch can create a series of instant networks in which every network has two
devices communicating with each other at any instant.
Fully Switched Networks
If the network is fully switched, this means that all hubs have been replaced
with switches and has a dedicated segment for every node. These segments
are connected to another switch, supporting many dedicated segments, to the
order of hundreds. The signal is picked up for transmission by a switch before
it reaches another node. After this, frame is forwarded to the appropriate segment
by the switch and it reaches only the intended recipient.
Serial cable
Gigabit
Ethernet
server
Single-mode
or multimode
fiber cabling
10BaseT/
Crossover
100BaseT
cabling
10BaseT/
hub
100BaseT
switch

Cisco IOS
command-line
interface

Web-based or
SNMP-based
management
station

Giga Stock
cabling
Straight-through
cabling

10BaseT/
100BaseT
router

10BaseT/
100BaseTX
workstations

Figure 9.2 Network Using a Switch

By using switch, communication is done in full-duplex mode in Ethernet


as shown in Figure 9.2. Prior to the introduction of switches, Ethernet was halfduplex and data transfer was in one direction only, at a particular instant. When
a network is fully switched network, nodes communicate through switch and
not directly to other nodes. Information travels from node to node via switch.
First it reaches the switch and then from switch to node, simultaneously.
Fully switched networks are connected using either fiber-optic cabling or
twisted-pair, having separate conductors to exchange data. In a switched
environment Ethernet becomes more efficient since no collision detection

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process is needed and nodes can transmit any time being only potential devices
accessing the medium. This is like flow of traffic in each direction in its own
lane. Duplex mode of transmission double the effective speed of the network in
a one-to-one exchange between two nodes. For example, if the network speed
is 10 Mbps, then it is possible for a node to transfer data simultaneously at the
same speed.
Mixed Networks
All networks are not fully switched. Figure 9.3 depicts an example of a mixed
network using two switches and three hubs. Most users find a combination of
switches and hubs, efficient as well as cost-effective alternative to a fully switched
network.

Nodes

Backbone
Switches
Segments
Hubs

Figure 9.3 Mixed Network having both Switches and Hubs

Switches and Routers


A switch radically changes way of communication between nodes in a network.
The working of switches is similar to routers. Switches normally work at the
second layer of OSI, which is data link layer, using MAC addresses. But routers
work at third layer, which is network layer and uses addresses at layer three
using protocols IP, IPX or AppleTalk (refer Figure 9.4). Working of protocols at
these two layers is different. Switches use different algorithm in forwarding
packets than that used by routers. One difference is in the way a broadcast is
handled. Broadcast handling is a vital factor related to network operability. For
sending information in general, or when it is not clear and to whom it should be
sent, a broadcast is sent. When there is addition of a computer or a device in
the network, it announces its presence by sending out a broadcast packet. This
computer is enlisted in the browser list and then direct communication with this
new computer can be made.
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Application layer 7
Presentation layer 6
Session layer 5
Transport layer 4
Network layer 3

Routers

Datalink layer 2

Switches

Physical layer 1

Hubs

Figure 9.4 Network Layers, Switches and Routers

A hub or a switch will pass along any broadcast packets it receives to all
the other segments in the broadcast domain, but a router will not. Without the
specific address of another device, it will not let the data packet pass through.
Activity 1
Collect information on various types of switches and routers used in LAN.
Explain the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) _____________ networks are connected using either fiber-optic
cabling or twisted-pair having separate conductors to exchange data.
(b) _____________ normally work at the second layer of OSI, which is
data link layer, using MAC addresses.
2. State whether true or false:
(a) Switch, in context of a network, software for connecting many
computers within one local area network or segments of computer
networking.
(b) Duplex mode of transmission doubles the effective speed of the
network in a one-to-one exchange between two nodes.

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9.3 Printer Sharing Buffers


Buffer is an area of memory used for temporary storage of data while moving it
from one place to another. Data while moving from one location to another is
stored in a buffer. When data is retrieved from an input device (which may be a
keyboard) or before sending it to an output device, may be a printer, it is kept in
a buffer. Buffer is also used for movement of data, within a computer also,
between processes. Implementation of buffer can be done in hardware as well
as in software. Mostly, implementation of buffers is done in software. Use of
buffers becomes necessary when there is a gap between data rates at receiving
end and processing side or in cases when data rates are variable. One most
common example is a printer spooler. Spool or Spooling is a term used for
Simultaneous Peripheral Operation On Line.
When a print command is given, data goes to printer buffer area and gets
stored there till printer job is over. These buffers are shared by many computers.
Data is sent by different computers and when these are sent to a buffer (in
printer) it stores all these data and processes them one-by-one, as received.
Due to this buffer sharing, computer after giving command can do other works
and not get tied up with the printing job.
Thus, when buffer accepts printer output from more than one computer
for transmitting the same to a printer, it is known as printer sharing buffer. Such
shared buffers allow computers connected through some kind of networking to
dispose of their printing jobs at full speed without waiting printing of each page.
Here, printer buffers, with automatic switching, when connected to computers
in a network, accept output from these computers on a First-Come, First-Serve
(FCFS) basis.
Thus, shared buffers allow each PC of a network to share a printer, directly
attached to the network, with other users. It may be attached to a parallel port or
USB (Universal Serial Bus) cable; the printer takes all input data from the
computer to which it is attached. Most printers keep a small buffer for printer
data. This is to allow the stream of data to travel from one computer through the
network to the shared printer of another computer. For this, shared printer has
to be buffered or spooled such that the data is fed to the printer matching the
speed of printer. This is shown in Figure 9.5.

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Print job

Figure 9.5 Shared Printer with Shared Buffers

For small office, it is very convenient but when it is a big office, trouble
may be there in operation. If a user reboots his computer while print job is in
progress for another user, the print job is either lost or delayed. This may also
happen when that particular user has performed some intensive operations
that require additional resources for that printer and has to buffer the incoming
print data.
A printer buffer system, used to connect many personal computers and
printers has a master printer buffer with few slave buffers creating an expandable
printer buffer system. Each buffer has an input storage device to store data,
command and status signals that comes from a PC. This is also to control data
transfer between computer and the buffer as well as output storage devices to
store status, command and data signals for transferring data between printer
and the buffer with control on such transfer. Then, it becomes possible to add or
remove PCs and printers from the system as may be required with flexibility to
user to select a designated printer.

9.4 Zero-Slot LAN


A Zero-Slot LAN (ZSLAN) can be described as a LAN using the accessible
serial and/or parallel communication ports on all of the systems linked to the
network rather than needing the NICs for occupying an expansion slot.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The basic advantage of ZSLAN is that it allows sending data between computers
by using a serial or parallel port, thus, freeing up an expansion slot that is normally
used by LAN cards.
Use of zero-slot LANs is slower than LANS that are connected using
NICs and connection is limited to two nodes.
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Using Zero-Slot LAN


The ZSLAN does not require a network card. To attach the LANs cable to the
computer, plug the cable into the computers parallel printer port or RS-232
serial port. The ZSLAN handles only one pair of usersjust two computers. To
connect it physically, use a standard cable from one computers port to the
other. Most popular ZSLANs are Lantastic Z and Desklink. Cost of these modems
lies within a thousand rupees or so.
Desklink comes with a serial cable for plugging into the serial ports of
both the computers. Desklink can connect computers that are many yards apart,
by taking a longer phone cord or an extension cord. Speed is very slowabout
100 Kbps.
Lantastic Z uses that same kind of serial cord (at the same speed) but
also includes an 18-foot parallel cable, which you can use instead for faster
transmission. But even if you use the parallel cable, the transfer rate will be
much slower than the network card versions of Lantastic.
Windows 95 includes a zero-slot LAN program called Direct Cable
Connection (DCC). User has to only buy a cable and learn how to use it.

9.5 Media Sharing LAN


Media means information types that handle text, sound, images, animation and
video in an interactive way. Each of this is termed media and combination is
known as multimedia. These media are put in digital form as files and shared
as files. These are special form of files. A music file is a media file and an
animation too is a media file. A video is also a media. All these media use
digitization process to create sound files, video files and so on. These files too,
like ordinary text files are shared and this is known as media sharing.
Media sharing involves the sharing of music files with format WMA
(Windows Media Audio), MP3, WAV and others; sharing of video files having
formats WMV, AVI, MPEG-1 (Moving Picture Experts Group), MPEG-2, MPEG4 and others; and images in formats JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group),
JPG, PNG (Portable Network Graphics) and others. These files cannot be played
as such and they need media player which is software that executes such file
formats. These file types are sharable on other computers too. But that depends
on the configuration that an individual computer has in the network. Media player
is the software used to play media files. Thus, for the media to be sharable, the
networking must support these file formats too. Media sharing using LAN is a

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way to spread music collection around the networkmay be a home network


without the need of copying files to individual machine.
A media sharing LAN is again a combination of hardware and software
that configures computer on the network to support media player. If it is desired
to receive TV reception on computer screen, a TV tuner card is required with its
device driver that connects this card to computer system. Once installed and
configured, a computer can receive TV signals and play the way it is done on a
TV screen. If this computer is a node in a network this TV reception can be
viewed by other nodes too. Modern operating systems today come with
networking capability and as such a separate media sharing LAN may not be
required for media sharing.
Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP may be used for streaming
(sharing) music, images as well as video from computer to devices connected
to the home network, wired or wireless. For example, Xbox 360, a networked
digital media player enables you to enjoy the contents of the player library stored
on device.

Self-Assessment Questions
3. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) ____________ is an area of memory used for temporary storage of
data while moving it from one place to another.
(b) The ZSLAN does not require a ____________.
4. State whether true or false:
(a) A printer buffer system, used to connect many personal computers
and printers has a master printer buffer with few slave buffers creating
an expandable printer buffer system.
(b) Media player is the hardware device used to play media files.

9.6 Printer Servers


With the help of printer server, a printer can be attached directly to the network
enabling every user on the network to use that printer even if the particular PC,
connected to the printer is switched off.
Print server transmits all the printing jobs from the PCs to itself wherein
all jobs are saved, lined up and printed in the same order in which they were
received.
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For installing a printer server, all that is required besides a printer and a
Print Server is LAN cable.
Wired and Wireless Print Servers
There are two different types of print servers. In some of them, the servers are
wired and plugged to an RJ-45 Ethernet cable to attach it to the network, whereas,
in others, the print servers are wireless and can interact with the wireless network
without the use of cables. The type of print server (wired or wireless), to be
used, depends on the type of network being used.
The print server or printer server can be defined as a system linked to a
single or multiple printers or to systems operated by clients through the network.
They are enabled to execute printing tasks from different systems and transfer
them to the respective printer.
Print server can also refer to:
A home computer consisting of single or multiple shared printers.
A printing protocol applied by a system like the Line Printer Daemon
(LPD) protocol or Microsoft Network Printing protocol.
A dedicated device linking single or multiple printers to LAN. It normally
consists of a single LAN connector like an RJ-45 socket and a single
or multiple outer ports, like a serial, parallel or USB, to transfer links to
printers. In addition, such devices enable printing protocol conversion
to what was sent from the client system till permitted by the printer.
Dedicated print server devices may assist various printing protocols like
LPD/LPR (Line Printer Daemon protocol/Line Printer Remote protocol) over
TCP/IP, NetWare, NetBIOS/NetBEUI over NBF, TCP Port 9100 or RAW printer
protocol over TCP/IP, DLC or IPX/SPX. LPD/LPR is also called Berkeley printing
system. It is a set of programs providing functionality of network print server
and printer spooling for UNIX like systems. A printer supporting LPD/LPR
functioning is also known as TCP/IP printer.
Usually, all dedicated server systems are simple and easy in settings and
features and are accessible incorporated along with different devices like wireless
router, firewall or may be both of them.

9.7 Client and Servers


In general, a computer network is composed of one or more servers,
workstations, network interface cards, active and passive hub, routers, bridges,
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gateways, modem, software components like network operating systems and


other application software. The following components are widely used to construct
networks.
Client
A client is an application or system that accesses a service made available by a
server. The server is often on another computer system and the client accesses
the service by way of a network. The client-server model is still used today.
Client and server can run on the same machine and connect via other
interprocess communication techniques such as shared memory. Using the
Internet sockets a user may connect to a service operating on a possibly remote
system through the Internet protocol suite. A client-server network involves
multiple clients connecting to a single, central server. The file server on a clientserver network is a high capacity, high speed computer with a large hard disk
capacity.
Server
It is the most powerful computer of the network. In a local area network, usually
a powerful microcomputer or a super-microcomputer with the power of a
minicomputer is used as a server. There are two types of servers normally
employed in a local area network:
In a dedicated server, the server computer performs functions and services
of the whole network. It helps to efficiently run user applications and
increases the overall system cost. Users cannot run their applications
directly in a dedicated server. It provides e-mail service, sharing of multiple
hard disks, and sharing of other resources and faster response time. For
larger networks with heavy load, dedicated servers are usually employed.
In a non-dedicated server, apart from the role of a network controller, a
server also acts as an individual workstation. The server is equipped with
a large memory. Network operations demand only a portion of server
memory. The remaining portion of the memory may be used for the user
applications. Under light-load conditions, it is advisable to use a nondedicated server. Some servers can operate on both modes, according
to the requirement of the user.
File Server
The primary goal of a computer network is to share the data among several
users. They also make their attached disk drives, printers, modems and unique
communication links available to the various client stations. Providing one

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computer with one or more hard disks facilitates this. All client stations share
these hard disks. Clients can make their requests to access any of the shared
facility to the server. The file server is a powerful computer, which runs special
software. It provides the files and other shared resources to different users in
the network. It provides facilities like user authentication and security to various
user programs and data. It can be accessed through Network Operating System
(NOS). Typical configurations of a server are Pentium 4 machine with 128 MB
or higher capacity RAM and 40 GB or higher capacity hard disk, to serve upto
10 nodes or workstations.
The file server has a large memory, which is used for caching directories,
files and hashing directories. Novell Netware and Windows NT are the two
network operating systems that run on a server machine.
Activity 2
Search on the Internet, collect information and illustrations on different types
of client-server computing. Prepare a presentation from the data collected.

9.8 Interface Cards


An interface card is a circuit board installed in a computer for connecting it to
other computer(s) or devices using some protocol. Earlier interface cards were
used to add capabilities to the existing computer system. A sound card is also
an interface card with its protocol to add capability of sound in the computer.
Earlier in computers in which the processor chip did not have the capability of
handling sound, a soundcard with driver software which may be called a protocol
for it was added. For networking too, there are interface cards compatible to the
technology. A workstation is an individual computer with capabilities to
communicate with other machines. It must be equipped with the hardware and
software necessary to connect to a LAN. Usually NIC or an Ethernet card or an
Arcnet card is used for this purpose. Part of the network operating system is
also available in the workstation. A NIC is a computer circuit board or card that
is installed in a computer so that it can be connected to a network. Personal
computers and workstations on a LAN typically contain a network interface
card specifically designed for the LAN transmission technology. A workstation
can communicate with other workstations or to the server. The hardware
requirement for a workstation depends on the application and size of the network.
In a typical LAN of a university computer centre, a Pentium III system with 64
MB RAM and 4 to 8 GB hard disk capacity, with necessary network interface
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card can be used for a typical workstation. In general, the memory and hard
disk capacity of a workstation is much less than that of the server. Most home
and portable computers connect to the Internet through the dial up connection.
The modem provides the connection interface to the Internet service provider.
An interface card implements an electronic circuitry for communication
by using specific physical layer and data link layer standard protocol. For Ethernet
it is called Ethernet card and for token ring it is known as token ring card. These
cards provide base for full network protocol stack that enables communication
between computers on the same LAN as well as large-scale network
communications using routable protocols. Internet Protocol (IP) is such routable
protocol.
Normally, card and controller are used interchangeably and a network
interface controller and network interface card means same thing; some also
use the term controller card. These cards are hardware devices for handling an
interfacing of a computer network, allowing a network-capable device to access
that network. The NIC contains a ROM chip having a unique number, which is
known as Media Access Control (MAC) address and is a permanent address
allocated to that card. This address is used to identify the device uniquely on
the LAN. Existence of the NIC is there on physical layer as well as data link
layer of the OSI model.
NIC uses one or more of the following four techniques used for transferring
data:
Polling: In this technique, the microprocessor checks for the status of
peripheral under program control.
Programmed I/O: In this technique, the microprocessor signals the
designated peripheral using its address to the address bus of the
system.
Interrupt-Driven I/O: In this technique, the peripheral alerts the
microprocessor to be ready to transfer data.
Direct Memory Access: In this technique an intelligent peripheral
takes control of the system bus for directly accessing the memory.
This relieves CPU of the burden, but needs a separate processor on
the card.

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Self-Assessment Questions
5. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) A printer supporting LPD/LPR functioning is also known as
___________.
(b) _______________is a circuit board installed in a computer for
connecting it to other computer(s) or devices using some protocol.
6. State whether true or false:
(a) The primary goal of a computer network is to share the data among
several users.
(b) Direct memory access is a technique in which the microprocessor
checks for the status of peripheral under program control.

9.9 Media Access Control


Media acess control is used to connect dissimilar LANs, such as Ethernet and
token ring using encapsulation or translation. It is a bridge that translates the
original packet format from the requesting LAN segment by encapsulating or
enveloping with control data, specific to the protocol of the destination LAN
segment.
Address Table
Each bridge should have an address table that indicates the location of different
computers or nodes on the segments of LAN. More specifically, it indicates the
connection between nodes and ports. When a bridge is booted first time, the
address table is found to be blank. Now the question is, how this table is filled
with appropriate addresses of different nodes attached to ports.
Most of the bridges are called adaptive or self-leaning bridges because
they learn the location of the node and associated port themselves and make a
list of nodes attached to each segment.
When a bridge receives a data packet from a computer, it first copies the
physical address of that computer contained in the packet into its list. Afterwards,
the bridge determines whether this packet should be forwarded or not. In other
words, the bridge learns the location of the computer on the network as soon as
the computer on the network sends some packet.

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If a computer does not send a packet, the bridge will never be able to
determine its position and unnecessarily forwards the packet on the network.
Fortunately, this cannot happen because a computer attached to a network
transmits at least one frame when the system first boots. Furthermore, computer
communication is bi-directional; there is always an acknowledgement for each
received packet.

9.10 Operating System Features


There are many objectives to be met for achieving the ultimate goal of easy to
use and human-friendly OS that transforms the computer to be useful, userfriendly, acceptable and affordable to everyone in this world. You may achieve
this ultimate goal through the realization of the following three major objectives:
Convenience or Ease of Use
Operating systems hide the idiosyncrasies of the hardware by providing
abstractions for the ease of use. Abstraction hides the low level details of the
hardware and provides high level user-friendly functions to use a hardware
piece.
Efficient Allocation and Utilization of Resources
A computer system has various resources like CPU, memory and I/O devices.
Every use of the resources is controlled by the OS. Executing programs or
processes may request for the use of resources, and the OS sanctions the
request and allocates the requested resources if available. The allocated
resources will be taken back from the processes normally after the use of the
same is completed. That is, the OS is considered as the manager of the resources
of a computer system.
Ability to Evolve
The OS provides many services to the user community. As the time passes,
users may need new and improved services for accomplishing some task with
the computer. In some situations, as we use the system for doing new task,
some of the existing services may introduce undesirable side effects causing
inefficient utilization of resources or may even compromise with the security of
the system itself. So, it may also be desirable to remove the existing
implementations of such services and introduce new implementations. Also,
there can be bugs in the code that may surface over time as we use the services

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for various purposes. The design of the OS must include provisions for easy
introduction of new services and removing or improving/replacing the existing
services. Also, the design must provide easy interfacing facility to connect and
communicate with new types of hardware devices and upgraded versions of
the existing hardware devices.

9.11 OSI Model


Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) was set up as an international standard
for network architecture. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
took the initiative in setting up the OSI.
The OSI has two meanings. It refers to:
Protocols that are authorized by the ISO.
The OSI basic reference model.
The OSI reference model divides the required functions of the network
architecture into several layers and defines the function of each layer. Layering
the communication process means breaking down the communication process
into smaller and easier units to handle interdependent categories, with each
solving an important and distinct aspect of the data exchange process. The
objective of this detail is to develop an understanding of the complexity and
sophistication that this technology has achieved, in addition to developing the
concept for the inner workings of the various components that contribute to the
data communications process.
In addition to forming the basis of the ongoing development of OSIs own
protocols, the model is used by the industry as the frame of reference when
describing protocol architectures and functional characteristics.

Self-Assessment Questions
7. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) ______________ is used to connect dissimilar LANs, such as
Ethernet and token ring using encapsulation or translation.
(b) __________ was set up as an international standard for network
architecture.

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8. State whether true or false:


(a) When a bridge receives a data packet from a computer, it first copies
the physical address of that computer contained in the packet into
its list.
(b) Every use of resource like CPU, memory and I/O device is controlled
by the operating system.

9.12 TCP/IP Model


The TCP/IP model is considered the oldest protocol of all computer networks
like the ARPANET and its successor, the Internet. It contains two protocols TCP
and IP. TCP stands for Transmission Control Protocol and IP for Internet Protocol.
The TCP/IP protocol suite that came before the OSI reference model is a layered
networking model that attempts to divide jobs into layers and components. Over
the years, TCP/IP has become the most widespread of protocols. One reason
for TCP/IPs popularity is the public availability of its protocols specifications. In
this sense, TCP/IP can justifiably be considered an open system. Most users
rely on TCP/IP for the purpose of file transfers, electronic mail (e-mail) and
remote login services. The TCP/IP model was aimed to connect multiple networks
together in a seamless way even in case of breakdown of the subnet hardware.
It provides not only seamless communication, but also a flexible architecture
that should support applications with divergent requirements, ranging from
transferring files to real-time speech transmission.
TCP/IP Model Layers
The TCP/IP model is composed of four layers which are logically considered
equivalent to the top six layers of the OSI reference model.
The TCP/IP model does specify the physical layer because the data link
layer acts as the point at which the interface occurs between the TCP/IP stack
and the underlying networking hardware. Host-to-host interface using the TCP
corresponds to the fourth layer of the OSI reference model. IP corresponds to
the third layer of the same model. The TCP provides a connection type service.
That is, a logical connection must be established prior to communication to
continuously transmit large amount of data with acknowledgement. IP is a
connectionless type service and prior to transmission of data, no logical
connection is needed. The TCP/IP defines a suite of communication and
application protocols in layer structure, with each layer handling distinct

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communication services. The TCP/IP defines a four-layer model consisting of


the Internet layer, the transport layer, the application layer and the network
interface layer. This architecture is based on three sets of interdependent
processes, namely, application-specific processes, host-specific processes and
network-specific processes. The layers of the TCP/IP model are described as
follows:
Network Interface Layer
This layer is controversial and some people do not consider it as the part of the
TCP/IP suite because none of the core IP protocols runs at this layer. Therefore,
this layer below the Internet layer is not defined and varies from host to host
and network to network. The TCP/IP model suggests that the host has to connect
to the network using some protocol to send IP packets over it. This layer enables
the TCP/IP protocols running at higher layers to get interfaced to the local
network. This layer corresponds to the data link layer of the OSI model and is
also sometimes known as the link layer. The TCP/IP standards like Serial Line
Internet Protocol (SLIP) and the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) define protocols
for TCP/IP networks for Layer 2 implementation.
The Internet Layer
This layer matches with the network layer of the OSI model and supports the
jobs like logical device addressing, data packaging, manipulation and delivery,
routing, etc. The packet format and protocol at this layer is called the Internet
Protocol (IP). IP is a connectionless type service that introduces IP packets into
any network. The packets travel independently to the destination. Prior to the
transmission of data, no logical connection is needed. The TCP/IP Internet layer
corresponds to the network layer of the OSI reference model in functionality, as
shown in Figure 9.6. Other support protocols like ICMP and the routing protocols
(RIP, OSFP, BGP, etc.,) are found at this layer.
Transport Layer (Host-to-Host)
The transport layer of the TCP/IP model corresponds to the transport layer of
the OSI reference model as shown in Figure 9.7. The primary job of this layer is
to support end-to-end communication over the Internet. It is represented by two
end-to-end protocols namely, TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP
(User Datagram Protocol) and, therefore, allows logical connections to be made
between communicating devices to enable the data to be transmitted either
unreliably or reliably. TCP is a reliable connection-oriented protocol and UDP is
an unreliable connectionless protocol.

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Application Layer
The TCP/IP model was the first of its kind and, therefore, did not contain session
or presentation layers because of its little use to most of the applications. This
layer has all the higher level protocols. Numerous protocols are found at the
application layer. They are application protocols like HTTP (HyperText Transfer
Protocol), FTP (File Tansfer Protocol), SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol),
etc., for providing end-user services, as well as administrative protocols like
SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), DHCP (Dynamic Host
Configuration Protocol), DNS (Domain Name System), etc.
OSI Model

TCP/IP Model

Application layer

Presentation layer

Application layer
(FTP, TFTP
SMTP, NFS
TELNET, SNMP)

Session layer

Transport layer

Network layer
3

Data link layer


2

Physical layer

Transport layer
(TCP, UDP)

Internet layer
(IP, ICMP, RIP,
BGP)

Network Interface
layer
(Ethernet, FDDI,
Token Ring)

Hardware

Figure 9.6 Protocols of Different Layers of TCP/IP

9.12.1 Data Encapsulation in TCP/IP


Figure 9.7 shows the data encapsulation in the TCP/IP protocol suite similar to
the OSI model. The TCP operates at layer 4 of the OSI model and passes down
the message known as segments containing data encapsulated from higherlayer protocols. The layer below TCP is the IP at Layer 3 which receives data

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from TCP and encapsulates it for transmission. According to the OSI reference
model, TCP segments are created as Layer 4 PDUs (Protocol Data Units) which
becomes Layer 3 SDUs at IP layer. The IP software encapsulates these SDUs
into messages known as IP packets or IP datagrams which is now treated as
the Layer 3 PDUs. When Layer 3 PDUs passes down to a Layer 2 protocol, for
example, Ethernet, which treats IP datagrams as Layer 2 SDUs and encapsulates
them into Layer 2, PDUs which is called Ethernet frames and are passed down
to Layer 1. At the receiving end, the process of encapsulation is reversed.
Layer 4 PDU (TCP Segment)
Layer 4
TCP
Header

Upper layer SDU


(DATA)

Layer 3 PDU (IP Datagram)

Layer 3
(IP)
Header

Layer 3 SDU
Layer 4
(TCP)
Header

Upper layer SDU


(Data)

Layer 2 PDU (Ethernet Frame)

2
Layer 2
(Ethernet)
Header

Layer 2 SDU
Layer 3 SDU
Layer 4
(TCP)
Layer 3
Header
(IP)
Header

Upper layer SDU


(Data)

2
Layer 2
(Ethernet)
Footer

Figure 9.7 Reference Model PDU and SDU Encapsulation

9.12.2 TCP Layer


It provides a connection type service. That is, a logical connection must be
established prior to communication. Because of this, a continuous transmission
of a large amount of data is possible. It ensures a highly reliable data transmission
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for upper layers using IP protocol. This is possible because TCP uses positive
acknowledgement to confirm the sender about the proper reception of data.
The sender keeps on sending data at constant intervals until it receives a positive
acknowledgement.
A negative acknowledgement implies that the failed data segment needs
to be retransmitted.

9.13 Data Encoding


In the process of communication using computer, digital bits of data are
transported through carrier waves. This requires encoding since computer
system does not understand human readable digits or characters. The computer
only understands the presence and absence of a signal or a change between
two discrete values. Different encoding techniques have been developed, each
having some merits as well as demerits.
Character Coding
Jean-Maurice-Emile Baudot, in 1874 designed a character set using series of
bits for representing the characters to be sent over a telegraph wire or radio
signal. This system had a 5-key keyboard for implementing this code. Donald
Murray in 1901 modified this system and developed the International Telegraph
Alphabet 1 (ITA1) and further developed into ITA2. In this coding system Line
Feed (LF) had a 5 bit code as 00010.
The basic idea behind coding is really workable if the number of characters
it had to handle do not require more than 25 (= 32) characters. This system is
enough for 26 letters of English alphabet, but it cannot encode other characters.
To cover all the characters of alphabet with special characters, punctuation
marks and other control characters, another coding technique was needed.
Encoding is done for data inside computer as well as for communicating
data from one computer to another within a network. Following data encoding
techniques are used:
Unicode
Unicode was developed by the Unicode Consortium; it appeared in 1991 as
Unicode 1.0. Its version 5.0 was released in 2006. This codes traditional character
sets covering entire world. This enabled multilingual computer processing.
Unicode has created codes for the characters as well as basic graphical
representation of the characters known as a grapheme. Unicode mapping
methods are of two types. These are: UTF (Unicode Transformation Format)
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and UCS (Unicode Character Set). An encoding does the mapping of the range
of Unicode code points to the sequences of values in a fixed-size range of code
values. Numbers in the names of the encodings (for UTF encodings) show the
number of bits in one code value or the number of bytes per code value (for
UCS encodings).
Manchester Code
This is also known as MPE (Manchester Phase Encoding). It is used in
telecommunication by Ethernet standard 802.3.
Transition, taking place in the middle of each bit, synchronizes sender
and receiver. Sender or receiver, at any instant can have one out of these three
states:
Transmitting a 0 bit, to the lower of the set values (which is mostly kept at
0.85v).
Transmitting a 1 bit to the higher of the set values (mostly at +0.85v).
Idle (0 volts).
Differential Manchester Encoding (DME)
Differential Manchester encoding (refer Figure 9.8) is also called CDP
(Conditioned Diphase Encoding). It is a method of data encoding where data
and clock signals are combined to create a single data stream that is selfsynchronizing. Here, logical values (0s and 1s) are indicated by the presence or
absence of transitions.
Bit 1 is indicated when first half of the signal equals the second half of
the signal of the previous bit. This means there is no transition in the start of the
bit-time. Thus, when there is no change of signal in start of the bit time, it signifies
1. Bit 0 is indicated when first half of the signal is opposite to the second half of
signal of the previous bit. Thus, bit 0 is indicated when there is a transition in
the beginning of the bit-time. There is always a transition in the middle of the bit
time.

Figure 9.8 Differential Manchester Encoding Process


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Differential Manchester encoding has several advantages over standard


Manchester encoding. Important ones are:
Transition detection is less error-prone than comparing against a threshold
in a noisy environment.
In this encoding scheme, only the occurrence of a transition is important
and polarity is not important. This makes this system work even if the
signal is inverted. This also means that if wires are swapped, then it will
have no effect on the working of the system and it will continue to work.
The other line codes having this property include NRZI, bipolar encoding,
biphase mark code, coded mark inversion and MLT-3 encoding.
Token Ring uses (IEEE 802.5 standard) DME and Ethernet uses
Manchester encoding.
Return to Zero (RZ)
In this scheme, a 0 bit is represented by 0 volts whereas a +V volts represent
1 data bit for half of the cycle and 0 volts in the second half of the cycle. Thus,
average DC voltage gets reduced to V. There is always a voltage change
even if there are a series of 1s (refer Figure 9.9).
This coding technique is used in the field of telecommunication and this
defines a line code for signals where the signal returns to zero between every
pulse, even if there are many occurrences of consecutive 0s or 1s that occur in
the original signal. There is no need of sending a separate clock alongside the
signal, since it is self-clocking. The system has a great drawback as it requires
twice the bandwidth to achieve the same data-rate as that with non-return-tozero format.

Figure 9.9 Return to Zero Coding

In this system, 0 between each bit signifies a rest condition or a neutral


point. In pulse amplitude modulation, zero amplitude is that point. In Phase
Shift Keying (PSK), zero phase shift is that neutral point. Here 0 is a condition
halfway between a significant condition that represents 1 bit and another
significant condition that represents a 0 bit.

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RZ has a provision for synchronization, but a DC component is associated


with it that results in the baseline wander when there are long strings of 0 or 1
bits.
Non-Return to Zero (NRZ)
Non return to zero is an encoding technique used in telecommunication where
1 is represented by one significant condition, which is normally kept as a positive
voltage and 0 as another significant condition taken as a negative voltage and
no neutral or rest condition. The NRZ pulses contain more energy in comparison
to that of an RZ code. NRZ has no rest state. Unlike RZ, NRZ has no selfsynchronizing code and this requires additional synchronization technique. For
the same signaling rate (bit rate), NRZ code needs only half the bandwidth that
is required by Manchester code or RZ code. Encoding of 11011000100 in NRZ
is shown in Figure 9.10.

Figure 9.10 Non-Return to Zero Coding

After 50 m of cable attenuation the signal amplitude may have been


reduced to 100 mV giving an induced noise tolerance of 100 mV.
Binary Coded Decimal, ASCII and Extended Binary Coded Decimal
Interchange code are discussed in Unit 1, Section 1.10.

Self-Assessment Questions
9. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The ______________ is composed of four layers which are logically
considered equivalent to the top six layers of the OSI reference model.
(b) ______________ is done for data inside computer as well as for
communicating data from one computer to another within a network.
10. State whether true or false:
(a) According to the TCP/IP reference model, OSI segments are created
as Layer 4 PDUs which becomes Layer 3 SDUs at IP layer.

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(b) MPE is a method of data encoding where data and clock signals are
combined to create a single data stream that is self synchronizing.

9.14 Multiplexing, Communication Techniques and Hardware


Multiplexing
Multiplexing is the process where multiple channels are combined for
transmission over a common transmission path. Multiplexing can be done in
the following ways:
Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)
Frequency Division Multiplexing (FDM)
Code Division Multiplexing (CDM)
Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM)
Time Division Multiplexing
Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) is a type of digital (or rarely analog)
multiplexing in which two or more bit streams or signals are transferred
apparently simultaneously as sub-channels in one communication channel, but
are physically taking turns on the channel. The time domain is divided into
several recurrent timeslots of fixed length, one for each sub-channel. Each
channel has a time slice assigned to it whether the terminal is being used or not
(refer Figure 9.11). TDM is used both in networking and phone systems. Detail
is discussed in Unit 8.

Figure 9.11 Time Division Multiplexing

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Frequency Division Multiplexing


In FDM, multiple channels are put together onto a single aggregate signal to be
transmitted. In Figure 9.12 a frequency dimension is subdivided into several
non-overlapping frequency bands. Each channel is allotted its own frequency
band.

Figure 9.12 Frequency Division Multiplexing

There is always some unused frequency space between channels, known


as guard band (refer Figure 9.12). These guard bands decrease the effects of
overlapping between adjacent channels and therefore, decreases a condition
commonly called crosstalk.
Code Division Multiplexing
The CDM is widely used in so-called second-generation (2G) and third-generation
(3G) wireless communications. The technology is used in Ultra-High-Frequency
(UHF) cellular telephone systems in the 800-MHz and 1.9-GHz bands. This is a
combination of analog-to-digital conversion and spread spectrum technology.
CDM may be defined as a type of multiplexing where the transmitter encodes
the signal using a pseudo-random sequence. CDM involves the original digital
signal with a spreading code.
The main advantage of CDM is protection from interference and tapping
because only the sender and the receiver know the spreading code.
Wavelength Division Multiplexing
Fiber optic technology is considered to meet the ever-increasing demand of
bandwidth for the exchange of information and WDM provides solutions for the
ever-increasing demand of bandwidth through optical networks. In optical
communications, the analog of FDM is referred to as WDM.
WDM may be defined as the fibre-optic transmission technique that
employs two or more optical signals having different wavelengths to transmit

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data simultaneously in the same direction over one fibre, and later on is separated
by wavelength at the distant end.
Information exchanged between two computers is physically carried by
means of electrical signals assuming certain coding methods. These codings
can be characterized by changing voltage levels, current levels, frequency of
transmission, phase changes or any combination of the physical aspects of
electrical activity. For reliable exchange of data, the computers must have a
compatible implementation of encoding and interpreting data carrying electrical
signals. Over time, network vendors defined different standards for encoding
data on the wire.
Modulation Techniques
Modulation is the technique used to translate low-frequency (base band) signals
like audio, music, video and data to a higher frequency. In other words, it may
be said that modulation/demodulation is a non-linear process where two different
sinusoids are multiplied.
The modulation process involves a high-frequency sinusoidal carrier fc.
Some characteristics of this signal like amplitude, frequency and phase change
in direct proportion to the instantaneous amplitude of the base band signal fm as
shown in Figure 9.13.
Let us assume the two sinusoids, as shown in Figure 9.13, fm and fc as
base band signal and carrier respectively represented as:
fm = A sin mt + 1

(9.1)

fc = B sin ct + 2

(9.2)

and
In Equation (9.2), you may change either amplitude B or angular frequency
wc in accordance with Equation (9.1) and thus produce either amplitude
modulation or frequency modulation or phase modulation, respectively. Angular
frequency is defined as twice the frequency of carrier signal.

Figure 9.13 Two Different Sinusoids

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In other words, modulation is used to superimpose a message (voice,


image, data, etc.) on to a carrier wave for transmission. The frequencies that
comprise the message (base band) are translated into a higher range of
frequencies. The frequencies that comprise the message are preserved, that
is, every frequency in that message is scaled by a constant value as explained.
Modulation is necessary for data communication because of several reasons.
Modulation translates two or more base band signals to different frequencies,
and thus, enables the simultaneous transmission of those signals.
It also reduces the size of the antenna for higher frequencies with greater
efficiency. Inter-modulation is a special case in which two (or more) sinusoids
affect one another to produce undesired products, that is, unwanted frequencies
(noise). This can occur only when both waves share the same non-linear device.
The non-linearity results in several even or odd harmonics. Harmonics are the
multiples of the fundamental frequency, that is, the message frequency.
The modulating index is the ratio of the peak of the modulating signal to
the peak of the carrier in case of amplitude modulation. In angular modulation,
the modulating index is measured as the ratio between the deviation of frequency
of the modulated signal and the frequency of a sinusoidal modulating signal. In
phase modulation, the index of modulation is equal to the phase deviation in
radians.
Amplitude Modulation
Amplitude Modulation (AM) involves the modulation of the amplitude of the
carrier as analog sine wave, depicted in Figure 9.14 as fc. It occurs when a
signal to be modulated is applied to a carrier frequency. The carrier frequency
may be a radio wave or light wave. The amplitude of carrier frequency changes
in accordance with the modulated signal, while the frequency of the carrier
does not change and we get a complex wave. Basically, it is the sum of three
sinusoids of different frequencies. These are fc fm, fc, and fc + fm. The sinusoid
with frequency fc has the same amplitude as the unmodulated carrier. The other
two waves are called lower and upper side band with frequency fc fm and fc +
fm respectively and have equal amplitudes, which are proportional to the
amplitude of the modulating signal. The bandwidth is equal to 2fm.
The AM signals, resulting from the combination, comprise the carrier
frequency and the lower and upper side bands. This is shown in Figure 9.14.

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Figure 9.14 Amplitude Modulation of a Carrier Wave

The modulating index is given as:


m = Emax Ec/ Ec

(9.3)

From Figure 9.14 and Equation (9.3), you may derive the following equation
for modulating index m.
m=

Emax Emin
Emax + Emin

(9.4)

Angle Modulation
It is described in Equation (9.2) as a carrier which is being reproduced as follows:
fc = B sin ct + 2
In the equation, there is an argument of sine as c t + 2 which can be
varied in accordance with Equation (9.1) and thus produce either frequency or
phase modulation. In either case, the amplitude of the carrier remains unchanged
with incremental change in c t + 2 .
Frequency Modulation
Frequency Modulation involves the modulation of the frequency of the analog
sine wave as shown in Figure 9.15, where the instantaneous frequency of the
carrier is deviated in proportion to the deviation of the modulated carrier with
respect to the frequency of the instantaneous amplitude of the modulating signal.
It may be said in simple words that it occurs when the frequency of a carrier is
changed based upon the amplitude of input signal.
The modulating index for FM is given as follows:
= fp / fm
where,
= Modulation index
fm = Frequency of the modulating signal
fp = Peak frequency deviation
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Figure 9.15

Unit 9

Frequency Modulation

It can be seen from Figure 9.15, that the amplitude of the modulated
signal stays constant, in spite of the frequency and amplitude of the modulating
signal. This means that the modulating signal adds no power to the carrier in
FM unlike AM. FM produces an infinite number of side bands spaced by the
modulation frequency. Therefore, AM is considered as a linear process whereas
FM is considered a non-linear process. It is necessary to transmit all side bands
to reproduce a distortion-free signal. Ideally, the bandwidth of the modulated
signal is infinite in this case. In general, the determination of the frequency
content of an FM waveform is complicated (but when it is small, the bandwidth
of an the FM signal is 2fm). On the other hand, when it is large, the bandwidth is
determined (empirically) as 2fm (1 + b).
Phase Modulation
Phase Modulation (PM) is similar to frequency modulation. In FM, the frequency
of the carrier wave changes, whereas in PM the phase of the carrier wave
changes. In PM, the phase of the carrier is made proportional to the instantaneous
amplitude of the modulating signal.
Modulating index for PM is given as:
=
where, is the peak phase deviation in radians.
As in the case of angular modulation, the argument of sinusoidal is varied
and therefore, you will have the same resultant signal properties for frequency
and phase modulation. A distinction in this case can be made only by direct
comparison of the signal with the modulating signal wave, as shown in Figure
9.16.

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Figure 9.16 Phase Modulation

Phase modulation and frequency modulation are interchangeable by


selecting the frequency response of the modulator. Hence, its output voltage
will be proportional to integration and differentiation of the modulating signal,
respectively. Bandwidth and power issues are the same as that of the frequency
modulation.
Asynchronous and Synchronous Transmission
The receiving equipment cannot detect where the transmitted data begins or
ends, if data does not include any sign indicating the separation of data items.
In serial transmission, the sending equipment converts each of the characters
into a bit string and sends them sequentially over the transmission line. To
receive correct information, the receiving equipment must be able to read the
value of each bit and also determine which bits are the beginning and end of
each character.
For this reason, the receiving equipment must synchronize with the sending
equipment, during the reception of data.
Synchronous System
Synchronization refers to correct detection by the receiving equipment at the
beginning and at the end of data that was sent from the sending equipment.
Systems employed for this detection are called synchronization systems.
Synchronous systems can be classified into three categories:
Asynchronous systems (start-stop).
Character synchronous systems (SYN synchronous).
Flag synchronous systems.
Asynchronous Systems
Asynchronous or character-framed transmission as shown in Figure 9.17, is a
process that originated from telegraphy. A start-stop method of transmission in
which a sign bit is added at the beginning and end of each character
(8 bits) to detect the separation of data items is termed as asynchronous
transmission.

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Figure 9.17 Asynchronous System

The receiving terminal is alerted by the start bits about the transmission
of some important information and the receiving terminal is informed by the
stop bit that the transmission of information is complete. In addition,
asynchronous transmission adds a parity-checking bit for comparatively weak
error control. When the data is framed with these three or four bits of control,
information results in operating cost or an inefficiency aspect of 20 per cent to
30 per cent.
In almost all cases, a PC and a modem exchange data asynchronously.
The length of the start and stop bit can be specified using PC communication
software. Generally, a start bit is 1 bit long. The length of a stop bit can be
selected as 1, 1.5 or 2 bits. Normally, the stop bit is also 1 bit long.
Character Synchronous Systems
Figure 9.18 shows a character synchronous (SYN synchronous) system. With
this system, special characters are added to the beginning of a data block to
allow detection of separation of data items. These special characters are called
SYN characters. The character string of the SYN character is 00010110. Upon
receipt of this character, the receiving equipment determines that all succeeding
data consists of data bits. It then receives each succeeding 8 bits as one
character. Normally, the sending equipment sends two or more SYN characters
before sending data to ensure synchronization with the receiving equipment.
The receiving equipment remains attentive to SYN characters at all times so
that it can receive bit strings other than SYN characters as data. A string
containing 00010110 (the same as the SYN character) cannot be used to transmit
data.

Figure 9.18 Character Synchronous System

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Flag Synchronous Systems


Figure 9.19 shows a flag synchronous system. Within this system, a special bit
string is sent before and after each data block to allow detection of separation
of data items. This string also continues to be sent when no data is being sent
over the transmission line. This string is called a flag and consists of 01111110.
The receiving equipment considers bit strings as data if they are not flags of
this format.

Figure 9.19 Flag Synchronous System

With this system, data of a desired bit length can be sent. It may seem
impossible to send the same data bit string as the flag, i.e., 01111110. A method
called transparency can be used to send this flag as data.
Transparency means that the receiving equipment will use the same format
as the sending equipment to receive any data in its original format. To send the
same bit string, as the 01111110 flag string, as data with a flag synchronous
system, a technique called zero bit insertion or bit stuffing is used. This
technique is explained as follows:
If the sending equipment detects a bit string 11111 (5 consecutive 1s) in
the data, it inserts a 0 bit at the end to send 111110. If the receiving equipment
detects a bit string 111110, it deletes the 0 at the end. Although the flag 01111110
contains a bit string 11111, the sending equipment sends the flag as is without
inserting a 0.
When this technique is used, the data string 01111110 is converted into
011111010. Therefore, the same bit string cannot appear in the data as the flag.
Half Duplex Transmission
In this mode, the data is transmitted in one direction at a time, for example, a
walkie-talkie. The usage is primarily for low-speed transmission and involves
two-wired, analog circuits as shown in Figure 9.20. Due to switching of
communication direction, data transmission in this mode requires more time
and processes than under the full duplex mode. Examples of half duplex
application include line printers, buffers polling systems and modems (many
modems can support full duplex also).

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Figure 9.20 Half Duplex

Full Duplex Transmission


In this mode, the data can be transmitted in both directions at the same time. In
general, four wires, as shown in Figure 9.21, are required for full duplex
transmission. Full duplex needs two simplex circuits. These two circuits operate
in each direction. The wideband and broadband circuits are multichannel circuits
and are examples of full duplex applications. Other examples include channel
links between controllers/concentrators, channel links between host processors
and hosts and other applications that involve the interconnection of substantial
computing systems. Services such as Frame Relay, SMDS and ATM are based
on full duplex transmission.

Figure 9.21 Full Duplex

Communication Hardware
In a communication system there are three basic elements, a sender (source)
who creates message for the purpose transmitting it, a medium to carry the
message and a receiver (sink) that receives the message. Each of these contains
hardware device or devices connected and configured in a manner needed for
communications. In a communication network using computers, a sender is a
computer, single or in a group of computers connected together and a receiver
is also a computer. Medium is either physical, using wires of different
characteristic, copper cables or fibre optical cables or wireless system that too
require some equipment as hardware devices in a particular configuration.
There are various kinds of hardware like routers, servers, switches, firewall,
workstations, modems and many varieties of essential and advance
communication hardware used for the process of computer networking for the
creation of a computer network.

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Host Computer
For the purpose of processing of application programs, a centralized type of
computing environment is provided by the host computer. Different terminals
and peripheral components are attached to the host computer through frontend processors. Being a large scale main-frame computer, many tape and disktype storage devices are linked to it.
Terminal
The terminal serves the purpose of an input device for the user and basically
includes a keyboard and a console screen. Usually, many terminals are userdependent, i.e., they cannot carry out functions by themselves due to which all
program execution jobs are done with the help of the host computer. The host
system receives all the data typed on the keyboard and processes it, following
which, updates on the screen is transmitted from there to the terminals console
screen. Nowadays, the use of network connections such as Ethernet or token
ring for linking all the terminals, which was earlier done through a serial link, is
becoming famous. A terminal is unable to function by itself and is totally
dependent on the host computer.
Network Interface Cards
Network interface card is printed electronic circuit that is put inside the slot
available in the computer for this purpose. This is the most important
communication hardware part required for establishing networked
communication. The attached card corresponds to the system and topology of
the network. To implement Ethernet, an Ethernet card with its driver software is
required. Token ring card is used for using token ring technology.
Hubs and Switches
Hubs and switches are used to connect computers in star or tree like topology.
They are connected through cables.
Front End Processor
A Front End Processor (FEP) also called as the communications processor
relates to a device or component interfacing a variety of side-line devices such
as terminals, disk units, printers, tape units, etc., for the host system. The host
system transfers data to the front-end processor and vice versa with the help of
a high speed parallel interface. The communication between the front end
processor and peripheral devices is done through a slow speed serial interface.

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The basic reason for using a front end processor is off-loading the job of
administration of the peripheral devices through the host system permitting it
for concentrating over processing the applications software. The FEP helps in
providing an interface between the host system and the data communications
network that includes every terminal and other host computers.
Concentrator
A concentrator is a component or device that joins numerous low-speed devices
onto various high-speed channels Figure 9.22. This is done through the
combination of data derived from all sub-channels and transmitting the same
through the links. The free time during the transfer of data is beneficial for the
concentrator as it utilizes that free time and allocates it for another sub-channel.
This implies that there should be adequate buffer storage within a concentrator
to save the data from every sub-channel. The concentrator is generally used for
joining circuits.

physical lines

Figure 9.22 Concentrator

Multiplexor
It is a device through which multiple users share a communications link with the
help of time or frequency division as it would become very expensive for providing
a circuit each to every device (terminal). For example, if there are 400 remote
terminals in total, then it would be very expensive to provide 400 physical lines
for every terminal. The basic function of a multiplexor is joining every low speed
circuit to a single high speed link. Therefore, by analyzing this, it can be observed
that the cost of the single high speed link is very much low than the expense in
providing the required amount of low speed links (refer Figure 9.23).

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physical lines

Figure 9.23 Circuits Combined Using a Multiplexor

Modem
Modems are devices through which digital data signals can be sent over an
analog link. Modem is basically the abbreviated form of modulator/demodulator.
At the senders end, the digital signals are modified into analog frequency and
transmitted over an analog link. Whereas, at the receivers end, another modem
accepts the analog signals and changes them back to their original digital forms.
Network Repeater
The basic purpose of a repeater is to join the two segments of the network
cable. It also includes maintaining the correct amplitude of the signals through
retiming and regenerating and then transmitting them to the rest of the segments
(refer Figure 9.24). Some network architectures restrict a lot of repeaters used
in a row. The physical layer of the OSI network model is the only level where the
repeater is required.

Figure 9.24 Network Repeater

Bridge
The functioning of the bridge is to read the outermost section of data packets
for describing the direction of the message flow (refer Figure 9.25). The bridge
helps in decreasing the traffic on the other network segments as not all packets
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are sent by it. An advantage in using bridges is that, they can be made to ignore
the packets from some specified networks by programming them in that way.
Ethernet data can also be read by the bridge that provides the hardware address
of the destination address, not the IP address. All transmitted messages can be
transferred with the help of the bridges.

Figure 9.25 Bridge Connected to Stations

There are other communication devices too, at higher level such as routers,
brouters and gateways but these are components of networks installed by service
providers and are outside the terminal computers.
Activity 3
Collect data on the architecture and features of modem types used in
computer networking. Prepare a chart on it.

Self-Assessment Questions
11. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) ______________ is the technique used to translate low-frequency
(base band) signals like audio, music, video and data to a higher
frequency.
(b) ______________ involves the modulation of the frequency of the
analog sine wave.
12. State whether true or false:
(a) Amplitude modulation is similar to frequency modulation.
(b) In full duplex mode, the data can be transmitted in both directions at
the same time.

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9.15 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:
In electronics, switch is an electrical component used for connecting or
breaking an electrical circuit to interrupt current or divert it from one
conductor to another.
Fully switched networks are connected using either fiber-optic cabling or
twisted-pair having separate conductors to exchange data.
Buffer is an area of memory used for temporary storage of data while
moving it from one place to another. Data while moving from one location
to another is stored in a buffer.
The ZSLAN does not require a network card. To attach the LANs cable to
the computer, plug the cable into the computers parallel printer port or
RS-232 serial port.
Media means information types that handle text, sound, images, animation
and video in an interactive way. Each of this is termed media and
combination is known as Multimedia. Media sharing involves the sharing
of music files with format WMA, MP3, WAV and others; sharing of video
files having formats WMV, AVI, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and
others; images in formats JPEG, JPG, PNG and others.
The print server or printer server can be defined as a system linked to a
single or multiple printers or to systems operated by clients through the
network.
Server is the most powerful computer of the network. In a local area
network, usually a powerful microcomputer or a super-microcomputer
with the power of a minicomputer is used as a server.
An interface card is a circuit board installed in a computer for connecting
it to other computer(s) or devices using some protocol. An interface card
implements an electronic circuitry for communication by using specific
physical layer and data link layer standard protocol.
Media access control is used to connect dissimilar LANs such as Ethernet
and token ring using encapsulation or translation. It is a bridge that
translates the original packet format from the requesting LAN segment
by encapsulating or enveloping with control data, specific to the protocol
of the destination LAN segment.

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A computer system has various resources like CPU, memory and I/O
devices. Every use of the resources is controlled by the OS.
The OSI has two meanings. It refers to protocols that are authorized by
the ISO and the OSI basic reference model.
The TCP/IP model was aimed to connect multiple networks together in a
seamless way even in case of breakdown of the subnet hardware. It
provides not only seamless communication, but also a flexible architecture
that should support applications with divergent requirements, ranging from
transferring files to real-time speech transmission.
Encoding is done for data inside computer as well as for communicating
data from one computer to another within a network.
Information exchanged between two computers is physically carried by
means of electrical signals assuming certain coding methods. These
coding can be characterized by changing voltage levels, current levels,
and frequency of transmission, phase changes or any combination of the
physical aspects of electrical activity.

9.16 Glossary
Switch: An electrical component used for connecting or breaking an
electrical circuit
Buffer: An area of memory used for temporary storage of data
Client: An application or system that accesses a service made available
by a server
Interface card: A circuit board installed in a computer for connecting it to
other computer(s) or devices
Operating system: Software consisting of programs and data that runs
on computers

9.17 Terminal Questions


1. What is the use of fully switched networks?
2. How the printer sharing buffers help in connecting the PCs?
3. Define zero-slot LAN. Why is it used?
4. Describe the various types of media sharing LAN.
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5. Differentiate between wired and wireless print servers.


6. Why client and server is considered as most powerful component for
constructing networks?
7. Discuss the use of interface card in a computer system.
8. Each bridge should have an address table. Explain.
9. Explain the features of operating system.
10. OSI was set up as an international standard for network architecture.
Elaborate.
11. Describe all the layers of TCP/IP model.
12. Explain the different data encoding techniques.
13. Discuss the various multiplexing communication techniques.

9.18 Answers
Answers to Self-Assessment Questions
1. (a) Fully switched; (b) Switches
2. (a) False; (b) True
3. (a) Buffer; (b) Network card
4. (a) True; (b) False
5. (a) TCP/IP printer; (b) Interface card
6. (a) True; (b) False
7. (a) Media access control; (b) OSI
8. (a) True; (b) True
9. (a) TCP/IP model; (b) Encoding
10. (a) False; (b) False
11. (a) Modulation; (b) Frequency modulation
12. (a) False; (b) False

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Answers to Terminal Questions


1. Refer to Section 9.2
2. Refer to Section 9.3
3. Refer to Section 9.4
4. Refer to Section 9.5
5. Refer to Section 9.6
6. Refer to Section 9.7
7. Refer to Section 9.8
8. Refer to Section 9.9
9. Refer to Section 9.10
10. Refer to Section 9.11
11. Refer to Section 9.12
12. Refer to Section 9.13
13. Refer to section 9.14

9.19 Further Reading


1. Forouzan, Behrouz A. Data Communications and Networking. New
Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Black, Uyless D. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,
1993.
3. Stallings, William. Data and Computer Communications. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall Inc., 1996.
4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Inc., 2002.
5. Douglas, E. C. Computer Networks & Internet. New Delhi: Pearson
Education.
6. Rajaraman, V. Fundamentals of Computers. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of
India, 1996.

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Unit 10

Communication Channels

Structure
10.1 Introduction
Objectives
10.2 Wire Cables
10.3 Microwave Transmission
10.4 Communication Satellites
10.5 Channel Sharing
10.6 Data Transmission
10.7 Summary
10.8 Glossary
10.9 Terminal Questions
10.10 Answers
10.11 Further Reading

10.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you read about connecting PCs. In the present unit, you will
read about the various types of communication channels used to send and
receive data.
In telecommunications and computer networking, a communication
channel refers either to a physical transmission medium, such as a wire or to a
logical connection over a multiplexed medium, such as a radio channel. A channel
is used to convey an information signal from one or several senders or
transmitters to one or several receivers. Technically, in information theory, a
channel refers to a storage device which can be sent to (written) and received
from (read). Data transmission, digital transmission or digital communications
is the physical transfer of data over a point-to-point or point-to-multipoint
communication channel. Examples of such channels are copper wires, optical
fibers, wireless communication channels and storage media. The data is
represented as an electromagnetic signal, such as an electrical voltage,
radiowave, microwave or infrared signal. Data transmitted may be a digital
message originating from a data source or it may also be an analog signal.

Computer Awareness and Internet

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Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Describe the various types of wire cables
Define microwave transmission
Explain the significance of communication satellites
Interpret channel sharing
Describe data transmission system

10.2 Wire Cables


The method of sending signals from one point to another through a particular
medium is termed as communication. The medium of communication usually
depends upon the computer networking or local area networking that is been
worked upon. In these modern times, different types of standardized
communication cables and communication devices are being used, depending
upon the computer network.
Twisted Pair Wire
Ethernet UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair)/STP (Shielded Twisted Pair) cables
are some of the widely known and used variety of LAN cables. Twisted pair
cables are used as Ethernet cables consisting of a pair of eight cables which
are paired with one another making it as four pairs. Except for a protective
silver coated layer surrounding the cable, the UTP/STP cables are almost equal
in characteristics. The other smaller categories of UPT/STP can be classified
into cross over cables and straight over cables. Serial transmission, Ethernet,
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), fixed and modular interfaces in the
WAN networking are some of the very widely known and used UTP/STP cables.
One can see twisted pair wires as the ordinary telephone wires that are
made of two padded copper wires twisted together in pairs used in voice as well
as data transmission. The reason for twisting the wires together is to decrease
crosstalk and electromagnetic induction. The transmission range speed of a
normal twisted pair wire starts from 2 million bits/s to 100 million bits/s.
Coaxial Cable
This is another type of wire cable, used for the microwave frequencies. Application
of these wires is made in cable television systems installed in office buildings

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and different worksites for LAN. The coaxial cable is basically made up of a
copper or aluminum wire covered with insulated coating of a stretchy material
carrying elevated dielectric constant and a conductive coat that covers the
entire part. The coating of insulation reduces intrusion and alteration. The
transmission range speed of a normal coaxial cable starts from 200 million to
more than 500 million bits/s.
The core factor that limits a twisted pair cable is the skin effect. The flow
of the current in the wires is likely to flow only on the wire's outer surface as the
frequency of the transmitted signal raises, thus, less of the available crosssection is used. The electrical resistance of the wires is increased for signals of
higher frequency which leads to higher attenuation. Further, significant signal
power is lost due to the effects of radiation at higher frequencies. Thus, another
kind of transmission medium can be used for applications that require higher
frequencies. Both these effects are minimized by the coaxial cable.
Coaxial cable as shown in Figure 10.1 is a robust shielded copper wire
two-conductor cable in which a solid center conductor runs concentrically
(coaxial) inside a solid outer circular conductor. This forms an electromagnetic
shield around the former that serves to greatly improve the signal strength and
integrity. The two conductors are separated by insulation. A layer of dielectric
(nonconductive) material, such as PVC (Permanent Virtual Circuit) material or
Teflon, protects the entire cable.

Figure 10.1 Coaxial Cable Configuration

The coaxial cable comes under the category of a bounded media and is
still an effective medium to use in data communication. For better performance,
coaxial cable contains shields which make it costly. Cable television uses coaxial
cables. LANs functions over coaxial cable to the 10BASE5, 10BASE2 and
10BASET specifications.Generally, coaxial cable allows longer distance
transmission instead of twisted pair cable at a higher data rate. This is however,
costly.

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There are two types of coaxial cables.


Baseband: It transmits a single signal at a time at very high speed. The
signal on baseband cable must be amplified at a specified distances. It is
used for local area networks.
Broadband: It can transmit many simultaneous signals using different
frequencies.
Fiber Optics
Fiber optic cable is one of the most superior forms of the communication cables
that is costlier in comparison to the other cables and is made of several thin
fibers coated with an insulating layer. The most vital characteristic of fiber optic
cables is its speed and is used for high speed data communication in corporate
offices, Internet communication, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and
telecommunication industry as a backbone by connecting multiple ISPs together.
Fiber optic provides high bandwidth and is basically made up of a single
or more thin filaments of glass fiber covered in a shielding coat. The
electromagnetic radiation does not have any effect of the fiber optics.
Transmission speed could go up to as high as trillions of bits per second.
Compared to other cables such as twisted pairs and coaxial cables, fiber optics
is a thousand times faster.
Nowadays, networks are changing their form to wireless networking using
radio frequencies. Infrared frequencies are also used in communication and
more recently Bluetooth is being used which uses infrared for receiving and
transmitting to devices located within 10 to 100 m short distance. Wireless
network cards are in wide use today having their own infrastructure such as
access points, routers, switches and wireless network connections.
Telegraph
The device used for sending and receiving messages across great distances is
known as telegraph. The process of sending these messages is known as
telegraphy. The electrical telegraph makes use of electric signals.
Electromagnetic telegraph is a device for transmitting coded text messages
using wire. The term wireless telegraphy was used for describing electrical
signaling with no electric wires connected to the end points. The term was also
used to differentiate wireless telegraphy with the traditional electrical telegraph
signaling that needed electric wires connected to the end points. This particular
term was widely used for various technologies for message communication in
which messages were encoded in symbols in the absence of wires. Another
name given to wireless telegraphy is Continuous Wave (CW) in which the carrier
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can be modified through the on-off keying, that is contradictory to the use of
spark gap in the earlier radio methods.
Telephone
A telephone can be described as a telecommunications device which helps in
transmitting and receiving data that is usually in the form of sound waves. Being
the most widely used equipment in the modern society, it has become an
obligatory tool for every business enterprise and institution.
The basic principle behind the working of a telephone is to transform
sound waves to electrical signals and vice versa. After the signals pass through
a telephone network and get transformed into electronic and/or optical signals,
every other telephone operator can communicate with anyone with a network,
globally.
A common landline telephone system which is also known as POTS (Plain
Old Telephone Service), performs the basic function of sending and receiving
signals and audio information through the common telephone line that uses a
twisted pair of insulated wires. Besides performing its basic function, i.e., voice
communication, the telephone system, with the currently changing scenario,
has been modified for performing more complex and important purposes for
data communication like telex, fax and Internetworking.
Digital Telephony: The evolution of digital telephony from Public Switched
Telephone Network (PSTN) has not only improved the networks quality but
also its capacity. In the early 1960s, after the transmission networks were
upgraded with T1 (Terrestrial 1) carrier systems, the end-to-end analog telephone
networks were also modified. After this, methods like Synchronous Optical
NETwork (SONET) and fiber optic transmission, proved beneficial in the
advancement of digital transmission. Digital transmission provided cheaper price
and greater multiplexed channels with a single medium of transmission even
though analog carrier systems still existed. Nowadays, the analog signals are
transformed to digital signals even when the end instrument is still analog.
IP Telephony: A digital telephone service named Internet Protocol (IP) telephony
that is also termed as the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology
having a different approach from the earlier one and is slowly overpowering the
traditional telephone network technology.
In IP telephony, for the purpose of transmitting encoded conversations in
the form of data packets, Internet connection and hardware IP Phones or
softphones established on personal systems are used. Besides overpowering
POTS, IP telephony service is also challenging the mobile phone services by
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providing cheaper connections through WiFi hotspots. It is also getting used on


private networks that do not have the obligation for linking to a global telephone
network.
Activity 1
Search on the Internet and collect information on gauge, configuration,
bandwidth, error performance, distance, security, cost and applications of
twisted pair, coaxial and fiber optic cables.

Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The method of sending ______________ from one point to another
through a particular medium is termed as communication.
(b) The device used for sending and receiving messages across great
distances is known as ___________________.
2. State whether true or false:
(a) Fiber optic provides high bandwidth and is basically made up of a
single or more thin filaments of glass fiber covered in a shielding
coat.
(b) A telephone is a telecommunications device which helps in
transmitting and receiving data that is not in the form of sound waves.

10.3 Microwave Transmission


Microwave transmission refers to the technology of transmitting information
with the help of radio waves whose wavelengths are conveniently measured in
small numbers of centimeters called microwaves. Microwaves are widely used
for point-to-point communications because their small wavelength allows
conveniently-sized antennas to direct them in narrow beams, which can be
pointed directly at the receiving antenna. This allows nearby microwave
equipment to use the same frequencies without interfering with each other, as
lower frequency radio waves do.
Microwave radio, a form of radio transmission that uses ultra-high
frequencies, developed out of experiments with radar (radio detecting and
ranging) during the period preceding World War II. There are several frequency
ranges assigned to microwave systems, all of which are in the Giga Hertz (GHz)
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range and the wavelength in the millimeter range. This very short wavelength
gives rise to the term microwave. Such high frequency signals are especially
susceptible to attenuation and therefore must be amplified or repeated after a
particular distance.
In order to maximize the strength of such a high frequency signal and to
increase the distance of transmission at acceptable levels, the radio beams are
highly focused. The transmit antenna is centered in a concave, reflective metal
dish which serves to focus the radio beam with maximum effect on the receiving
antenna. The receiving antenna, similarly, is centered in a concave metal dish,
which serves to collect the maximum amount of incoming signal. It is a point-topoint, rather than a broadcast, transmission system. Additionally, each antenna
must be within line of sight of the next antenna.

10.4 Communication Satellites


Satellite radio, quite simply, is a non-terrestrial microwave transmission system
utilizing a space relay station. Satellites have proved invaluable in extending
the reach of voice, data and video communications around the globe, especially
the most remote regions of the world. Contemporary satellite communications
systems involve a satellite relay station that is launched into a geostationary,
geosynchronous or geostatic orbit. These satellites are called geostationary
satellites. Such an orbit is approximately 36,000 km above the equator as
depicted in Figure 10.2. At that altitude and in an equatorial orbital slot, the
satellite revolves around the earth with the same speed as of that the speed of
revolution of earth and maintains its relative position over the same spot of the
earths surface. Consequently, transmit and receive earth stations can be pointed
reliably at the satellite for communications purposes.

Figure 10.2 Satellites in Geostationary Earth Orbit


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Generally speaking, geostationary satellites are positioned approximately


2 apart in order to minimize interference from adjacent satellites using
overlapping frequencies. Such high frequency signals are especially susceptible
to attenuation in the atmosphere. Therefore, in case of satellite communication
two different frequencies are used as carrier frequencies to avoid interference
between incoming and outgoing signals. These are:
Uplink Frequency: It is the frequency used to transmit signal from earth
station to satellite. The uplink signal can be made stronger to cope better
with atmospheric distortion. The antenna at transmitting side is centered
in a concave, reflective dish that serves to focus the radio beam, with
maximum effect, on the receiving satellite antenna. The receiving antenna,
similarly, is centred in a concave metal dish, which serves to collect the
maximum amount of incoming signal.
Downlink Frequency: It is the frequency used to transmit the signal
from satellite to earth station. In other words, the downlink transmission is
focused on a particular footprint or area of coverage. The lower frequency,
used for the downlink, can better penetrate the earths atmosphere and
electromagnetic field, which can act to bend the incoming signal much as
light bends when entering a pool of water.
Broadcast
The wide footprint of a satellite radio system allows a signal to be broadcast
over a wide area. Hence, any number (theoretically an infinite number) of
terrestrial antennae can receive the signal, more or less simultaneously. In this
manner, satellites can serve a point-to-multipoint network requirement through
a single uplink station and multiple downlink stations. Recently, satellites have
been developed which can serve a mesh network requirement, whereby each
terrestrial site can communicate directly with any other site.
Applications of Satellite Communication
Traditional applications of satellite communication include international voice
and data, remote voice and data, television and radio broadcast, maritime
navigation, videoconferencing, inventory management and control through
VSATs, disaster recovery and paging. More recent and emerging applications
include air navigation, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), mobile voice and
data because of Low Earth Orbit Satellites (LEOS), Advanced Traffic
Management Systems (ATMS), Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) TV, Integrated
Digital Services Network (ISDN), interactive television, and interactive
multimedia.
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Activity 2
Collect information from the Internet on the features and architectural
structure of various types of communication satellites. Prepare a chart from
collected data and also list the types in chronological order.

10.5 Channel Sharing


A communication channel is shared by the way of multiplexing, i.e., putting
several information on the same channel.
In the context of telecommunications and computer networks, the
technique for combining either digital data streams or multiple analog message
signals into a single signal through a shared medium is termed as multiplexing
or muxing. The basic objective behind this is sharing an exclusive resource. In
telecommunications, only one wire may get used for transferring the numerous
phone calls. The signals multiplexed are sent through a communication channel
that can become a medium for physical transmission. Through multiplexing,
the low-level communication channels can be broken down into a number of
higher-level logical channels so that there can be one for every message signal
or data stream for transfer of data. Another process, that is exactly the opposite
of multiplexing, called as demultiplexing, is the process of deriving all genuine
channels and shifting them to the receiver end.
Similarly, for performing the multiplexing task the device used is called as
a multiplexer (MUX) and the device used for performing the reverse process is
termed as a demultiplexer (DEMUX). Multiplexing can be basically divided into
two types for both analog as well as digital form namely Time Division Multiplexing
(TDM) and Frequency Division Multiplexing (FDM) out of which the FDM
demands modulation of every signal. In context of optical communications, FDM
has been renamed as the Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM).
Through the use of statistical multiplexing, such as the packet mode
communication, variable bit rate digital bit streams can be efficiently transferred
through a fixed bandwidth channel. Packet mode communication is a time domain
multiplexing that is a little but not entirely the same as time division multiplexing.
Code Division Multiplexing (CDM) methods can help in transferring the
digital bit streams through an analog channel. The two types of CDM are
Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) and Direct Sequence Spread
Spectrum (DSSS). Multiplexing, in wireless communications, can be done with
the use of irregular polarization in different forms, such as horizontal/vertical or
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clockwise/counterclockwise on every adjacent channel as well as satellite, or


by the means of a phased multi-antenna array linked to a Multiple Input Multiple
Output (MIMO) communications scheme.
Types of Communications Channels
There are various types of communication channels present in different fields.
Some of them can be stated as below:
Simplex communication, duplex communication or half duplex
communication channel
Computer network virtual channel
Digital or analog channel
Baseband and passband channel
Multiplexed channel
Transmission medium
Return channel
Broadcast channel, unicast channel or multicast channel
Uplink or downlink (upstream or downstream channel)

Self-Assessment Questions
3. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) Microwave transmission transmits the information with the help of
radio waves whose wavelengths are measured in small numbers of
centimeters called _________________.
(b) Contemporary satellite communications systems involve a
_____________ relay station that is launched into a geostationary,
geosynchronous or geostatic orbit.
4. State whether true or false:
(a) Downlink frequency is the frequency used to transmit signal from
earth station to satellite.
(b) Code Division Multiplexing (CDM) methods can help in transferring
the digital bit streams through an analog channel.

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10.6 Data Transmission


Basically, data transmission is the exchange of data between a source and a
receiver. The meanings of source and receiver are very simple. The device that
transmits the data is known as source and the device that receives the transmitted
data is known as receiver. Data transmission aims at the transfer of data and
maintenance of the data during the process but not the actual generation of the
information at the source and receiver.

10.6.1 Fundamentals of Communication Theory


Datum means the facts information statistics or the like derived by calculation
or experimentation. The facts and information so gathered are processed in
accordance with defined systems of procedure. Data can exist in a variety of
forms such as numbers, text, bits and bytes. The Figure 10.3 is an illustration of
a simple data communication system.
Input
data

Transmitted
signal
Transmitter

Transmission
medium

Received
signal

Output
data
Receiver

Figure 10.3 Simple Data Communication System

A data communication system may collect data from remote locations


through data transmission circuits and then outputs processed results to remote
locations. Figure 10.4 provides a broader view of data communication networks.
The different data communication techniques which are presently in widespread
use evolved gradually either to improve the data communication techniques
already existing or to replace the same with better options and features.

Figure 10.4 A Data Communication System using Remote Locations


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The first communication satellite was launched during 1960s. In case of


satellite communication, ground stations that have huge dishes interact with
the communications satellite lying in the geostationary orbit around the earth.
All channels are handled by a transponder which supports thousands of speech
channels and many TV channels at the same time. It is principally utilized for
intercontinental connections. The coverage of the footprints of a satellite system
that is single is able to cover thousands of square kilometers and is thus very
large.

10.6.2 Communication Systems


The need to correspond gave way to the progress of various methods and
practices of communication. The initial types of communication were signs,
gestures and writings that were illustrated on the caves, walls, etc. When
language was developed usage of symbols, papyrus and paper made it easy to
capture communication for future use. Claude Elwood Shannon in the year
1948, worked for the Bell Telephone Company in the United States of America.
Figure 10.5 displays the model of communication he proposed. This has become
the basis of explanation of communication since then.
Source

Sender
Message

Channel
Signal

Receiver
Signal

Destination
Message

Noise

Figure 10.5 Shannons Model of Communication

The model applied, is based on oral communication between two people,


is as follows:
Source

The brain

Message

The idea, thought

Sender

The transmitting device, the mouth

Channel

The medium the message travels over the air

Receiver

The receiving device, the ear

Destination

The brain

In any form of communication, the message is affected by the signal as it


moves across from the sender to the receiver in the channel. Data communication
is about transmitting information between two locations. Ttransmission broadly
involves sending and receiving the information. Information is thus sent between

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machines connected with each other by physical wires or radio links. The
machines may be transmitter, telephone, computer, etc.
In data communication system, data is transmitted from terminals to the
information processing unit through data communication circuits. There are two
types of data transmission methods that are used to transmit data from its origin
to the information processing. These are:
Offline: Computers are not connected by communication circuits. Data
is transmitted between a terminal and an information processing unit
through a magnetic tape and magnetic disk packs.
Online: Computers are connected by communication circuits. Data can
be instantly transmitted between a terminal and an information processing
unit.
Components of Data Communication System
The data communication system consists of the following:
Transmitter or Sender of Data: These may be terminals, computers
and mainframes, etc.
Medium: The medium through which the data is transmitted, can be
cables, Radio Frequency (RF) wave, microwave, fiber optics, infrared,
etc.
Receiver: As the name implies, it is the device which receives the data
transmitted. These are printers, terminals, mainframes, computers, cell
phone, etc.
The transmitter may be a device which transmits signal in such a format
that is not compatible with the medium. Similarly, medium provides signal in
unacceptable format to receiver. Hence, the signal from transmitter to medium
and medium to transmitter require conversion of signal from one form to another
as per the requirement.

10.6.3 Analog and Digital Signals


Data communications and networks deal with data or information transmission.
Data can be represented in many ways such as a human voice, a group of
numbers, images, text and sounds, etc. The following are two ways to
communicate, display, store or manipulate information:
Analog
Digital

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In the analog form of electronic communications, information is represented


as a continuous electromagnetic waveform. Digital communications represents
information in binary form through a series of discrete pulses.
Analog
Analog is best explained by the transmission of signal such as sound or human
speech, over an electrified copper wire. Analogous variations in electrical or
radio waves are created in order to transmit the analog information signal for
video or audio or both over a network from a transmitter (TV station or CATV
source) to a receiver (TV set, computer connected with antenna). At the receiving
end an approximation (analog) of the original information is presented.
Information which is analog in its native form (audio and image) can vary
continuously in terms of intensity (volume or brightness) and frequency (tone or
colour). Those variations in the native information stream are translated in an
analog electrical network into variations in the amplitude and frequency of the
carrier signal. In other words, the carrier signal is modulated (varied) in order to
create an analog of the original information stream.
Digital
Computers are digital in nature. Computers process, store, and communicate
information in binary form, i.e., in the combination of 1s and 0s which has specific
meaning in computer language. A binary digit (bit) is an individual 1 or 0. Multiple
bit streams are used in a computer network.
Contemporary computer systems communicate in binary mode through
variations in electrical voltage. Digital signalling, in an electrical network, involves
a signal which varies in voltage to represent one of two discrete and well defined
states as depicted in Figure 10.6 such as either a positive (+) voltage and a nill
or zero (0) voltage (unipolar) or a positive (+) or a negative () voltage (bipolar).

Figure 10.6 Binary Representation forming Digital Signal

An analog voice and video can be converted into digital and digital data
can be converted to analog. Each format has its own advantages.

10.6.4 Analog and Digital Transmission Channels


In data communication system, digital and analog communication together play
a very important integrated role irrespective of many advantages of digital
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communication over analog. Figure 10.7 shows the integrated role of digital
and analog communication to complete data communication system.

Figure 10.7 Data Communication System

As these two signals are different in nature, how can these be connected
together or communicated over the communication channel? This question can
be understood by communication channels, which provide the link for data
communications. Figure 10.7 shows that the link between modems is modulated
analog signal created by the modem. Likewise, we may consider Figure 10.8
where a data communication system is presented in a wider sense. The
communication from PC to modem consists of a binary signal whereas the
communication between Central Telephone Office (CTO) and modem takes
place in modulated analog signal. The communication between one CTO to
another CTO is by digital signal using time division multiplexers, which are
codecs. Thereafter, CTO feeds modulated analog signal to modem and the
modem converts it into binary signal for the PC. Different types of signals emerge
on the communication link and reach to CTO on their way across a big city.
These can be multiplexed to share the same communication link for transmitting
to destination.
binary
signal

PC

analog
signal

MODEM

TDM: Time Division Multiplexing

digital
signal

analog
signal

TDM

TDM

CTO

CTO

binary
signal

MODEM

PC

CTO: Central Telephone Office

Figure 10.8 Data Communication System in a Wider Sense

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10.6.5 Transmission Systems


Data transmission can be divided into parallel and serial data transmission.
Parallel Transmission
One or more bytes of data are sent over two or more wires. Each wire transmits
one digit of binary code. Therefore, sending one byte (8 bits) of data requires 8
wires as shown in Figure 10.9. In this type of transmission, it is necessary to
detect where each byte of data is separated from the next. Normally, this detection
is made on elapsed time base. The interface of a printer with PC is a good
example for this case.

Figure 10.9 Parallel Transmission System

Two key issues occur in parallel transfer. The wire itself is the first issue.
Minimum of nine wires (eight for data bits, one for circuit ground) are required.
Many a times extra wires are needed to control the flow of data across the
interface. The other issue is with the nature of the bits or voltages itself. When
there is change in the state of the bit/voltage from a one to zero or vice versa, it
happens at the rate of nanoseconds (one billionth of a second). A crucial part of
the data transfer is the abruptness. The changes that occur slowly, i.e., between
zero and one are not accepted as data.
Serial Transmission
Data is sent over a single wire as shown in Figure 10.10. Therefore, sending
one byte does not require 8 wires. These are sent one after the other. In this
transmission, it is necessary to detect where each bit is separated from the next
and also where each block is separated from the next. Serial transmission is
suitable for long distance data transmission because it is less costly and more
resistant to noise. Therefore, almost all transmission lines for data communication
systems are serial transmission lines.
Transmitting eight individual bits one after the other involves eight times
more than the time required for transmitting them all at the same time parallely.
This speed limit does not prove to be significant for several applications.
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Compared to the internal speed of the microprocessors, serial peripheral


mechanisms are slower. They involve long, mechanical processes which restrict
their speed: the speeds of their print-heads often limit the printers; the frequency
limitations of the telephone lines affect the modems and time-consuming
rotational speed limits the disk drives. The speed that is built within the process
of parallel data transfer is a waste on such peripheral mechanisms. The serial
method thus, sacrifices a part of the speed while sufficiently servicing the
peripheral devices. In such situations, the sacrifice in speed is unimportant
compared to the added transmission range and reliability.

Figure 10.10 Serial Transmission

Activity 3
Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Shannon and prepare a report on
the notable works done by Claude Elwood Shannon.

Self-Assessment Questions
5. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) Data ___________________ is the exchange of data between a
source and a receiver.
(b) In data communication system, data is transmitted f rom
__________________ to the information processing unit through
data communication circuits.
6. State whether true or false:
(a) In any form of communication, the message is not affected by the
signal as it moves across from the sender to the receiver in the
channel.
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(b) Serial transmission is suitable for long distance data transmission because
it is less costly and more resistant to noise.

10.7 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:
The method of sending signals from one point to another through a
particular medium is termed as communication. The medium of
communication usually depends upon the computer networking or local
area networking that is been worked upon.
Baseband transmits a single signal at a time at very high speed. It is used
for local area networks.
Broadband transmits many simultaneous signals using different
frequencies.
The device used for sending and receiving messages across great
distances is known as telegraph. The process of sending these messages
is known as telegraphy.
A telephone is a telecommunications device which helps in transmitting
and receiving data that is usually in the form of sound waves.
Microwave transmission refers to the technology of transmitting information
with the help of radio waves whose wavelengths are conveniently
measured in small numbers of centimeters called microwaves.
The geostationary satellites are positioned approximately 2 apart in order
to minimize interference from adjacent satellites using overlapping
frequencies.
Uplink frequency is the frequency used to transmit signal from earth station
to satellite.
Downlink frequency is the frequency used to transmit the signal from
satellite to earth station.
A communication channel is shared by the way of multiplexing, i.e., putting
several information on the same channel.
In telecommunications and computer networks, the technique for
combining either digital data streams or multiple analog message signals
into a single signal through a shared medium is termed as multiplexing or
muxing.

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Data transmission refers to the exchange of data between a source and


a receiver.
In any form of communication, the message is affected by the signal as it
moves across from the sender to the receiver in the channel.
In data communication system, data is transmitted from terminals to the
information processing unit through data communication circuits.
In the analog form of electronic communications, information is
represented as a continuous electromagnetic waveform.
The digital communications represents information in binary form through
a series of discrete pulses.
Data transmission can be divided into parallel and serial data transmission.

10.8 Glossary
Communication: It is the method of sending signals from one point to
another through a particular medium
Baseband: It transmits a single signal at a time at very high speed
Broadband: It can transmit many simultaneous signals using different
frequencies
Telegraph: It is the device used for sending and receiving messages
across great distances
Uplink frequency: It is the frequency used to transmit signal from earth
station to satellite
Downlink frequency: It is the frequency used to transmit the signal from
satellite to earth station

10.9 Terminal Questions


1. Explain the different types of wire cables used in data transmission.
2. Define the significance of microwave transmission.
3. Explain the role of communication satellites in transmission.
4. How is a communication channel shared?
5. Discuss the fundamentals of data communication theory.

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6. What are various components of a data communication system?


7. Differentiate between parallel and serial transmission.

10.10 Answers
Answers to Self-Assessment Questions
1. (a) Signals; (b) Telegraph
2. (a) True; (b) False
3. (a) Microwaves; (b) Satellite
4. (a) False; (b) True
5. (a) Transmission; (b) Terminals
6. (a) False; (b) True

Answers to Terminal Questions


1. Refer to Section 10.2
2. Refer to Section 10.3
3. Refer to Section 10.4
4. Refer to Section 10.5
5. Refer to Section 10.6
6. Refer to Section 10.6.2
7. Refer to Section 10.6.5

10.11 Further Reading


1. Forouzan, Behrouz A. Data Communications and Networking. New
Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Black, Uyless D. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,
1993.

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3. Stallings, William. Data and Computer Communications. New Jersey:


Prentice Hall Inc., 1996.
4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Inc., 2002.
5. Douglas, E. C. Computer Networks & Internet. New Delhi: Pearson
Education.
6. Rajaraman, V. Fundamentals of Computers. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of
India, 1996.

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Unit 11

The Internet

Structure
11.1 Introduction
Objectives
11.2 The Internet Basics
11.3 The Internet Browsers
11.4 Modem
11.5 The ISP
11.6 Search Engines
11.7 Security
11.8 Digital Signatures
11.9 E-Mail
11.10 IPv6
11.11 HTTP
11.12 Summary
11.13 Glossary
11.14 Terminal Questions
11.15 Answers
11.16 Further Reading

11.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you read about various communication channels. In this
unit, you will read about the Internet and its facilities.
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that
use the standard Internet Protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide. It is
a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic,
business and government networks, of local to global scope that are linked by
a broad array of electronic, wireless and optical networking technologies. The
Internet powerfully leverages users ability to find, manage and share information.
This can be done through various techniques such as modem, search engines,
e-mail, etc. The Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the current version of the
Internet Protocol.

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Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
State basics of the Internet
Interpret the Internet browsers
Compare the different ways to connect to the Internet
Explain the Internet service provider
Discuss different search engines
Describe the use of security in networks
State the characteristics of digital signature
Compose e-mail
Classify the significant features of IPv6
Explain HTTP with context to network

11.2 The Internet Basics


The Internet is a network of networks that links computer systems around the
world. It allows communication across networks, i.e., communication can take place
between one network and another. This allows people to have access to information
from different Websites, locations and machines. It virtually makes accessible a
sea of information and a nearly worldwide audience at the click of a button.
It was the Sputniks launch and the subsequent Cold War, space race
and the development of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency
Network) in 1950 that led to the establishment of the Internet. However, it actually
gained momentum in the 1980s when ARPANET was used by the National
Science Foundation to connect the five supercomputers at its regional centres.
Thus emerged a high-speed Internet service that enabled access to many
universities, networks, bulletin board systems, commercial online services and
institutions. The decade closed with the coming into being of the World Wide
Web (WWW), which proclaimed the emergence of an independent platform of
communication that was further augmented by a relatively easy-to-use and
pleasant graphical interface.
Some of the facilities that are available on the Internet are:
World Wide Web: The Internet application that is currently drawing
maximum attention is the World Wide Web. It has dramatically influenced
the online world and continues to grow in popularity.
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Direct communication: Through e-mail (electronic mail), messages can


be sent to or received from any part of the world within a few minutes.
Round-the-clock availability: Information on the Internet is available to
users 24 hours a day.
Central repository of data: The Internet is like a huge central warehouse
of data that people from all over the world can access.
Search engines: These are like directories which help get any kind of
information from the world over within a few seconds.
Advertisement: A company can advertise its products/services through
the Internet.
E-commerce: The Internet is increasingly being used for conducting
monetary transactions. Through the Internet, you can shop and pay
through your credit card or ask your bank to transfer your money to a
different account, without even leaving your desk.
Distance learning: Several online distance learning courses are now
being offered by Indian and foreign universities on the Internet.
BBS and News-services: The Internet is perhaps the cheapest medium
for online help. BBS services are available on the Internet through which
you can ask questions and get immediate troubleshooting assistance.
Wide area networks: Using the Internet, organizations can collect and
compile information from offices spread over large geographical areas.
Shareware software: The Internet is also a great medium for downloading
free software. You can get a truckload of free games, utilities and trial
versions of software through the Internet.

11.2.1 Major Features of Internet


The Internet has made communication simple. It can be used for the following:
Facilitating direct communication: You can send messages to family
and friends, business associates and acquaintances using the e-mail
facility. Using e-mail, you can send and receive messages within a few
seconds anywhere in the world. Using the Internet Relay Chat (IRC), you
can communicate online with people over the Internet. You can log into a
chat room and converse with others by typing messages that are instantly
delivered. With the improvement of network technologies and increase in
broadband, not only can you use text messages but also graphics, audio
and video for communication with other people.
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Facilitating online shopping: Logically, the Internet has removed all


barriers of distance and nationality. You can shop for products and services
across the world by logging on to a Web portal. You can also pay your
bills online using credit and debit cards. You can also transfer money
between different accounts with the click of a mouse.
Facilitating distance education: The Internet provides a perfect medium
for knowledge sharing and information dissemination. Courses are
available on the Internet. You can register and pay online and complete a
course on different interest areas. You can also pursue specialized higher
studies now in the comfort of your own office or home.
Increasing knowledge base: The Internet provides a rich information
base that people from across the globe can access. In fact, it is one of the
richest information bases that can be accessed at the click of a mouse.
Using search engines, you can search for detailed information on any
topic of your interest.
Smoothening banking services: Banks are using information technology
to provide online banking facilities to their customers. Using the Internet,
you can now view your account details, get drafts made, request for
chequebooks and transfer money from one account to another. The use
of ATMs has shifted the mundane back-office work to the customer himself.
Instead of hiring an army of bank clerks, banks can now uses ATMs to
considerably reduce time and operational costs.
Helping travel sector: Using the Internet, travel agencies can publish
their services on the Web along with the latest discounts, packages and
availability details, so that customers can compare rates, make online
bookings and avail discounts without having to run around multiple offices.
Easing bill payments: The government sector has also realized the benefits
of IT. Now you can make online payments for public utilities such as water,
electricity and phones, using credit cards as the payment medium.

11.2.2 Working of Internet


You can use two options for connecting to the Internet.
Direct Connection
Through a direct connection, a machine is directly connected to the Internet
backbone and acts like a gateway. Though a direct connection provides full
access to all the Internet services, it is very expensive to implement and maintain.
Direct connections are suitable only for very large organizations or companies.
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Through the Internet Service Provider (ISP)


You can also connect to the Internet through the gateways provided by ISPs.
The range of the Internet services varies depending on the ISPs. Therefore,
you should use the Internet services of the ISP that is best suitable for your
requirements. You can connect to your ISP using two methods:
Remote Dial Up Connection: A dial up connection (refer Figure 11.1)
enables you to connect to your ISP using a modem. A modem converts
the computer bits or digital signals to modulated or analog signals that
the phone lines can transmit and vice versa. Dial up connection uses
either SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol) or PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol)
for transferring information over the Internet.

Users
Computer

Modem

Modem
Internet Backbone

Figure 11.1 A Dial Up Connection

For dial up connections, regular telephone lines are used. Therefore, the
quality of connection is not always good.
Permanent Dedicated Connection: You can also have a dedicated
Internet connection that typically connects you to ISP through a dedicated
phone line. A dedicated Internet connection is a permanent telephone
connection between two points. Computer networks that are physically
separated are often connected using leased or dedicated lines. These
lines are preferred because these are always open for communication
traffic unlike the regular telephone lines that require a dialling sequence
to be activated. Often this line is an ISDN (Integrated Services Digital
Network) line that allows transmission of data, voice, video and graphics
at very high speeds. ISDN applications have revolutionized the way
business communicates. ISDN lines support upward scalability, which
means that you can transparently add more lines to get faster speeds
going up to 1.28 Mbps (Million bits per second).

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T1 and T3 are the other two types of commonly used dedicated line types
for the Internet connections. Dedicated lines are becoming popular
because of their faster data transfer rates. Dedicated lines are costeffective for the business that uses Internet services extensively.
Internet Protocols
Internet protocols are required to transfer data over networks and/or the Internet
in an efficient manner. When various computers are connected through a
computer network, it becomes necessary to use a protocol to efficiently use
network bandwidth and avoid collisions.
A network protocol defines a language that contains rules and conventions
for reliable communication between different devices over the network. For
example, it includes rules that specify how to package data into messages, how
to acknowledge a message and how to compress data.
There are a number of Internet protocols used. The most commonly used
protocols are:
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
Telnet
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
It is a protocol suite used to transfer data over the Internet. Two main protocols
in this protocol suite are:
TCP: It forms the higher layer of TCP/IP and divides a message or a file
into smaller packets which are transmitted over the Internet. A TCP layer
on the other side receives these packets and reassembles the data packets
into the original message.
IP: It is the lower layer whose function is to handle the address part of
each packet to enable it to be delivered to the right destination. Usually,
this address is checked by each gateway computer on the network so
that it is identified where to forward the message. This implies that all the
packets of a message are delivered to the destination regardless of the
route used for delivering the packets.
The working of TCP/IP can be compared with shifting your residence to a
new location. This activity would involve packing your belongings in smaller
boxes for easy transportation, with the new address and a number written on
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each of the boxes. You would then load them on multiple vehicles. These vehicles
may take different routes to reach the same destination. The delivery time of
vehicles depends on the amount of traffic and the length of the route. Once the
boxes are delivered to the destination, you would check these to make sure
that all have been delivered in good shape. After that, you need to unpack the
boxes and reassemble your house.
HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
HTTP is a protocol for transferring files (text, image, sound, video and other
multimedia files) using the Internet. It is an application protocol that runs on top
of the TCP/IP protocol suite, which is the foundation protocol of the Internet. It
defines how messages are formatted and transmitted and what actions Web
servers and Web browsers should take in response to the commands issued.
HTTP is based on the client/server architecture where your Web browser acts
as an HTTP client making requests to the Web server machines. In addition to
the Web pages, a server machine contains an HTTP daemon that handles the
Web page requests. Typically, when a user types a URL (Uniform Resource
Locator) or clicks on a hypertext link, the browser builds an HTTP request and
sends it to the IP address indicated in the URL. The HTTP daemon on the
destination server then receives this request and responds by sending back the
requested Web page (refer Figure 11.2).
www.yahoo.com
Request

Response
HTTP Client

Server

Figure 11.2 HTTP

HTTP is a stateless protocol, which means each request is processed


independently, without any knowledge of the previous request. This is the reason
that the server side programming languages such as JSP, PHP and ASP.NET
have gained popularity.
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File Transfer Protocol (FTP)


FTP is an application protocol for exchanging files between computers over the
Internet (refer Figure 11.3). It is the simplest and most commonly used protocol
for downloading/uploading a file from/to a server. For example, downloading a
document or an article from a Website. Like other protocols, FTP also uses
TCP/IP protocol suite for data transfer.

FTP Client

FTP Server

Figure 11.3 FTP

FTP also works on the client-server architecture where an FTP client


program is used to make a request to an FTP server (files can be stored on
computers referred to as FTP servers). Basic FTP support is usually provided
as part of the TCP/IP suite of programs. FTP can be used with the help of a
simple command line interface, such as MS DOS prompt.You can also use a
commercial program that provides graphical user interface. Using FTP, you can
update files on a server. Your Web browser could also make FTP requests to
download documents or programs you request from your page. Typically, you
would need a login to an FTP server. However, the files that are publicly available
can be easily accessed with the help of an anonymous FTP.
Telnet
Telnet is a protocol that allows you to access a remote computer, provided you
have been given the permission to do so. It is typically referred to as remote
login. Telnet is based on a different concept from HTTP and FTP. HTTP and
FTP allow you to request specific files from remote computers only, while with
Telnet you log on as a regular user on a remote machine with whatever privileges
you may have been granted on that computer to access specific application
and data. A request for a connection to a remote host, which may be a computer
lying physically in a neighbouring room or miles away results in an invitation to
log on with a user id and a password. If the request is accepted, the user can
enter commands through the Telnet program and these would be executed as
if they were being entered directly from the host machine. Once connected, the
users computer emulates the remote computer. Telnet is typically used by
program developers or anyone who needs to access data and/or applications
located at a particular host computer.
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The Internet Addressing


Since the Internet consists of a large number of computers connected with
each other, it requires a proper addressing system to uniquely identify each
computer in the network. Each computer connected to the Internet is associated
with a unique number and/or a name called computer address. Before you wish
to access any Web page on a computer, you would require the computer address.
IP Address: An IP address is a unique number associated with each
computer making it uniquely identifiable amongst all the computers connected
to the Internet. This is a 32 bit number and is divided into four octets such as
00001010 00000000 00000000 00000110. For human readability, it is
represented in a decimal notation, separating each octet with a period. The
above number would therefore be represented as: 10.0.0.6.
Each octet can range from 0 255, thus all IP addresses lie between
0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255 resulting in total 4294, 967, 296 possible IP
addresses. It may be worth noting that no two machines (or hosts) can have the
same IP address.
Domain Naming System (DNS): In a network, computers and devices
can be grouped as a unit with common rules and procedures. Such a group is
called a domain. Each domain name therefore corresponds to a group of IP
addresses. Some examples of domain names include Yahoo.com, Microsoft.com
and abcuniv.edu (refer Table 11.1). The last portion of the domain name provides
information on the kind of organization to which the address belongs.
Table 11.1 Abbreviations used in Domain Names
Abbreviation
com
org
edu
net
gov

What it represents
Commercial organization
Non-profit organization
Educational institution
Networking organizations
Government agencies

DNS is an Internet service that translates domain names to or from IP


addresses, which is the actual basis of addressing on the Internet (refer Figure
11.4). A DNS is typically a database containing information about domain names
and their corresponding IP addresses.

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www.tscpl.com 185.0.0.12
www.eg.com 195.102.230.2

195.102.230.2

DNS
185.0.0.12
www.tscpl.com

Figure 11.4 DNS

Starting the Internet


Before you start using the Internet, it may be useful to understand some
terminology commonly used in the context of the Internet.
Common Terminology
World Wide Web (WWW) Commonly known as WWW, Web or W3 consists
of a number of distributed servers that are connected through hypermedia
documents. These documents are created using HyperText Markup Language
(HTML). Related text organized into units can be accessed by using a link called
hyperlink. These links (or hyperlinks) allow the user to navigate from one
document to another without having to worry about the actual physical location
of the documents. WWW makes it possible to share information between
disparate users, computers and operating systems. It is therefore the fastest
growing application of the Internet.
Website
The Web can be understood as a collection of thousands of information locations
connected with each other. Each such location is called a Website and comprises
of multiple Web pages. A Web page is created using HTML and is like any other
computer document. It consists of text, pictures, sound, video and hyperlinks.
You can navigate from one Web page to another using the hyperlinks. A Website
can be created by an individual or a company. Websites are hosted on the Web
servers accessible on the Internet. A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) defines
the address of a Website and is used to point to the homepage of the Website.
A homepage is the first page that is displayed when you access a Website. It
serves as a reference point and contains links to additional HTML pages or
links to other Websites.
Uniform Resource Locator
A URL defines the address of a site on the Internet. They define the global
addresses of documents and other resources on WWW.

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Typically, the first part of a URL indicates the protocol to be used, while
the second part specifies the domain name or IP address where the resource is
located. Some examples of URLs are shown below:
URL
http://mysite.com/index.html

Description
Fetch a Web page (index.html) using the HTTP
Protocol

ftp://www.sharware/myzip.exe Fetch an executable file (myzip.exe) using FTP


Protocol

Web Browser
A Web browser, commonly known as browser, is a computer application that
creates requests for HTML pages or Web pages and displays the processed
HTML page. Web browsers use the HTTP to request for information from Web
servers. The two most commonly used Web browsers are:
Mozilla Firefox
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Other examples of Web browsers include Opera, Mosaic, Cello and Lynx.
Having knowledge of the basic features of the browsers will be helpful to
you in using them easily.
Toolbar of the Internet Explorer

The toolbar consists of various icons that can be used to execute functions. In
fact, most of the options available through the menu bar are also available
through the icons in the toolbar. Some commonly used icons are:

Back: The back button allows you to navigate to the Web page you viewed
last.

Forward: The forward button on the toolbar navigates to the next Web
page that was accessed previously. To view a list of the last few Web
pages visited, you can click the down arrow button beside the Back and
Forward buttons.

Stop: The stop button can be used to terminate the current Web page
request. This is usually used when you type the wrong URL by mistake

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and you want to stop the request for the Web page or if the Web page
takes too long to download.

Refresh: The Refresh or the Reload button is used to load the current
Web page again.
In other words, it refreshes the contents of the current page by fetching a
new copy of it.

Search: The Search button allows you to find information on the Web.
You can find information by clicking on the Search button on the toolbar.
This will activate the search text box as shown. You can then type in a
word or phrase and click the search button to start the search.

Favorites: The Favorites button is used to record the addresses of


frequently visited Websites. Once a Website or a Web page is added to
the favorites list, it can be revisited by simply clicking on the link in the list.
This saves the effort of typing the URL each time the user wishes to visit
the same site.

History: The History button is used to view the list of all the Web pages
visited in the last few days, hours or minutes. To revisit any one of them,
simply click on the address.

Print: The Print button is used to print the contents of the current Web
page.
Net Surfing
Net surfing, Internet browsing or exploring a network on the World Wide Web is
associated with visiting different Websites on the Internet. It is typically finding
places of interest on the click of a mouse. It is analogous to surfing TV channels
with a remote control.
Searching
Searching is one of the most common uses of the Internet. You can search for
any topic or information on the Internet. This is possible by using Websites that
provide a search engine.

11.3 The Internet Browsers


When a user accesses the Web pages by following the hyperlinks from one
Web page to another or opening various Websites, then it is referred to as
surfing the Web. A user surfs the Web for accessing information from different

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Websites. Web browsers such as the Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox are
used to access information from Websites. Some Web browsers are:
Mozilla Firefox
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Netscape
Opera
Apple Safari
In the usual Web surfing, the client communicates with the Web server
directly. The direct communication with the Web server exposes the information
about the Websites the user has visited. The proxy server hides the details of
the Websites the user has visited. This type of Web surfing is called anonymous
Web surfing.
Anonymous Web surfing is useful because, it protects the users privacy
on the Web. It allows a user to visit Websites without allowing anyone to gather
information about the sites the user visited. A user can hide the information
about the visited sites using proxy server. A proxy server is a server that is
located between a client application and a Web server. The proxy server provides
anonymity of the visited sites by hiding the visitors IP address. The proxy server
intercepts all the requests that are intended for the Web server to verify if it can
respond the requests on its own. If the proxy server can respond the request on
its own, it responds the request by sending the requested Web page. If the
proxy server cannot respond to the requests, it forwards the requests to the
Web server. The Web server, where the requested Web pages reside, receives
requests from the proxy server for the Web pages. (refer Figure 11.5).

Figure 11.5 Web Surfing

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Web Access using the Web Browser


A Web browser is a computer software using which you can display and interact
with text, images and other information that is present on a Web page. These
text and images can also provide hyperlinks to other pages on the Web. Using
a Web browser, a user can follow the hyperlinks and navigate through other
pages on the Web quickly and easily.
The Microsoft Internet Explorer is the most popular Web browser. Web
browsers can also be used in private networks. Private networks are those that
use the Internet protocols for communication among different computers, but
these computers are not connected to the Internet. These networks are owned
by specific organizations for their personal use.
Web browsers communicate with Web servers using HyperText Transfer
Protocol (HTTP). HTTP can be used to submit information to Web servers and
also to bring Web pages from Web servers to the client computers. The Web
pages are located on the Web using a URL, which is an address of a Web
page. It starts with http for accessing the Web using HTTP. Other URLs are
also supported on the Web to locate Web pages such as the URL starting with
ftp for accessing the Web using FTP. Commonly, the file format of Web pages
is HTML (HyperText Markup Language).
Activity 1
Collect information from the Internet on various types of the Internet
browsers (icon and features) and prepare a chart on it.

Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) A network protocol defines a _______________________ that
contains rules and conventions for reliable communication between
different devices over the network.
(b) FTP is an _________________ protocol for exchanging files between
computers over the Internet.
2. State whether true or false:
(a) The Internet application that is currently drawing maximum attention
is the World Wide Web.
(b) Web browsers communicate with Web servers using File Transfer
Protocol.
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11.4 Modem
There are various ways to connect to the Internet. Some of the common options
are described here:
Dial Up Connections
Telephone lines were designed to transmit human voice and not electronic data
from computers. Modems were therefore invented to convert digital computer
signals into a form that allowed them to travel over phone lines by converting
digital signals to analog ones on one end, and converting them back to digital
signals at the receiving end.
If your computer does not has an internal modem, you can consider buying
an external one, as it is much easier to install and operate. For example, when
your modem freezes (not an unusual occurrence), you may need to turn it off
and on again to get it working properly. With an internal modem, that means
restarting your computera waste of time. With an external modem, it is as
easy as flipping a switch.
Until the end of 1995, the conventional wisdom was that 28.8 Kbps was
about the fastest speed you could squeeze out of a regular copper telephone
line. Today, data transmission for a dial up connection is typically 56 Kbps. The
key information here is to know which speed modem is supported by your ISP.
If your ISP supports only a 28.8 Kbps modem on its end of the line, you would
be able to connect to the Internet only at 28.8 Kbps, even if you had the fastest
modem in the world.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
DSL is a high-speed technology that has recently gained popularity. It can carry
both data and voice over telephone lines. It is possible for a DSL line to stay
connected to the Internet; this means that you do not have to dial up every time
you wish to go online. Usually with DSL, data can be downloaded at rates that
can go up to 1.544 Mbps and data can be sent at 128 Kbps. Because DSL lines
carry both data and voice, a separate phone line does not have to be installed.
DSL services can be established using your existing lines, as long as the service
is offered in your locality and your system lies within the appropriate distance
from the central switching office of the telephone company.
DSL services require special modems and network cards to be installed
on your computer. The cost of equipment and the monthly service and DSL
installation charges may vary considerably; therefore, checking with the local

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phone company and the ISP is recommended. It may be noted here that prices
are now declining due to the increasing competition.
Cable Modems
You can also connect to the Internet at high-speeds through cable TV. Since
their speeds go up to 36 Mbps, cable modems make it possible for data to be
downloaded in a matter of seconds, where they might take fifty times longer
with dial up connections. Since they work over TV cables, they do not tie up
telephone lines and also do not require you to specifically connect as in the
case of dial up connections.

11.5 The ISP


The Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a company that accesses the Internet
services. This service provider provides a software package in which you get
registration with the providing services. Once you register with username,
password and dialing phone number, you can access ISP by paying the monthly
fee. This software package is equipped with modem that is connected with the
Internet services. Good ISPs have their own leased-line provided by
telecommunication providers. Some of the largest and popular ISPs are At&T
WorldNet, MCI, IBM Global Network, UUNet, PSINet, Netcom, etc. It is
sometimes known as the Internet access provider. There are 183 ISPs in India
(refer Table 11.2). The following table shows the list of ISPs having all India
license:
Table 11.2 ISPs in India
BSNL

RPGInfotech

Gateway
systems
CMC
Sifi
ERNET
India
Essel
VSNL
Jumpp
India
Astro
Primus
Siti Cable
India
Telecommunication Network
Network India
Reliance L&T Finanace
In2Cable
(India)
Reliance

RailTel
Corporation
GTL
Bharti Infotel

i2i Enterprise
Tata Power
Broadband
RailTel Corporation

World Phone
Escorts
Internet Services Communication
Spectra Net
Reach

Estel
Communication

As shown in the Figure 11.6, ISP provides Web, e-mail and VoIP, etc., as
main services. The ISP includes domain name registration and hosting, Internet

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transmit, dial up or DSL access, lease-line and collocation. You can take your
domain name, secured Website and high-availability Web servers with this facility.
Suppose a firewall is implemented with two separate Ethernet interfaces. Figure
11.7 shows how two ISPs are connected with the Internet.
Internet

ISP 1 Gateway
Router
IP
206.124.146.254

ISP 2 Gateway
Router
IP
130.252.99.254

eth0
206.124.146.176

eth1
eth2 130.252.99.27

Local LAN

Figure 11.6 Services of ISP

Figure 11.7 Connection between


ISPs and the Internet

From Figure 11.7, the following explanation can be analysed.


The Ethernet eth0 connects to ISP1. The IP address of eth0 is
206.124.146.176 and ISPs gateway router has address as
206.124.146.254.
The Ethernet eth1 connects to ISP2. The IP address of eth1 is
130.252.99.27 and ISPs gateway router has address as 130.252.99.254.
The Ethernet eth2 connects to local LAN.

11.6 Search Engines


A search engine is a software system that enables the users to search information
on the WWW using keywords. It is designed to help the Internet users locate
the Internet resources such as Web pages, documents, programs and images
using a keyword search mechanism. Search engines typically use databases
that contain references to a host of resources. Users interact with a search
engine using an interface. There are many search engines available with different
appearance and search mechanisms. Commonly used search engines are:
Google, Yahoo, MSN, Altavista, AOL, Ask Jeeves, Lycos, Excite and HotBot.

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Google (http://www.google.com)

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Yahoo (http://www.yahoo.com)

Useful Tips for Searching


Type in the words such as Singapore in the search box to get the result
pages
You could also use multiple search terms that will produce more appropriate
results. For example, if you are planning a vacation in Singapore, you
may need to type both the terms in the search box, as shown below:
Vacation Singapore

This will result in pages containing both the terms and will therefore be
more specific for your search. You should, therefore, choose your search terms
carefully.
To restrict a search further, include more terms in your search criteria.
You could also search using phrases, when you need the results to
contain the exact phrases. If this is desired, include the search phrase
in quotation marks as shown:
Five star hotels in Singapore

Searches are usually not case sensitive.


Meta Search Engines
Since different search engines use different search algorithms, you may often
get different results for the same search criterion when using different search
engines. The user must therefore know which search engine is best suited for
his/her specific query. Meta search engines make the search task easy by
providing a central location to type the keyword or phrase and then obtaining
results from multiple search engines. They enable the user to use different
search engines simultaneously for searching without having to worry about which
search engine is to be used for a specific query. Meta search engines do not
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have any database to search but only provide services to route a single query
to multiple search engines.
Examples of meta search engines include MetaCrawler, Mamma, DogPile
and One Search.

Activity 2
Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_search_engine and prepare a report
on the history and functioning of Web search engines.

Self-Assessment Questions
3. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) Data transmission for a __________________ connection is typically
56 Kbps.
(b) The Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a _________________ that
access the Internet services.
4. State whether true or false:
(a) Modems convert digital signals to analog ones on one end and then
convert them back to digital signals at the receiving end.
(b) The Ethernet eth2 connects to local LAN.

11.7 Security
The security of a system involves two parts: one, the task of authenticating a
subject (process or people) who attempts to access a secure entity, and two,
the task of determining if the subject is authorized to have access to each
specific secure entity. When a user logs on to a computer, the operating system
wants to determine who the user is. This process is called user authentication.
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More formally, authentication is the task of ensuring that a subject who


attempts to access the secure entity is actually the subject that it claims to be.
Authorization is that task after authentication that ensures whether the
subject has the right to access a secure entity in the system. That is, a person
is an authenticated user of the system, but has he got (authorized) the right, for
example, to print on the laser printer?
Most applications today need to access information over networks such
as a LAN or WAN. The information may be secure inside the computer hardware,
but the networks are open to anybody to peep in. So, another important aspect
of security and protection is to ensure that the information is not copied or
confidentiality is not compromised while in transit. The modern technique to
ensure the security of information in transit is through cryptography. Cryptography
can also protect information in persistent storage state.
Most authentication techniques are based on the general principle of
identifying what he (the subject accessing the resource) knows or what he has
or what he is. This leads to various authentication schemes with varying
complexities and security properties.
Authentication Using Password
The use of a user name and password provides the most common form of
authentication. You enter your name and password when prompted by the
computer. It checks the pair against a secure file to confirm. If either the name
or the password does not match, then you are not allowed to proceed further.

11.7.1 Security Attacks


Attacks on a system may be from insiders who have logged into the system or
outsiders who prompt an innocent legitimate user to download free of cost a
malicious program, such as Trojan Horses or Viruses or Worms as an exciting
game or music. These intruders may be thrill-seeking adolescent hackers or
professional hackers stealing vital information for sale or disgruntled employees
who want to damage the system for revenge or profit. A secure system
administrator must monitor physically and by employing appropriate auditing of
the usage of resources the following activities can be checked:
Unauthorized attempt to use computers by any insiders.
Browsing through system libraries and files, and modification and
destruction of information by users.

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Programming denial of service attack such as creating large number of


processes by a user.
Users trying to access security auditing functions and files without
permission or authorization.
Outsider attacks are mainly from computers connected through the
Internet. Intelligence departments all over the world collect information exploiting
the security flaws in the Internet and by attracting users through irresistible
Web page contents. Any computer system connected to the insecure Internet
is vulnerable to attack, and the Internet is a comfortable place for attackers to
engineer attacks and remain anonymous. Easier-to-use automated tools are
available for attackers to plant attacks that cause huge destructions in minutes.
There are different categories of external attackers, such as freelance information
brokers, foreign or domestic competitors, terrorist organizations and crime
syndicates.
A significant threat of recent importance is the use of the Internet for
Information warfare. Information warfare weapons are changing the nature of
war from the traditional gunpowder and high-cost high-tech nuclear weapons.
Information warfare weapons are low-cost and affordable even by small countries
or groups. The operations of telecommunications, power, transportation and
financial systems are now increasingly linked to the Internet, and they are the
targets of attacks from abroad exploiting the vulnerabilities of the Internet
connected computers. Even a small terrorist organization can attack computers
of defence department of a highly developed nation for destroying and stealing
sensitive information which may amount to weakening the security of military
communication and consequent failures in operations.
Attacks from Inside the System
An insider is a person who has logged into a computer using legitimate username
and password. In a system with long and special symbol based passwords,
breaking them to login may be difficult. However, week passwords may be broken
easily and the intruder can cause damages to the user information or steal
them. A person who has logged in can also exploit the system vulnerabilities
(bugs or loop holes) to gain entry into other users area including administrators
and work in the system with their privileges. These attackers are also called
crackers, as they break the password system to gain unauthorized entries into
other users area.

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Attacks from Outside the System


Major security threats of outsider attacks are through viruses and worms. These
can easily enter into the system and spread to other systems through the Internet.
Viruses
A virus is a program fragment that is attached to legitimate popular programs
like games or other utilities with the intention of infecting other programs.
Normally, the virus code segment will be attached to the beginning part of the
executable file so that, when anybody executes it, the virus code will b executed
first causing damages to the system. The virus segment also includes the code
to search for other executable files in the system and add itself to the beginning
part of those files. In this way, after a few hours of infecting one of the files in the
system, most of the executable files in the system might get the virus infection
leading to wastage of CPU time and other resources. As a consequence, the
system response will become unacceptably low. A virus writer can also include
in it the code to cause damages to data and delete files. For a virus to spread to
another computer, one must first place a virus affected file in that computer
manually or through e-mails. The viruses are given names based on the method
of attack or the media attacked or the location they reside.
Worms
A worm is also like virus, but it can automatically spread to other computers
through the Internet. A worm has two parts, the bootstrap code and the main
Worm code: The main worm code does all damages to the system under attack.
The bootstrap code may be inserted to the machine exploiting the bugs in the
system. When the bootstrap code gets executed on the system under attack, it
gets connected to the attackers machine from which it came. The attackers
machine uploads the main worm to the system under attack and executes it
there causing damages to the system. The worm then hides its presence and
then spreads the worm to other machines by sending the bootstrap code to all
other machines connected to the attacked machine. The process of attack again
continues from its new location. Thus, the whole networked machines can be
brought down in a few hours.
Activity 3
Prepare a detailed categorized list on the types of security required to secure
the hardware and software of a computer system.

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11.8 Digital Signatures


Digital Signature (DS) follows authentication mechanism. A code is attached
with messages in DS. Primarily, the signature is generated by hashing the
message and then later this message is encrypted with the senders private
key. DS is based on public key encryption. A signature confirms that integrity
and source of message is correct. NIST (National Institute of Standards and
Technology) standard recognized the DS standard that basically uses the Secure
Hash Algorithm (SHA). Message authentication protects digital signature
because in that messages are exchanged by the third-party. DS is analogous to
manual signature. The characteristics of DS are as follows:
It attaches date and time along with author of the signature.
It authenticates the contents when signature was being completed.
It solves the disputes using third-party (generally in online payment by
PayPal).
It ensures that message is not altered. The message can be electronic
documents, such as e-mail, text file, spreadsheet, etc.
A person or information is authenticated on the computer by using various
techniques. Brief descriptions of these techniques are as follows:
Password
User name and password provide authentication. If user logs on the system
unit or application, user name and password will be asked for checking
authentication. Generally the following type of password authentication is
provided to user in which two prime fields, namely User Name and Password
are required to access the system:

User Name:
Password:
Click!

If the two requirements are not matched, users are not allowed to access
the system.

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Checksum
The checksums provide a form of authentication where an invalid checksum is
not recognized. If the packet of checksum is one byte long, it will have the
maximum value of 255. If the sum of other bytes of the packet is 255 or less
than that the checksum contains exact value. But, if the sum of other bytes is
more than 255, the checksum is the remainder of total value (refer Table 11.3).
Table 11.3 Checksum Calculation
Byte
1
212

Byte
2
232

Byte
3
54

Byte
4
135

Byte
5
244

Byte
6
15

Byte
7
179

Byte
8
80

Total
1151

Checksum
127

In Table 11.3, 1151 is divided by 256 that returns remainder 4.496 (round
value is taken as 4). Then it is multiplied with 4 256 that equals to 1024. The
value 1024 is subtracted 1151 that returns 127. In this way, the total checksum
value is calculated.
Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC)
The process of CRC is same as checksums. In this method, the polynomial
division determines the value of CRC, which can be equal in length to 16 or 32
bits. The one difference between CRC and checksum is that CRC is more
accurate. If a single bit is taken as incorrect the CRC value does not match.

11.9 E-mail
E-mail, short for electronic mail enables you to send your correspondence
instantaneously anywhere in the world via the Internet. E-mail has made the
world a small place.
The popularity of e-mail is because of its capability of sending and receiving
messages anytime, anywhere without any cost. E-mail allows you to send and
receive a variety of file types such as text, image, video, sound and graphics to
a single recipient or multiple recipients using broadcasting. To use the e-mail
feature, you just need to create an e-mail account for yourself using a Website
that offers such services. Various sites provide e-mail facility. Some of them
such as yahoo.com, rediff.com, hotmail.com and lycos.com provide it free
of cost while others charge for it.
Since by now you would be quite keen to use the e-mail facility, let us run
through creating and using an e-mail account on yahoo.com.

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Creating an E-Mail Account


Type the URL http://www.yahoo.com in the address bar of a Web browser
such as the Internet Explorer to visit the Yahoo homepage:

Mail

The page that is now displayed is the Sign in page. If you are an existing
user, you need to type in your user id and password to log on to your account.
If you are a first time user, you need to first create an account for yourself.

Existing
User

New User

Click Sign Up to create a new user. The page that is displayed is a


registration form that requires you to fill in your details along with the user id
and password for your new e-mail account.

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User Id and
Password

Once you have registered yourself on a Website, you become a member


and can simply log on to your mail account to start sending and receiving
e-mails. For all future access, you would require to remember your user id and
password because that is the key to your login.
Checking Your E-Mail
You can access your e-mail anytime by logging on to your mail. To do so, perform
the following steps:
Type the URL http://www.yahoo.com in the address bar of a Web browser.
Enter your user id and password.

User Id and
Password
Sign In

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Once you have signed in successfully, you can access your e-mail account.
You can access your Inbox to view any incoming mail or to write a new mail.
Clicking the Inbox button displays all the received messages or mails.
You can read an e-mail by clicking the e-mail subject.
Clicking the e-mail subject displays the contents of your e-mail that can
be read to take necessary action.

Compose
Inbox

Sending an E-Mail
The Compose option on the left corner of your screen allows you to write an
e-mail message. You can also attach documents to your mail. When you select
the Compose option, the following screen appears:

Send

Attachments

Message Box

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You can use the following options while composing or writing an e-mail
message.
To: Specif ies the e-mail address of a recipient such as
recipient@domain.com and user@abcdomain.com. This should be a
valid e-mail id for the delivery of your message. You can specify multiple
recipients addresses separated by commas.
Cc: Specifies the address of the recipient to whom you want to send
the carbon copy (Cc) of your message. You can specify multiple
recipients addresses separated by commas.
Subject: Refers to the subject of the e-mail message. It provides a
fair idea to the recipient about what the mail contains.
Message Box: Provides a text area for composing e-mail content.
E-Mail Attachments
Attachments can be sent and received with e-mails. These are files of different
type like text, sound, video, etc., attached with the e-mail.
Sending Attachments
To send an attachment, click on the Attachments button while composing a
mail. The following screenshot provides options to attach one or more file(s).

Attach Files
Browse

Clicking the Browse button against the box provided to enter the file
name opens a standard file selection dialog box. This lets you browse through
the files on your disk(s) and select the file you wish to attach. Once you select
the file to attach, click the Open button. You can repeat this process if you wish
to attach more file(s). Once you are done with selecting all the files, click the

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Attach Files button and then return to your message to proceed with sending
the message with the attached file(s).
Opening Attachments
If you receive an e-mail message with an attachment(s), you could either
download or save the attached files to the disk to be viewed later or view them
online. To see an attachment, click the attached file(s).

Open

The following screenshot is displayed. Clicking the Download


Attachment button displays the subsequent screen providing options to either
open the attachment online and/or Save it to disk for subsequent viewing.

Attached file

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Self-Assessment Questions
5. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) Authorization is that task after __________________ that ensures
whether the subject has the right to access a secure entity in the
system.
(b) E-mail, short for electronic mail enables you to send your
correspondence instantaneously anywhere in the world via the
____________________.
6. State whether true or false:
(a) Any computer system connected to the insecure Internet is not
vulnerable to attack.
(b) Message authentication protects digital signature because in that
messages are exchanged by the third-party.

11.10 IPv6
IPv6 offers the following significant features:
A considerably larger address space, which is said to be sufficient for at
least the next 30 years.
Globally unique and hierarchical addressing based on prefixes rather than
address classes to keep routing tables small and backbone routing
efficient.
A mechanism for the auto-configuration of network interfaces.
Support for encapsulation of itself and other protocols.
Class of service that distinguishes types of data.
Improved multicast routing support (in preference to broadcasting).
Built-in authentication and encryption.
Transition methods to migrate from IPv4.
Compatibility methods to coexist and communicate with IPv4.
IPv6 uses the term packet rather than datagram. The meaning is the
same but the formats are different.

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IPv6 uses the term node for any system running it, that is, a host or a
router. An IPv6 host is a node that does not forward IPv6 packets that are not
explicitly addressed to it. A router is a node that forwards IP packets not addressed
to it.
Format of an IPv6 Datagram
Figure 11.8 illustrates the format of an IPv6 datagram.

Figure 11.8 IPv6 Datagram

The various terms used are described as follows:


Vers

4-bit Internet Protocol version number: 6.

Priority

4-bit priority field defines the priority of the packet with respect
to traffic congestion or other packets from the same source.

Flow Label

20-bit field that is designed to provide special handling for a


particular flow of data.

Payload length

The length of the packet in bytes (excluding this header)


encoded as a 16-bit unsigned integer. If length is greater
than 64 KB, this field is 0 and an option header (Jumbo
Payload) gives the true length to the packet.

Next header

Indicates the type of header immediately following the basic


IP header. It can indicate an IP option header or an upper
layer protocol. The protocol numbers used are the same as
those used in IPv4. The next header field is also used to
indicate the presence of extension headers, which provide
the mechanism for appending optional information to the IPv6
packet.

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Hop limit: This is similar to the IPv4 TTL field but it is now measured in hops
and not in seconds. It was changed for two reasons:
IP normally forwards datagrams faster than one hop per second and the
TTL field is always decremented on each hop; so, in practice, it is measured
in hops and not in seconds.
Many IP implementations do not expire outstanding datagrams on the
basis of elapsed time.
The packet is discarded after the hop limit is decremented to zero.
Flow Labels
IPv6 introduces the concept of a flow, which is a series of related packets from
a source to a destination that requires a particular type of handling by the
intervening routers, for example, real-time service.
A flow label is assigned to a flow by the flows source node. New flow
labels must be chosen (pseudo-) randomly and uniformly from the range 1 to
FFFFF hex. The purpose of the random allocation is to make any set of bits
within the Flow Label field suitable for using as a hash key by routers for looking
up the state associated with the flow.
All packets belonging to the same flow must be sent with the same source
address, destination address and flow label. The handling requirement for a
particular flow label is known as the state information; this is cached at the
router. When packets with a known flow label arrive at the router, the router can
efficiently decide how to route and forward the packets without having to examine
the rest of the header for each packet.
There can be multiple active flows between a source and a destination,
as well as traffic that is not associated with any flow. Each flow is distinctly
labelled by the 24-bit flow label field in the IPv6 packet. A flow is uniquely identified
by the combination of a source address and a non-zero flow label. Packets that
do not belong to a flow carry a flow label of zero.

11.11 HTTP
The engine of the World Wide Web is the application protocol that defines how
Web servers and clients exchange information through the HTTP. The first
version of HTTP, HTTP/0.9, was part of the early World Wide Web and was a
very simple request/response protocol with limited capabilities that could transfer
only text files. The first widely used version was HTTP/1.0, which is a more
complete protocol that allows the transport of many types of files and resources.
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The current version is HTTP/1.1, which expands HTTP/1.0s capabilities with


several features that improve the efficiency of transfers and address many of
the needs of the rapidly growing modern World Wide Web.
The HTTP is a protocol designed to allow the transfer of HTML documents.
HTML is a tag language used to create hypertext documents. Hypertext
documents include links to other documents that contain additional information
about the highlighted term or subject. Such documents can contain other
elements apart from text, such as graphic images, audio and video clips, Java
Applets and even virtual reality worlds.
HTTP is based on request-response activity. A client, running an application
called a browser, establishes a connection with a server and sends a request to
the server in the form of a request method. The server responds with a status
line, including the messages protocol version and a success or error code,
followed by a message containing server information, entity information, and
possible body content.
An HTTP transaction is divided into following four steps:
The browser opens a connection.
The browser sends a request to the server.
The server sends a response to the browser.
The connection is closed.
On the Internet, HTTP communication generally takes place over TCP
connections. The default port is TCP 80, but other ports can be used. This does
not preclude HTTP from being implemented on top of any other protocol on the
Internet or on other networks. HTTP only presumes a reliable transport; any
protocol that provides such guarantees can be used.
HTTP is a stateless protocol because it does not keep track of the
connections. To load a page including two graphics, for example, a graphicenabled browser will open three TCP connections: one for the page and two for
the graphics. Most browsers, however, are able to handle several of these
connections simultaneously.

11.11.1 HTTP Operation


In most cases, the HTTP communication is initiated by the user agent requesting
a resource on the origin server. In the simplest case, the connection is established
through a single connection between the user agent and the origin server
(refer Figure 11.9).

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Figure 11.9 HTTP Operation

HTTP is a client-server oriented, request/reply protocol. Basic


communication consists of an HTTP Request message sent by an HTTP client
to an HTTP server, which returns an HTTP Response message back to the
client.
The simple client-server operational model of HTTP is complicated when
intermediary devices such as proxies, tunnels or gateways are inserted in the
communication path between the HTTP client and server. HTTP/1.1 is specifically
designed with features to support the efficient conveyance of requests and
responses through a series of steps from the client through the intermediaries
to the server, and back again. The entire set of devices involved in such a
communication is called the request/response chain (refer Figure 11.10).

Figure 11.10 HTTP Operation with Proxies

11.11.2 Some Other Features


The most important feature that improves the efficiency of operation of
HTTP is cachingthe storing of recently requested resources in a
temporary area. If the same resource is then needed again a short time
later, it can be retrieved from the cache rather than requiring a fresh
request to the server, resulting in a savings of both time and bandwidth.
Caching can be performed by Web clients, servers and intermediaries.
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The closer the cache is to the user, the greater the efficiency benefits and
the farther from the user, the greater the number of users that can benefit
from the cache.
One of the most important types of intermediary devices in HTTP is a
proxy server, which acts as a middleman between the client and server,
handling both requests and responses. A proxy server may either transport
messages unchanged or may modify them to implement certain features
and capabilities. Proxies are often used to increase the security and/or
performance of Web access.
HTTP is an inherently stateless protocol, because a server treats each
request from a client independently, forgetting about all prior requests.
This characteristic of HTTP is not an issue for most routine uses of the
World Wide Web, but is a problem for interactive applications such as
online shopping where the server needs to keep track of a users
information over time. To support these applications, most HTTP
implementations include an optional feature called state management.
When enabled, a server sends to a client a small amount of information
called a cookie, which is stored on the client machine. The data in the
cookie is returned to the server with each subsequent request, allowing
the server to update it and send it back to the client again. Cookies thus
enable a server to remember user data between requests. However, they
are controversial, because of certain potential privacy and security
concerns related to their use.

Self-Assessment Questions
7. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) IPv6 is a mechanism for the ___________________ of network
interfaces.
(b) HTTP is a ___________________ protocol because it does not keep
track of the connections.
8. State whether true or false:
(a) An IPv6 host is a node that does not forward IPv6 packets that are
not explicitly addressed to it.
(b) HTML is a tag language used to create hypertext documents.

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11.12 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:
The Internet is a network of networks that links computer systems around
the world. It allows communication across networks, i.e., communication
can take place between one network and another.
TCP/IP is a protocol suite used to transfer data over the Internet. Two
main protocols in this protocol suite are TCP and IP.
HTTP is a protocol for transferring files (text, image, sound, video and
other multimedia files) using the Internet. It is an application protocol that
runs on top of the TCP/IP protocol suite, which is the foundation protocol
of the Internet.
FTP is an application protocol for exchanging files between computers
over the Internet. It is the simplest and most commonly used protocol for
downloading /uploading a file from /to a server.
Telnet is a protocol that allows you to access a remote computer provided
you have been given the permission to do so. It is typically referred to as
remote login. Telnet is based on a different concept from HTTP and
FTP.
A Web browser, commonly known as browser, is a computer application
that creates requests for HTML pages or Web pages and displays the
processed HTML page. Web browsers use the HTTP to request for
information from Web servers.
The Internet Service Provider is a company that accesses the Internet
services. This service provider provides a software package in which you
get registration with the providing services.
A search engine is a software system that enables the users to search
information on the WWW using keywords. It is designed to help the Internet
users locate Internet resources such as Web pages, documents, programs
and images using a keyword search mechanism.
A virus is a program fragment that is attached to legitimate popular
programs like games or other utilities with the intention of infecting other
programs. A worm is also like virus, but it can automatically spread to
other computers through the Internet. A worm has two parts, the bootstrap
code and the worm code.

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Digital signature is based on public key encryption. A signature confirms


that integrity and source of message is correct.
E-Mail, short for electronic mail enables you to send your correspondence
instantaneously anywhere in the world via the Internet. It allows you to
send and receive a variety of file types such as text, image, video, sound
and graphics to a single recipient or multiple recipients using broadcasting.
The HTTP is a protocol designed to allow the transfer of HTML documents.
HTML is a tag language used to create hypertext documents. Hypertext
documents include links to other documents that contain additional
information about the highlighted term or subject.

11.13 Glossary
Internet: A network of networks that links computer systems around the
world
Web: A collection of thousands of information locations connected with
each other
Web browser: A computer application that creates requests for HTML
pages or Web pages and displays the processed HTML page
ISP: A company that accesses the Internet services
Search engine: A software system that enables the users to search
information on the WWW using keywords

11.14 Terminal Questions


1. Explain the commonly used Internet protocols.
2. What are the Internet browsers? List some of them.
3. What are the common ways of connecting to the Internet?
4. ISP is a company that accesses the Internet services. Elaborate.
5. What is the use of search engines?
6. How important is the security of a system? What are security attacks?
7. What is a digital signature used for? State its characteristics.
8. Write down the steps for sending an e-mail.

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9. What are the significant features of IPv6?


10. Explain the procedure of HTTP transaction.

11.15 Answers
Answers to Self-Assessment Questions
1. (a) Language; (b) Application
2. (a) True; (b) False
3. (a) Dial up; (b) Company
4. (a) True; (b) True
5. (a) Authentication; (b) Internet
6. (a) False; (b) True
7. (a) Auto-configuration; (b) Stateless
8. (a) True; (b) True

Answers to Terminal Questions


1. Refer to Section 11.2.2
2. Refer to Section 11.3
3. Refer to Section 11.4
4. Refer to Section 11.5
5. Refer to Section 11.6
6. Refer to Section 11.7.1
7. Refer to Section 11.8
8. Refer to Section 11.9
9. Refer to Section 11.10
10. Refer to Section 11.11

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11.16 Further Reading


1. Forouzan, Behrouz A. Data Communications and Networking. New
Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Black, Uyless D. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,
1993.
3. Stallings, William. Data and Computer Communications. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall Inc., 1996.
4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Inc., 2002.
5. Douglas, E. C. Computer Networks & Internet. New Delhi: Pearson
Education.
6. Rajaraman, V. Fundamentals of Computers. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of
India, 1996.

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Unit 12

Layered Protocols and the OSI Model

Structure
12.1 Introduction
Objectives
12.2 Open System Interconnection
12.3 Layers of OSI
12.4 TCP/IP Reference Models and Internetworking
12.5 Major IP Services
12.6 TCP
12.7 Flow Control
12.8 Cryptography
12.9 Summary
12.10 Glossary
12.11 Terminal Questions
12.12 Answers
12.13 Further Reading

12.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you read about the basics of the Internet, network security,
e-mailing as well as various search engines. In the present unit, you will read
about the OSI reference model and the layered protocols.
The OSI model defines the communications process into 7 Layers, which
divides the tasks involved with moving information between networked computers
into seven smaller, more manageable task groups. A task or group of tasks is
then assigned to each of the seven OSI layers. Each layer is reasonably selfcontained so that the tasks assigned to each layer can be implemented
independently. This enables the solutions offered by one layer to be updated
without adversely affecting the other layers. TCP/IP is the basic communication
language or protocol of the Internet. It can also be used as a communications
protocol in a private network. TCP/IP uses the client-server model of
communication in which a computer user (a client) requests and is provided a
service (such as sending a Web page) by another computer (a server) in the
network. The TCP/IP model does not exactly match the OSI model. While there
is no universal agreement about how to describe TCP/IP with a layered model,
it is generally viewed as being composed of fewer layers than the seven used in
the OSI model.

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Cryptographic protocol is an abstract or concrete protocol that performs


a security-related function and applies cryptographic methods. Cryptographic
protocols are widely used for secure application-level data transport. A wide
variety of cryptographic protocols go beyond the traditional goals of data
confidentiality, integrity and authentication to also secure a variety of other desired
characteristics of computer-mediated collaboration.
Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Discuss the concept of OSI model
Explain the various layers of OSI
Describe the TCP/IP reference models and internetworking
Classify the major IP services
Define transfer control protocol
Summarize flow control
Interpret cryptography

12.2 Open System Interconnection


Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) was set up as an international standard
for network architecture. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
took the initiative in setting up OSI.

12.2.1 Layering the Communication Process


OSI has two meanings. It refers to:
Protocols that are authorized by ISO
OSI basic reference model
OSI reference model divides the required functions of the network
architecture into seven layers and defines the function of each layer. Layering
the communications process means breaking down the communication process
into smaller and easier to handle interdependent categories, with each solving
an important and somehow distinct aspect of the data exchange process. The
objective of this detail is to develop an understanding of the complexity and
sophistication that this technology has achieved, in addition to developing the
concept for the inner workings of the various components that contribute to the
data communications process.
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Physical Data Encoding


Information exchanged between two computers is physically carried by means of
electrical signals assuming certain coding methods. These codings can be
characterized by changing voltage levels, current levels, frequency of transmission,
phase changes or any combination of these physical aspects of electrical activity.
For two computers to reliably exchange data, they must have a compatible
implementation of encoding and interpreting data carrying electrical signals. Over
time, network vendors defined different standards for encoding data on the wire.
Figure 12.1 shows one such standard, namely, bipolar data encoding.

Figure 12.1 Bipolar Data Encoding

In bipolar encoding, binary data is simply represented by the actual signal


level, in which a binary 1 is encoded using a fixed voltage level (e.g., +5 volts)
and a binary 0 is encoded using a negative voltage level (e.g., 5 volts).
Transmission Media
This deals with the type of media used (fiber, copper, wireless and so on), which
is dictated by the desirable bandwidth, immunity to noise and attenuation
properties. These factors affect the maximum-allowable media length while
still achieving a desirable level of guaranteed data transmission.
Data Flow Control
Data communications processes allocate memory resources, commonly known
as communication buffers, for the sake of transmission and reception of data. A
computer that is in the process of receiving data runs the risk of losing data
when its communication buffers exhaust. This can be avoided by employing a
data flow control mechanism as shown in Figure 12.2. For proper data flow
Sending Computer
Full
Communications communications
buffers
buffers
Transmitted data

Discarded data

Figure 12.2 Data Flow Control Mechanism


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control, the receiving process must send a step sending signal to the sending
computer, if it is unable to cope up with the rate at which data is being transmitted
by the sending computer. Later, when data communication buffer is available,
the receiving computer sends resume sending signal.
Data Frame Format
For information exchange between computers, communication processes need
to have following for accomplishing these aspects of the exchange process:
The receiving computer must be capable of distinguishing between an
information carrying signal and mere noise.
There should be a detection mechanism to detect whether the information
carrying signal is intended for itself or some other computer on the network,
or a broadcast (a message that is intended for all computers on the
network).
The receiving end should be able to recognize the end of data train
intended for receiver before it engages itself to recover data from the
medium.
The receiving end after completion of receiving of information, must also
be capable of dealing with and recognizing the corruption, if any, introduced
in the information due to noise or electromagnetic interference.
To accommodate the above requirements, data is delivered in well-defined
packages called data frames as shown in Figure 12.3. This frame belongs to
the Ethernet packet format. The receiving end compares the contents of this
data frame. If the comparison is favourable, the contents of the Information
field are submitted for processing. Otherwise, the entire frame is discarded. It is
important to realize that the primary concern of the receiving process is the
reliable recovery of the information embedded in the frame.

Preamble
(P)
1010.10

SED

SA

DA

FCS

10101011

Figure 12.3 Frame Format for IEEE 802.3

Routing
With the growth of network size, traffic also grows affecting the overall network
in performance and responses. To manage a situation like that, network
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specialists break the network into multiple networks, interconnected by


specialized devices that include routers, bridges, brouters and switches (refer
Figure 12.4).
The routing approach requires implementation of various processes in
cooperation, both in routers and workstations with the sole objective of delivering
the data, intelligently to the final destination. Such exchange of data can take
place between any two workstations, within or without the same network.

C
Network

Network
Router

Figure 12.4 Router connecting Two Networks

12.2.2 Goals of Layered Protocols


Need for Layered Solutions
Layering involves breaking the communication process into different categories
and dealing with them according to the steps to which they belong. Categorization
must take into account the interdependency of some processes relative to others.
At least three advantages could be achieved by using the layered approach,
including the following:
Specialization: Solution developers can specialize in one or the other
category of problems, which, given the rate at which the technology is
advancing, is more affordable than an approach based on integrating all
problems into one category
Minimal cost: Using the layered approach, it is easier for vendors to
introduce changes to, or even replace, an entire layer, while leaving others
intact.
Freedom of choice: Users benefit from layering because it provides them
the freedom to implement networks that can be tailored to meet their
needs.

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12.2.3 Network Design and Problem of Communication


between Layers
Network design experts came up with the hierarchical network design to help in
developing a topology in between discrete layers. For example, while routers
with medium speed can connect buildings within each campus, high-speed WAN
routers can carry traffic across the enterprise. WAN backbone and switches
can connect user devices and servers within the buildings.
The physical layer determines the type of network design exclusively
designed for the physical layer and connected to higher levels such as data
link, network, session, transport, presentation and application layers. It also
determines whether data transfer uses simplex, half-duplex or full duplex modes
of communication.
In the data link layer, the network is generally designed as Ethernet,
ARCNET and Token Ring. Table 12.1 shows the content of Ethernet Address
using data frames in a data link layer:
Table 12.1 Content of Ethernet Address
64 bits

48 bits

Preamble Destination
Address

48 bits
Source
Address

16 bits
Frame Type

368-12000 bits
Data Frame

32 bits
Cyclic
Redundancy
Checks(CRC)

In this layer, the network is designed according to the content of data frame to
detect and correct data corruption in the network communication channel.
The network layer delivers units of data as individual packets. The network
designers design the protocols used for routing data.
The transport layer delivers data within a host computer. The source
transport layer carries a virtual conversation with the destination transport layer.
The network is designed on a hop-to-hop basis.
Table 12.2 Network Design of Peers Process among Discrete Layers
Application Layer
Presentation Layer
Session Layer
Transport Layer
Network Layer
Data Link Layer
Physical Layer

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Presentation Layer
Session Layer
Transport Layer
Network Layer
Data Link Layer
Physical Layer

Application Layer
Presentation Layer
Session Layer
Transport Layer
Network Layer
Data Link Layer
Physical Layer

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Table 12.2 shows the corresponding layers (in each host) indicating a virtual
conversation of different layers. Network designers often recommend a mesh
topology to meet the availability requirement because routers are connected to
single-link delay between two sites. This layer is responsible for getting data
from or sending data to each network that manages flow control on an end-toend basis.
A session layer network is designed to occasionally merge the session
and transport layers. Therefore, network designers design the hierarchical
topology for this layer.
The presentation layer handles printers, video displays and file formats.
So, hierarchical topology is a suitable network design for this layer.
The application layer deals with network-wide applications which include
electronic mail and distributed databases. Generally, API forms a session layer
upon an application layer. It provides file services, network printer services and
mail services. The network designs included in this layer are, Novells Netware,
Banyans VINES and Artisofts LANtastic.

12.2.4 Introduction to Standard Organizations and the OSI Model


Open Systems Interconnection Model
The OSI model of data communication was developed in 1984 by the ISO. OSI
specifies a seven-layer model. In addition to forming the basis of the ongoing
development of OSIs own protocols, the model is used by the industry as the
frame of reference when describing protocol architectures and functional
characteristics.
The ISO, in an effort to encourage open networks, developed an open
systems interconnect reference model. The model logically groups the functions
and sets rules, called protocols, necessary to establish and conduct
communication between two or more parties. The model consists of seven
functions, often referred to as layers.
The last three layers are mainly concerned with the organization of terminal
software and are not directly the concern of communications engineers. The
transport layer is the one which links the communication processes to this
software-oriented protocols.
The basic philosophy of the seven-layer model is that each layer may be
defined independently of every other layer. Thus, from the user point of view,
interchange takes effect across each operation and passes down through the

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layers of the model until data interchange is affected through the physical
connection.
The top layer is used by the transmitting device where data is placed into
a packet under a header.
The protocol data unit that consists of data and header, is handled by
each of the successive lower layers as data flows across the network to the
receiving node. Data flows through the layer model and each of the successive
higher layer strip off the header information.
Another alternative standards approach was being led by the CCITT
(Consultative Committee on International Telephony and Telegraphy) and the
ISO parallely to the development of TCP/IP by DARPA. The CCITT has now
become the ITU-T (International Telecommunications Union-Telecommunication
Standardization Sector).
The outcome of this joint attempt was the creation of the OSI (Open
Systems Interconnect) reference model (ISO 7498). This outlines a seven-layer
model of data communication with the bottom layer comprising physical and
transport layers and the application protocols forming the upper layers. Each
layer of the model is responsible for specific functions. The operation of a
network protocol stack is understood on the basis of this model (refer Figure
12.5). It is also used as a reference tool to compare network stack.
APPLICATION

APPLICATION

PRESENTATION

PRESENTATION

SESSION

SESSION

TRANSPORT

TRANSPORT

NETWORK

NETWORK

DATA

DATA

NETWORK

NETWORK

Figure 12.5 The OSI Reference Model Implementations

Each layer provides some of the functions to the layer above it in return
for the functions provided by the layer below it. In this fashion, messages are
transmitted vertically through the stack from one layer to the other. Logically,
each layer communicates directly with its peer layer on the other nodes.
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Activity 1
Prepare a report on the origin of Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model.

Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) ___________ model divides the required functions of the network
architecture into seven layers and defines the function of each layer.
(b) ___________ involves breaking the communication process into
different categories and dealing with them according to the steps to
which they belong.
2. State whether true or false:
(a) Information exchanged between two computers is physically carried
by means of electrical signals assuming certain coding methods.
(b) The network layer delivers units of data as multiple packets.

12.3 Layers of OSI


The Physical Layer (Layer 1)
This layer describes the physical media over which the bit stream is to be
transmitted. It tells about the electrical and mechanical aspects of data
transmission to a physical medium that includes setting up, maintaining and
disconnecting physical links apart from transmitting data. It is primarily concerned
with moving bits from one node to next over the physical link.
It accepts data from the data link layer in bit streams for subsequent
transmission over the physical medium. At this layer, the mechanical (connector
type), electrical (voltage levels), functional (ping assignments) and procedural
(handshake) characteristics are defined. RS-232C/D is an example of a physical
layer definition.
The Data Link Layer (Layer 2)
It takes the bits that are received by the physical layer and detects errors. This
ensures the proper sequence of transmitted data by establishing an error-free
communication path over the physical channel between network nodes. Framing
messages for transmission, checking integrity of received messages, and
managing access to the channel and its use are its main work. Hence, this layer

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is responsible for the reliable transfer of data across the physical link. Its
responsibilities include functions, such as data flow control, data frame formatting,
error detection and link management.
The Network Layer (Layer 3)
The network layer sets up appropriate paths between various nodes and to do
this it uses a software that handles PDUs to transport them to the final destination.
The Internet Protocol (IP) operates at this layer. It is mainly responsible for
providing routing services across the Internet. It also shields the above layers
from details about the underlying network (the network topology and road map)
and the routing technology that might have been deployed to connect different
networks together. In addition to routing, this layer is responsible for establishing
and maintaining the connection.
The next three layers are task oriented and have to do with the operations
performed by the user rather than with the network.
The Transport Layer (Layer 4)
This layer guarantees the orderly and reliable delivery of data between end
systems. Data is received from session control layer and transported to network
control layer. The two protocols used here include transmission control protocol
or TCP and OSI transport protocol or TP's five levels. The transport layer also
performs additional functions such as data multiplexing and de-multiplexing.
This layer divides up a transmitting message into packets and reassembles
them at the receiving end.
The Session Layer (Layer 5)
The session layer is responsible for establishing, maintaining and arbitrating
the dialogues between communicating applications. It is also responsible for
the orderly recovery from failures by implementing appropriate check pointing
mechanisms.
The Presentation Layer (Layer 6)
Formatting and displaying of data, received by terminals and printers are
functions performed by the presentation layer. It is concerned with differences
in the data syntax used by communicating applications. This layer is responsible
for remedying those differences by resorting to mechanisms that transform the
local syntax (specific to the platform in question) to a common one for the purpose
of data exchange. For example, it performs conversion between ASCII and
EBCDIC character codes, does data compression and encrypts data if necessary.

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The Application Layer (Layer 7)


The application layer provides support services for user and application tasks.
It determines how the user is using the data network. It allows the user to use
the network. For example, it provides network-based services to the end user.
Examples of network services are distributed databases, electronic mail, resource
sharing, file transfers, remote file access and network management. This layer
defines the nature of the task to be performed.
Activity 2
Collect information on data units, the seven layers and their functions for
the host and media layers of OSI model. Present it in a tabular form.

Self-Assessment Questions
3. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The ____________layer describes the physical media over which
the bit stream is to be transmitted.
(b) Formatting and displaying of data, received by terminals and printers
are functions performed by the _______________layer.
4. State whether true or false:
(a) The network layer sets up appropriate paths between various nodes
and to do this it uses a hardware that handles PDUs to transport
them to the final destination.
(b) The application layer allows the user to use the network.

12.4 TCP/IP Reference Models and Internetworking


TCP/IP
TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. It was
developed with the objective to specify a suite of protocols capable of providing
transparent communications interoperability services between computers of all
sizes, regardless of the hardware or operating system platforms supporting
them. Over the years, TCP/IP has become the most widespread among todays
protocols. One reason for TCP/IPs popularity is the public availability of its
protocols specifications. In this sense, TCP/IP can justifiably be considered an
open system. Most users rely on TCP/IP for the purpose of file transfers,
electronic mail (e-mail) and remote login services.
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LAN Protocol and OSI


The various LAN standards define physical transmission media and the usability
of these media. These standards conform to the protocols defined in the physical
and data link layers of the OSI reference model as shown in Figure 12.6. Among
the protocols defined in the layers above the data link layer, TCP/IP, IPX/SPX
and NetBIOS are well known. Of these protocols, TCP/IP is the most popular
and is employed for UNIX and the Internet. IPX/SPX is used for Novels NetWare.
NetBIOS was developed by IBM for small size LANs and is employed in the
Windows 95 or Windows NT environment.

Figure 12.6 LAN Standards in Physical and Data Link Layers

12.4.1 Ports and Sockets


A port is an access channel for computers to exchange information. Data is
sent and received over the network. It is first automatically organized and then
transferred into packets. These packets contain a set of instructions called
protocol so that other computers recognize the data and decode the same.
Network clients use different ports and channels to transfer this data. One port
is used to send data and another is used to receive data across the network so
that data packets do not merge and collide with each other. The whole process
uses the port number and the destination IP address which is included as header
for each data packet. Port numbers range from 1 to 65535 for TCP and UDP.
Types of Ports
Ports are available in several types such as serial port, parallel port and AGP
port.

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Serial Port: These types of ports transfer data serially one bit at a time.
They need that type of wire which transmits 8 bits of data and comes in
25-pin male connector. They are also known as communication ports or
RS232C ports. They are used to connect mouse and modems.
Parallel Port: These ports send and receive one byte/8-bit data at a time.
They need a specialized wire which transmits parallel 8 bits of data at a
time and that which has a 25-pin female connector. They are used to
connect the printer, scanner, joystick, digital camera, speakers, telephones,
CD (Compact Disk), zip drive and tape backup drive.
AGP Port: This type of port is used to connect graphics card to system
unit. This card facilitates high-speed video performance for game and
multimedia applications.
Sockets
Sockets are built-in interfaces on motherboards. They connect two network
applications. They are used on different computers for inter-process
communication and are bidirectional, that is, they send and receive data. When
protocols change, computer sockets are renamed to keep pace with newer
protocols.
Types of Sockets
The types of sockets are as follows:
Datagram Sockets
Stream Sockets
Raw Sockets
Datagram Sockets are used for connectionless issues. They do not make any
distinction between servers and clients. They use IP for routing. They run with
datagram objects.
Stream Sockets are implemented for system area networks. They are twoway connected communication streams. If we send input as 2, 3, it arrives in
stream sockets at the opposite end in the same order as 3, 2 free of error.
These sockets are used in Telnet applications and the Web browser uses HTTP
along with stream sockets to get Web pages and uses TCP.
Raw Sockets take packets and bypass TCP/IP, and send them to the requested
applications. It passes through transport layer. These sockets lie in routers and
other network equipments. Examples of raw sockets are ICMP (Internet Control

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Message Protocol), IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) and OSPF


(Open Shortest Path First).
Network Socket
Network socket is of two types, such as Internet Socket Client and Internet
Socket Server. Internet Socket Client connects HTTP which runs on local
machines and returns the content of the root index URL. Internet Socket Server
knows port 2904 for receiving connections and sends it back to the client.
Accessories used in Sockets
Dial up Modems: They are accessed via telephone lines. They use a
modem-to-modem link between users and hosts on the Internet.
Graphics Cards: A graphics card handles graphics data in large amounts.
It facilitates the processing of load by sharing the work with the Central
Processing Unit (CPU). The types of graphics cards are AFP 4x, AGP 8x,
Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) and PCIE (Peripheral
Component Interconnect Express).
Sound Cards: They also work with sockets which send and receive input/
output audio signals to other system units over the network.

12.4.2 The IP Address Structure


An Internet Protocol (IP) is a unique address which provides a universal address
across the network. It is addressed to the data packets which transmit over the
network working with the IP protocol. The IP address consists of four parts and
each is separated by a dot. Format of IP address is as follows:
XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX

Each XXX is a number between 0 and 255 stored in 8 bits and can have
2 (2 raise to the power 8) values. Some of the examples are 127.0.0.1 and
192.168.0.1. The 127.0.0.1 IP address is the default IP address which is assigned
to any system and not connected to any network. This is called local host address.
Each version of IP address is 32 bit long. The computer converts this decimal
dotted notation into binary form. The 32 bits are considered as entity. The entity
contains two components as Network Identifier and Host Identifier.
8

Network Identifier
It starts from the left-most bit which is used to identify the network. This process
is called network prefix. The four numbers in an IP address are called octets

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because in binary form each has eight positions. An IP address consists of


octets which are used to create classes of IP addresses. An octet contains two
sections in which the network identifier recognizes the first octet to identify the
network that a system unit belongs to.
Host Identifier
Host identifier is the remainder of bits used to identify the host on the network.
It is declared in the host program. The host identifier, sometimes known as
node identifier identifies the real computer on the network. It always contains
the last octets.

Figure 12.7 IP Address Structure

The Figure 12.7 shows class A, class B and class C network bits and host
bits arrangement.
IP addresses are associated with the network layer network interfaces
because it examines the IP address information from an interface of IP address.
The network layer is used for IP address because it obtains a distinct address
for a given hardware address too.

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In Figure 12.8, the IP address is divided into following two parts:

Figure 12.8 IP Address Division made of Network ID and Host ID

The right hand side shows the Host ID and the left-hand side shows
Network ID.
Features of IP Address
It provides a unique address over a network. We cannot get the same IP
address for two system units. In case an IP address is set as same for
two systems, an IP conflict process takes place wherein the data packets
do not know the destination place.
An IP address contains a default network whose address is 0.0.0.0 which
is used to the default network.
An IP address provides a loopback address except for class A, class B
class C, class D and class E. The IP address 127.0.0.1 is called loopback
address which helps the host computer to send a message back to itself.
It is frequently used for troubleshooting and network testing.
IP performs the task of routing data packets over a network and provides
IP address which specifies the locations of source and destination nodes
in the network topology of a routing system.

12.4.3 Major Features of IP


IP is the host-to-host network layer protocol for the Internet. With reference to
networking, it is a connectionless datagram protocol that delivers the best
services such as no error control and flow control. It uses an error detection
mechanism which discards corrupted data packets. It is a mail room of the
TCP/IP stack where data packets are sorted and stored. IP works at Layer 3 of
the OSI model.

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Figure 12.9 TCP/IP Stack

Figure 12.9 shows how IP is related to OSI Layer 3 (Network Layer) to the
functional and procedural means of transferring variable length data sequences
from a source to the destination via one or more different networks. It maintains
the quality of service and error control messages. IP is connected with OSI
Layer 2 (data link layer) with frames which are switched with MAC address and
OSI Layer 4 (transport layer) with end-to-end and host-to-host transport switches
router packets. IP at Layer 3 acts as a mediator between these two adjacent
layers.
IP allows a bitwise logical AND operation between destination of the IP
address and the netmask. First it compares the result to the network destination.
If the two match, IP marks the route of one which has the maximum bits in the
netmask and matches the destination IP address. If multiple matching routes
are found, IP uses the route with the lowest metric.
The major features of IP are as follows:
IP delivers the data packets to the desired destination with no
guarantees.
IP is defined in RFC 791.
It contains 32 bit destination address.
It is tied up with TCP for reliability of data packet.
It runs on data link interfaces including Ethernet and Wi-Fi.
It handles each datagram independently so that each datagram follows
a different route to the destination.
It does not change the packet during transmission unless source
routing, Network Address Translation (NAT) and Firewall software is
used.
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It manages easy connectivity at the IP layer and routes packets among


networks and subnets.
It applies Quality of Service (QoS) for data packets to pay attention on
network traffic according to business and application requirements.
It facilitates multicast packet transmission to reduce the network
bandwidth when packets are distributed from single source to many
receivers.
Datagram
Datagram is an independent, self-contained message which is sent over a
different network. Its arrival, arrival time and content are not guaranteed whether
it is sent successfully or not. The client and server can communicate via a
datagram. Sending and receiving data is completely an independent packet for
the datagram. A datagram packet contains the complete address of its source
or destination.
Bit

16
Version

IHL

Type of service

Identification
Time to live

31
Total length
Flags

Protocol

Fragment offset
Header checksum

Source address
Destination address
Options/padding

Figure 12.10 Structure of IP Datagram

Figure 12.10 shows the structure of IP datagram which contains Version,


IHL, Type of Service (TOS), Total Length, Flags and Time to Live, Protocol,
Header Checksum, Source Address, Destination, Options and Padding.
Data on IP network is organized into IP data packets. Each IP packet
includes a header and message data. They are described in Table 12.3.

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Table 12.3 Terms and Functions of IP Packet Data


Terms

Functions

Version
IHL (Internet Header Length)
Type of Service
Total Length
Flags
Time to Live

It displays the version number of protocol


Length of header
Specifies various level of speed
Total length of datagram along with header
Shows DF (Dont Fragment) or MF (More Fragments)
Shows counter. 0 shows datagram is in the loop and
discarded
Shows transport layer process
Detects error
Host IP address which sends datagram
Host IP address which receives datagram
Ensures header is of 32 bits

Protocol
Header Checksum
Source Address
Destination Address
Options/Padding

12.4.4 IP Datagram
The term IP datagram is used to describe a client of IP data. Each IP datagram
contains a specific set of fields in a specific order so that the user knows how to
decode and read the stream of data received.
Data Encapsulation
Data encapsulation means adding the IP header to the data. As shown in Figure
12.11, the IP header consists of five or six 32-bit words; the sixth word is attributed
to the IP options field.
Internet Header Length (IHL): IP determines the length of the header
by the contents of the IHL.
The Version field: It refers to the version of the IP protocol in use. The
current version of IP is 4.
The Service type field: It refers to any of the type of services that IP
supports. The desired service type is normally specified by user-level
applications. Examples of service type include minimum and maximum
throughput, requested by applications such as the File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).
The Total length field: If it is subtracted from the IHL field, it indicates to
IP the actual length of the data field.
The Identification and the Fragment fields: These provide the
necessary elements on which IPs capability to fragment and reassemble data
depends.
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Header checksum field: IP supports a header checksum field in its


header though it is an unreliable protocol. IP uses this field to check the integrity
of its own header only. If it does not pass the integrity check, the entire datagram
is discarded. It is worth noting that IP does not reports such failures to the
protocol service users. Instead, it is the responsibility of the latter to detect them
mainly by employing a suitable timeout mechanism.
0

Version

16

31

Service type

IHL

Identification
Time-to-line

Total length
Flags

Protocol

Fragment offset
Header checksum

Source IP address
Destination IP address
IP optios

Padding
Data

Figure 12.11 IP Header Configuration

The Time-To-Live (TTL) field: TTL is employed by IP to prevent a lost


datagram from endlessly looping around the network. IP achieves this objective
by initializing the TTL field to the maximum number of routers that the packet
can traverse on the network. Every time the datagram traverses a router,
IP decrements the TTL field by 1.
The Source and Destination IP addresses: These provide the
identification for the receiving and communicating hosts across the internetwork.
IP options field: On its presence, it includes optional control information.
An example of optional information includes the route record which covers a
record of each router traversed by the datagram during its trip around the network.
User Datagram Protocol
In TCP communications, not only TCP but also UDP can meet the functional
requirements defined in the transport layer. Unlike TCP, UDP is a connectionless
type protocol in which the sending terminal does not checks whether data has
been received by receiving terminal. In other words, it is a less reliable protocol.
However, this protocol makes it possible to omit a variety of processes thus
reducing the load on the CPU.
Figure 12.12 shows the data structure of the UDP header. The simplicity
of the UDP header stems from the unsophisticated nature of the services it
provides.
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16

31

Source port
Length

Destination port
UDP checksum
Data

Figure 12.12 Format of the UDP Datagram

Following is a brief description of each field:


Source Port: This is the port number of the application that is originating
the user data.
Destination Port: This is the port number pertaining to the destination
application.
Length: This field describes the total length of the UDP datagram, including
both data and header information.
UDP Checksum: Integrity checking is optional under UDP. If turned on,
both ends of the communications channel use this field for data integrity
checks.
At this point, it is important to understand the layering concept along with
the need for headers. Figure 12.13 shows the relationship between the UDP
and IP datagrams.
IP datagram

4
Version

16

IHL Service type

Identification
Time-to-live

31
Total length

Flags

Protocol

Header checksum

Source IP address
Destination IP address

IP options
Data

Padding

UDP Datagram
Source Destination
port
port
Length
Application data

Figure 12.13 The Correspondence between the UDP and IP Datagrams


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Self-Assessment Questions
5. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The reason for TCP/IPs popularity is the public availability of its
protocols_____________.
(b) A ____________ is an access channel for computers to exchange
information.
6. State whether true or false:
(a) TCP/IP is employed is employed for UNIX and the Internet.
(b) Data encapsulation means removing the IP header from the data.

12.5 Major IP Services


The following are the major IP services:

12.5.1 An Error Reporting Mechanism The Internet Control


Message Protocol (ICMP)
The ICMP is an error reporting protocol that is an integral part of the IP protocol.
ICMP communicate control data, information data, and error recovery data across
the network. Problems that are less severe than transmission errors result in
error conditions that can be reported. For example, suppose some of the physical
paths in Internet fail causing the Internet to be partitioned into two sets of networks
with no path between the sets. A datagram sent from a host in one set to a host
in other cannot be delivered.
The TCP/IP suite includes a protocol called ICMP that IP uses to send
error messages when condition such as the one described above arises. The
protocol is required for a standard implementation of IP. You will see that the
two protocols are co-dependent. IP uses ICMP when it sends an error message,
and ICMP uses IP to transport messages.
The following is a brief description of some of the error messages defined
by ICMP protocol:
Source Quench: A router or host whose receive communication
buffers are nearly full normally triggers this message. A source quench
message is sent to the sending host, the receiver is simply requesting
the sending host to reduce the rate at which it is transmitting until
advised otherwise.
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Time Exceeded: Time exceeded messages are sent in two situations.


It is sent whenever a router reduces the TTL field in a datagram to
zero. The datagram is discarded by the router and a time exceeded
message is sent. Additionally, a time exceeded message is sent by a
host if the reassembly timer expires before the arrival of all the
fragments from a given datagram.
Route Redirect: A router sends this message to a host that is
requesting its routing services. When a host creates a datagram
destined for a network, the host sends the datagram to a router, which
forwards the datagram to its destination. If it is determined by a router
that an incorrect datagram has been sent by a host to a wrong router,
a route redirect message is used by the router to get the host to change
its route. In this manner, a route redirect message improves the
efficiency of the routing process by informing the requesting host of a
shorter path to the desired destination.
Host Unreachable: Whenever a gateway or a router determines that
a datagram cannot be delivered to its final destination (due to link
failure or bandwidth congestion), an ICMP host unreachable message
is sent to the originating node on the network. Normally, the message
includes the reason the host cannot be reached.
Fragmentation and Reassembly: The largest datagram the IP
protocol can handle is 64 KB. The maximum datagram size is dictated
by the width of the total length field in the IP header as shown in Figure
12.12. Realistically, most underlying data link technologies cannot
accommodate this data size. For example, the maximum size of the
data frame supported by Ethernet is 1,514 bytes. Unless something is
done about situations like this, IP has to discard data that is delivered
to it from upper-layer protocols with sizes exceeding the maximum
tolerable size by the data link layer. To circumvent this difficulty, IP is
built to provide data fragmentation and reassembly.
Whenever an upper-layer protocol delivers data segments whose
sizes exceed the limit allowed by the underlying network, IP breaks
the data into smaller pieces that are manageable within the allowed
limit. The small datagrams are then sent to the target host, which
reassembles them for subsequent delivery to an upper-layer protocol.

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12.5.2 IP Source Routing


IP source routing is a 32-bit IP address and pointer which points to the list for
the next use. It allows a path for the source of the packet to send and receive
messages. It is useful when the connection fails and a diagnosis of the network
is necessary. It is generally used by malicious users who exploit this feature to
cause DoS (Denial of Service) attacks and bypass security rules on LAN. IP
source routing is a technique where a packet travels across the network. Each
router examines the destination IP address and chooses the next hop. Hop
helps to forward the packet.

Figure 12.14 IP Source Routing

Figure 12.14 shows how the offset pointer points to the IP address in the
remaining data section. The packet traverses the network which is rewritten by
offset pointer.

Self-Assessment Questions
7. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) The ____________is an error reporting protocol that is an integral
part of the IP protocol.
(b) IP source routing is a ___________-bit IP address and pointer which
points to the list for the next use.
8. State whether true or false:
(a) When a host creates a datagram destined for a network, the host
sends the datagram to a router, which forwards the datagram to its
destination.
(b) A network manager decides to find the link connection such as
satellite connection and avoids congested routes.
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12.6 TCP
TCP standard is defined in Request For Comment (RFC). Its document number
is 793 which is given by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The original
specification was written in 1981 and experimented by Advanced Research
Projects Agency NETwork (ARPANET) for guaranteed delivery. Its sliding window
protocol facilitates handling for timeouts and retransmission.
Structure of TCP
TCP connects two endpoints by full duplex virtual connection. Each endpoint
contains an IP address and a TCP port number. The byte stream is moved in
segments. The number of bytes of data sent prior to acknowledgement of the
receiver is determined by the window size. TCP includes Post-it-Note process
in its header which has two steps:
Step I
When application requests to send data for remote location, TCP arranges the
initial segment to set up the socket interface between two systems. No data is
sent until and unless TCP gets a message from the receiving system that a
socket is placed for receiving data.
Step II
Once the sockets are ready, TCP starts sending data within segments. It then
asks TCP to acknowledge the arrived data segments. TCP retransmits the
segments if acknowledgement is not received.
TCP Header
TCP header is required for every TCP segment. The header segment is same
for the TCP segment. There are six flag bits in the header namely URG, ACK,
PSH, RST, SYN and FIN. TCP header consists of eleven fields.
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
Source Port

Destination Port
Sequence Number
Acknowledgment Number

Data
Offset

reserve
ECN
d

Control Bits

Checksum

Window
Urgent Pointer

Options and padding :::


Data :::

Figure 12.15 TCP Header


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Figure 12.15 shows the eleven fields which are in the TCP header. The
source port and destination port contain 16 bits. The sequence number tells
the position of the sequence of the segments first data byte. The
acknowledgement number tells the value of the next sequence number. Data
offset contains 4 bits and indicates the beginning of data section. Reserved
contains 6 bits which is reserved for future use.
TCP Switching
TCP switching is a network architecture which creates a circuit for TCP
connection. It directly controls the creation/destruction of the circuits. It is
optimized to 90 per cent of network traffic. TCP switching is done to increase
bandwidth efficiency and robustness because sometimes network connections
should change the routing table to recover from its failure.
IP Routers

TCP Switches
Circuit Switched Links
Packet Switched Links

Figure 12.16 TCP Switching

Figure 12.16 displays TCP switching containing established fast and


lightweight circuits triggered by application level data flow. In Figure 12.16, TCP
switching inside the cloud works as packet switching. Circuit switches makes
the core of circuit switching cloud. Boundary routers work as a gateway between
packet switching and circuit switching.
TCP Protocol
TCP protocol contains a set of rules and communicates applications securely
and independently from the lower level. Data in terms of datagram is concerned
with transport layers. The original machine is called clients which request for
the connection and the recipient machine is called the server which provides
the requested information to the client. Therefore, TCP connection is called a
client-server connection.
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Figure 12.17 TCP Protocol Layers

Figure 12.17 shows how a TCP protocol works in different layers. It works in
four layers with reference to the TCP model. They are as follows:
Application Layer: In this layer, TCP provides network services such as
http, ftp and telnet.
Transport Layer: In this layer, TCP manages transferring data using
connection oriented (TCP itself) and connectionless (UDP) transport
protocols and also makes connection between networked applications.
The Internet Layers: TCP addresses data packets and delivers packets
over network. It manages fragment packets.
Network Interface Layer: TCP delivers data via physical links and
provides error detection and packet framing.
The main characteristics of TCP protocol are as follows:
TCP enables data flow for monitoring.
It avoids network saturation.
It makes data to contain variable length segment which returns to the IP
protocol.
It makes data multiplex where information coming from distinct sources
can be circulated.
It enables successful communication between the client and server.
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TCP is layered over the following functionality:


Streams: TCP data is like a file which is organized as a stream of bytes.
IP contains an urgent pointer which lets flagged data out.
Reliable Delivery: It contains sequence numbers of the transmitted and
received data.
Network Adaptation: It delays the characteristics of network and
maximizes the throughput without overloading the network.
Flow Control: TCP protocol manages data buffers and maintains traffic
so that the buffers do not overflow.
Full Duplex Operation: TCP provides full duplex data transfer
mechanism. For example, application level data is transferred between
two hosts such as process on host A and process on host B in both
directions. TCP makes connection in such a way that application level
data can flow from A to B and B to A at the same time.

Figure 12.18 TCP Send Buffer and Receive Buffer

Figure 12.18 shows how segments are passed down to the network layer.
When TCP sends data from one end, it is known as send buffer and when it
receives a segment which is placed in TCP connections it is known as receive
buffer.
TCP Three-Way Handshake
TCP uses a three-way handshake connection to send and receive data between
hosts based on three phases (refer Figure 12.19). They are connection
establishment, data transf er and connection termination. Telnet
(Telecommunication network), FTP, HTTP (Web request), POP3 (Post Office
Protocol), SMTP for e-mails, SSH (Secure SHell) uses three-way handshake
protocol when connection takes place. These days, TCP rides on top of IP
which is called TCP/IP (TCP over IP) in which IP facilitates addressing and
routing but TCP handles the actual communication between hosts.
The steps that make the three-way handshake connections over TCPare
as follows:

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Host A sends TCP Synchronize packet to Host B (SYN)

Step II :

Host B receives Synchronize packet of A (SYN)

Step III :

Host B sends Synchronize-Acknowledge (SYN-ACK)

Step IV :

Host A receives Synchronize-Acknowledge (SYN-ACK)

Step V :

Host A sends Acknowledge (ACK)

Step VI :

Host B receives Acknowledge (ACK)

Step VII :

TCP connection is established

Figure 12.19 TCP Three Way Handshake

Security Aspects of TCP


Secure Socket Layer (SSL) provides security services between TCP and
applications. These days, SSL comes in a new version as TLS (Transport Layer
Security). SSL/TLS provides confidentiality using symmetric encryption and
message integrity using MAC (Message Authentication Code) over TCP network
setting. This security layer includes protocol mechanism to enable two TCP
users to determine the security mechanism and services. TCP security
mechanism is arranged in different layers as follows:
Note: TCP has the option of forcing IP not to transmit packets but implement it because it can
cause security problems where different network technologies are concerned with TCP.

SSL is intended to utilize TCP to provide end-to-end security services which are
secure and reliable since World Wide Web is a client-sever application running
over the network and TCP/IP intranets. Therefore, SSL contains a record protocol
which provides confidentiality and message integrity.
Confidentiality is the handshake protocol where three-way handshake
protocol is used in reference to TCP. A shared secret key is used for conventional
encryption of SSL payloads. Message integrity defines a shared secret key
which is also the handshake protocol. This forms a MAC. They transmit the
fragment of data into manageable blocks. MAC encrypts and a TCP header
format is added, and the resulting unit is transmitted in a TCP segment.
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Figure 12.20 Proxy Server is used between TCP and SSL

Figure 12.20 shows how proxy server handles requests to standard TCP
communication with protected SSL security services. It further protects the lack
of authentication of IP packets with TCP.

12.6.1 Major Features of TCP


The prominent TCP features provide two popular options TCP SACK and TCP
Windows scaling. The primary advantage of TCP Window scaling is to control
congested data. Network connections consist of the host at both ends and the
actual connections such as telecommunication telephony or satellite worked
together. TCP window then keeps sending speed smoothly where congestion
and data loss do not occur. It provides confidential and reliable data delivery
over network. It is needed for efficient transfer of data when the bandwidth
delay is greater than 64 K, whereas timestamps are used to avail two
mechanisms such as Round Trip Time Measurement (RTTM) and Protect Against
Wrapped Sequences (PAWS). TCP SACK option provides the list of missed
packets. For example, if a server checks an acknowledgement with ACK no
101, TCP SACK checks that missed packet is 5201-5202; the result goes with
SACK option. Iptable firewall then checks it and generates a reject message.
The major features of TCP are as follows:
TCP is a connection based protocol which first prepares a setup before
transferring data.
It facilitates acknowledgements which performs safe receipt of packets.
TCP detects duplicate/missing/corrupted packets. It has a good relative
throughput on modem and LAN.
It maintains sequence numbers which reassembles the data packets
in which they are sent earlier.
TCP data packets follow the stream from the application side.
TCP is used for Telnet, FTP, HTTP and SMTP.

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TCP maintains data order; it means if 5 data packets are sent to


destination then data packet 1 is received before data packet 2.
Routers always take notice of TCP packets. If they are not transmitted
in an order and without duplication, TCP buffers and retransmits them.
It has few socket options which tolerate the built-in control. However,
it has no block boundaries and cannot be used in broadcast or multicast
transmission. It transfers servers which maintain a separate socket
and separate thread for each client.
It uses four algorithms which provide congestion control, congestion
avoidance and slow start, fast retransmit and fast recovery. Losing
packets indicates congestion. It checks the availability of bandwidth
and changes the delays on the link which solves the loopholes with
the help of algorithms.
TCP issues a process for the Web browser. In the process, the browser
sends data such as URL to a destination host such as the Web server.
TCP creates an initial segment which connects the sender (browser)
and receiver (server). They change the IP address and port numbers
to create a socket interface, and set up flow control and sequencing
methods.

12.6.2 Passive and Active Operation


Active and passive data operations are supported in network data operations.
A passive operation responds to external activity such as request for data
on the network. For example, data packets calculate checksum operation with
those data which pass through it. This operates passive operation because the
data packets are executed only when another network entity gives data. Data is
easily accessed through this operation.
An active operation over network is an important device which recognizes
its data into efficient structure during congesting period. It actively pushes data
into the level of memory hierarchy.
Active and passive operation updates an existing operation such as data
packet duplication/corruption and network database through servers and node
clients.

12.6.3 Transmission Control Block (TCB)


TCP/IP encapsulate upper layers using headers for the purpose of exchanging
control and status information about the progress of the communication because
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its protocols also engage in peer talk by encapsulating data with protocol headers
before submitting it to the underlying layer for subsequent delivery to the network.
A header is added to the data at each layer before being sent to the
receiving node. The same header is removed at the receiving end in the reverse
order as shown in Figure 12.21. As shown in Figure 12.22, when a node wishes
to transmit a data, the application layer of TCP/IP architecture adds a header as
TCP header which is again complemented by IP header and Ethernet header in
the lower layers.
Ethernet frame
EH

IH

TH

Data
TCP header
Source
Port No.

Destination
Port No.
IP header

Source IP
Address

Destination
IP address
Ethernet header

Destination
MAC address

Source MAC
Address

Figure 12.21 TCP/IP Data Encapsulation

Figure 12.22 Configuration of TCP, IP and Ethernet Header

Figure 12.22 shows the configuration of each header. The addresses


included in the TCP, IP and Ethernet headers are port numbers, IP addresses
and MAC addresses, respectively.
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At the transport layer, the header includes destination and source port
numbers. For example, port number 25 identifies a SMTP session, whereas
port number 80 refers to HTTP session. Therefore, upon receiving data from
the Internet layer, the transport layer fetches its own header for the destination
port number to identify the application that it is supposed to deliver the data to.
This mechanism helps the transport layer establish connections on behalf of
multiple applications without confusing the data exchange process. The protocol
data unit thus formed at this layer is normally referred to as a data segment.
At the Internet layer, the header contains information to identify the IP
addresses of the ultimate communicating hosts and intervening routers.
At the network access layer, the header includes the MAC addresses of
the source and destination devices communicating on the same physical network.
A frame check sequence is also included to assist the network access layer in
checking the integrity of the received data. The protocol data unit thus formed
at this layer is normally referred to as a data frame.

12.6.4 Route Discovery Protocol and its Examples


Route Discovery Protocol (RDP) is a standard protocol which is used to inform
the router on which they send packets. It also uses wiretapping routing protocols
such as RIP (Routing Information Protocol) which is configured as default routes
in hosts. It has two portions; one is the server portion which runs on routers and
the other is the client portion which runs on hosts (refer Figure 12.23).
Router
RDP
Server

lan0
RDP
Client
Host A

RDP
Client
Host B

Figure 12.23 RDP Server and Clients

The RDP Server


The RDP servers run on routers. They are based on multicasting or broadcasting
on which the router advertisements are enabled over each interface. Then, the
host sends a router solicitation which requests an advertisement. Once the
advertisement is sent, all host multicasts are addressed as 224.0.0.1 and an
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interface is configured as limited broadcast address 255. 255. 255. 255. If the
whole process takes place then the net or subnet address is included in the
advertisement.
The RDP Client
The RDP client runs on hosts. It only hears those router advertisements which
have all host mutilicast addresses 224.0.0.1 and interfaces on broadcast address.
When RDP client receives a router advertisement, the host installs a default
route to each of the addresses listed in the advertisement.

12.6.5 Application Layer Protocols


TCP/IP Services and Application Protocols
This section presents an overview of the most common protocols used for
TCP/IP communication. The discussion focusses on the nature of these
applications and the purpose they serve.
The Client-Server Model
TCP/IP applications operate at the application or process layer of the TCP/IP
hierarchy. TCP/IP protocol splits an application into server and client components.
Figure 12.24 explains that the server component is a service provider that controls
commonly shared resources pertaining to a particular application on the network.
The server normally runs on a remote, high-powered computer to which only
authorized users have an access. The client component is the service user, by
which to this piece of software engages with the serve. It is done in a sequence
of request-response datagrams fulfilling certain user-specified demands or
requirements.
The client-server computing model has the following attributes:
Flexible deployment: This can be easily customized.
Low computer cost: Reduced processing requirement at the client
end. In most cases, the client has to deal with lesser details of the
application compared to the server. This, in turn, means cheaper
hardware on the client machine (less CPU power, memory, disk space
and so on). On the other hand, the server must be powerful enough
and well-outfitted to make it respond satisfactorily to the user demands
on its services.
Increased network management costs: Reduced loss of bandwidth
from unnecessary data traffic, due to the exchange of data on an

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as-needed basis. In the case of an Ethernet LAN, this also contributes


to reduced collisions and therefore, better networks availability.
Lower transmission facility costs.

Figure 12.24 The Client Server Computing Model

Telnet
Telnet is a program that allows a user with remote login capabilities to use the
computing resources and services available on the host. Telnet can also be
used to connect other ports serving user defined as well as well-known services.
The telnet program requires two arguments, that is, the name of a computer on
which the server runs and the protocol port number of the server. Telnet service
is unique since it is not platform-specific like other TCP/IP services. A DOS user
running Telnet, for example, can connect to a UNIX host or a mainframe
computer. The down side of using Telnet, however, is that unless the user is
familiar with the operating system running on the remote platform, he or she
cannot use the desired resources easily.
File Transfer Protocol
File Transfer Protocol or FTP is among the oldest protocols still used in the
internet. FTP is widely available on almost all-computing platforms, including
DOS, OS/2, UNIX and up to the mainframe level. FTP is a file server access
protocol that enables a user to transfer files between two hosts across the network
or Internet. This is also established through TCP. Accessing FTP sites over the
Internet requires that the user must have the knowledge of the location and the
name of the desired files.
Unlike Telnet, FTP does not require any familiarity with the remote
operating system. The user is still required, however, to be familiar with the FTP
command set built into the protocol itself so that he or she can productively
manage the session.
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Modern FTP servers known as ftpd support two modes, the classic normal
mode and more security conscious passive mode or PASV mode.
Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP)
TFTP, like FTP, is also an Internet service intended for the transfer of files
between hosts. Unlike FTP, however, TFTP does not rely on TCP for transport
services. Instead, TFTP uses UDP to shuttle the requested file to the TFTP
client.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is an electronic mail (e-mail) service provider.
It is intended for the transfer of e-mail messages across the network. SMTP
uses TCP transport for the reliable delivery of mail messages. When there is
an outgoing mail, the SMTP client will connect to the SMTP server and send the
mail to the remote server.
Network File System (NFS)
Network File System service enables hosts across the network to share file
system resources transparently among themselves. Although it all started on
UNIX platforms, NFS can be implemented on any platform, including DOS,
NetWare and Windows NT.
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
Using the Simple Network Management Protocol, LAN administrators can
monitor and tune the performance of TCP/IP (as well as non-TCP/IP) networks.
Using SNMP, all kinds of information about network performance can be
gathered, including statistics, routing tables and configuration-related
parameters. The information and configuration gathering capabilities of SNMP
make it an ideal tool for network troubleshooting and performance tuning.
Domain Name System
Due to Internet explosion, it is not practical to keep an exhaustive host file for
every host because of the sheer volume of listing as well as addition, deletion
and updating of new, old and current hosts. Therefore, DNS is used to provide
host-to-IP address mapping of remote hosts to the local hosts and vice versa.
You know that each device connected directly to the network must have
an IP address that is uniquely assigned to it. The address takes the form of a
dotted decimal notation such as 128.45.6.89 to make a machine connected on
the network and consequently accept connections as well as request them.
The addresses in the form of dotted notations are very difficult to remember for

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a large number of services residing on the network. DNS enables system


administrators solve this problem by facilitating a kind of directory that associates
IP addresses with names that can be both friendly and meaningful to the user.
If you enter www.hotmail.com, DNS resolves the name to its associated IP
address on behalf of the client.
What does the address www.hotmail.com mean? The answer lies in the
DNS system. DNS is hierarchical system, which organizes host names in
hierarchy of domain names. The name uniqueness problem is also solved as
host name is unique within its domain. Moreover, large domains can also be
split into sub-domains. For example, www.hotmail.com can be split into
www.rag.hotmail.com and www.bbt.hotmail.com.
Activity 3
Prepare a list of TCP protocol operations with the help of the Internet.

Self-Assessment Questions
9. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) Transfer control protocol connects two endpoints by full
_______________virtual connection.
(b) TCP uses a ___________-way handshake connection to send and
receive data between hosts based on three phases.
10. State whether true or false:
(a) TCP switching is a network architecture which creates a circuit for
TCP connection.
(b) A passive operation does not respond to external activity such as
request for data on the network.

12.7 Flow Control


Another important issue in the design of the data link is to control the rate of
data transmission between two source and destination hosts. If there is mismatch
between the source and destination hosts data sending and receiving speed, it
will cause dropping of packets at the receiver end. It further causes the sender
to timeout on the acknowledgement packets, causing retransmission. This makes
the network less efficient.

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12.7.1 Stop and Wait, and Sliding Window Protocols


One important protocol used by the data link layer is the sliding window protocol.
It employs a stop and wait approach. The second frame is transmitted after the
acknowledgement for the first frame is received from the receiver. The
acknowledgement or next field of the frame includes the number of the next
frame to be acknowledged by the receiver. So, when this number tallies with the
number of the frame that the sender wants to send, the latter discards the first
frame from the buffer. Otherwise, it retransmits the same frame. Corresponding
to the frames it is ready to send, the sender keeps a list of consecutive sequence
numbers. This is known as a sending window. At the same time, the receiver
also has a window for the frames it is prepared to receive.
Those frames that are already sent, but have not yet been acknowledged
are represented by the sequence numbers in the senders window. Thus, when
a new frame comes, the highest sequence number is given and the upper limit
of the window is advanced by one step. When an acknowledgment arrives, it
advances the lower edge of the window by one step. Figures 12.25 (a) and (b)
illustrate the sliding window technique.
It is possible that the frames available within the senders window will be
damaged or lost during transit. Therefore, for likely retransmission, the sender
has to keep copies of all the frames in its memory. However, the sender does
not accepts new frames for transmission, when the window reaches the
maximum.

Checked for errors


and acknowledged

Frames 2, 3, 4 in transit
Sender A

Receiver B
Acknowledgement for Frame 1 in transit

(a) Sliding Window Protocol (After Frame 0 and 1 Received)

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Frames awaiting
transmission

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Buffer
Frame 8
Frame 7
Frame 6

Buffer

Frame 5

Frame 0

Frame 4

Frames awaiting
acknowledgement

Frame 3

Frame 1

Previously
acknowledged

Frame 2
Frame 3
Checked for errors
and acknowledged

Frames 4, 5 in transit
Sender A

Receiver B
Acknowledgement for Frame 3 in transit

(b) Sliding Window Protocol (After Frame 0 to 3 Received)


Figure 12.25 Sliding Window Technique

The receiving data link layers window consists of the sequence number
of the frame it is prepared to accept. Any frame received with a sequence number
outside this range is discarded. The window is moved by one step and an
acknowledgment frame is produced when a frame, whose sequence number is
equal to the lower edge of the window, is received. The receivers window always
maintains its original size, unlike the senders window. When the size of the
receivers window is 1, it means the receiver is prepared to accept all frames in
a sequential order.

12.8 Cryptography
The huge growth of the Internet has changed the way businesses are conducted.
Buying and selling of goods have changed from the traditional ways to the
Internet-based techniques. Sellers need not display items in a physical showroom
to lure buyers. Sellers display the items on Web pages which can be viewed by
buyers all over the world sitting in front of their Internet connected computers.
Orders and payments can be made through computers (using credit card
numbers or bank accounts) and the seller can dispatch the item to the homes of
buyers quickly. However, the security of sensitive information like credit card
numbers and pins sent over the Internet is a serious concern for both the sellers
and buyers. Other sensitive information we may send over internet may include
social security number, private correspondence, personal details and company
information. These informations are to be secured during transit over Internet
for the security of the buyers and sellers.
There are a number of techniques by which information is secured during
transactions and during communications between parties over the Internet.
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Encoding the sensitive information before transmission over the Internet using
some key called the Encryption is the widely used technique in todays secure
transactions and communications. The received information may be decrypted
using decoding key to view and use the information in the original form. The
process of encryption and decryption falls under the traditional topic of
cryptography.
Cryptography is the process of representing information using secret
codes for providing security and confidentiality of information in a system.
Cryptography is used to encrypt a plain text like ASCII strings into the ciphertext
(coded form of plaintext) in such a way that only the authorized people know
how to convert it back to the plaintext.
Cryptographic Protocols
The cryptographic protocols basically exchange the messages over insecure
communication medium that ensures authentication and secrecy of data.
Kerberos, IPSec, SET protocol and Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) are the popular
examples of cryptographic protocol. Kerberos is network authentication system
used for insecure networks. PGP protocol is used for file storage applications
and e-mail services that provide authenticable and confidential services.
Encryption encodes file storage locally and transmits e-mail message. The email service enables PGP to be used for private exchange over network. IPSec
follows security architecture to the Internet. This protocol formats IP security
protocol to lead the cryptographic algorithm. This protocol basically provides
subnet-to-subnet and host-to-subnet topologies.

Figure 12.26 CRYptographic Protocol Aanalyser Tool

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Figure 12.26 shows that CRYptographic Protocol Aanalyser (CRYPA) is


based on graphics user interface specification of cryptographic protocols using
construction of attack on protocol. PGP supports digital signature and encryption.
This tool provides a virtual distributed environment system that provides a secure
chain of handling and controlling the crypto message.
Activity 4
Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptography and prepare a report on the
significance of cryptography.

Self-Assessment Questions
11. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) If there is _____________between the source and destination hosts
data sending and receiving speed, it will cause dropping of packets
at the receiver end.
(b) ____________ is the process of representing information using
secret codes for providing security and confidentiality of information
in a system.
12. State whether true or false:
(a) The receiving data link layers window consists of the sequence
number of the frame it is prepared to reject.
(b) The cryptographic protocols basically exchange the messages over
insecure communication medium that ensures authentication and
secrecy of data.

12.9 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:
OSI reference model divides the required functions of the network
architecture into seven layers and defines the function of each layer.
Layering the communications process means breaking down the
communication process into smaller and easier to handle interdependent
categories, with each solving an important and somehow distinct aspect
of the data exchange process.

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With the growth of network size, traffic also grows affecting the overall
network in performance and responses. To manage a situation like that,
network specialists break the network into multiple networks,
interconnected by specialized devices that include routers, bridges,
brouters and switches.
The physical layer determines the type of network design exclusively
designed for the physical layer and connected to higher levels such as
data link, network, session, transport, presentation and application layers.
The basic concept of the seven-layer model is that each layer may be
defined independently of every other layer. Thus, from the user point of
view, interchange takes effect across each operation and passes down
through the layers of the model until data interchange is affected through
the physical connection.
TCP/IP or Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol was developed
with the objective to specify a suite of protocols capable of providing
transparent communications interoperability services between computers
of all sizes, regardless of the hardware or operating system platforms
supporting them.
A port is an access channel for computers to exchange information. Data
is sent and received over the network. It is first automatically organized
and then transferred into packets. These packets contain a set of
instructions called protocol so that other computers recognize the data
and decode the same.
Internet Protocol (IP) is the host-to-host network layer protocol for the
Internet. With reference to networking, it is a connectionless datagram
protocol that delivers the best services such as no error control and flow
control.
Datagram is an independent, self-contained message which is sent over
a different network. Its arrival, arrival time and content are not guaranteed
whether it is sent successfully or not.
The Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) is an error reporting
protocol that is an integral part of the IP protocol. ICMP communicates
control data, information data and error recovery data across the network.
IP source routing is a 32-bit IP address and pointer which points to the list
for the next use. IP source routing is generally used by malicious users
who exploit this feature to cause DoS (Denial of Service) attacks and
bypass security rules on LAN.
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TCP protocol contains a set of rules and communicates applications


securely and independently from the lower level.
TCP/IP applications operate at the application or process layer of the
TCP/IP hierarchy. TCP/IP protocol splits an application into server and
client components.
Telnet is a program that allows a user with remote login capabilities to
use the computing resources and services available on the host. Telnet
can also be used to connect other ports serving user defined as well as
well-known services.
An important issue in the design of the data link is to control the rate of
data transmission between two source and destination hosts. If there is
mismatch between the source and destination hosts data sending and
receiving speed, it will cause dropping of packets at the receiver end.
Cryptography is the process of representing information using secret codes
for providing security and confidentiality of information in a system.
Cryptography is used to encrypt a plain text like ASCII strings into the
ciphertext (coded form of plaintext) in such a way that only the authorized
people know how to convert it back to the plaintext.

12.10 Glossary
Transmission media: A media dealing with the type of media used (fiber,
copper, wireless, and so on), which is dictated by the desirable bandwidth,
immunity to noise and attenuation properties
TCP/IP: A basic communication language or protocol of the Internet
Gateways: Hardware/software combinations that connect devices running
different native protocols
Port: An access channel for computers to exchange information
Internet protocol: A unique address which provides a universal address
across the network

12.11 Terminal Questions


1. What are the goals of layered protocol?
2. Explain all the layers of OSI.

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3. Name the various types of sockets and explain them.


4. Describe the error messages defined by ICMP protocol.
5. Briefly describe the structure of TCP.
6. What is sliding window protocol? Elaborate.
7. Explain the basic idea behind cryptography.

12.12 Answers
Answers to Self-Assessment Questions
1. (a) OSI reference; (b) Layering
2. (a) True; (b) False
3. (a) Physical; (b) Presentation
4. (a) False; (b) True
5. (a) Specifications; (b) Port
6. (a) True; (b) False
7. (a) ICMP; (b) 32
8. (a) True; (b) True
9. (a) Duplex; (b) Three
10. (a) True; (b) False
11. (a) Mismatch; (b) Cryptography
12. (a) False; (b) True

Answers to Terminal Questions


1. Refer to Section 12.2.2
2. Refer to Section 12.3
3. Refer to Section 12.4.1
4. Refer to Section 12.5.1
5. Refer to Section 12.6
6. Refer to Section 12.7
7. Refer to Section 12.8
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12.13 Further Reading


1. Forouzan, Behrouz A. Data Communications and Networking. New
Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Black, Uyless D. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,
1993.
3. Stallings, William. Data and Computer Communications. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall Inc., 1996.
4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Inc., 2002.
5. Douglas, E. C. Computer Networks & Internet. New Delhi: Pearson
Education.
6. Rajaraman, V. Fundamentals of Computers. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of
India, 1996.

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Polling and Selection Protocols

Structure
13.1 Introduction
Objectives
13.2 An Introduction to Polling and Selection Protocols
13.3 Character and Bit Protocols
13.4 Binary Synchronous Control (BSC)
13.5 High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC)
13.6 Code Transparency and Synchronization
13.7 HDLC Transmission Process
13.8 Synchronous Data Link Control (SDLC)
13.9 Protocol Conversion
13.10 Summary
13.11 Glossary
13.12 Terminal Questions
13.13 Answers
13.14 Further Reading

13.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you read about layered protocols and OSI model. In the
present unit, you will read about polling and selection protocols.
A protocol is a set of mutually accepted and implemented rules at both
ends of the communication channel for the proper exchange of information.
Protocols comprise standards which, at a basic level, include the dimensions of
line set-up, transmission mode, code set, and non-data exchanges of information
such as error control (detection and correction). This is done through a device,
which controls a set of terminals, and is called a terminal controller. However,
there are times when a group of channels start simultaneous transmission.
Since the controller cannot identify the terminal that is transmitting, a technique
called polling is employed. Polling means identifying the willingness to transmit.
Binary synchronous communications is a character-oriented form of
communication developed by IBM in the 1960s. High-level data link control is a
bit-oriented synchronous data link layer protocol developed by the ISO.
SDLC (Synchronous Data Link Control) is a transmission protocol
developed by IBM in the 1970s as a replacement for its binary synchronous
protocol. SDLC was a basis for the ISO standard data link protocol, high-level

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data link control. SDLC essentially became one of several variations of HDLC,
the normal response mode.
Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Explain polling and selection protocol
Classify character and bit protocols
Differentiate between binary synchronous control and high-level data link
control
Summarize code transparency and synchronization
Describe HDLC transmission process
Assess synchronous data link control and its functions
Discuss protocol conversion

13.2 An Introduction to Polling and Selection Protocols


Sometimes, the cost of communication lines exceeds the cost of the systems
connected to the network. A definite way to reduce the cost of a communication
channel is to make a number of terminals to share a single communication
channel. The device, which controls a set of terminals, is known as a terminal
controller (refer Figure 13.1).

Figure 13.1 Terminal Controller

Polling: When many terminals are connected to a single channel, there


is a severe problem when a group of terminals start simultaneous
transmission. The controller cannot identify the terminal that is transmitting.
To avoid this situation, the controller uses a technique called polling,
which means, identifying the willingness to transmit. Two types of polling
schemes are used; they are roll-call polling and hub polling.
o Roll-Call Polling: In the roll-call polling scheme, the terminal
controller polls each and every terminal to check whether it is willing
to transmit data. In the Figure 13.1, if the terminal T1 is not willing to
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send data, it enquires with T2. If T2 is also not willing to send data,
T3 is enquired for transmission. In this manner, polling is performed
continuously in a cyclic order or until all the terminals complete their
transmission. Roll-call polling is most suitable for point-to-point
channels.
o Hub Polling: The problem with the roll-call polling is that the terminal
controller has to enquire with each and every terminal in turn. Even
when most of the terminals do not have enough data to transmit, it is
necessary to send control signals back and forth between the
controller and the terminals. In the hub polling scheme, the above
said problem is avoided by allowing the terminals to indicate their
willingness to transfer data. The terminal controller passes the enquiry
to the nearest terminal first. If the terminal has some data, it transmits
immediately, otherwise it simply passes the request to the adjacent
terminals. The request propagates cyclically to all the terminals and
finally reaches the controller. This type of polling is most suitable for
multidrop channels.
Activity 1
Collect data on the functioning and features of polling schemes. Summarize
your research in a report form.

13.3 Character and Bit Protocols


Character Oriented Protocol (COP)
Each character has its own meaning in character orientated protocols. A character
may be a data byte or a control byte during transmission. BISYNC or binary
synchronous is the main COP in use these days. The help of ASCII code is
taken to transmit each character. In ASCII, control bytes have clearly defined
values between 00 and 1F, while data bytes have values between 20 and 7F.
Figure 13.2 represents a sequence of communication between the sender
and receiver. This can be inferred as handshaking between the sender and
receiver:
This has an acknowledgement scheme. In this case, if an
acknowledgement is not received by the sender in a specified time, the sender
retransmits the packet. This time is called time out. After the successful
transmission of a packet, next packets are transmitted until entire message is

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sent. The receiver sends a negative acknowledgement if a packet is received


and has errors in it. Thus, the sender has to send it again to the receiver.
According to the ASCII code, data bytes include data for text or just a value
between 0 and 255 for binary data. The behaviour of the communication link is
determined by the control bytes. They are used for a variety of purposes also.
The link between sender and receiver is half dupleix.

Figure 13.2 Communication between Sender and Receiver in COP

Binary Synchronous Protocol (Bisync or BSC) Bisync was developed


by IBM in 1967 as a character oriented protocol that frames the data with
control codes which apply to the entire set of data. Bisync organizes data
into blocks of up to 512 characters, which are sent over the link sequentially
(one-at-a-time) as shown in Figure 13.3. An ACK or NAK is transmitted
from the receiving terminal to the transmitting device following the receipt
of each block. Error control is on the basis of a Block Checking Character
(BCC) that is transmitted along with the data. The receiving device
independently calculates the BCC and compares the two calculations.

Figure 13.3 Bisync Message Format Block

From the Figure 13.3, it can be seen that each message has three parts:
Header: This is recognized by the control characters SOH (Start of
Header).
Text: This is recognized by the control characters STX (Start of Text
block).
Trailer: This is recognized by the control characters ETX (End of
Text block).

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To establish synchronization between the sender and the receiver,


synchronized character (SYN) is used. The SYN characters are followed by the
message block.
Bit Oriented Protocol (BOP)
Character oriented protocols have the inherent problem of overhead because
more characters are required to express meaning of the message. This is,
therefore, considered inefficient.
On the other hand, based on the position and value in a data stream,
each bit has its importance. Thus, in a bit orientated protocol, a single character
may hold 256 (28) different meanings. Hence, there is reduction in the information
needed to convey additional information and consequently increase in efficiency
of the protocol. Some of the examples of these types of protocols are as follows:
X.25 CCITT standard for packet data transmission.
SDLC (Synchronous Data Link Control) (developed by IBM).
HDLC (High Level Data Link Control).
In this case, information is contained in an envelope. This is known as
frame. The frames are transmitted across the network in two ways:
Datagram: Information consisting of various frames reaches to receiver
via different routes.
Virtual Circuit: Information consisting of frames takes the same route
in reaching to receiver during transmission.
Frame has the following format:
Header contains routing and control information.
Body.
Tail contains the checksum data.
In this case, frames are responsible for transporting the data to the next
point. To understand this case, consider a case where information is sent from
a source to a destination. This information will pass through several intermediate
points known as nodes or stations. The information to be transmitted is broken
into a number of data fields. This data field is placed into a frame along with
control information and dispatched to the next station. Here the validity of the
frame is checked and if found proper, the data is extracted. The data is again
packed into a fresh frame and sent by the station to the subsequent station.
The transmitting station keeps a copy of the frame in buffer unless the station

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receives a positive acknowledgement. This process repeats until the data arrives
at the destination.
However, there is a limited buffer space to store incoming frames at the
receiving station. So when there is a shortage of buffer space, it gives indications
to other stations that it cannot accept any more frames. The links between the
receiver and the sender are half duplex, full duplex or both.
Since the frame permits intelligent control and the transmission link, there
are some benefits in this scheme, such as supporting multiple stations, error
recovery, intelligent routing and other important functions.

13.4 Binary Synchronous Control (BSC)


Binary Synchronous Communication (BSC) is known as BISYNC. It is a character
oriented protocol developed by IBM in 1967. It was announced in 1967, after
the introduction of system/360. BSC replaced the Synchronous Transmit Receive
(STR) protocol. It is used in second-generation computers.
BSC is a data communication line protocol that uses a standard set of
transmission control characters and control character sequence which is sent
to binary-coded data over the communication control line.
Functions of Binary Synchronous Communication
BSC follows half-duplex communication. It synchronizes and works with the
transmitter which sends a SYN character. The receiver receives the message
and starts finding the SYN character. The two stations handshake confirms the
synchronization message. Then they exchange data and information which are
kept in character blocks. The block first finds the SYN character. Then, the Start
Of Header (SOH) marks the starting header which contains the sequence number
and the address of the transmitter and receiver. STX (Start of TeXt) and End of
TeXt (ETX) indicate the starting and ending of user data. They are in an arbitrary
sequence of characters. In BSC, the redundancy check impacts a block. Control
characters are used in user data, and Data Link Escape (DLE) is used to avoid
interpreting the control codes. If control character occurs in the user data, it is
preceded by DLE character which means that BSC is now ready to accept the
next character. In the error handling method, the receiver receives a corrupted
block which returns the NAK (Negative AcKnowledge) block sequence number.
This sequence number is used to offend the block and then the transmitter
retransmits that block. Individual characters are used by parity checking.

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13.5 High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC)


High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) was developed by the International
Standards Organization (ISO) as a superset of IBMs SDLC and the United
States National Bureau of Standards (NBS) ADCCP (Advanced Data
Communications Control Procedure) protocols. A version of HDLC is the Link
Access Protocol-Balanced (LAP-B), which is used in ITU-TS X.25 packet
switched networks. HDLC was built on SDLC. Obviously, it looks very similar to
SDLC. Generally, they are not compatible and depend upon the framing
conventions in the specific HDLC implementation.

13.5.1 HDLC Options


HDLC Protocol Features
The following are the features of HDLC protocol:
The protocol and data are totally independent. This property is known as
transparency.
It is suitable for a network with a variety of configurations. Examples include
point-to-point, multidrop and loop configurations.
It supports half and full duplex operations.
It efficiently works over links with long propagation delay and links with
high data rates.
It provides high reliability. Problems like data loss, data duplication and
data corruption do not occur.
The HDLC Protocol
Three modes of operations are defined for the HDLC protocol. They are:
Normal Response Mode (NRM).
Asynchronous Response Mode (ARM).
Asynchronous Balanced Mode (ABM).
The first two modes are useful for the point-to-point and multidrop
configurations. In these two modes, there is one primary station and one or
more secondary stations. The primary station is responsible for the initialization
of links, controlling the data flow between primary and secondary stations, error
control and logical disconnection of the secondary stations.
In the NRM mode, the primary station, before allowing the secondary
stations to start transmission, performs polling. But in the ARM mode, secondary
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station may start transmission without a poll. NRM is most suitable for multidrop
environments.
The ABM mode is suitable only to point-to-point configuration. Each station
assumes the role of a primary and secondary, depending on the need. There is
no polling in this mode. In the HDLC protocol, data is transmitted in the form of
frames.

13.5.2 HDLC Frame Format


HDLC procedure is also standardized by ISO. This is suitable for high-speed
transmission of large amounts of data, something the basic control procedure
cannot provide. HDLC procedure has been standardized based on the SDLC.
In addition to characters, bit strings of a desired length can also be transmitted
through this procedure. The unit of data transmission is called a frame. With the
basic control procedure, receipt of data is checked after multiple frames are
sent for improved transmission efficiency. It also offers a form of advanced
error control called CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check).
The advantage of this procedure is that the sending equipment can send
multiple blocks of data at one time for improved transmission efficiency. As the
receiving equipment must inform the sending equipment how much data has
been received, therefore, it is necessary to attach a sequence number to each
piece of data.
The frame format of HDLC is depicted in Figure 13.4 (a) and (b). Each
frame has a 01111110 bit pattern, called a flag, at its beginning and end. That is,
HDLC procedure uses a flag synchronous system.

Bit order of transmission (Information frame)


Flag

Address

Control

Information

FCS

Flag

F
0111110

A
8 Bits

C
8 Bits

I
N Bits

FCS
16 Bits

F
01111110

Figure 13.4 (a) HDLC Frame Format

Bit order of Transmission (Supervisory frame)


Flag

Address

Control

FCS

Flag

FCS

0111110

8 Bits

8 Bits

16 Bits

01111110

Figure 13.4 (b) HDLC Frame Format

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In addition to these two flags, a frame consists of the following fields:


Address Field: This indicates the destination or source address of a
frame.
Control Fields: This indicates the command or response addressed
to remote equipment. The sequence number is also included.
Information Field: This contains message.
FCS (Frame Check Sequence): This is 16-bit sequence for error
control.
The frame format given in Figure 13.4 (b) is for response only and does
not include any information field. As the control field holding control information
and the information field holding information are clearly separated, any types of
codes can be sent through the HDLC procedure. Also, data sequence numbers
are included in the control field, consecutive data blocks (frame) can be sent
without checking receipt of each data block.

Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) In the _________ polling scheme, the terminal controller polls each
and every terminal to check whether it is willing to transmit data.
(b) In the _________ mode, the primary station, before allowing the
secondary stations to start transmission, performs polling.
2. State whether true or false:
(a) Binary synchronous control follows full duplex communication.
(b) The unit of data transmission is called frame.

13.6 Code Transparency and Synchronization


Transmission Control Procedure Types
Protocols are a mixture of both hardware and software. Therefore, the type of
computer equipment and software will determine the protocol being used. Each
of these protocols provides specific instructions that must accompany the data
being transmitted to assure that it is accurately received. The transmitting and
receiving devices rely on the protocol for communication regarding the data.

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Therefore, a transmission control procedure is a procedure to allow data


to be sent correctly. Data transmission can be basically divided into 5 phases as
shown in Figure 13.5. Of these 5 phases, phases 2 to 4 are defined by the
transmission control procedure.
1. Connect to Transmission Line
2. Establish Data Link
3. Transmit Information
4. Release Data Link

Transmission
Control
Procedure

5. Disconnect from Transmission Line


Figure 13.5 Data Transmission Phases

The term data link refers to a logical path that allows data transmission.
When a data link is established, the sending and receiving equipment can
communicate with each other. Telephone conversation between two persons
can be cited as an example.
The following are three typical transmission control procedures:
Non-procedure
Basic control procedure
High-level data control procedure
Non-Procedure
As indicated by its name, a non-procedure is a communication procedure with
no transmission control procedure. In this case, DTEs (Data Terminal
Equipments) do not establish or release a data link or perform error control.
Such tasks are left in the hands of operators. This procedure is widely used for
communication between computers, database retrieval services and others.
For data flow in this case, the receiving equipment, in general, identifies a
character as the beginning of the datathis can be any characterand finds
the end of the data by detecting a code called a delimiter. For communication
between PCs, the CR (Carriage Return) code is generally used as the delimiter
as shown in Figure 13.6.
The most typical example of non-procedure is communication between
the PC and modem for use in PC to PC communication. Although a variety of
protocols are used for communication between modems on the terminal and
host sides, non-procedure is generally used between the PC and modem.

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Figure 13.6 Data Flow in Non-Procedure

Basic Control Procedure


The basic control procedure is a transmission control procedure standardized
by the ISO. It defines establishment and release of data links, data receipt
confirmation methods and error control. This focuses on DTE handling I/O of
character data, such as character displays and printers. This has been
standardized based on the IBM BSC procedure. Receipt of data is checked
after sending of each block, which is the unit of data transmitted.
The basic control procedure offers a number of expansions and therefore,
procedure differs from one system to another. With the basic control procedure,
special control codes are used for establishment and release of data links, and
confirmation of receipt of data, as shown in Table 13.1. These codes are mapped
into the first half of the ISO code table. As these codes are used for sending and
receiving data through the basic control procedure, the same binary codes for
example, 0000101 representing enquiry (ENQ), cannot be used as a data.
Table 13.1 Control Codes
Code name

Full name

Definition

SOH

Start of Heading

Used for information message heading

STX

Start of Text

Used to conclude heading preceding


text

ETX

End of Text

Transmission control character to


conclude text

EOT

End of Transmission

Denotes conclusion of one or more


transmissions

ENQ

Enquiry

Requests response from the opposite


terminal

ACK

Acknowledge

An affirmative response from the


opposite terminal

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DLE

Data Link Escape

Change meaning of subsequent


specific number of successive
characters

NAK

Negative Acknowledgement

Negative response sent from receiver


to transmitter

SYN

Synchronous Idle

When no code exists in a synchronous


transmission system, it synchronizes
terminal equipment and sends out
signals to maintain the synchronization

ETB

End of Block

Used to denote conclusion of


transmission blocks when data is
divided into several blocks for
transmission.

13.7 HDLC Transmission Process


Frame Check Sequence: Each and every frame is checked for its validity. The
16-bit FCS performs this. It identifies the errors that occur in the data during the
transit. It uses a 16-bit CRC code. The CRC code is derived from the data and
control fields at the transmitter and will be sent to the receiver. The receiver
again derives the CRC from the received data and control fields, and checks
with the received CRC. If they differ, then it is considered as an error.
Three types of frames are used with different control fields. They are:
Information frames
Supervisory frames
Unnumbered frames
The information frames carry data. Supervisory frames perform basic link
control functions and the unnumbered frames are used to perform supplementary
link control function.
Information Frames
The first bit of the information frame contains a 0 (refer Figure 13.7). Bits 2 to 4
provide error control and flow control. This field is known as Seq. The transmitting
station sends a 3-bit modulo-8 number as a sequence number in the Seq field,
along with the data. When a receiving station receives this frame, it sends the
acknowledgment in the bit positions 6 to 8. This field is known as next field. The
number in the next field denotes the next expected frame number by the receiver.

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This kind of acknowledgment is known as piggybacked acknowledgement.


Acknowledgement may also be sent along with supervisory frame. Bit number
5 is known as Poll or Final bit, alternatively known as P/F. P mode is used by the
central computer to poll terminals for sending data. Terminals, to send their
final frame use F or Final mode. The supervisory and unnumbered frames also
use this mode.

Figure 13.7 Information Frame Format

Supervisory Frames
The following are some of the supervisory frame functions:
Flow Control: Once a station has completed the transmission of seven
frames, no more frames are transmitted, until the acknowledgment for
the first frame is received.
Error Control: If the received frame contains error, a negative
acknowledgment NAK is sent back to the transmitter via a supervisory
frame. There are two types of protocols used for this. They are the goback-N protocol and selective repeat protocol. In the go-back-N mode,
all the frames including the garbled ones are retransmitted. In the selective
repeat mode, the sending station retransmits only the frames that contain
error.
Pipelining: More than one frame may be in transit at a time. This allows
efficient use of links and reduces the average propagation delay.
The third type of frame, whose format is given in Figure 13.8, is known as
unnumbered frame. It is used for control purposes.

Figure 13.8 Unnumbered Frame Format

A specific unnumbered frame is an unnumbered acknowledgment frame.


This frame is sent as acknowledgment for the loss or damaged control frames.

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13.7.1 HDLC Subsets


HDLC is a set of protocols which determines transmitting data between network
points. It is the Layer 2 protocol in OSI. Data is arranged into frames and sent
over a network to the destination successfully.
Features of HDLC
The main features of HDLC are as follows:
Frames and Structures of HDLC
Stations of HDLC
Configuration of HDLC
Modes for operation of HDLC
The subset of HDLC
Frames and Structures of HDLC
HDLC frames rely on the physical layer which provides the method of clocking
and synchronizing for transmitting the frames. Figure 13.9 shows the frames of
HDLC. Here, the opening flag and address contain 8 bits, control 8 bits or 16
bits, CRC contains 16 bits and the closing flag contains 8 bits.
Flag

Address

DATA

Control

CRC

Flag

Figure 13.9 HDLC Message Frame

Figure 13.10 showing HDLC frame encapsulation includes PPP, HDLC


frame and Ethernet frame to perform tasks efficiently.
Preamble
7 bytes

SFT
7 byte

Destination Address Source Address


48 bits
48 bits

Flag
01111110

Address
1 byte

Control
1 Byte

Type
16 bits

DATA
1522 bytes

Data
46 - 1500 bytes

CRC
32 bits

CRC
32 bits

Flag
01111110

Figure 13.10 Ethernet HDLC Frame Encapsulation Setting

Stations and Configuration of HDLC


HDLC stations consist of three stations primary station, secondary station
and combined station. Primary station supervises error-control aspects and
organizes data-flow links, and also controls the secondary stations over the
network which uses HDLC protocol. The secondary station is activated when
the primary station sends a request so it depends on the primary station. The

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combined station controls the link on primary and secondary stations. It is not
based and authorized on other stations.
HDLC configuration has several types such as unbalanced configuration,
balanced configuration and symmetrical configuration. There is one primary
and many secondary stations in unbalanced configuration which supports half
duplex, full duplex, point-to-point configuration and multi-point configuration.
On the other hand, in balanced configuration, there are two or more combined
configurations. The symmetrical configuration consists of one balanced and
one unbalanced configuration.
Modes for Operation of HDLC
HDLC provides Normal Response Mode (NRM) where each and every frame is
transferred; Asynchronous Response Mode (ARM) which reduces time
overheads while transferring the frames; and Asynchronous Balanced Mode
(ABM) which transfers data or frames from the secondary station.
HDLC subsets are known as layer two protocols. It is recommended for
CCITT (Consultative Committee for International Telephone and Telegraph)
Recommendation X.25. LAP-B is a subset of X.25 protocol stack. It shares the
same frame format, frame types and field functions. It is restricted to the ABM
transfer mode and is suitable for combined stations. Its circuits are established
either by Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) or Data Circuit-terminating Equipment
(DCE). Table 13.2 shows the HDLC variations along with their uses:
Table 13.2 HDLC Variations
HDLC Subset Variations

Uses

NRM (Normal Response Mode)

Is used with SDLC in multipoint network

LAP (Link Access Procedure)

Is used with earlier X.25 implementations

LAP-B (Link Access Procedure-Balanced) Is used with current X.25 implementations


LAPD (Link Access Procedure for
ISDN D-Channel)

Is used with ISDN D-Channel and


Frame Relay

LAPM (Link Access Procedure for Modems) Is used with Modems for error-correcting

LAP is based on HDLC-related protocols. It works as a transmitting station


which sends to the receiving station and responds to it. Therefore, it performs
reversed roles.
LAP-B (Link Access Procedure Balanced)is an ABM subset of HDLC which
is designed to use with X.25. It makes a link between DCE and DTE.

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LAPD (Link Access Procedure for ISDN D-Channel) is an HDLC subset


which is designed to use with ISDN.
LLC (Logical Link Control) is a type of IEEE 802 series which is used
with LANs.
Properties of HDLC Subset
It is bit-oriented data link layer protocol.
It uses frames to perform checksum.
It organizes data into units.
Functions of HDLC Subset
It manages the data flow across networks.
It includes router tables to access, which indicates the tempo of forwarding
and sending data.
It generally creates frames for data which creates source and destination
address.
It encapsulates and adds data link control information for each new frame.
It sends data from a primary station (mainframe computer) to secondary
stations (Local or Remote stations).
It represents dedicated leased line for multi-drop and multi-point network.
In HDLC, communication takes place in half-duplex (carries data in both
directions).
It uses X.25 (family of network layer protocol) communications protocol
for frame relay which is usually used in public and private WAN. The X.25
version of HDLC uses peer-to-peer communication in both directions on
duplex links, known as LAP-B.

13.8 Synchronous Data Link Control (SDLC)


Synchronous Data Link Control Protocol (SDLC): IBM developed SDLC in
the mid-1970s for System Network Architecture (SNA). SDLC is a bit-oriented
protocol that uses bit strings to represent characters. SDLC uses CRC error
correction techniques. SDLC supports high-speed transmission and generally
employs Full Duplex (FDX), dedicated circuits. SDLC can work either in half
duplex or full duplex, supports satellite transmission protocols, and works in
point-to-point or multipoint network configurations. Up to 128 frames can be
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sent in a string, with each frame containing up to 7 blocks, each up to 512


characters. Each block within each frame is checked individually for errors.
Blocks with errors must be identified as such to the transmitting device within a
given time limit. The SDLC frame consists of synchronizing bits, data and control
characters sent in a continuous data stream, frame-by-frame.
Activity 2
List the significant features of Synchronous Data Link Control or SDLC
protocol.

13.9 Protocol Conversion


A protocol is a set of mutually accepted and implemented rules at both ends of
the communications channel for the proper exchange of information. Protocols
comprise standards which, at a basic level, include the dimensions of line setup,
transmission mode, code set and non-data exchanges of information such as
error control (detection and correction).
To establish a meaningful session, a certain sets of rules need to be
adopted by vendors of networking device. Figure 13.11 shows the basic
configuration of a data communication system. The numbers shown in Figure
13.11 indicate the following components of a network:
1. Data Transmission Line
2. DCE Modem or DSU (Digital Signal Unit)
3. Interface between DTE and DCE
4. Communication Program on DTE
5. Communication Program on CCP (Communication Control
Processor)
If the interface provided between (2) and (3) is not physically compatible
with either of them, the DTE and DCE cannot be connected. And, even if they
can be physically connected, the DTE and host cannot communicate with each
other if the communication procedures used for (4) and (5) are different.
Therefore, it is necessary to use the same procedure for (4) and (5). This
communication procedure is called a protocol.
A protocol is required for communication between computers. To connect
different types of computers from a variety of computer vendors, protocols must
be first standardized. The ARPA (Advanced Research Project Agency) part of
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the US Defense program was the first to introduce the concept of a standardized
protocol. ARPA is a resource-sharing network connecting different computers
at universities and laboratories in the US. The concept of the protocol and its
layer structure emerged from the ARPA network. ARPA developed an integrated
network using packet protocol and is also renowned for its development of
packet switching.
HOST SYSTEM
DTE
(3)
(4)

DCE
(2)

(1)

DCE

(3)

CCP

CPU

(2)
(5)

Transmission control

Data processing

Figure 13.11 Basic Configuration of a Data Communication System

Transmission Control Procedure


As important as it is that there should be one accepted standard that allows all
types of machines to communicate. There are several different protocols in use
today. These are:
Synchronous Protocols: The timing information of the sender including
the data bytes are involved in synchronous protocols. Thus, the receiver
remains in synchronization with the sender. If the sender has no data to
send, the later transmits a sequence of alternating 0s and 1s to maintain
the sender/receiver synchronization. This sequence of 0s and 1s is called
idle flags. Data bytes are packed into small chunks. These are called
packets. It also includes address fields and checksums. An in-built
characteristic of this protocol is error checking. This helps to counter the
main difficulties of the asynchronous protocol.
Asynchronous Data Link Control (ADLC) Protocols: Asynchronous
protocols are used primarily for low-speed data communications between
PCs and very small computers. Framing occurs at the byte level, with
each byte surrounded by a start bit (a 0 bit) and a stop bit (a 1 bit). A parity
bit often accompanies each character as well.

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Self-Assessment Questions
3. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) _____________ is a communication procedure with no transmission
control procedure.
(b) ______________ are used primarily for low-speed data
communications between PCs and very small computers.
4. State whether true or false:
(a) The basic control procedure defines the establishment and release
of data links, data receipt confirmation methods and error control.
(b) HDLC stations consist of three stations: Primary station, secondary
station and combined station.

13.10 Summary
Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:
A definite way to reduce the cost of a communication channel is to make
a number of terminals to share a single communication channel. The
device, which controls a set of terminals, is known as a terminal controller.
Polling means identifying the willingness to transmit. Two types of polling
schemes used are roll-call polling and hub polling.
Each character has its own meaning in character orientated protocols. A
character may be a data byte or a control byte during transmission.
BISYNC or binary synchronous is the main COP in use these days.
In a bit oriented protocol, a single character may hold 256 different
meanings; hence, there is a reduction in the information needed to convey
additional information and consequently increase in efficiency of the
protocol.
BISYNC is a data communication line protocol that uses a standard set of
transmission control characters and control character sequence which is
sent to binary-coded data over the communication control line.
HDLC was developed by the ISO as a superset of IBMs SDLC and United
States National Bureau of Standards ADCCP protocols.

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There are three modes of operation defined for HDLC protocol. They are
normal response mode, asynchronous response mode and asynchronous
balanced mode.
HDLC procedure is also standardized by ISO.
There are three types of transmission control procedures, namely, nonprocedure, basic control procedure and high-level data control procedure.
In frame check sequence, three types of frame that are used with different
control fields are information frames, supervisory frames and unnumbered
frames.
High-level data link control is a set of protocols which determines
transmitting data between network points. It is the Layer 2 protocol in OSI
model.
HDLC stations consist of three stations: primary station, secondary station
and combined station. Primary station supervises error-control aspects,
organizes data-flow links and controls the secondary stations over the
network which uses HDLC protocol. The secondary station is activated
when the primary station sends a request. The combined station controls
the link on primary and secondary stations.
SDLC is a bit-oriented protocol that uses bit strings to represent characters.
It uses CRC error correction techniques. SDLC supports high-speed
transmission and generally employs full duplex dedicated circuits.
A protocol is a set of mutually accepted and implemented rules at both
ends of the communications channel for the proper exchange of
information. To connect different types of computers from a variety of
computer vendors, protocols must be first standardized.

13.11 Glossary
Frame: The unit of data transmission
Data link: A logical path that allows data transmission
Non-procedure: A communication procedure with no transmission control
procedure
Protocol: A set of mutually accepted and implemented rules at both ends
of the communications channel for the proper exchange of information

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13.12 Terminal Questions


1. Define roll-call polling and hub polling.
2. What is the role of character oriented protocol and bit oriented protocol?
3. What do you understand by binary synchronous control?
4. What are the components of a frame format?
5. Explain the three typical transmission control procedures.
6. Describe HDLC transmission process.
7. What do you understand by synchronous data link control?
8. How does the conversion of protocol take place?

13.13 Answers
Answers to Self-Assessment Questions
1. (a) Roll-call; (b) Normal response
2. (a) False; (b) True
3. (a) Non-procedure; (b) Asynchronous protocols
4. (a) True; (b) True

Answers to Terminal Questions


1. Refer to Section 13.2
2. Refer to Section 13.3
3. Refer to Section 13.4
4. Refer to Section 13.5
5. Refer to Section 13.6
6. Refer to Section 13.7
7. Refer to Section 13.8
8. Refer to Section 13.9

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13.14 Further Reading


1. Forouzan, Behrouz A. Data Communications and Networking. New
Delhi:Tata McGraw-Hill, 2004.
2. Black, Uyless D. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.,
1993.
3. Stallings, William. Data and Computer Communications. New Jersey:
Prentice Hall Inc., 1996.
4. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. Computer Networks. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
Inc., 2002.
5. Douglas, E. C. Computer Networks & Internet. New Delhi: Pearson
Education.
6. Rajaraman, V. Fundamentals of Computers. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of
India, 1996.

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Unit 14

Security Measures

Structure
14.1 Introduction
Objectives
14.2 Security Measures: Basics
14.3 Need for Security
14.4 Basic Security Concepts
14.5 Threats to Users
14.6 Hardware and Data
14.7 Summary
14.8 Glossary
14.9 Terminal Questions
14.10 Answers
14.11 Further Reading

14.1 Introduction
In the previous unit, you read about polling and selection protocols. In the present
unit, you will be reading about security measures in computer system.
Security is nothing but the protection of information from theft, corruption
or natural disaster, while allowing the information to remain accessible and
productive to its intended users. The term computer security measure means
the collective processes and mechanisms by which sensitive, and valuable
information and data are protected from publication, tampering or collapse by
unauthorized activities or untrustworthy individuals (like hackers) and unplanned
events, respectively. To protect data from unauthorized person, firewall is used.
Firewall is an important part of computer security. It is a combination of software
and hardware components that is used to protect against threats from the public
Internet.
Objectives
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
Describe security measures
State the need for secure network
Explain the basic security concepts
Identify different threats to users
Discuss the relation between hardware and data

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14.2 Security Measures: Basics


Network security is a broad topic with a multilayered approach. It can be
addressed at the data link layer, network layer and application layer. The issues
concerned are: packet intrusion and encryption, IP packets and routing tables
with their update version, and host-level bugs occurred at data link layer, network
layer and application layer, respectively.
The TCP/IP protocols are being used globally irrespective of the nature
of the organization whether it belongs to the general category of organizations
or security specific sensitive organizations. The news or information about
hacking of some website or portal by some undesired people is very common
nowadays. This shows that TCP/IP protocols are susceptible to intercept. This
generated a need to ensure all round security for the network in an organization.
The task of the network administrator, therefore, has widened to include the
overall security of the network. He has to ensure that all parts of the network are
adequately protected and adequate measures for security have been
implemented within a TCP/IP network. He should be aware of an effective security
policy. He should also be able to pinpoint the main areas of risk that the network
may face. Basically, these main areas of risk vary from network to network
depending upon the organization functioning. There are, therefore, various
security-related aspects which have direct implications for a network administrator
along with the means to monitor the implemented measures of security effectively
and to tackle the problem of breach of security if it happens.

14.3 Need for Security


The main objective of the network is to share information among its users situated
locally or remotely. Therefore, it is possible that an undesired user can hack the
network and can prove to be harmful for the health of the network or user.
There are a few basic points, which must be followed by the network administrator
to provide the network an adequate security other than network-specific security
as in case of e-commerce, etc. These are given below:
Networks are designed to share information. Therefore, the network must
be clearly configured to identify the shareable information and nonshareable information.
The network should also clear with whom the shareable information could
be shared.

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With the increase of system security, the price for its management will
also increase accordingly; therefore a compromising level between security
and prices should be established as per the requirement of the network
security system policy. This will largely depend upon the level of security
needed to apply in the network, overall security requirements and the
effective implementation of the chosen level of security.
Division of the responsibilities concerning the network security must be
clearly defined between users and the system administrator.
The requirements for security must be detailed within a network security
policy of the organization that indicates the valuable data and their
associated cost to the business.
After defining the detailed network security policy and identifying the clear
cut responsibilities in the organization, the system administrator should
then be made responsible for ensuring that the security policy is effectively
applied to the company environment, including the existing networking
infrastructure.

Self-Assessment Questions
1. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:
(a) ____________ is addressed at the data link layer, network layer
and application layer.
(b) Division of the responsibilities concerning the network security must
be clearly defined between users and the __________.
2. State whether true or false:
(a) TCP/IP protocols are susceptible to intercept.
(b) The main objective of the network is to block information among its
users situated locally or remotely.

14.4 Basic Security Concepts


The evolution of security levels can be looked at in different forms, contributed
by the US Department of Defense. The first step in this direction was the
description of the Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria in December
1985, that has been made popular by the name of Orange Book. In continuation
with this Orange Book security level, another security level known as Trusted
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Network Interpretation of the Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria or


Red Book was described in July 1987. The security levels contain the securityrelated problems in the component or modular form. Each level contains the
specific security problem, which is broken down into different divisions. Each
division or classification provides a representation of a security level defined in
terms of the following general categories:
User identification and authentication.
The capability to monitor and audit system activity.
Provision of discretionary access.
Control of the reuse of resources.
Identifying specific areas of possible attack.
Provision of suitable counter measures.
The level of system trusts, including systems architecture, design,
implem