DATA ON THE MOVE: TRACING THE TRANSFORMATIONS & ENCODING
OF DATA ACROSS A NETWORK
From the point of input through a keyboard to the point of storage on a remote FTP server, the data we transfer across the home or office local area network (LAN) and the internet is transformed, encoded, labelled, transmitted and decoded through various methods to ensure security, efficiency and reliability. This paper will trace the transformations taken by the data packets outlining each step and explaining how each is relevant to the entire process. With a vast network of computers across the globe and even in outer space, it is crucial that they are able to communicate in all languages as well as count and calculate complex mathematics in every numeric system. It is impossible to teach or program a computer every language or numeric system individually, and these tasks must therefore be unified by a single language.
Computers ultimately understand one code, machine language (or binary code) which consists of a series of 1's and 0's, and from there the computer is instructed on how to interpret the data.
When a key is pressed on a keyboard the data is transferred to the computer in a format known as ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange), which is a piece of digital binary information. Once stored at a specified location on a hard drive, this information can then be shared with other computers through a network connection such as a Local Area Network (LAN) or a direct connection to the internet through a telephone line or broadband connection. In order for all computers on a network to successfully communicate with each other a network protocol is necessary to determine the addresses of each terminal. This ensures the terminals are speaking the same language...