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High Speed Intenet Foundations

by ram.008 In reply to TechyTurn

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<span style="font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;">Some History, Leased Line and Dial-Up Networking</span>
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<br />Although the Internet came into existence with a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARPANET" target="_blank">Military basis back in the 1970s</a>, it became immensely popular only in the 1990s. It was literally brought to our homes by <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/windows/default.mspx" target="_blank">Microsoft Windows 95</a>, which had good OS support for the internet. There was a skeletal interface in Windows 3.1, but Internet was not too popular. To us individuals, internet access was restricted from within Universities or Corporate LANs, where there was a dedicated "leased line", bringing in Network traffic.<br />
<br />Then came <a href="http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/D/Dial_Up_Networking.html" target="_blank">Dial-Up Networking</a>. This was much slower, but then, you did not require an expensive and unaffordable leased line to bring in internet traffic to our homes or firms. This is still the most common form of internet in many nations, but the US, Europe and parts of China are getting out of Dial-Up networking to higher speed internet via DSL or Cable.<br />
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<span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Digital Subscriber Line: An Introduction</span>
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<br />Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is a commonly used term these days. That is all I have ever worked on in the industry in my professional career spanning almost 5 years. Almost every single home in the urban US had a telephone line. It was almost a given. For users of Dial-Up internet, using an ISP (Internet Service Provider), like <a href="http://www.aol.com/" target="_blank">America Online</a> (AOL) or <a href="http://www.netzero.com/" target="_blank">Netzero</a>, it is an almost seamless transition to DSL and to much higher speeds.<br />
<br />It is heartening to see the technology grow with me through these 5 years. When I first came in, DSL modems were already in vogue and operators like <a href="http://www.sbc.com/">SBC</a> and <a href="http://www.qwest.com/">Qwest</a> had already deployed DSL service to individual consumers across the states.<br />
<br />DSL uses the non-voice frequencies of the telephone line to transmit data. So, natural voice conversations are not affected by DSL, unlike the annoying Dial-Up, where if your grandma picked up the phone while you were connected to the internet, she would be greeted by the deafening tones over a hoarse telephone line, or with a roar from you, because your internet line got disconnected!<br />
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<span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Cable Internet: An Introduction</span>
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<br />But there was a silent giant lurking out there, riding over one of the other most popular components of every home, with great degree of transparancy for home users. This was Cable TV. People receiving Cable TV programmes over their televisions, could now plug in a splitter, much like they would, to share the cable connection between two TVs or illegally between neighbors. Instead of having another TV on an end of the splitter, they would plug in a black box, called the Cable Modem.<br />
<br />Cable Modem had a strangle hold over the US Markets back then and to an extent even now! Somehow, it just seemed to be a natural synergy between the cable TV and the internet. Of course, every home had a Cable TV connection. Though, the telephone is even more popular than Cable TV in homes, Cable has dominated the US Markets. For a premium, if you could obtain high speed internet connection, that would be the path of least resistance for most consumers. All you needed to do, is to find a spot for your computer close to your TV, so that you don't need to run the thick black cable wires too long across your home.<br />
<br />Now that we have set the stage, we will review DSL Technology in the coming week, followed by Cable TV technology and why one is preferred over the other. My opinions, innovations in this field and more. Stay tuned to TechyTurn.</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://techyturn.blogspot.com/2005/07/high-speed-intenet-foundations.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Here's Something about DSL

by ram.008 In reply to TechyTurn

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<span style="font-family:lucida grande;">TECHYTURN</span>
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<span style="font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;font-size:85%;">Last week.... a Recap:</span>
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<br />Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is a commonly used term these days. Almost every single home in the urban US had a telephone line. It was almost a given. For users of Dial-Up internet, using an ISP (Internet Service Provider), like <a href="http://www.aol.com/" target="_blank">America Online</a> (AOL) or <a href="http://www.netzero.com/" target="_blank">Netzero</a>, it is an almost seamless transition to DSL and to much higher speeds.<br />
<br />DSL uses the non-voice frequencies of the telephone line to transmit data. So, natural voice conversations are not affected by DSL, unlike the annoying Dial-Up, where if your grandma picked up the phone while you were connected to the internet, she would be greeted by the deafening tones over a hoarse telephone line, or with a roar from you, because your internet line got disconnected!<br />
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<span style="font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;font-size:85%;">Present Day:</span>
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<br />Getting a DSL connection most often requires you to enter into a commitment for atleast a year, if you wish to get good rates, I mean the money in this case ;-) Services are also partitioned by the maximum achievable data rates. So, if you wish to get higher speeds, you gotta pay more.<br />
<br />There is several kinds of DSL services which can be offered. At the time of this writing, the ADSL family is in vogue and we are tending towards the VDSL market. Before this piece gets to become a cluster of abbreviations, I will stall it right here. A stands for Asymmetric and V stands for Very High Speed. DSL, as you may remember is, Digital Subscriber Line.<br />
<br />Assymetric DSL is based on the premise that while surfing the internet, you get a lot more data coming into your browser than what you send to it. Even if you are typing a huge post to a blog, what you type is considered as an offline activity, since everything you type is stored locally until you hit the send or post button. You might do just as well, to type everything in your local editor, and then cut and paste onto the 'Blog This' window. I have <a href="http://insideram.blogspot.com/2005/06/i-think-he-wants-to-communicate.html" target="_blank">posted earlier</a>, about the days of dial-up internet, especially in India, where it is really tough to get the connection over those noisy lines, it would be to your advantage to do as much homework before connecting on to the internet. With DSL, which is a dedicated, "<span style="font-style: italic;">always ON</span>" connection, this is not so much of a problem. The data rate in the receiving side is about 10-30 times the data rates you can get while sending.<br />
<br />Another example is, if you are watching a live cricket game over the internet, you are receiving much more than you send. Whereas if you consider a Voice over Internet (VoIP) or Voice chat over Yahoo or MSN messenger, the amount of data you send and receive are more or less the same, assuming that both the sides in the conversation are equally talkative. This is a case for SDSL, the symmetric counterpart of DSL, where the data rates are similar in both directions. For extensive Video based applications, the case for VDSL comes into the picture.<br />
<br />Most of our discussion will revolve around ADSL, since that is the technology which I am most familiar with. As I mentioned earlier, in ADSL, we make use of the frequencies over the phone line, above the voiceband, which are inaudible to the human ear. There happens to be much more of the band that we cannot hear when compared to the band we can actually perceive through our occular nerves. Thus DSL is an innovation that uses this part of the frequency band that can be used to transmit data.<br />
<br />DSL technology consists of two ends, one side is what most of us who have DSL in our homes are familiar with, the Modem or Customer Premise Equipment (CPE). The other side which users do not have to worry about, is the Exchange or the Central Office (CO) side. The distance between the CPE and the CO is called <span style="font-style: italic;">loop length</span>. This is a crucial determinant of what rates you can get at your home which is inversely proportional to the distance from the Central office of your DSL service provider, such as Verizon, SBC or Bellsouth. There are various challenges along the way, including but not limited to channel noise, echo, crosstalk, interference from Amateur Radio and other impairments, that can reduce the net data rate to your home.<br />
<br />On the bright side, DSL is not so much impacted by other users in your area, except that there maybe some degradation due to Crosstalk, if there are several DSL connections within the same binder of telephone cables. This is however, not as much as what Cable Modem users might see during 'peak hours', when several people are logged on at the same time. But it is as of today, a fact that cable modem users are seeing consistently higher data rates at off peak hours than DSL for the same price, here in the US, which is why Cable is still the most popular broadband medium, however, that has shown signs of changing in the near future. SBC Yahoo, is already providing DSL at very competitive rates of about 15 bucks a month for a 1 year term. Add this to a basic local phone service and you pay less than 40 bucks a month for atleast one year. This compares much more favorably to Cable costs which exceed 70 bucks even for Basic Cable plus High speed Internet.<br />
<br />ADSL technology is evolving rapidly with newer standards and other performance optimizations. The concept of Multi-Carrier Modulation is a standard in ADSL. Think of this as the band of non-voice frequencies being broken down into several bins, each of which can carry a certain number of bits. The information to be sent is broken down between these bins. There are some bins that can carry more information than the other depending on the channel conditions. The aggregate of the bits carried in the bins every second is a measure of the data rate in Kilobits per second.<br />
<br />Performance is improved by increasing the number of bins which can carry meaningful data. This led to an evolution of ADSL2 and ADSL2+ standards. The latter innovation has now lead to data rates as high as 30Mbps in the receive direction, also called as <span style="font-style: italic;">'downstream'</span> from the Central Office. The <span style="font-style: italic;">'upstream'</span> rates to the Central Office are as high as 1.2Mbps. So, it is seen that there is an obvious push to keep extending the range of Downstream data rates, since there is more and more demand for Video and Audio over DSL, which means more downstream information. It is likely when operators deploy ADSL2+ at competitive rates, DSL will gain much more popularity. In emerging markets like in China, Taiwan and India, majority of the work is in ADSL1, which has matured considerably in terms of standards specifications.<br />
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<br />In North America, the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) is a familiar medium for carrying DSL traffic, in Europe, ISDN is more popular. So, to have a world wide footprint, CPE and CO software need separate tuning and logic to accomodate these specific conditions. There are also additional specifications for extremely long loop lengths from the CO, such as those that exceed 18 Kft.<br />
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<span style="font-size:85%;">As someone working in the CPE side, <span style="font-style: italic;">interoperability</span> is a term I need to be concerned about, very frequently. This means that the CPE modem that we manufacture, should be compliant and work with the Central Office equipment from several vendors. Just like there are several companies that make CPE modems, there are also several companies that manufacture CO chipsets. These have got to work with each other consistently. For instance, an operator in China may be running into issues using an Analog Devices CO chipset against a Texas Instruments CPE chipset. Whereas, an Texas Instruments CPE would perform very well against a Texas Instruments CO, the Analog Devices CPE may not perform as well. This calls for performance tuning against the Analog Devices CO. Similarly CO vendors frequently have to tune their devices against several CPEs.<br />
<br />Thus DSL is an exciting field which involves plenty of Signal Processing at the Physical layer and embedded software at the ATM and Networking layers. There are several companies that manufacture CPE modem chipsets like Analog Devices, Conexant, Infineon, Broadcom and of course Texas Instruments. There are also several companies that manufacture CO chipsets like all of the above companies plus Alcatel, Lucent, NEC, Nokia, etc.<br />
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<br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Exciting Job Opportunities at Texas Instruments, San Jose</span>
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<br />Excited about DSL?? Want to be a part of this growing field with an Industry leader? There are some openings in our Software and Applications teams for people with a strong desire to achieve and high energy. Experience and Knowledge in Signal Processing and Embedded Software is useful. Please <a href="mailto:ram.008@gmail.com">e-mail me</a> your detailed resume or post them at the <a href="http://www.ti.com/">TI website</a>.</span>
</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://techyturn.blogspot.com/2005/08/heres-something-about-dsl.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Openings at Texas Instruments, San Jose

by ram.008 In reply to TechyTurn

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<span style="font-family:lucida grande;">TECHYTURN</span>
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<br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Exciting Job Opportunities at Texas Instruments, San Jose</span>
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<br />Excited about <a href="http://insideram.blogspot.com/2005/08/heres-something-about-dsl.html">DSL</a>?? Want to be a part of a growing field with an Industry leader? There are some openings in our Software and Applications teams for people with a strong desire to achieve and high energy. Experience and Knowledge in Signal Processing and Embedded Software is useful. Please <a href="mailto:ram.008@gmail.com">e-mail me</a> your detailed resume or post them at the <a href="http://www.ti.com/">TI website</a>.</span>
</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://techyturn.blogspot.com/2005/08/openings-at-texas-instruments-san-jose.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Innovations leading to the Residential Gateway

by ram.008 In reply to TechyTurn

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<span style="font-family:lucida grande;">TECHYTURN</span>
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<span style="font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;font-size:85%;">Last 2 weeks.... a Recap:</span>
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<span style="font-size:85%;">I have overviewed DSL technology over the past two weeks. You can read from the cache, <a href="http://insideram.blogspot.com/2005/07/foundations-of-high-speed-internet.html">Foundations to High Speed Internet</a> and <a href="http://insideram.blogspot.com/2005/08/heres-something-about-dsl.html">Something about DSL</a>. These quick reads would be useful before we dig a little further.</span>
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<span style="font-size:85%;">As most of us know, these days, we need much more than just a High Speed Internet connection at home. This creates an opportunity in the market to differentiate between the different products from a vendor. This brief will sound like a marketing pitch, but it would not be a bad time to get an overview of the market and the emerging products that utilize DSL technology.<br />
<br />Initially, as stated in the <a href="http://insideram.blogspot.com/2005/07/foundations-of-high-speed-internet.html">Foundations Blog</a>, all that anyone wanted to have, was an internet connection. It did not matter how slow or ineffective it was. It was a matter of prestige that one had internet connection and had surfed the web for <span style="font-style: italic;">n</span> number of hours. Among teenagers, who got unrestricted and unlimited access to any internet websites, there was great hush-hush in the colleges and exchange of URLs. Of course, there were many other productive uses, such as researching colleges for higher education, technical article sources for Paper Presentations that were likely to please the paper adjudicators, etc.<br />
<br />But slowly, the internet itself has become a given. In the workplace, over the years, conference room tables, which erstwhile had been empty or occassionally occupied by scribble pads or print outs, are becoming crowded with laptops. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there were lots of wires running from the laptops to the ethernet switches or hubs, to get access to the corporate LAN in order to pull up presentations or documents to share with the intended audience.<br />
<br />Come 2002s, <a href="http://www.cisco.com/">Cisco</a> <a href="http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/wireless/ps458/index.html">Wireless LAN adapters</a> were a familiar sight on the side view of the Laptop computers. This also meant that there were base stations hanging up side down like bats on the ceilings at regular intervals. This left the ethernet hubs below the conference room tables, look lonely, except for occassional users who required very high speeds ( in the order of 100Mbps) to share Matlab simulations, that required good network access speeds. The <a href="http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/wireless/ps458/index.html">Cisco adapters</a> would only show a speed of 11Mbps.<br />
<br />As a couple of years went by, there was innovation all round! First off, the network speeds became faster with <a href="http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/cc/techno/media/lan/gig/tech/gigbt_tc.htm">Gigabit Ethernet</a>, which meant that there was still some hope for the lonely old Ethernet Hub. Next, <a href="http://www.intel.com/">Intel</a> came up first with the <a href="http://www.intel.com/products/processor/pentiumm/">Pentium M</a> and then the featherlite, <a href="http://www.intel.com/products/centrino/index.htm">Centrino Mobile processors</a>, both of which had integrated Wireless adapters, stealing away the thunder from <a href="http://www.cisco.com/">Cisco</a>, since the protruding Wireless LAN cards from the PCMCIA slots were no longer required. These could now be used for high speed, <a href="http://www.usb.org/developers/usb20/">USB 2.0 adapters</a> serving Cameras, Camcorders, DVD RW drives, External Hard drives or other devices.<br />
<br />Also, a little earlier, companies came up with <a href="http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/802/11/">all kinds of 802.11 standards</a>. Perhaps the letters of the alphabet are no longer enough to cover these variably different wireless standards, of which <a href="http://pcworld.about.com/magazine/2104p034id109583.htm">802.11g</a> is peculiar for its speeds of 54Mbps, a 5 times increase over the traditional WLAN speed of 11Mbps. <a href="http://www.broadcom.com/">Broadcom</a> and <a href="http://www.atheros.com/">Atheros</a> were principal drivers of this standard, which became popular among PC OEMs (Manufacturers like <a href="http://www.dell.com/">Dell</a> or <a href="http://www.hp.com/">Hewlett Packard</a> that use <a href="http://www.intel.com/">Intel</a>/<a href="http://www.amd.com/">AMD</a> processors). Of course, Desktop PCs were not to be left behind, manufacturers slashed the price tags on desktops and 3rd party vendors made a name for themselves by producing innovations such as a <a href="http://pcworld.about.com/magazine/2104p034id109583.htm">Wireless USB adapter</a>, so that desktops could also fly on to the Wireless Connectivity bandwagon or bandflight!<br />
<br />All these innovations changed the landscape and economics of the PC business. Laptops have now outshined the Desktops, despite their higher price tag for the several benefits that revolve around the "portable theme song". Consequently, the number of PCs in an average home began to exceed unity. Each one of these computers needed to access the internet at some stage or the other and definately, swapping the ethernet cables from a Cable or DSL Modem, was not a viable option in the long run. Using the Ethernet switches was a good solution, but would crucify the Laptop, which you bought for its mobility aspect, to take it anywhere from your kitchen to your bathroom.<br />
<br />Thus, this dictated the requirement of a home network, just like the one in your office, which allows several employees to share the corporate LAN and the internet via Wireless LAN Access Points and Wireless LAN adapters. I shall review the Home Networking aspects of our business in a subsequent piece! Until then, its goodbye from <a href="http://techyturn.blogspot.com/">TechyTurn</a>!<br />
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</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://techyturn.blogspot.com/2005/08/innovations-leading-to-residential.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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The Ever Shrinking Webbed World!

by ram.008 In reply to TechyTurn

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<span style="font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;font-size:85%;">Residential Gateway</span>
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<span style="font-size:85%;">Techyturn began with a <a href="http://insideram.blogspot.com/2005/07/foundations-of-high-speed-internet.html">Foundations Blog</a> for high speed internet and then </span>
<span style="font-size:85%;">I had overviewed DSL technology over the past two weeks. You can read from the cache, <a href="http://insideram.blogspot.com/2005/07/foundations-of-high-speed-internet.html">Foundations to High Speed Internet</a> and <a href="http://insideram.blogspot.com/2005/08/heres-something-about-dsl.html">Something about DSL</a>. These quick reads would be useful before we dig a little further. I went on to explain that as high speed internet began spreading out, to different parts of the world and also within the home, there was a need to share this fast connection within several PCs in the house, thanks to reducing PC prices.<br />
<img src="http://enacit1.epfl.ch/internet.gif" />
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<span style="font-size:85%;">The Internet has been the single largest thing that has changed my life in over three quarters of a decade. It has changed the way we think, the way we socialize, the way we approach people, the way we shop and what not. So, it is but natural that the Internet technologies have been keeping pace along with the internet itself. One of the innovations that we are able to see in our homes these days, comes in the form of a small silvery or black box that is sitting in one corner of the home, blinking some lights in red and green. It has a couple of horns in the form of a plastic antenna that is hanging out of the basic form factor. This is the device that connects us to the internet. What is in this box?<br />
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<span style="font-size:85%;">The answer would somewhat be determined on the number of boxes you have out there, sitting by your wall. If you have a couple of boxes, one of which is connected to your TV cable, or a phone line, this is the Cable or DSL modem and the other is an Ethernet Switch *** Wireless LAN router. The modem is at the WAN side, meaning, it is the piece that is communicating with the far end telephone exchange or Cable provider. While the Ethernet-Wireless is at the LAN side, which means, it is responsible for communicating with the devices which are inside your home, which includes all your computers, the set top boxes, and among others, the DSL or Cable WAN Modem.<br />
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<span style="font-size:85%;">The WAN side sends and receives data to the far end from the PCs in your home which maybe connected to the LAN router via Ethernet or Wireless LAN. Thus your router is the sharing device within your home while the Cable or DSL modem brings data to and takes data from your router. Computers within your home do not need to go through the internet to be able to talk to one another, since these are all in your local network. The software that transfers data within your computer is called a <span style="font-style: italic;">"bridge"</span> or a <span style="font-style: italic;">"switch". </span>The resulting network is called a <span style="font-style: italic;">peer-to-peer network</span> within your home. There are three kinds of bridges in play here:<br />
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<span style="font-size:85%;">Ethernet - Ethernet bridge: This transfers data between two machines that are connected via ethernet cables to your Router box.<br />
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<span style="font-size:85%;">Ethernet - WLAN bridge: This transfers data between a laptop connected via Wireless LAN to your router box and a desktop connected via ethernet to the router box.<br />
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<span style="font-size:85%;">WLAN - WLAN bridge: This transfers data between two or more laptops connected via Wireless LAN to the router.</span>
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<span style="font-size:85%;">It would be easy to think that if these computers just needed to talk to one another, why require a DSL or Cable connection? Well, if all you wanted to do was to share files or play games with one another without having or wanting to look out, you are all set. But even if you want to chat with one another using Yahoo or MSN Messenger</span>
<span style="font-size:85%;">, you will require the internet, which means that although you are within arms reach from one another, your text would go through the internet.<br />
<br />Let us follow the course of a chat conversation between Betty and Veronica. Betty is on her desktop computer hooked up to her DSL modem. Vernoica is relaxing by the pool with Archie, having her laptop by her side. Betty opens up her Yahoo Messenger and types "Hi Ronnie" and hits enter.<br />
<br />This is where the information leaves Betty's study, through the ethernet wire, encapsulated somewhere among the thousands of ethernet packets travelling out of Betty's desktop onto her DSL modem. At the DSL modem, the ethernet packets are received, the information part is sent out as information through the telephone line towards the wall jack, using only the data frequencies, otherwise it could annoy Mr.Cooper, who is busy in conversation with his wife over the phone. His voice travells over the same telephone line that Betty's "Hi Ronnie" at that very instant, but in different compartments of that line. Both are destined to the local telephone exchange, where Mr. Cooper's voice conversation gets switched through the exchanges to Mrs.Cooper's phone line and same in the reverse direction.<br />
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<br />Betty's "Hi Ronnie", now goes to the Central Office (CO) part of the DSL line. Here, based on the information received through the envelope, the CO looks up the address where the data is headed towards. Once it locates the destination, it sends this information to a line that would take it to where it is destined to reach. That would be the IP address of Veronica's computer. Through the internet, the data packet travels to say, the provider of Veronica's internet connection, which could be Comcast Cable.<br />
<br />Once it reaches Comcast's data center, the data gets in to the thick TV cable wires that are going towards Veronica's home. They reach Veronica's residence through the same channels as her cable TV programs, but along a different compartment and they get into her study, where her Cable Modem is situated. From the cable modem, which is the WAN side of her home network, the data goes into her Wireless Router and from there, it goes straight into her laptop which results in a small window at the right bottom corner of her screen, which says "Hi Ronnie". It is from Betty, who is located some 2 miles away. She responds saying "Hi Betty, I am sunbathing with Archie!". This data will go through the reverse direction on to Betty's computer.<br />
<br />Could you even imagine how long it would take for pigeons to deliver this message? Perhaps much shorter, at the expense of the pigeon's health, given the number of instant messages that are being sent these days! If you feel sorry for the packets of information that are making so many tireless trips back and forth through various wires and networks, leave alone different lands and mediums, you are not alone! All this is done in a matter of seconds. Hence the adage: "The world is shrinking... is not untrue". Everything as a matter of fact is within a keyboard's reach these days. </span>
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</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://techyturn.blogspot.com/2005/08/ever-shrinking-webbed-world.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Yahoo for DSL!

by ram.008 In reply to TechyTurn

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<span style="color: rgb(204, 0, 0); font-weight: bold;">TECHYTURN</span>
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<br />Everyone has seen, used and benefitted from <a href="http://sbc.yahoo.com">SBC Yahoo DSL services</a>, at $14.95 per month for a 1.5Mbps download and 384kbps upload connection. Now, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/facesinthenews/2005/08/23/yahoo-verizon-dsl-cx_gl_0823autofacescan03.html?partner=yahootix">Yahoo has teamed up with Verizon </a>to offer DSL services at the same attractive rate of $14.95 per month but a lower guaranteed rates of 768kbps. This will most definately contribute to the adoption of DSL services across North America, which has been a weak market in comparison to the rest of the world when it comes to DSL vs Cable marketshare.<br />
<br />In the forseeable future, the basic data rates, which are now well below the 1.5Mbps mark, will improve and the tiered premium services will increase in their capabilities. With the adoption of newer ADSL standards and capabilities, these will only keep rising! I see very exciting prospects for DSL and am happy to be contributing to it!</span>
</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://techyturn.blogspot.com/2005/08/yahoo-for-dsl.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Google Talk

by ram.008 In reply to TechyTurn

<span style="font-size:78%;">TECHYTURN</span><br/><span style="font-size:85%;"></span><br/><span style="font-size:85%;">Today </span><a href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050824/ap_on_hi_te/google_messaging;_ylt=AlseCcJo3CRKzuNOCW3fzMFU.3QA;_ylu=X3oDMTA3cjE0b2MwBHNlYwM3Mzg-">Google has announced</a><span style="font-size:85%;"> its new Chat program, </span><a href="http://www.google.com/talk/">Google Talk</a><span style="font-size:85%;">. My initial impressions are that, while it is impressive, it does not come close to the recent innovations of </span><a href="http://messenger.yahoo.com/">Yahoo Messenger</a><span style="font-size:85%;">. Of course we have to consider that Yahoo and MSN have been around for quite a while and Google is still a newcomer. But on the same token, Google has had its time to look at its usual competition and what they are coming up with. I am sure that Google Talk will get better. The one thing that will act in Google?s favor is its brand name recognition, which is really top class due to its innovations or acquisitions over the past 6 years (except Orkut of course). </span><br/><span style="font-size:85%;"></span><br/><span style="font-size:85%;">It will certainly take time for GTalk to take off since many people have to coax all their contacts or atleast the ones they care about, to move to GTalk and GMail. Many people are die hard Yahoo Mail and Messenger fans and GTalk will have to offer something outstanding to beat Yahoo in the near term.  </span><br/><span style="font-size:85%;"></span><br/><span style="font-size:85%;">I also noticed that GMail is being opened up through the </span><a href="http://www.gmail.com/">main website</a><span style="font-size:85%;"> itself. Earlier, it was strictly through invitation from members or for bloggers. Next, these invites were sold on e-bay or some good Samaritans set up forums to share their free Gmail invitations to people in exchange for some funny or sometimes silly errands on the web. Next, Google expanded the number of free invites it gave and removed expiration dates on these invites. Then it promoted its existing users to ?Give GMail?, which was really a nicer way to put it and it emphasized the importance of the e-mail product. Then it went on to increase the incentive to use GMail, by an enormous increase in size by 2.5 times the original offering. I guess Google, whether in its stock or e-mail space, is destined to swell! Now, it has extended open invites to cell phone users, who would receive an SMS invite to GMail! Google?s Marketing and Brand Name Management has been outstanding. It has really offloaded a lot of its marketing burden on to the masses and could there be anything more powerful than the client mass? Way to go, Google!!!</span><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://techyturn.blogspot.com/2005/08/google-talk.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Gaming Innovation

by ram.008 In reply to TechyTurn

From Casio Handhelds to Sony' Playstation Portable (PSP)
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<br />I have mentioned earlier in <a href="http://insideram.blogspot.com">my Main Blog</a>, about my childhood passion for games. My first memories go back to the little hand held Casio digital games. I have played a sheppard for cows, a mad racer who loves mowing grass more than keeping on the roads, etc. The little digital music that announces a high score was the ultimate thrill!
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<br />From in the early 1980s, it went on to the Nintendo hand held games which were one step above the single screen Casio games. These had two screens, one which continued into the other. It used to fold neatly into a box that could be carried easily. Casio was not to be left behind, it came up with larger games that used an AA size battery. These were among my favorite games like Western Bar. It was simply an awesome experience and I still wonder how Casio came up with such innovation! It was an amazing array of sounds, scenes and emotions, all within a tiny 4' screen!
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<br />Casio went on to embed games into watches. There were several games available along the lines of a linear 2-D up down or sideways movements, which were sufficient for racing, skiing, flying games. These were immensely popular among us kids, since if you got bored in class, you still had a way to stay awake!
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<br />Innovation in the gaming era did not stop there. There were the classic precursors to Sega, which had built in games in a box, that you could hook up to the TV and play with tiny controllers. There would usually be 2 controllers for 2 players. These games required close proximity to the TV and would employ the TV's sound and visual capabilities. These were succeeded by the Atari era of games. Atari introduced a way of playing multiple games using the same box, just like a cassette player, where you could use the same device to play music from multiple artists or to listen to your new born nephew's first cry!
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<br />Atari also brought to the market some fancy accessories, like the joystick, which gave finer control to play games. Several 3rd party players began to bring in their innovations to produce newer, bigger and better games for the Atari. There was innovation even in the framework! There were now reversible game cartridges, which gave us 2 games in one form factor! This went on to multiple games within the same form factor. I never wondered about these things as a player. But being in consumer electronics myself, I am in awe of the innovation in this field!
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<br />Then came Sega, Nintendo Gameboy, Sony Playstation, PS2, etc etc. Things have gone so far today in gaming that I can barely keep up! I used to be the first to try out several new Atari games to boast in front of my friends! Now, I am surely behind, but the spirit is still alive. For several years since I came to the US, my gaming activities have been severely restricted to the games within the cell phones, such as Snake or Pinball or Bouncer! These have not been any less fun to play during the little bit of leisure time I manage to get (be it even in restrooms!)
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<br />I got a Sony PSP on my birthday this year and it has rekindled all the excitement. No doubt that I am a player across decades, I am totally in awe of the innovation in this field that has for long been considered a distraction! It has even become a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/22/arts/design/22vide.html?hp&ex=1132722000&en=34a1700ea8420964&ei=5094&partner=homepage">main stream major</a>!<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://techyturn.blogspot.com/2005/11/gaming-innovation.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Gadget Madness

by ram.008 In reply to TechyTurn

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">Trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrringgggg.... rang my alarm clock at 4:30am this Friday, also called the "Black Friday" after Thanksgiving. This alarm was not a signal for me to begin preparing for my exams on the following day, but on the contrary, a reminder that I need to get out of my sleep pants, get the car key and sleep drive on to the Best Buy parking lot to get in line for the great sale!<br />
<br />It seems grossly unfair that someone would have a sale starting this early in the morning especially after the heavy turkey dinner the previous night. Of course I have less to complain, yet, when it is time to give an excuse for getting up early, one need not look too far or think too much!<br />
<br />I was flabbergasted and somewhat disappointed to see that there were atleast a hundred people already queued up outside Best Buy. Each one was there to grab something different, but all had the same goal, to be among the first to get their hands on a HOT deal. (Somehow HOT always seems to add to an attraction).<br />
<br />It is quite amazing to think back to 2001 or even earlier, when people would first flock the apparel stores and only some weirdos would hunt down the aisles of Best Buy or Circuit City. Looks like Technology has taken over! Yahoo now reports that Tech was the winner this Thanksgiving sale!</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://techyturn.blogspot.com/2005/11/gadget-madness.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Gesture Recognition

by ram.008 In reply to TechyTurn

Looks like Samsung is among the first to prove that Gesture Recognition, really works! Samsung <a href="http://mobilekorea.tv/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=238&Itemid=33">have released</a> a couple of "Korea only" phones that recognize Gestures.<br /><br />Gesture, Speech and Gaze (GSG) recognition has been a favorite topic to me since University days. I was working on an <a href="http://dynamo.ecn.purdue.edu/~harper/projects/projects2000.html">NSF funded project </a>for GSG at <a href="http://www.ece.purdue.edu">Purdue</a>. I am not sure where that research went, but the funding was huge! It was a joint effort between several groups at different universities. There was a good degree of interconnection between the fields of Gesture, Speech and Gaze. Models called the "Avatars", similar to what Yahoo has on its Messenger product were employed to conduct research on human patterns. It was also being applied to assist patients with Parkinson's disease.<br /><br />Anyways, coming back to the present, it is indeed wonderful to see that technology today has come around to investigating human patterns of gesture. Gesture could really be a useful component to a cell phone if it is employed effectively. The first generation Samsung product requires the application of gesture on the instrument itself. For instance, you need to shake the phone sideways to indicate that you want to skip the track on its MP3 player. I assume similar movements apply for gaming. This really is a <em>"touch/clutch"</em> sensor.<br /><br />The next generation products should involve gesture tracking on a certain field of vision without requiring a sensor for touch. One of the challenges with Gesture or Gaze tracking is that different people from different cultures have a different way of indicating what they want. So, a technology that involves Gaze or Gesture should have customized models trained to the region it is intended to serve. This is why I think Samsung released this phone for Korea only to start out with. They will need extensive training data from different regions to build a model that can support a certain region.<br /><br />Very interesting potential for Consumer electronics based on gestures! Memory and Processing requirements could make it challenging. However with fast products such as <a href="http://focus.ti.com/paramsearch/docs/parametricsearch.tsp?family=dsp&sectionId=2&tabId=217&familyId=477">TI's 1GHz DSP</a>, there is more power packed into Silicon that can meet the demands of real time processing on embedded systems.<p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://techyturn.blogspot.com/2005/11/gesture-recognition.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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