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madbkwm

madbkwm

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet - Andrew Blum This was one of those books that I saw sitting on the ebookshelf and thought that it would be good for me to read. Not because anyone recommended it or because I have a particular interest (although considering that I earn my living running an internet-based business that my husband and I built from scratch I do have quite a vested interest in the internet per say) in the topic, but because I feel like I should know more about the internet. I guess it was kind of the same way I picked up Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a few years ago. This is something I use, hence I should know more. That said, I was not particularly psyched about it, just kind of working my way through.

I enjoyed the historical information (I knew that the internet had come out of defense funds, but not really sure how) and the tracking of the development. I liked hearing about the cables and the ways in which they have grown; I also liked learning about the development of routing centers starting with MAE-East and working up to the crazy busy Amsterdam Exchange of today. I was not quite so interested in his field trips. I think he was trying to be descriptive and entertaining, but the whole "and now I'll describe another large warehouse-type building in a farm field somewhere with lots of security and large electronic boxes with blinking lights" got old and felt like page filler.

I did not really feel like there was much analysis other than
a) the Internet grew according to grassroots needs; it is a function of development ad hoc, rather than planning to scale and
b) Google is full of meanies who won't share any info, but pretty much everyone else is open and welcoming (if a little geeky).

Overall it was a good enough read and I certainly learned something about the physicality of something that is highly important to my (and everyone's really) daily life.