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2011 Communications Assessment Task

1. Describe in detail the operation of a web server and mail server.

A server is an electronic computer used to serve requests of other entities which are clients. They are dedicated to running services for their clients which are other users in the same network. They are designed to have a decent amount of storage and require other hardware such as a router, network card etc. Software that includes an operating system, application software and device drivers are also needed in ability to connect to their clients and carry out their services. There are many types of servers that are used for many different purposes which include web servers and mail servers which are both very common in the information age. A mail server is a storage device which acts as a rendezvous for the user to send data to the recipient. It is generally dedicated to help the user send electronic emails to the recipient. It is also used to store e-mails and help the recipient receive emails. To be able to do this, a mail server requires internet connection and a storage device. As stated before, the storage device acts as a rendezvous for the user to send data to the recipient. This happens by the user sending an e-mail to the mail server which then sends the data to the recipient. This is the reason the user does not need to be connected to the recipient in order to receive data; both parties are connected to the mail server via internet connection. Mail servers also use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) which does various things to help the e-mail reach the recipient. When an e-mail is being sent, all e-mails contain two broad components, an envelope and a contents component. The envelope, which contains the address and other information required to get to the recipient is read and thoroughly checked by SMTP. The contents component contains the actual message with other header fields that are needed to tell SMTP the sender, receiver, date/time, subject and the relationship of the message to other related messages. When an e-mail is sent, it is transmitted to an SMTP server where SMTP checks the envelope and the contents components of the e-mail. After examining thoroughly and finding the destination, it is then sent to the recipients SMTP server.

Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT

Along with SMTP, another application level protocol is also needed to be used. This will either be POP (Post Office Protocol) or IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol). The POP or IMAP server only does the delivery and organisation part of the transmission. After the message is sent to an SMTP server, the message is then given to a POP or IMAP server which places the mail into the recipients inbox, much like the delivery guy placing a mail inside your mailbox after the post office has given you the mail. POP or IMAP also asks for authentication details when the user attempts to view his/her e-mails. This is where the emails are sent from the POP or IMAP server to the recipient.

Transmission of data between a user and the recipient of a mail server A web server is a server that helps transmit data that can be accessed through the internet such as web pages. The most common use of web servers is to host websites although they are also used by businesses for other purposes such as enterprise software. Web servers require a decent amount of storage space to store web pages, data, information and other important hardware required to carry out its purpose such as a router. This means that the web server requires internet connection. One of the main reasons for this is that a web server needs to upload data or else nobody else can view it. Software is also required for the server to run and process data. For a client to view a web page, they require a web browser or web crawler which begins

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the operation of requesting HTML documents. The HTML documents are then retrieved using the HTTP GET command and URL (Universal Resource Locater) to retrieve entire documents. The URL is simply an address which tells HTTP GET where to retrieve data from. Inside the HTML documents there may be images, videos or any other types of files that can be retrieved. Users may also use HTTP HEAD to simply retrieve the header of the HTTP documents or HTTP POST to send data to the web server. 2. Outline the operation of a home wireless network (include all Information Technology and protocols used). Discuss the advantages and disadvantages, giving examples of each to justify your answer. A home wireless network is a LAN (Local Area Network) which is enclosed in a way that you require to be in vicinity of the network to use. Most home wireless networks have a physical star network topology where there is one central node and other nodes that connect to the central node. Other details are also needed to use a home wireless network such as authentication and an electronic device which can detect the digital signals from the network. They all come in different data rates, frequencies and bandwidths depending on your Internet Service Provider, internet plan, location, router and other factors. Home wireless networks are used for communication between electronic devices such as computers, iPods, scanners etc. The most common use for home wireless networks is connecting personal computers to the internet although they are not limited to this. Having a home wireless network means that the devices on the same network can communicate quickly without any problems. Having a home wireless network means that you can have protected internet which does not require wires and as a result of this new level of technology, they are expensive, fragile and you may offer some of your internet speed. They are also easily played around with especially by professional hackers who can easily bypass the authentication details. It is easy to find out who is usually your internet though, because people are only allowed to use your network if they are in vicinity. They typically connect electronic devices using point to point links. A home wireless network requires a lot of mandatory hardware unlike computers where you can throw away an SSD and replace it with a hard drive, or throw away a few USB ports

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and it will still be fine. A home wireless network is not like this. It requires electricity and stable internet connection such as ADSL. Dial up will not work very well with a wireless network. Another piece of mandatory hardware is a WAP (Wireless access point) and wireless adapter or NIC (Network interface card). These two pieces of hardware are used to connect your personal device to the internet. The WAP is typically located on the router. It is used as the central node of a wireless network to broadcast to other wireless nodes in vicinity (located on the wireless adapter or NIC). Because the WAP is a central access point for anything within vicinity, it is quite easy to tamper with it. This is why the protocols WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) were created. WEP was a protocol that only offered password protection. These protocols can easily counter unpolished strategies to gain unauthorised access. WEP was the first protocol introduced to defend wireless network but only introduced password protection. WPA and WPA2 were then later created. These showed much stronger protection because they encrypted as well as used password protection. The wireless adapter or NIC act as modems to constantly modulate and demodulate data when needed. When connecting to other wireless devices within the network, the analogue that the wireless adapter or NIC has transmitted is detected by the router and redirected to the other wireless device. Because of the fast communication between the central node and other nodes, full duplex communication is achieved.

Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT

Transmission of data from central node to other wireless nodes showing devices which contain the nodes Home wireless networks operate within the Ethernet protocol which is at the IPT transmission level including OSI data link layer 2 and OSI physical layer 1. A MAC (Media Access Controller) address of both the sender and recipient is required for the nodes to understand the destination. The wireless adapter, NIC and WAP all have a unique 6 byte MAC address. MAC addresses act as envelopes which tell the nodes where the Ethernet packets are going. A typical MAC address would look like this 00-00-E2-66-E3-CC. A final 4byte CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) is also used at the end of transmission to check for any errors in transmission. It is possible for two nodes to transmit a frame at the same time but only if they are on different physical transmission line. If they share the physical transmission line then a data collision will definitely occur and both frames will be corrupted. A system called CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection) is used to deal with these collisions. This is only the case for hubs though as modern day Ethernet networks use switches where two nodes exist on each physical line. There are many advantages to home wireless networks and also many disadvantages.

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Ultimately, the advantages easily outweigh the disadvantages. Advantages Ease of access No wires that cause tripping hazards Allows devices such as iPods who cannot connect to the internet using an Ethernet cable to access the internet Multiple connections to the internet can be achieved at the same time without spending time setting it up Implementation is cheaper Unreachable areas (across a river, mountains, rural areas) may still access internet Easier to set up (ideal for temporary networks)

Disadvantages Changing nature of work Speed is lowered by a tiny bit Networks can be interrupted [walls (blocking), microwave oven (interference), far distance (attenuation)] Less secure More complex to configure

As you can see, it is a good trade-off between the advantages and disadvantages as you will almost never encounter any of the disadvantages in the modern day. 3. With reference to Question 2, describe in detail the communication between your Wireless laptop at home and the STHS intranet. While using the STHS intranet with your wireless laptop within the school vicinity, the STHS intranet will be acting as an intranet. However, if you are using the intranet from home, which is outside the vicinity of the school, it will be acting an extranet. An intranet is basically a private network that is maintained by an organisation and in this case, Sydney Technical High School. An extranet is basically using an intranet outside the organisation.

Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT

The Sydney Technical High School intranet has dedicated leased lines for traffic which means that there will be high-speed For a user to enter the STHS intranet, they will need to enter authentication details. These details are given by the school to students, teachers and parents. Of course each of these classes will have different authorities to the school network. If the credentials are incorrect or invalid, an error message will pop up and say 401 Unauthorized: Access is denied due to invalid credentials. This means that you are forbidden to access the school network and that you will either need to either reset your password because it has expired or ask the TSO (Technical Support Officer) to help reset your password.

Error message if credentials are incorrect multiple times Once you are inside the school intranet, you will be entering a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN is a network that requires a public telecommunication infrastructure and in STHS case, its the internet. The internet is used to communicate from the central organizational network to clients that are connected to it. This network has a physical star topology and a logical ring topology while using the intranet via the school vicinity but if you are using the STHS intranet as an extranet, it will simply be a physical star topology. The advantage of this is that people are able to connect to the STHS intranet and disconnect without disturbing any of the other users.

Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT

Relationship between clients and servers in a Virtual Private Network TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol) is also extremely important to using the extranet. If a user wants to receive files from the STHS intranet, these 2 protocols are vital and they are automatically installed into the routing software of every router. TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is the main delivery system of transmission. A user would first request a file such as a textbook from the school intranet. The school intranet would use TCP as a delivery system to send the stream of bytes to the user. IP (Internet Protocol) is then used to direct the stream of bytes that TCP are sending to the user using the IP Address which is the address that every computer has. An IP address is typically a numerical label applied to each computer and is a 32-bit number. They would typically look like this In a physical form, TCP would be the delivery guy, IP would be a map and the IP address would be the address located on the mail.


Communications have greatly changed the nature of the work place. In relation to the following headings, briefly describe using examples on each as to how the nature of work has changed.

a) Power and control As technology is being introduced, power and control in the workplace has changed and will continue to change. The way a worker communicates with his employer is one vast change Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT

in the working community. In the past, to contact your employer you could not directly contact the employer because that would mean physically walking into his/her room. Having every employee physically walking into his/her room would hinder his work. The way communication worked was the worker would give his message to someone who had more privileges then him/her and then they would pass the message on so someone who had more privileges than them and so on. This means if there was something personal, there would be no privacy. In the current day, you can contact your employer by sending a private message that they will respond to after an appropriate amount of time. The most common way for this to occur is e-mailing. b) Ethics Ethics is a big issue as technology is advancing especially with the internet. The internet gives us a wide choice of information and how you can obtain that information. Different people will have different levels of access. It is common for humans to get greedy and want to obtain that information when they dont have access to it. The internet is full of scams used to obtain money and details. Internet fraud comes in many different forms. It is common for bots to send e-mails in attempt for an uninformed persons credit card or banking details. This is an extremely serious crime much like stealing except that internet fraud is extremely common. This is one of the ways people can get unauthorised access, by preying on people who are beginning to use the internet and manipulating them. Another ethical issue is piracy. This is also extremely common and serious. People can gain software or media which costs money by simply downloading a crack or key generator. Many people also commit piracy without knowing what they are doing. For example, downloading a simple song is committing piracy. While on the internet, people are inconsiderate and because it is almost untraceable and that there are so many people abusing the loopholes in the internet, it cannot be dealt with as of now. If someone was to physically steal a movie from a shop, they can be easily caught but if there were hundreds of thousands of people stealing movies, it wont be possible to

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stop them. This is the case because of the high bandwidth.

c) Interpersonal relationships When you hear relationships, you will typically think about face to face communication. This may have been the only way of communication a few hundred years ago. This has been changing through fax, telephones and finally we are at the information age where we have instant messaging, e-mailing, calling, etc. In the past people would attempt to keep close by face to face communication where they can interact freely. The nature of this has changed as people have learnt that there is no need to preserve a relationship by face to face communication and that you can easily keep a relationship from a long distance. As technology has advanced, it has made it easier and easier for us to keep up to date, communicate with relatives across the globe and ultimately has made face to face communication more and more unneeded. Instead of physically giving invitations for a party, you would text, e-mail, call or make a status on a social networking website such as Facebook. Although for your everyday needs these forms communications can satisfy your needs, it definitely is not a healthy way of communication if it is repeated. Face to face communication and physical contact with other humans is still needed because of how our minds work. It is also much harder to interpret information online especially sarcasm or puns. This is because body language and facial expressions are not included. Businesses have also set themselves to other communication systems such as teleconferencing. This brings in many advantages such as cost reduction with travel and accommodation and the fact that it is easy to setup and schedule. It is also much easier to communicate regularly with everybody. However, there are also disadvantages to this information system as it is much harder to develop interpersonal relationships since you are not physically present. Maintaining concentration during extended phone calls is also extremely difficult and as listed before, body language and facial expressions are not present.

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d) Work and employment issues Communications has affected employment in many ways. In the past you would have to physically show up to work and do your job as the cycle repeats. If you were sick, you could skip work. In the modern day, it is easy to communicate and work from home meaning that even if you were sick, you would still have to work. Because being able to work from home is so easy, people who arent able to physically attend the workplace can work from home. It is also much easier to monitor your employees to make sure that they are doing their work. There is so much you can record and check for example, telephone calls, e-mails, internet history. This may sound like a good idea at first where the employer can completely see what the employer is doing so that he is doing the right but that is not the case. This can easily lead to a violation of privacy and can also create bad relationships between the worker and employer. The worker will also be under a lot of stress knowing that the employer will know exactly what he is doing. There is also a variety of different types of data in the information age. In the past you would have to send a paper resume and physically go to an interview. IN the modern day world you dont have to. There is more data than just words; you could easily make a video resume which contains a high amount of propaganda using special effects etc. to get yourself a job without even having an interview. e) Current and Emerging Trends in Communication In the past everything was done by paper and recorded on paper. This is definitely not the case in the modern day world. The trend of doing everything digitally is emerging. This is evidently happening in Sydney Technical High School as books are being scrapped and laptops are being introduced. Textbooks are even being scrapped and placed inside laptops. This current trend can affect us in different ways. It is much easier to type than write every letter on a paper and using OneNote to organise your work is much easier than using a book. However, laptops definitely result in distraction and can also lead to poor eyesight. Communication has lead us to go from writing, to pressing keys and finally to touching a screen. Devices which have touch screens are becoming more and trendier as we speak.

Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT


People of all ages are starting to use touch screens, especially teenagers. It is easy to say that 80% of all teenagers have some sort of device with a multi touch system. These touch screen devices also include other special features which are also emerging trends. iPhones for example include a camera, wireless technology, music player and a phone system. It is also a small device that can fit inside your pockets, which is also an emerging trend. Big old telephones becoming small mobile phones are one example of this. The way people acquire information has also changed. In the past libraries were much more common than today. They were the resource to all information. Today all we need to do is type something in a search engine and we would have what we need. Google, the most popular search engine is the 3rd most popular website in the World Wide Web. Social networking is also an extremely popular hobby for teenagers as communications using the internet has been introduced. There are hundreds of social networking websites that people regularly use such as Facebook, twitter, blogger and formspring. The most popular website in the world is Facebook which evidently shows that it is a current trend although it is extremely recent. Facebook has climbed its popularity extremely quickly 5. Australians have the reputation of taking up new technology very quickly; the use of Smartphones is one such example. Explain the technology behind that allows Smartphones to carry out a multitude of functions. Smartphones are a current and emerging trend in the information age. They are a high-end mobile phone which has a high amount of features. It is also built on a mobile computing platform which means that it includes features that mobiles and computers have. These features include high resolution screen, internet browsing, portable media playing, digital camera and a GPS navigation unit and other applications such as mail, weather, calendar etc. One of the most significant features that a smartphone has and other phones dont have is a multi-touch system. They are also very popular because of their neat design and their portability. Smartphones use more advanced mobile operating systems than regular mobiles. Some common ones are Apples iOS, Googles Android and Microsofts Windows Mobile. The high resolution of smartphones compared to other phones is one of the several Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT


significant advantages that they have. One of the main reasons that a smartphone has high resolution is because they have an LCD screen. LCD screens have a number of advantages including reduced radiation, cost effective, energy efficient, lighter weight, fewer harmful chemicals and most important of all, higher resolution. Because of their high resolution, smartphones are allowed to have increased detail in videos and photos which is a huge advantage for phones. Imagine watching a YouTube video on a regular old phone. It would not be very pleasing. There is also a reduction in video noise when you watch a video. The noise of a video can increase the file size and at the same time decreasing the quality which is definitely something that you want. This also allows for the user to play games that require good graphics without losing any of the quality. However, there are disadvantages of having high resolution. The smartphone would need higher processing requirements and larger disk requirements to hold all of the files that the phone can record or take. Internet browsing is another feature that smartphones have. The technology behind internet browsing is simply having a wireless adapter. A wireless adapter allows smartphones to connect to a WAP (Wireless Access Point) of a router and access the internet. Internet browsing is an extremely efficient feature especially in this current age where social networking is the most popular hobby among young people. Internet browsing also opens up many other advantages such as RSS feeds which allows you to keep up with news or specifically, interesting news. You can also use the internet for researching which is one of the most significant advantages of internet browsing. There is no need to physically go to a library and borrow a book when you can simply touch the screen. Portable media playing is another feature that all smartphones are capable of. There are several technologies behind being able to carry this out for example, storage devices. A smartphone would need a decent amount of storage to be able to hold all the songs as they are around 5 megabytes each. Also, along with songs they must also be able to play videos, store pictures and be able to include applications. Most smartphones will have around 2040 gigabytes to be able to hold the files. For example, Apple iPhones come in 16 gigabytes, 32 gigabytes and 64 gigabytes. A 40 gigabyte hard disk will generally allow you to play up to 160 hours of video, up to 10,000 songs and hundreds of thousands of pictures. The operating system of a smartphone is also a significant factor for playing and viewing these

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files. There are many different file types that can be played on smartphones. The main types of files that are viewed and played on smartphones are typically wmv, jpeg, mpeg, mp3, avi and dvr-ms. The operating system is the key to being able to play these files. It organises and controls the hardware and software so that it is able to behave in a certain way which is able to decode these files. There is also a digital camera installed into each smartphone. It is a remarkable feature that was not installed into compact devices until recently. Digital cameras, like CDs, DVDs, MP3s and other electronics are built around changing analogue data into digital data. Digital cameras focus the light from what is in front of it onto a semiconductor and creates a digital image. The digital image is then saved onto the hard disk that is inside the digital camera. Digital cameras are much better and work differently than their predecessor, conventional cameras. Conventional cameras depend entirely on mechanical and chemical processes and have no connection with digital data, not even electricity. They also store data differently from digital data. There is also a great improvement in megapixels from conventional cameras into digital cameras. A GPS (Global Position System) navigational device is a useful tool that is installed into smartphones. It is able to pinpoint the location of where you are on the Earth from anywhere on the Earth. The main technology that a GPS uses is the 27 satellites that orbit the Earth. These satellites are extremely significant to the GPS and without them there would be no that they could operate. 24 satellites are always operating and there are 3 extra satellites in case of a failure. These satellites were made by the military but were soon opened up for everybody else. The GPS is a simple device that acts using a mathematical technique used in geometry called trilateration. It basically locates four or more of the satellites and then measures the distance from you to each of the satellites. However, it is common for up to 8 satellites to be within range of the GPS at any time. It calculates the distance by measuring the time it takes for each signal to reach the device. This is only able to be calculated because the satellites send signals at constant speed.

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Smartphones are also able to install third party software called applications. These applications can be used for many different reasons such as entertainment, business or personal benefits. There are many applications that can be downloaded and installed by the user in each of these categories. Such as for entertainment there would be games, for business there would be stocks and for personal benefit there could be a converter. 6. Other than E-mail and Social networking applications, discuss how other applications/appliances have changed the way we communicate socially and conduct business?
E-mails have been a great new trend in the 21st century ever since they were introduced along with other social networking applications such as Windows Live Messenger. However, these are not the only communications technologies that have affected our lives greatly. There has been a great deal of different communications ranging from Fax all the way to E-commerce that has made our life easier and faster. Not only have these communications affected our personal social lives but it has also affected the way businesses are conducted. Fax (short for facsimile) is an extremely old way of communication that was invented in 1843 and is still used in the modern day although not as much. Fax is a quick and efficient way to send scanned text and images via PSTN. Fax works by scanning a printed document, converting it into a bitmap file and sends it via PSTN using a telephone number which is connected to an output device as electrical

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signals. The recipients fax machine then prints a paper copy. Fax has changed businesses in many ways. Imagine running a business but being unable to send any documents to your client. Fax saves enormous amounts of times in the business and allows them to be more flexible with their time and costs. As an addition to Faxs utilities, the recipient also is not required to do any work except. This saves a lot of time as you can imagine walking to a collection box or being physically handed the paperwork instead of having the paper come out of a machine. Fax has also gained more utilities when internet fax was invented. These advantages include unneeded hardware and software, no extra telephone line, paperless communication, simultaneous sending and receiving, reduction in phone costs and the ability to send faxes from anywhere with internet connection. As you can see, these advantages show a clear advantage in cutting costs and a decent advantage in utilities. Telephones have changed our lives socially and in the business. Keeping in touch with friends and colleagues have been much easier ever since telephone has been introduced. The requirement of physical contact to keep in touch was discarded ever since telephones came out. It is not easy to keep in touch with your friends simply by calling them over the phone. This full duplex communication system has also affected business in many ways. New ways of business are opened such as advertising via telemarketing and calling up clients for work (such as architects). Telephones also bring in a half-duplex form of communication that is used around the workplace called voice mail. This is used because full duplex communication while in the work place is very distracting. Fax would be used for this purpose in the past but tone could not be provided via fax. This is why voice mail has a clear advantage over fax. Telephones then introduced mobile phones, a smaller version of a telephone that you could fit in your pocket. This is an extremely versatile that can be used for many different purposes in the modern day. They include many utilities such as camera, multi-touch, voice-mail, text, wireless internet and calling. E-commerce has also been opened up as technology has progressed where we are moving to the stage where everywhere you go to shop you will be paying electronically. Internet shopping has also been created by E-commerce. There are various applications used for Internet shopping such as EFTPOS (Electronic funds transfer at point of sales) and PayPal. Other utilities that are not for internet shopping include credit cards and debit cards. These applications and utilities have made shopping much easier as there is no need to carry out high amounts of cash when you can simply keep it in a virtual account or a card. Transactions are also much faster because there is no need to count cash and transferring money is also much easier as you can transfer billions of dollars in a few seconds. Although this makes business much easier, it has also made people more wary of security and how important it is. This is because these electronic appliances have created hackers who greed

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from people who are uninformed and attempt to get their banking details. There are also disadvantages to internet shopping such as vegetables and clothes not being in their physical form for you to see. This can be a problem if you get a bag of tomatoes that have a few rotten or clothes that do not fit you. Internet shopping has also opened up new ways for businesses to run. For example, a game company can create virtual cash that you can buy via PayPal using real cash and a more common phenomenon, companies selling their products online. As you can see, communications has changed the way we communicate socially and the way we conduct business in many different ways. It has become much easier to socialize as time has progressed going from physical communication to fax, to telephones, to e-mails and so on. Multitouch devices that have been introduced are also quite popular with people of all ages because they are easy to use and have many great utilities. Businesses are also are more relief because communicating with each other during work could never be easier and when it couldnt have been better, more business options have been opened.


Encryption is often used when transferring data to keep it secure, explain how the encryption process is carried out.

The internet has opened up many communication channels in a new era with a new world. These communication channels let us communicate with people who we do not know all and also open up transmission channels where we can send and receive data to anyone and from anyone. Because people can easily tamper what happens before, during and after transmission, security systems must be introduced. Hiding your information is definitely not enough in this world and nor was passwords. This is why encryption was introduced, a new way to protect data and information. Encryption is the physical version of coding all your work and giving the code to the receiver so that he can decode it. It can benefit you in many ways such as if confidential files are stolen during transmission, the information cannot be decoded and will be completely useless. Only the receiver, who is able to decode the files is able to make use of the encrypted file. There are typically two types of encryption: Symmetric key encryption (private) Asymmetric key encryption (public)

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Symmetric key encryption, as stated above is a private way of encryption where only the sender and receiver know the code and are able to decode it. It generally means that the same key is used for encrypting and decrypting the data. The first symmetric key encryption was DES (Data Encryption Standard) which featured a 56-bit key. This was eventually scrapped as it is much too weak for modern day standards when the Electronic Frontier Foundation publicly broke the key in 22 hours and 15 minutes. This was then succeeded by AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) which is able to feature a 256-bit key. This is the current encryption method used worldwide as of 2011.

Private key encryption Unlike symmetric key encryption which uses the same key for both encrypting and decrypting, asymmetric key encryption has 2 keys that are used for encryption and decryption, a public key and a private key. A public key is published to everyone who has a secure connection with the transmission of the file and a private key is only known by the receiver.

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Public key encryption 8. Outline the roles of a Network Administrator of a company for a computer Network consisting of a file server, a proxy server, 120 workstations and 900 users, and is part of WAN of 100 similar companies. Network administrators are extremely important within a network. They are the physical equivalent of a government within a network. Without one, everything would be jumbled up and all over the place. They are responsible for many things such as maintenance of the hardware and software which would mean that they must have knowledge on how to install and fix all types of hardware and software including routers, switches and hubs. Along with this, they are also responsible for monitoring and providing help to users and clients by controlling privileges and taking care of the network in general. Because they have to take care of the network, it is compulsory to be able to keep up with technology. A network administrator has the highest access rights in a network. They have complete control of everything which means that the job of a network administrator is very tough. They must be trustworthy enough to be able to gain these privileges and have a high amount of work to do. One of the main tasks of a network administrator is to manage the users. In this case, there are 900 users in this network. They must add and remove users from the network and give different privileges to the users depending on the type of group that they belong in. In every network there will be different classes of people with different privileges such as in the Sydney Technical High School network, students, parents and

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teachers are all assigned different privileges. People will be placed into different groups and will be assigned these privileges by the operating systems ACL (Access Control List). These privileges will include such authorisations such as: Read Users are able to read the content of files and be able to see the directory contents Write Users are able to change the content of files in 4 ways; adding, creating, deleting or renaming. Execute Users are able to run programs and access them

Authentication details will then need to be assigned to the users where they will be able to change their passwords at their will. These accounts have a personal profile that is saved onto the server. There must also be other small things to consider for example, if a user is removed from the network, their account must be terminated. Also, if a users account has reached a certain time of inactivity their password will either need to be reset or their account will be terminated. The 120 workstations must also be managed by the network administrator. The network administrator must be able to ensure that each of the 120 workstations are ready to use. This may sound like an easy task but in reality it is difficult. Each of the workstations must have a specific operating system so that if there is a problem with one of them, the problem can be recorded and fixed. Each of the workstations must also have a security system which will most likely include a virus scanner and a firewall which is reliable. If the security is unreliable, the workstations could be hacked and personal information can be taken from the users. Internet must also be ensured to all of the workstations if necessary which means connecting each of them to a router and setting up switches. The network administrator must also license appropriate software for each of the workstations which is taking in a high amount of responsibility as well as considering finance. This brings the network administrators to be able to manage the WAN (Wide Area Network). The network administrator must ensure that their network is connected to the WAN of the other 100 networks and the internet. The only way to communicate with the 100 other networks is via the internet. The internet is also required for the users to be able

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to use the workstations more efficiently and productively. To be able to do this, a suitable router that is able to connect 120 workstations and is able to connect to 100 other routers in the same WAN must be installed. This means that he must choose a suitable price and capability of a router and connect to the 120 workstations. The network administrator must also set up switches to enable the internet usually via Ethernet. As stated before, security is an important issue for workstations. It is also an important issue for the router. The router will need to be able to fend of malicious content and stop unwanted clients from accessing the router. There are 3 protocols that can be used for this, WEP, WPA or WPA2 as stated in question 2. The WPA2 will be used in the modern day world because it is more efficient with encryption. Filters and censors should also be placed onto the router so that the users are unable to access websites that are not suitable for work or contain malicious content (Blocked sites in STHS). The file server must also be managed by the network administrator. This means that he must keep it safe and working at all times which means protecting it from malicious content, preventing data collisions etc. The file server must have security on it at all times as it has lots of confidential information which the users may need in the present or future. This also means that the file server must be scanned regularly so ensure that nothing malicious has entered. Data collisions must also be managed. Typically CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection) should be managed and checked regularly. A regular backup with the file server should also be done in preparation of the worst. Keeping up with technology is another thing that the network administrator must do. If there is a virus outbreak then he must be there to ensure that the file server is not affected. The 120 workstations should be upgraded every few years so that the system performance does not drop drastically and that they are kept up to date. He must also ensure that the operating systems of these workstations are being updated regularly by monitoring them.


The Client-server architecture is used on most networks. With the aid of two examples explain why this type of architecture is so important.

Client-server architecture is exactly what it literally says. It is the relationship between a Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT


client and a server. The server is usually a large network and the client is usually a personal computer but not limited to this. A computer can easily act as a server although it is not as reliable to a large network. The server provides processing resources and services to the clients. For example, a web server retrieves and transmits web pages and clients receive it (browsing the internet). There are many types of types of servers, web servers, file servers, mail servers which each carry out a specific role on the internet but there are only 2 types of clients; fat clients and thin clients. Fat clients are clients that are able to process data, request information, run applications etc. by themselves as thin clients rely heavily on the server to fulfil what a fat client can do independently. A client-server relationship is extremely common in the modern day and is the most used type of network currently used. As said before, a computer can be either a client or a server. On the internet, a personal computer will most likely be a client. The reason for this is because a server needs to be extremely strong and expensive for it to be able to receive information and transmit information simultaneously to many different clients. The relationship on the internet between personal computers and servers (web servers and file servers particularly) are where personal computers can upload onto a server. A server hosts and stores the files and processes requests by other clients and transmits data to them. An example of this is where a client wants to share data with other clients whom they are only connected to via the internet. Because of a personal computers slow speeds, it is much faster to upload the data to a server and let the recipient download it then send it directly. A client would upload their data onto a file server and the recipient (other client) will then visit the server using a URL (Universal Resource Locater) and download the file. Client-server architecture is extremely important for speed and security. Although a server costs much more than a personal computer, it has many more benefits as a central node of transmission. A server has much more security of the files and will prevent unauthorised access but a personal computer has a high risk of unauthorised access, lower speeds and lack of security. If a client-server relationship did not exist, files would be transferred from a fat-client to another fat-client which would result in extremely slow speeds. Backing up and error checking is also much easier because all the files are stored in one place. If a personal Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT


computer was to be the server, the files would be very messy and unorganised.

The relationship between a server to a client 10. Explain the operation of a packet switching network? Give an example where packet switching is used. A packet switching network is a network that is able to split data upon transmission into more suitable sized blocks called packets. These packets are generally small and easy to manage as they are around 1000 bytes. The purpose of packet switching is to make transmission more efficient by allowing simultaneous and fast transmission as well as reducing the amount of errors occurring. It was also made to utilize the channel capacity of a network more efficiently to reduce the latency. The software for packet switching first divides the data into a reasonable amount of blocks and assigns an envelope which includes the destination and the instructions of how the file will be put back together at the end of the transmission. The file then goes off to transmission as the network places the little packets into different paths which all reach the same destination. These paths are decided on depending on the channel capacity of each path. At the end of the path, the envelope will be read by the routing software and put back together into the large file that was intended to be received regardless of the order they were sent in. This is an extremely useful technique because if an error had occurred, one single packet would simply need to be resent but if you were downloading a large file and an error had occurred, the whole file would have been needed to be resent which is an

Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT


extreme disadvantage especially if you have slow internet. An example of where packet switching is used is when a student is attempting to download a textbook from the Sydney Technical High School website. The student would first request the HTML webpage and will be asked for authentication details. After authentication details are entered, the student locates the resource where the textbook is found and attempt to download it. The textbook will go through Sydney Technical High Schools routing software and be divided into a reasonable amount of packets upon transmission. The routing software will then place an envelope on each of the packets in order for the students routing software to understand how to put it back together. The file will then be transmitted to the student via the internet with a little help from the TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) protocol acting as a delivery system. The packets will then go through an error checking system of either parity, checksum or CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check). If they contain no errors the packets will then move on to the next step. If there are errors then one of the packets will be resent. The routing software from the student will then put the packets into one big file in advance to sending it to the student. The IP (Internet Protocol) protocol then directs the file to the student. Packet switching is an extremely useful technology that has changed the way files are transmitted by making it faster and more efficient. It is the modern way that files are transmitted and current provides satisfaction to users.

11. Evaluate the different forms of broadband Internet connection (ISDN, ADSL,

Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT


ADSL2 and Cable) for use in a small online business of eight employees. A small business online of eight employees, as for any business online will require stable broadband connection will instantly rules out dial-up. The internet must be able to upload and download significant amounts of data but do not need to be too intensive to download 100s of gigabytes. The four different types of broadband connection which can be used for a small online business are ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line), ADSL 2 (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line 2) and Cable. They are all unique and have their ups and downs. ISDN is one of the first types of broadband made. It was defined in 1988 and is now currently out-dated. ISDN is a type of broadband that connects to the internet via PSTN and sends digital transmission signals of various types of data over PSTN. It is a symmetrical type of network which means that download speeds and upload speeds are very similar. This is particularly useful for businesses that need to transmit data to their clients. When it was created, the world was currently using analogue modems (dial-up) instead of digital modems which were much slower. ISDN would be permanently connected to the network while other analogue modems would need to dial up to connect to the internet. This made ISDN the more efficient network by far. However, it was also must more expensive. At the time, your everyday home would not have ISDN because it would be too much to afford and the internet did not have many users or data at the time because of the unreliable speeds of analogue modems. Along with speed and utility, ISDN would also offer extra features such as being able to be on the phone and on the internet at the same time which analogue modems could just not. As you can see, with all the efficiency of ISDN, the features would have definitely been needed during the 1980s to the 2000s but in the modern day, there are much better choices than ISDN.

ADSL is an asymmetric network which means that the upload speeds and download speeds differ greatly. The download speeds of ADSL can go up to 256kb/s but the upload speeds of ADSL can only go up to 64kb/s. As you can see, this is a huge difference which makes it optimal for personal use but for businesses it is extremely situational. ADSL uses a copper wire to transmit their data which is digital and do not convert them into analogue signals. Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT


The hardware and software for ADSL is very vital. An ADSL modem and an ADSL filter would be needed and there would be device drivers and routing software to make ADSL work. It is also recommended to have software that will protect you (Firewall, virus scanner) from malicious files. ADSLs speeds are the extremely fast compared to ISDN. This is probably one of the main advantages that ADSL have over ISDN. ADSL also shares many of the features that ISDN already have such as being able to use the phone and internet at the same time which is an extremely vital part of a business. Imagine running a business and not being able to use the phone and internet at the same time. It would be very on and off and will ultimately fail. ADSL is also always on meaning that you will not have to dial up every time you want to use the internet which could take a lot of time. As stated before, ADSL is situational for businesses because of the difference in upload and download speeds. Another reason for this is because of location. The business would need to be very close to an ADSL exchange to maximize their potential especially if there are 8 employees all using the same internet. ADSL also provides a high amount of utility to the users. The reason for this is because you can simultaneously access the net as long as you are connected to the same copper telephone line. It is also generally easy to set up and fix if there are any problems. This may not sound like a big deal but having the internet fixed as soon as there are problems is surprisingly vital. If a business must shut down for a week or two, it would affect the businesses income and reputation greatly especially because they are only a small business, people may forget about them and never visit them again. ADSL is recommended for businesses that are close to ADSL exchanges and do not require a high amount of upload speed, optimal for a small business because if there are 8 employees, there would most likely be a low amount of items that are needed to be uploaded. After ADSL, another type of broadband was introduced which succeeded ADSL with its extra features and boosts, ADSL2. ADSL2 has all of ADSLs features but more. There are many different improvements such as a higher range of capability over long distances. This is a huge disadvantage to DSL if they are not close to the ADSL exchange but luckily ADSL2 has almost fixed this problem. Some of the other features that it provides are improvements in data rate, dynamic data rate adaption, stronger resistance to noise, diagnostics (very useful Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT


to users who are new) and a stand-by mode to save power. It has also reduced the start-up time from ADSLs 10 seconds to less than 3 seconds. It also adds support for new applications and services. Unlike the other types of broadband, Cable is a broadband internet connection which does not use a copper telephone line but uses a coaxial cable. These cables deliver data to the user the same way it delivers data to a TV. The peak speeds of cable are unrealistically fast and go up to 50 megabits/s (not to be confused with megabytes) for downloading and 20 megabits/s for uploading. These speeds will definitely benefit a large business but for a small business of 8 people, they will not need high speeds like this. However, cable networks have extreme disadvantage. The more people that are using the network, the slower the internet will be. Cable network will most likely never be at its maximum performance during work hours because it is a shared network and is shared with other users among the same network. This will definitely happen during work hours or as they say, peak hours where people will all be using the internet at once meaning that it will be a great disadvantage for the business. Another big disadvantage for this network is the high installation cost which of the small business of 8 people will most likely be unwilling to pay for the small amount of features that they will be receiving. In conclusion, I recommend ADSL2 for this small business for a number of reasons. First of all, in terms of speed ADSL2 will satisfy their needs pretty well as well as giving them some extra space. The extra speed from a Cable network which is ultimately unreliable is not needed because they are only just beginning and they will not be transmitting or receiving a high amount of data. Features are also another reason. ADSL2 contains all the features that ISDN and ADSL has as well as more features such as power saving. The only vital features that this business needs are pretty much being able to use the phone and internet at the same time. The third and final reasons are because it is extremely cost efficient. It is cheap to install and manage as well as easy and cheap to fix. Additionally, using the extra money to buy a Cable network for nothing more that they need is irrelevant. ADSL2 is a reliable, fast and efficient network for a small online business of 8 employees and will satisfy them.

Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT


Bibliography Books Samuel Davis, 2007, Information Process and Technology, Parramatta Education Centre Pty. Ltd PO Box 26, Douglas Park NSW 2569 Websites

Bryan Ye, Mr Simmonds, Year 9 IPT