Being in the networking world, the only thing that I have been hearing about over the past several years has been the term “packets-in and packets-out”, day in and day out. When I get to work, invariably the hallway tech talk will be about why packets are not coming out or why packets come out at a rate less than predicted or why the packets coming out mismatch with the packets coming in and so on.
If you are not onto internet technologies or routers, the only two things that you need to know is that any networking device (router, switch, etc.,) looks up for a destination address and sends it across accordingly. In other words, a lookup is made for the destination address and the packet gets routed until the final destination is reached (if you use windows machine, go to command prompt and type “tracert http://www.yahoo.com” and you will see the routers through which you get to yahoo’s webpage. You can obviously try it for different websites as well). It kept me wondering. I think, we as humans, fundamentally do just that. Ofcourse, we bring in a lot of associativity to the contexts. But, at the lowest level, all we do is just store and lookup information. One could contend that we do perform processing of information as well, but when I think about it more, I think processing can in turn be categorized into a bunch of lookups based on information already stored in our database. In networking world, the one thing that most people work on is, how fast we can do lookups using the least amount of storage and thus cost. Just a rationale to the human context is that, our brain stores all the information that we care or we dont and processes items so fast using the least energy (when compared to a machine). Just a reality check on how far technology is off.