Letter to Granny

Letter to Granny

  • Submitted By: Schinxy
  • Date Submitted: 10/17/2010 1:12 PM
  • Category: Technology
  • Words: 525
  • Page: 3
  • Views: 328

Describe to your grandmother in simple terms how an email gets from you to her. (Try to compare it to regular mail).

Hello Gran!

You sounded a little uncertain the other day about using this new-fangled email. I thought I would drop you a line and explain that really using email is not very different from using the regular mail that you are used to. See if this helps.

We have already talked about how computers “think’ using electricity and that those little electric one’s and zero’s (called (1)__bits__) move around inside of the machine on wires called a (2)_bus__. The letters I am typing right now are sitting electronically in temporary memory called (3)_RAM____ waiting to be sent to you.

If I were using regular mail I would print this letter, put it in an envelope, and then give it to the postman who would drive it to the post office. From there is could take any number of routes (using planes, trains, or trucks) to get from my village here in Portugal to your town back there in the US. Your local postman would then bring it to your house.

Email works sort of the same way. First I write the letter and address it to you by typing to: grannyg@grandma.com. When I hit send, the envelope goes into my outbox and waits for the electronic equivalent to the postman. In order to call the postman I have to use the phone and have my computer dial up the company that provides my internet service (I use Telepac).

Because my computer only speaks on/off (4)_digital_ signals and phone lines often carry continuous varying (5)_analog_ waves, I need a special device called a (6)_modem_ that translates. The zeros and ones that I have written are then sent across the wires. Unlike a regular letter, it is not all sent at once (although it is so fast it seems like it is.) Instead, to allow lots of different computers to share the same line (like lots of different envelopes all using the same mail truck) all of my messages are broken into smaller pieces...

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