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Resolving Computer Names

The preceding sections pretty much cover the technology for sending data from computer to computer. Next, let's look at how networks find computers by name. (I'll describe the process for TCP/IP. Networks based on the IPX/SPX protocol work in a similar fashion.)

My server's physical network (MAC) address is 00-C0-CA-14-09-2F, but I certainly don't want to know that, let alone type it very often. I just want to view files on the computer named Java. So, it's up to the network software to resolve the name Java into its MAC address 00-C0-CA-14-09-2F so that my computer can send requests to it. How this is accomplished depends on the transport protocol in use: the now-retired NetBEUI, or TCP/IP. The difference between the two is significant.


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