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Tech Section debuts at Alachua Chronicle

BY TAYLOR SHRUM, EMERALD DATA PARTNERS

Welcome to the first article in Alachua Chronicle’s Tech Section, brought to you by Taylor Shrum and Eric May at Emerald Data Partners in High Springs, Florida. Let’s kick off this section right with a meta-perspective of an ordinary technical question.

What does it take for these words to be in front of you right now?

Our aim in asking this question is for you, the reader, to have exposure to the systems that bring you common-everyday-ordinary delight. So let’s dive in. The ability for you and this sentence’s writer to both know the same language is a miracle in itself. Let’s narrow the focus to the technology that brought you this article; after all, this is the tech section.

Three main pieces of physical technology are operating for you to be reading this. If any components were missing, you would still be getting your news through a radio transmission. Let’s start with what is right in front of you, a phone. Or a computer. Okay, it’s one or the other. These machines alone are the product of many millions of hours of development. From the microchips that send signals to the pixels on the screen telling them to light up and for how long, to the sensors in the camera or the home button that allowed you to get through the device’s security features, there was a lot that went into it. How many millions of cups of coffee, how many forgotten passwords, how many bathroom breaks delayed by focus-enhancing medication went into getting that phone to be ready for you, the all-important end-user? And that’s just the physical part of the phone—the software or operating system that allows you to open Chrome or Safari or Edge took just as long.

But let’s skip to the second component, the server where the article is stored. The server is probably the least user-facing component of this article reading experience. A server is essentially a giant flash drive connected to the internet, just waiting for someone like you to access the information stored on it. So when you close the tab you are reading this article on, it will no longer exist on your device, but the page will live on in the server to be accessed by the people you might share it with.

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The third physical component is the internet, the network itself, which works like a road system to ensure that bytes of information get to where they are supposed to go. This system includes several hundred miles of electric cabling that runs between the server and the various nodes that connect to internet or cellular providers–and then more cables or radio waves from those nodes to your device, blasting out more waves of information per second than you could fathom (don’t worry, we can’t fathom it either).

So now you know everything you need to start your own telecom company, right? Not quite. But at least you have a more complete understanding of a system you utilize multiple times per day. Join us here regularly to get a look into the digital world all around us. Be sure to send us any feedback on this article on our Facebook page.

  • Next, do something about quantum computers
    And what that means for the future…what are all
    Those cameras in street intersections and do they have
    Facial recognition cameras?

  • Excellent!
    1st I got great coverage on city stuff! (possibly better labeled “nonsense”?)
    Then “According to Jake” political cartoons!
    Now STEM stuff!
    & all Zero Calorie!
    It all started with my distain for Lauren Poe (not as a person but as a mayor) Thanks Mr Mayor! Finally you did something beneficial to me & I agree with!

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