TCP and UDP

Posted December 2, 1998 at 1:46 am 1 Comment

Lately I’ve been really into interpretive dances.  Not watching them, but doing them.  I think it started when we were walking back from Jimmy Tsang’s and we started doing dances to represent different Chinese dishes.  “I am the chicken,” I would announce in a deep voice while bobbing around in circles, “I am General Tso’s chicken.”  Matt was quick to pick up the concept.  “I am the mustard!” he shouted, making horns with his hands, “I am the HOT mustard!”   These dances were followed by even more creative ones representing soy sauce, rice, and wonton soup.

Yesterday in my computer systems recitation section I told our TA that it would be really cool if he would present more of the material in interpretive dance format.  I bet that the concepts would be more memorable that way.  He didn’t take me too seriously.  I think that the closest he ever came to an interpretive dance was the time that he enacted a one-man play.  It didn’t have a title, but a good name for it would have been “TCP vs. UDP: A Play in Two Acts”.  It was the deeply thought-provoking and intensely powerful saga of two network protocols that just couldn’t get along.  It went sort of like this:

Act I : TCP

Machine A: Hello Machine B.  Are you there?
Machine B: Yes.
Machine A: Please send the data file.
Machine B: Are you ready to receive the data file?
Machine A: Yes.  Begin transmission.
Machine B: Beginning transmission.
Machine A: OK, I’m done.
Machine B: Are you ready to break connection?
Machine A: Yeah, I’m ready.
Machine B: OK, I’m ending the connection.
Machine A: Bye.

Act II : UDP

Machine A: Machine B, please send the data file.
Machine B: OK, here it is.

This was all very humorous to the geek crowd, but think how much better it would have been if he had pranced around the room transporting containers symbolizing data packets and exclaiming things such as “I am UDP!  Watch me dance!  I am an unreliable but highly efficient transmission protocol for small-scale networks!”   The crowd would have eaten that right up.

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  1. Almost 9 years after this has been up, and I still find it bloody hilarious.

    Comment by Samuel 'shardz' Baldwin — November 14, 2007 #

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