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September 18, 2007 / Ben Chun

IP Addresses

Today I’m having students read an article called How Internet Infrastructure Works, and answer questions based on the reading. (Only recently was it pointed out to me that if I’m creating a unit called “How the Internet Works” it might be a good idea to put that into Google and see what comes up.) Anyway, the article is supposed to be a summary and overview of what we’ve been learning in the past couple weeks.

Here’s something that I didn’t ask them, but which is interesting enough that I might circle back around for it later in the week:

Number of possible IP addresses (in IPv4, before excluding reserved addresses): 4,294,967,296

Current world population: 6,602,224,175

I don’t know if it makes sense to have them actually look at IPv6, but this would be a good way to prompt and introduce it, to motivate our work. Or perhaps this is the starting point for a design project where they try to come up with a range of solutions to this problem? That’s probably worth some further thought.

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