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I'd honestly recommend that people just pick up a copy of and devote some time getting through Andrew S. Tanenbaum and David J. Wetherall's Computer Networks.

I'd also recommend "How the world was one" ( http://www.amazon.com/How-World-Was-Arthur-Clarke/dp/0553074... )

It does an astonishingly good job of describing how networks evolved and why the function as they do today (as of mid-90's - not much has changed AFAICT).

Just bought a used paperback version from Amazon, thanks!

Also, Tubes by Andrew Blum to get a taste of the physical part of the Internet. (http://www.amazon.com/Tubes-A-Journey-Center-Internet/dp/006...)

Any recommendations that aren't textbooks?

Even the Kindle version of that book is $100.

So I just copy/pasted the book recommendation into search, and the first result was a pdf of the entire book hosted on an edu server. Forgive my ignorance, but would this be a pirated copy or something? This often happens when I'm searching for book recommendations like this and I just assumed older versions were pushed out into the public domain or something.

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