I was strolling through my local independent bookstore when I came across this title. I actually had to read the sub-title ("A Journey To The Center Of The Internet") because, at first I said to myself, "Tubes...who would write a book about Tubes"? Then the proverbial light came on. I was actually looking for a book with a different take on the Internet, a legal one in my case. So, I bought it and settled in at home with a hopeful mindset. I wasn't disappointed.
The book takes you on a brief history of the beginnings on the "physical" Internet, all the while weaving in a number of interesting anecdotes. From Al Gore and the "Information Superhighway" right through the "Cloud", this book separates the "real" Internet from the "pretenders". The author, Andrew Blum, writes about Architecture, infrastructure and technology for many publications, including the New Yorker, The New York Times, Slate and Popular Science. He is also a correspondent for Wired and a contributing editor to Metropolis. As an avid reader of Wired, if you enjoy the magazine, you'll enjoy this book. Without giving away too much, I was immediately amused by something the author and I had in common. SQUIRRELS had chewed through our 'cable' connections to the Internet. In my case it merely initiated a repair call to Comcast. In Mr. Blum's case, it was thought-provoking enough that it prompted him to write a book!
Tubes is a quick read and an interesting blend of technology with a sprinkling of travelogue. You'll go on a brief tour around the globe to many of the Internet's largest data centers, a view not generally accessible to mere mortals. All-in-all it is well worth the time. I guarantee you'll never look at the Internet the same way again.