beanz Magazine

Requests and Responses

Susanne Nilsson on Flickr

Ever wondered what happens when you connect to a website? Time to dive into the secrets of networking!

Visiting a website is as natural as walking out the door and heading over to the park. You type in a URL or search a few keywords on Google, and within half a second you’re bombarded by images, text, and interactive content. It’s so natural that we don’t always stop to think about the complex mechanisms that allow us to access Google, Facebook, Netflix or Pinterest.


A website is a collection of code files. One file determines the page’s layout; another file decides what happens when a user clicks a button or uses the search bar. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code are combined to make the website work as intended. Combined with these ‘.html’ and ‘.js’ files are images and other multimedia. In essence, each website is its own mini-program.

The code is stored on the website’s server. A server is a computer, much like the one you use at home, just more efficient and specialized. Thousands of servers are kept in data centres, and often, companies making a website rent out a particular server (or even share one!) and access it remotely.

Website servers don’t need to be user-friendly. They’re not made to run complicated, visual programs like Skype or Photoshop. Instead the server’s only job is to listen and respond to client requests.


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Also In The February 2019 Issue

The craft world and the tech world collide in this fun, hands-on activity.

For twenty three years, since 1996, cars have used computers to control different parts of the car.

Synchronizing games with players from all around the world is no easy task.

A simple thought experiment sheds light on the dangers of AI. Can we stop the earth being buried in paperclips?

‘Files’ may be easy concepts for humans, but not for computers. What’s going on inside your operating system?

Two ways to play Minecraft with an overarching storyline. Experience the game like never before!

Helping kids fall in love with coding through Minecraft mods and Raspberry Pis.

A better, smoother way to direct your theatrical masterpiece.

How hackers can steal the messages you send over the internet, and how to tell if your communications are secure.

It’s not as simple as it seems. Can you solve this classic programming problem?

Ever wondered what happens when you connect to a website? Time to dive into the secrets of networking!

Links from the bottom of all the February 2019 articles, collected in one place for you to print, share, or bookmark.

Interesting stories about science and technology for February 2019.