Test Your Knowledge of the Laws of Networking

Test Your Knowledge of the Laws of Networking 5/29/2006 8:07 AM Eastern

Test Your Knowledge of the Laws of Networking

Test Your Knowledge of the Laws of Networking

  • Moore's Law states that computing power doubles every 18 months.
  • Microsoft founder Bill Gates has a more commercially-oriented law, which states: Don't write software for less than 1,000,000 platforms.
  • Burke's Law states that data expands to fill available storage.
  • Network Utility = (number of users)2is known as Metcalfe's Law.


1. TRUE. Gordon Moore, who made this prediction more than 40 years ago, was a co-founder of Intel. The company recently announced it has built fully functional, 70 MB static random access memory (SRAM) chips with more than half a billion transistors using 65 nanometer process technology. This achievement extends Intel's effort to drive the development of new manufacturing process technology every two years, in accordance with Moore's Law.

2. TRUE. While this is one of Gates' more famous internal laws, the law more commonly known as Gates' Law is: The speed of software halves every 18 months.

3. FALSE. “Burke's Law” was a short-lived TV series from the 60s. This law is known as Parkinson's Law of Data Storage. Because storage capacity doubles about every 18 months, according to Moore's Law, some analysts predict that by the end of the century, there'll be one Terabyte of information on each of us.

4. TRUE. This law is attributed to Ethernet inventor Robert Metcalfe, although its meaning can be clarified in the context of this quote: "The power of the network increases exponentially by the number of computers connected to it. Therefore, every computer added to the network both uses it as a resource while adding resources in a spiral of increasing value and choice." Metcalfe's Law is often cited as an explanation for the rapid growth of the Internet (or perhaps more accurately, for the World Wide Web on the Internet).

Sources:, The Siemon Company

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