Protocol developers have worked to reduce the burden of manual system configuring for a long time. Some of the documents that define the configuration protocols are more than 15 years old. Surprisingly, these protocols have come into widespread use only in the past few years. This is partly because the early users of the Internet were technical people who liked to configure their own systems, and partly because of the tremendous growth in the number of systems running TCP/IP that occurred at the end of the 1990s. Microsoft also deserves some credit for pushing hard to get people to use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), which is the best of the configuration protocols. This section examines DHCP, as well as the other configuration protocols used to configure desktop systems.
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