Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Digital Data and its Units

Binary Units Table
binary digit (bit)1 or 0
nibble4 bits or half-byte
byte "bite"8 bits strung together
kilobyte1,000 bytes
megabyte1 million bytes
gigabyte1 billion bytes
terabyte1 trillion bytes
petabyte1E15 bytes
zettabyte1E18 bytes

Have you ever asked youself: 
-How do computers do such amazing things?
-How does Autotune work?
-How does a machine represent numbers?
-How does a computer type our key strokes into the computer?

Funny enough, the answer is all so similar.

If you did not know already, computers work in a base-2 number system called binary. Data on computers and electronic devices is represented by the combinational circuits connecting the millions of  have two state devices in the machine to the desired function. The smallest piece of data is a bit (binary digit) which can only be in two states during runtime: 1 or 0. Most people do not realize HOW the binary system is constructed in the machines we use today.

Today we hear a lot about auto-tune. Some love it; others hate it. Believe it or not, all music that is played digitally has a slight auto-tune or approximated sound to it. What I mean is that no sound reproduced by a machine can be completely analog, or natural, because there will always be a source of error in the reproduction. For example, a CD player interprets a series of ones and zeros (binary) in order to recognize which pitches to create. 2 options sounds a lot like crappy music, but the two options in series provide millions of different tones or frequencies that all can be heard by our human ear. 

Main Focus of this Post

The main focus of this post is to introduce the idea of information storage, so I need not waste anymore time on analog (natural/exact) to digital transformation.

A current or stream of electricity is used to represent data. Of course, the current is not dependent in creating inventions such as the computer, but is the most important element that digital logic relies on. A simple definition for digital logic is reasoning or expression of information by electrical means.>

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