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Bits and Bytes:

You have probably heard that Byte, Megabyte (MB) and Gigabyte (GB) are measurement for file sizes, but what is a bit or a byte?

A bit is the most basic information unit used in information theory and computing. A single bit is a one or a zero (1 or 0), or a true or a false, a "flag" which is "on" or "off", or for that matter any two mutually exclusive states. Everything in a computer can be handled with ones and zeros and operators and commands to handle these. It’s because a modern computer is so advanced that it is necessary to have the simplest system at the bottom level. If one bit can be 1 or 0 a series of two bits can be represented like this 00, 01, 10 or 11.

A byte is usually a collection bits (usually 8bits) just like 1cm is a collection of 10mm. (Example of a byte or 8bits 1001 1010) Eight-bit bytes, also known as octets, can represent 256 values (0–255). A four bits quantity is known as a nibble, and can represent 16 values (0–15). Terms for large quantities of bits can be formed using the standard range of prefixes kilobyte (KB), megabyte (MB), gigabit (GB) and terabit (TB).

If you go to the store and by 1000g meat, you get 1Kg meat. This basically means that we multiply by 1000 to change the denomination (1g x 1000 = 1Kg). If we want to convert from Byte into KB we multiply by 1024 like in the table below.

8bits= 1byte 
1KB = 1.024 byte = 8.192 bits
1MB = 1.048.576 byte = 8.388.608 bits
1GB = 1.073.741.824 byte = 8.589.934.592 bits
1TB = 1.099.511.627.776 byte = A lot of true or false!


An example of the size of a text file: The letters (A,B,C, etc.) can all be represented by a byte, check for your self. - Right click your desktop and create a new text document. - Type in the letter A and save, and close the document. - Right click the icon of the saved text document and choose properties. - You will now see that the size of the document with the letter A is 1byte. If you now type in 1024 letters your document will become 1Kb (1024byte).



- A CD-R has a capacity around 700MB this means that it can contain 734.003.200 letters.
- A 4,7GB DVD-R can contain approximately 5.046.586.573 letters.
- A hard disk with the capacity more than 10GB can contain more than 10.737.418.240 letters.


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