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Kilian,Amanda Gwendolyn

 Topic: Computer as binary, machine, bit, byte, ACSCll, Kilobyte, Megabyte, Gigabyte, Terabyte.

 

Wikipedia topics of each key word:

Computer as binary

Machine

Bit

Byte

ACSCII

Kilobyte

Megabyte

Gigabyte

Terabyte

 

Definition:

    Computer as binary

    Binary is another way of writing out numbers. You can write large numbers in smaller sequences with this type of code. Kerryr.net (1996) explains the what binary is by comparing it to decimals. Decimals consists of 10 digits [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0], while binary is just 2 digits: 1 and 0. Binary is just a simpler method of writing incredibly large digits comprised of decimals. This approach would not be simpler for humans, but for a computer it makes things easier to code.

 

    Machine

    Dictionary.com (2011) defines a machine as, "An apparatus consisting of interrelated parts with separate functions, used in the performance of some kind of work: a sewing machine." A sewing machine is just one example of many different types of machines. In this course, our focus is MIS, so the types of machines we're looking at are "computers" and other mechanisms that "modifie force or motion" (Dicitonary.com, 2011). A computer is something you have to plug into a wall to power, and it runs on electricty. Even though things like laptops have internal batteries, they still to need to be recharged periodically to perform.

 

    Bit

    According to PC Magazine (2011), a bit is a, "(BInary digiT) The smallest element of computer storage. It is a single digit in a binary number (0 or 1)." If a computer was in its actual code all one could see by the naked eye with be 0's and 1's, which cannot be easily decoded without the help of software and other electornic tools specializing in the make-up of computers.

 

    Byte

    PC Magazine (2011) defines bytes as, "Groups of bits make up storage units in the computer, called "characters," "bytes," or "words," which are manipulated as a group. The most common is the byte, made up of eight bits and equivalent to one alphanumeric character." If 8 bits make a byte, and bits are written in 0's and 1's, an example of a byte would be "00111100." When you break down the characteristics of a computer, you get bytes; which in turn when you break those down, you get bits.

 

    ASCII

     ASCII stands for the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It's essentially how people and machines communicate to one another over the computer made up of the alphabet and other special characters. When you look at a keyboard you see numbers, special characters, and letters. All of these different characters help us communicate as well as make up the components of a computer language.

 

    Kilobyte, Megabyte, Gigabyte, and Terabyte

        Here's a visual representation of the meaning of the first half of the term:

        

 Source: J-Lab Kmight Community News citing Marshall Brain, “How Bits and Bytes Work,” April 1, 2000. http://computer.howstuffworks.com/bytes3.htm 
            Retrieved 12/8/11 from http://www.kcnn.org/resources/journalism_20_chapter1

 

As you can see kilo, mega, giga, and tera are all multiples of 1000 despite the fact that they do not end in "0"s. When combined with the term byte, they become bytes in the multiple of thousands. Since storage is so inexpensive these days, data can be stored in extremely large quantities of bytes. These terms make it easier to define how many units of storage is being taken up because writing 25 different digits for Yottabytes would get really tedious after a while. The terms are just a more efficient way of explaining measurements of bytes.

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