Bits and Bytes


  • A bit is the smallest unit a computer can work with and a computer stores all information in bits that are processed using binary.
  • 1 bit is represented as 0 or 1 which means either a signal or a lack of one

In binary the counting goes from right to left (small to big values)
every bi is the doubled value of the bit before

  1. = 0001
  2. = 0010
  3. = 0011
  4. = 0100
  5. = 0101
  6. = 0110
  7. = 0111
  8. = 1000

adding one to the binary code:

  1. the last digit is zero:
increases the last digit by one
example: 1000 (8) becomes 1001 (9)

2. the last digit is one:
the last digit becomes a 0
the second to last digit is increased by 1
if the second to last digit is also 1, then the second to last digit also becomes 0, this can be repeated as long as it is necessary.
example: 1001 (9) becomes 1010 (10), 1011 (11) becomes 1100 (12)

Rons Approach to counting in Binary:
Its a base 2 system, so the numbers do not represent what we are used to read numbers like in the base ten system, but they represent powers of two.
so to read a binary, add the following together:

26
25
24
23
22
21
20
64
32
16
8
4
2
1
so if you have the following binary:

0 1 1 0 1 0 1

you add:
25 + 24 + 22 + 20
(you simply add those fields together that have a one in them)

so the answer would be 53.


A byte is exactly 8 bits
8 bits = 1 Byte
Larger values are usually refereed to in kilobytes (kB), terabytes (TB), Gigabits (Gb), or Megabytes (MB)
which increase in powers of 2 for example
1 kilobyte = 2 to the power of 10
1 megabyte = 2 to the power of 20
1 gigabyte = 2 to the power of 30
1 terabyte = 2 to the power of 40


Links:
3.4.8 The need for speed in data transmission
3.5.1 Binary Data representation

Last modified By: Daniel Gillo
Last Modified: 15th March 2011

Sources: