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In most computer systems, a byte is a unit of data that is eight binary digits long. A byte is the unit most computers use to represent a character such as a letter, number or typographic symbol. Each byte can hold a string of bits that need to be used in a larger unit for application purposes. Binary signals and coding in computing what is half a bytes example, the stream of bits that constitute a visual image for a program that displays images or the string of bits that constitutes the machine code of a computer program.

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You also agree that your personal information may be transferred and processed in the United States, and that you have read and agree to the Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy. In some computer systems, four bytes constitute a worda unit that a computer processor can be designed to handle efficiently as it reads and processes each instruction. Depending on the capabilities, some computer processors can handle two-byte or single-byte instructions.

Language scripts can sometimes require two bytes to represent a character. These are called double-byte character sets. A bit is represented by a lowercase b. While a byte can hold a letter or symbol, a bit is the smallest unit of storage, storing just one binary digit. The standard number of bits in a byte is eight, but that number can vary from system to system, depending on the hardware. Initially, there could be one to six bits in a byte because the equipment at the time used 6-bit pieces of information.

Another unit of data representing eight bits is an octet. Unlike a byte, an octet always consists of eight bits, no matter the architecture. Octets, as a measurement, can be used to avoid possible ambiguity associated with bytes, particularly with legacy systems, but the terms are often used synonymously. While bytes are measured in bit multiples, computer storage is typically measured in byte multiples.

In many computer architectures, a byte is the smallest addressable unit of memory. For example, an megabyte MB hard drive holds a nominal million bytes of data. Due to massive increases in storage capacity over time, there are now eight additional units of measurement following the byte.

The eight different types of bytes currently used in computer architectures range from kilobytes 1, bytes to yottabytes 1, zettabytes. Byte multiples can be measured using two systems: A base-2, or binary, system binary signals and coding in computing what is half a bytes commonly expressed as a rounded off decimal number. One megabyte 1 million bytes is actually made up of 1, bytes by the base-2 definition. A base system states that bytes for computer storage should be calculated as powers of In that system, a MB would actually be 1 million decimal bytes.

This system is now most common among manufacturers and consumers. While the difference between the base-2 and base systems was once fairly insignificant, as capacity has increased, the discrepancy has widened considerably. The future of flash storage: Is NVMe right for your enterprise? Persistent storage readied for containerized applications.

Hyper-converged infrastructure vendors offer range of storage options. By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Security, protection from hackers and ransomware, disaster preparedness and disaster recovery are all means to the goal of Rubrik takes another step toward cloud data management with Polaris GPS, a SaaS app that brings together secondary data stored in Igneous is seeking to take hold of a market that's 'up for grabs.

The data backup and recovery technologies of the future will have not only a cloud focus, but a multi-cloud focus. Hyper-converged infrastructures are similar to public cloud platforms in the way they use virtualization of resources. If you are considering an open source HCI implementation, this quiz can help you further refine your knowledge and better prepare Home Data storage management Computing fundamentals byte.

This was last updated in January NooBaa update focuses on multi-cloud data management Digital transformation planning bumps into data management issues Commvault GO: Ten ways to protect intellectual property and trade secrets A long hot summer for the enterprise storage binary signals and coding in computing what is half a bytes The copy data management market is starting to go mainstream Copy data management vendors expand breadth of offerings Load More View All Evaluate.

Ten ways to protect intellectual property and trade secrets Explosion in unstructured data storage drives modernization What role does Smart Paging play in Dynamic Memory allocation?

Will erasure codes rule? Load More View All Problem solve. E-Zine The future of flash storage: E-Zine Persistent storage readied binary signals and coding in computing what is half a bytes containerized applications E-Zine Hyper-converged infrastructure vendors offer range of storage options. Add My Comment Register. Login Forgot your password? Submit your e-mail address below.

We'll send you an email containing your password. Your password has been sent to: Please create a username to comment. Look to both security and disaster recovery Want IT resiliency? Look to both security and disaster recovery Security, protection from hackers and ransomware, disaster preparedness and disaster recovery are all means to the goal of Data protection market transforming Igneous is seeking to take hold of a market that's 'up for grabs.

What data backup technologies may look like in The data backup and recovery technologies of the future will have not only a cloud focus, but a multi-cloud focus. Make the most of the hyper-converged cloud Hyper-converged infrastructures are similar to public cloud platforms in the way binary signals and coding in computing what is half a bytes use virtualization of resources. Take the open source hyper-converged knowledge challenge If you are considering an open source HCI implementation, this quiz can help you further refine your knowledge and better prepare

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Optical devices use this technology to read or store data. Take example of a CD-ROM, if the shiny surface is placed under a powerful microscope, the surface is observed to have very tiny holes called pits. The areas that do not have pits are called land.

Consists of eight digits ranging from Hexadecimal number system This is a base 16 number system that consists of sixteen digits ranging from and letters A-F where A is equivalent to 10,B to 11 up to F which is equivalent to 15 in base ten system. The place value of hexadecimal numbers goes up in factors of sixteen. When converting a real number from binary to decimal, work out the integral part and the fractional parts separately then combine them.

Working from left to the right, each octal number is represented using three digits and then combined we get the final binary equivalent. The binary equivalent of the fractional part is extracted from the products by reading the respective integral digits from the top downwards as shown by the arrow next pag.

To convert binary numbers to their binary equivalents, simply group the digits of the binary number into groups of four from right to left e. The next step is to write the hexadecimal equivalent of each group e.

The simplest method of converting a hexadecimal number to binary is to express each hexadecimal digit as a four bit binary digit number and then arranging the group according to their corresponding positions as shown in example. The main purpose of using ones compliment in computers is to perform binary subtraction. For example to get the difference in 5 — 3, using the ones compliment, we proceed as follows:. Like in ones compliment, the twos compliment of a number is obtained by negating a positive number to is negative counterpart.

For example to get the difference in , using twos compliment, we proceed as follow:. Computers are classified according to functionality, physical size and purpose. Functionality, Computers could be analog, digital or hybrid. Digital computers process data that is in discrete form whereas analog computers process data that is continuous in nature. Hybrid computers on the other hand can process data that is both discrete and continuous.

In digital computers, the user input is first converted and transmitted as electrical pulses that can be represented by two unique states ON and OFF. Although the two graphs look different in their appearance, notice that they repeat themselves at equal time intervals.

Electrical signals or waveforms of this nature are said to be periodic. Generally,a periodic wave representing a signal can be described using the following parameters Amplitude A Frequency f periodic time T Amplitude A: It is measured in hertz. When a digital signal is to be sent over analog telephone lines e.

This is done by connecting a device called a modem to the digital computer. This process of converting a digital signal to an analog signal is known as modulation. On the receiving end, the incoming analog signal is converted back to digital form in a process known as demodulation. Data and instructions cannot be entered and processed directly into computers using human language. Any type of data be it numbers, letters, special symbols, sound or pictures must first be converted into machine-readable form i.

Due to this reason, it is important to understand how a computer together with its peripheral devices handles data in its electronic circuits, on magnetic media and in optical devices. Data representation in digital circuits Electronic components, such as microprocessor, are made up of millions of electronic circuits.

This concept can be compared to switching on and off an electric circuit. This forms a basis for describing data representation in digital computers using the binary number system. Data representation on magnetic media The laser beam reflected from the land is interpreted, as 1. The laser entering the pot is not reflected. This is interpreted as 0. The reflected pattern of light from the rotating disk falls on a receiving photoelectric detector that transforms the patterns into digital form.

Magnetic technology is mostly used on storage devices that are coated with special magnetic materials such as iron oxide. It has proved difficult to develop devices that can understand natural language directly due to the complexity of natural languages. All forms of data can be represented in binary system format. Other reasons for the use of binary are that digital devices are more reliable, small and use less energy as compared to analog devices.

Bits, bytes, nibble and word The terms bits, bytes, nibble and word are used widely in reference to computer memory and data size. It is the basic unit of data or information in digital computers.

A byte is considered as the basic unit of measuring memory size in computer. The term word length is used as the measure of the number of bits in each word.

For example, a word can have a length of 16 bits, 32 bits, 64 bits etc. Computers not only process numbers, letters and special symbols but also complex types of data such as sound and pictures. However, these complex types of data take a lot of memory and processor time when coded in binary form. This limitation necessitates the need to develop better ways of handling long streams of binary digits.

Higher number systems are used in computing to reduce these streams of binary digits into manageable form.

This helps to improve the processing speed and optimize memory usage. Number systems and their representation A number system is a set of symbols used to represent values derived from a common base or radix. As far as computers are concerned, number systems can be classified into two major categories: Decimal number system has ten digits ranging from Because this system has ten digits; it is also called a base ten number system or denary number system.

A decimal number should always be written with a subscript 10 e. X 10 But since this is the most widely used number system in the world, the subscript is usually understood and ignored in written work. However ,when many number systems are considered together, the subscript must always be put so as to differentiate the number systems. The magnitude of a number can be considered using these parameters.

Absolute value Place value or positional value Base value The absolute value is the magnitude of a digit in a number. The place value of a digit in a number refers to the position of the digit in that number i. The total value of a number is the sum of the place value of each digit making the number.

The base value of a number also k known as the radix , depends on the type of the number systems that is being used. The value of any number depends on the radix. It uses two digits namely, 1 and 0 to represent numbers. Octal number system Consists of eight digits ranging from A hexadecimal number can be denoted using 16 as a subscript or capital letter H to the right of the number. For example, 94B can be written as 94B16 or 94BH. Further conversion of numbers from one number system to another To convert numbers from one system to another.

Converting between binary and decimal numbers. Converting octal numbers to decimal and binary form. Converting hexadecimal numbers to decimal and binary form. First, write the place values starting from the right hand side. Write each digit under its place value. Multiply each digit by its corresponding place value. Add up the products. The answer will be the decimal number in base ten.

The binary equivalent of the fractional part is extracted from the products by reading the respective integral digits from the top downwards as shown by the arrow next page. Combine the two parts together to set the binary equivalent. Solution Convert the integral and the fractional parts separately then add them up. For the fractional part, proceed as follows: Multiply the fractional part by 2 and note down the product Take the fractional part of the immediate product and multiply it by 2 again.

Continue this process until the fractional part of the subsequent product is 0 or starts to repeat itself. The following examples illustrate how to convert hexadecimal number to a decimal numberExample Convert octal number 8 to its binary equivalent Solution Working from left to the right, each octal number is represented using three digits and then combined we get the final binary equivalent.

Converting hexadecimal numbers to decimal number To convert hexadecimal number to base 10 equivalent we proceed as follows: However, it is important to note that the maximum absolute value of a octal digit is 7. For example Is not a valid octal number because digit 9 is not an octal digit, but 8 is valid because all the digits are in the range Example shows how to convert an octal number to a decimal number. Octal digit Binary equivalents 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Example Convert the hexadecimal number 16 to its binary equivalent.

Solution Place each number under its place value. In computing, a single character such as a letter, a number or a symbol is represented by a group of bits.

The number of bits per character depends on the coding scheme used. The most common coding schemes are: For example, a number like 9 can be represented using Binary Coded Decimal as 2. Binary Coded Decimal is mostly used in simple electronic devices like calculators and microwaves. This is because it makes it easier to process and display individual numbers on their Liquid Crystal Display LCD screens.