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Techronym Tuesday for April 7th

Bits, Bytes and all the Rest

Today's Techronym Tuesday requires doing a little "bit" of math as we explain the small b's and big B's of bits, bytes, kilobytes, megabytes and beyond.

b (Bit) - A bit is a binary digit, the smallest increment of data on a computer. A bit can hold only one of two values: 0 or 1, corresponding to the electrical values of off or on, respectively.

B (Byte) - Because bits are so small, you rarely work with information one bit at a time. Bits are usually assembled into a group of eight to form a byte. A byte contains enough information to store a single ASCII character, like "h".

KB (kilobyte) - A kilobyte (KB) is 1,024 bytes, not one thousand bytes as might be expected, because computers use binary (base two) math, instead of a decimal (base ten) system.

MB (megabyte) - A Megabyte is 1,024 kilobytes, or 1,048,576 (1024x1024) bytes, not one million bytes. A medium-sized novel contains about 1 MB of information.

GB (gigabyte) - A Gigabyte is 1,024 MB, or 1,073,741,824 (1024x1024x1024) bytes. This is today's most common measure of RAM (Random Access Memory), HDD's (Hard Disk Drives) and SSD's (solid State Drives).

TB (terabyte) - A Terabyte is 1,024 MB, or 1,073,741,824 (1024x1024x1024) bytes. 1 TB is about the same amount of information as all of the books in a large library

PB (petabyte) - A Petabyte is 1,024 TB, or 1,099,511,627,776 (1024x1024x1024x1024) bytes. If written on DVDs, 1PB would create roughly 223,100 DVDs, enough to build a stack about 878 feet tall.

Is there more beyond the PB? Yes! But that's enough math for one day!

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