Following up with the last publication where I talked about the computer program, we understood that the computer as a thinking machine has also its language to communicate with, then if you want to give computer instructions to follow up it has to be in binary, 0s, and 1s. Everything in the computer world is data that can be measured according to the size and speed of getting these data.

That why in this post I am going to talk about how data size and data speed are measured. You may already know about these measurements but not correctly, so stay with me.

Measurement is important in life to help us understand the world around us.

Let us see some measurement units to remind:

  • To measure the distance, we use meter “m”
  • To measure mass, we use kilogram “kg”
  • To measure the time we use second “s”
  • To measure temperature, we use kelvin “k”
  • To measure electric current, we use an ampere “a”
  • To measure the amount of substance, we use mole “mol”
  • To measure luminous intensity, we use candela “cd”

However, how to measure the size and speed of data we are dealing with every day? In this post, we are going to learn about it.

Remember everything related to the computer is with the binary that means two (0 and 1).

  • Bit = 1 or 0: is one single or smallest data you can get. It is either 1 or 0, not both at the same. It is also represented with small “b”
  • Nibble = 0010: 4 bits mean to have 1 nibble we need 4 bits. It is unused.
  • Byte = 00100110 = 8 bits. 1 Byte gives us height bits or two nibbles. It is always represented with capital “B”.

In computer science, we do have bit and Byte for measurements and all depends on what you measure.

Data size is measured by Byte, and it grows with space available. That why we have:

  • KB: kilobyte = 1024 Bytes
  • MB: Megabyte = 10242 or 1,048, 576 Bytes
  • GB: Gigabyte = 10243 or 1,073,741,824 Bytes
  • TB: Terabyte = 10244 or 1,099,511,627,776 Bytes
  • PB: Petabyte = 10245 or 1,125,899,906,842,624 Bytes

I am sure you are already familiar with those unities that you using every day in cell phone storage and memory cards, etc. Everything that is stored in the memory is data, and those data are just binaries and it has a size that is measured. The smallest size that a data can have is a bit, just a one or just a zero. To make sense of anything meaningful, those 1s and 0s have to be combined. The reason why the byte is used or 8 bits as start measurement unity.

Let us talk also about data speed.

Unlike data size, data speed is measured by bit per second. The measurement of speed depends on what we are talking about.

  • Audio = Kbps: Kilobits per second (this is the speed of downloading and uploading an audio format.)
  • The internet = Mbps: Megabits per second (internet speed we normally get from internet providers.)
  • Network speed = Gigabits per second.

In conclusion, we have talked about data size and data speed, and what you have to take away for this post is that everything in information technology is represented by the binary; and the smallest data that can be is a “bit”, a 0 or a 1. The same way we can measure the world around us, data also can be measured. To measure the size of data, we need byte and to measure the speed of getting data or transferring we use bits per second.

Thanks for reading.

By Alexis Ange Dauli, Web Developer.

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