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## First, a math lesson...Computer data is in "digital" format. That is to say, whether it is colors, words, pictures or animation, it is all "coded" in terms of
These are written as: 2¹, 2², 2³, etc. Specifications—such as how fast it runs and how much memory it contains—are only stated using these sets of numbers.
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## Now For Some Definitions...**Radix:**or "**base**," or "**number base**." In a positional representation of numbers, a "**radix**" is that integer by which the significance of one digit place must be multiplied to give the significance of the next higher digit place.**Conventional decimal numbers**are**radix ten**,**binary numbers**are**radix two**.**Bit:**stands for a "**B**inary dig**IT**" (e.g. the number "**2**" equals the binary digit "**01**").**Octal:**is shorthand notation for**binary code**.**Octal**, which stands for**Base 8**, uses a number representation using the digits**0 to 7 only**, with the right-most digit counting ones, the next counting multiples of**8**, then**8^2 = 64**, etc. (e.g.**octal**"**177**" is**digital**"**127**" as seen in the chart below).**Hexadecimal:****Base 16**. A number representation using the digits**0 to 9**, with their usual meaning, plus the letters**A to F**(or**a to f**) to represent hexadecimal digits with values of (decimal)**10 to 15**. The right-most digit counts ones, the next counts multiples of**16**, then**16^2 = 256**, etc. (e.g. the hexadecimal for the word "**BEAD**" is decimal "**48813**" as seen in the chart below).**Digit****Weight****Value****B = 11****16^3 = 4096****11*4096 = 45056****E = 14****16^2 = 256****14* 256 = 3584****A = 10****16^1 = 16****10* 16 = 160****D = 13****16^0 = 1****13* 1 = 13****BEAD = 48813****ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange):**The basis of character sets used in almost all present-day computers. US-ASCII uses only the lower seven bits (character points**0 to 127**) to convey some control codes, space, numbers, most basic punctuation, and unaccented letters a-z and A-Z. More modern coded character sets (e.g., Latin-1, Unicode) define extensions to ASCII for values above 127 for conveying special Latin characters (like accented characters, or German ess-tsett), characters from non-Latin writing systems (e.g., Cyrillic, or Han characters), and such desirable glyphs as distinct open- and close-quotation marks. ASCII replaced earlier systems, which used fewer bytes.**Bytes:**Usually means**8 Bits**(e.g.**10001011**). Thus, for PCs that used**7-bit**ASCII (ASCII is the basis for most operation code), a Byte was**7 bits**; for PCs using**6-bit**ASCII, a Byte was**6 bits**, for PCs using**16-bit**technology, a Byte was**16 bits**and for current PCs using**32-bit**technology, a Byte is**32 bits**.]**Nibble:****4 Bits**(1/2 of an 8-bit Byte).**Hexadecimal Digit:****4 Bits**, a hexadecimal digit stands for a**Nibble Byte**, which is**8 Bits**.**Kilobyte:**1,024 Bytes.**Megabyte:**1,023 Kilobytes. [1,024 x 1,024 = 1,048,576 Bytes]**Gigabyte:**1,024 Megabytes. [1,024 x 1,048,576 = 1,073,741,824 Bytes]**Terabyte:**1,024 Gigabytes. [1,024 x 1,073,741,824 = 1,099,511,627,776 Bytes!]**Microchip:**Sometimes just called a "chip," a microchip is a unit of**packaged computer circuitry**(usually called an "**integrated circuit**") that is manufactured from silicon at a very small scale. Microchips are**made for program logic**(logic or microprocessor chips) and for**computer memory**(memory or RAM—random access memory—chips). Microchips are also made that include both logic and memory and for special purposes such as analog-to-digital conversion, bit slicing, and gateways.
Each octal digit equals 3 Bits (e.g. ["72" = 111010 (111 (7) + 010(2) )]. If the number has a decimal point, start at point and divide into 3s going in both directions (e.g. ["241.46" = 10100001.10011 (10(2) + 100(4) + 001(1) .100(4) + 11(6) )]). NOTE: Octal system used to be widespread back when many computers used 6-bit bytes, as a 6-bit byte can be conveniently written as a 2-digit octal number. These days, a byte is almost always 8-bits long, and the octal system has lost most of its appeal to the hexadecimal system.
So you can see, when you have a computer with a | |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

## So How Do Computers Work?Computers contain thousands of tiny electrical switches located in Notice that our numbering system starts from "0." This is because with both lights off there is no current flowing to either light, so we call it condition "0." Look around your place and see if you can find a triplet panel—3 switches grouped together to control three separate lights ("A", "B", and "C"). Can you guess how many distinct conditions are possible with three switches at your disposal? The answer is 8 conditions. As discussed before, we start the numbering from "0": Why did your home builder group these light switches together as a triplet panel? The answer is efficiency and convenience. It is much easier to control all three lights from one position in the room than it would be to move around from wall to wall to control each light separately. Computer designers also found it much more efficient to group computer switches together into panels. Computers started by grouping eight switches on each panel. Would you care to guess how many distinct conditions are possible with eight switches at your disposal? Here's a clue by reviewing what was discussed above: - with
**1 switch**, there were**2 distinct conditions possible**(Condition**0 to 1**) - with
**2 switches**, there were**4 distinct conditions possible**(Condition**0 to 3**) - with
**3 switches**, there were**8 distinct conditions possible**(Condition**0 to 7**)
Do you see a pattern to this yet?
- with
**4 switches**, there are**16 distinct conditions possible**(Condition**0 to 15**) - with
**5 switches**, there are**32 distinct conditions possible**(Condition**0 to 31**) - with
**6 switches**, there are**64 distinct conditions possible**(Condition**0 to 63**) - with
**7 switches**, there are**128 distinct conditions possible**(Condition**0 to 127**) - with
**8 switches**, there are**256 distinct conditions possible**(Condition**0 to 255**)
256 unique and distinct conditions that can be controlled from this panel! In computer terminology, each switch on the panel is called a bit. The full group of 8 switches is called a byte. A byte can represent any number from 0 to 255. We all know that computers deal with numbers bigger than 255. If a number is bigger than 255, the computer requires yet another byte to make the number.
For example, the number How does the computer know that it should multiply the 2 bytes to create the number .Click here to learn more about HOW COMPUTERS WORK | |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||