Data Representation in Computer

Data Representation in Computer Organization

Data can be anything, like numbers, names, music notes, or colors in pictures. How we store, work with, and send this data is called “data representation.” To put data in a digital form, we can use devices like computers, smartphones, and iPads. Electronic circuits help us manage this stored data.

Digitization means turning things like pictures, music, numbers, and words into digital data. We use electronic gadgets to work with this data. The digital revolution has gone through four stages, starting with big, costly computers and ending with today’s digital gadgets. These small and affordable devices are now found everywhere worldwide.

Binary digits, also known as bits, are tiny units that computers use to represent digital information. They use the numbers 0 and 1 to do this. Think of bits as the computer’s smallest information pieces. Bits are useful because they can store data by using 0s and 1s. When something is “on” or “true,” it’s shown as a 1, and when it’s “off” or “false,” it’s shown as a 0. Digital files are simple files that collect data from storage devices like flash drives, CDs, hard disks, or DVDs.

Numeric data holds numbers, which we use for math. Digital gadgets use a special way to show numbers called the binary system. In this system, there are only two digits: 0 and 1. No other numbers like 2 are used. So, if we want to show the number 2 in binary, we write it as 10.

Decimal (Base 10)  :  Binary (Base 2)

0                                     0

1                                      1

2                                     10

3                                     11

4                                     100

10                                    1010

11                                     1011

Representing Bits and Bytes

Bits are like speedometers for things like movie downloads and internet connections. Bytes are like measuring cups for storage and file sizes. When we talk about digital stuff, you’ll often hear terms like “90 kilobits per second,” “1.44 megabytes,” “2.8 gigahertz,” and “2 terabytes.” These words help us understand digital data better:

  • 104 KB: KB means kilobyte. It’s for small computer files.
  • 56 Kbps: Kbps stands for kilobits per second. It’s used for slower data rates, like when the internet is a bit sluggish.
  • 50 Mbps: Mbps means megabit per second. It’s for faster data rates, like when everything online works smoothly.
  • 3.2 MB: MB is megabyte. It’s for measuring file sizes, especially videos and photos.
  • 100 Gbit: Gbit is gigabit. It’s for super-fast network speeds.
  • 16 GB: GB is gigabyte. It tells us how much stuff we can store, like photos and videos.

Bits and Bytes

  • Bit                        one binary digit
  • Nibble                 4 binary digit
  • Byte                     8 binary digit
  • Kilo Byte            1024bytes
  • MegaByte           1024 kbytes
  • Giga Byte           1024 MB
  • Tera Byte
  • Peta Byte
  • Exa Byte
  • Zetta Byte
  • Yotta Byte

Data compression makes digital stuff smaller to save time and space. It’s like making a big book into a tiny one. This helps us use less storage and move files faster. Compression uses special programs, kind of like magic tricks, to shrink data. When data is squished, we call it “zipping.” To get it back to normal, we “unzip” it. You’ll see compressed files with endings like .gz, .tar.gz, .pkg, or .zip. There are two types: “Lossless” keeps everything, and “Lossy” lets go of some stuff to make it even smaller.


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