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Usually we don't want it to (and for audio data use "high fidelity" electronics to minimize the change.) But always some information is lost.


NameNumber of Bytes power of 2
byte1 20
kilobyte1024 210
megabyte1,048,576 220
gigabyte1,073,741,824 230
terabyte1,099,511,627,776 240

One bit of information is so little that usually computer memory is organized into groups of eight bits. Each eight bit group is called a byte. When more than eight bits are required for some data, a whole number of bytes are used. One byte is about enough memory to hold a single character.

Often very much more than eight bits are required for data, and thousands, millions, or even billions of bytes are needed. These amounts have names, as seen in the table.

If you expect computers to be your career, it would be a good idea to become familiar with this table. The only number you should remember from the middle column is that a kilobyte is 1024 bytes. Often a kilobyte is called a "K", a megabyte is called a "Meg", and a gigabyte is called a "Gig".


How many 10 Meg files would it take to fill a 500 Gig hard drive?