computermemory measurements to characters, files and directories/folders
Basic Units of Data Storage:
It is important to realize that the term digital computer
refers to the fact that ultimately the computer works in what is called binary.
Humans work in tens (because we have 10 fingers). To use the jargon humans work
in base 10. A digital computer uses the numbers 0 and 1 (or on and off if you
prefer). When we talk about computer storage, either the amount of memory (RAM)
or the hard disk capacity we are talking about numbers that are multiples of 0
Bit: All computers work on a binary numbering system, i.e. they process data in ones or zeros. This 1 or 0 level of storage is called a bit. Often hardware is specified as a 32-bit computer, which means that the hardware can process 32 bits at a time. Software is also described as 16 bit, 32bit or 64 bit software.
Byte: A byte consists of eight bits.
Kilobyte:A kilobyte (KB) consists of 1024 bytes.
Megabyte: A megabyte (MB) consists of 1024 kilobytes, approximately 1,000,000 bytes.
Gigabyte: A gigabyte (GB) consists of 1024 megabytes, approximately 1,000,000,000 bytes.
Terabyte: A terabyte (TB) consists of approximately 1,000,000,000,000 bytes.
Files: Data and programs are stored on your disk as files. There are different types of files, such as the files that you store your data in, the files that contain your programs and also files used to
store your operating system (such as Microsoft Windows).
Directories (folders):Directories or folders are used to group files with a similar theme together. For example, you could have a folder called “Accounts” containing all your accounting related files, or a folder called “Customers” containing correspondence with your customers. Folders can also contain sub-folders to further divide files. The uppermost level folder is often referred to as the “root” folder (or directory). Sometimes you may see a diagrammatic representation of folders, as illustrated below
In this example, we have the root folder at the top. Below this are three sub-folders called Data, Programs and Games.
Records: A record is a collection of data held within a file. It is the sort of storage unit used by a database. For more information, please see the ECDL module concerned with databases.