PDA

View Full Version : Why bits AND bytes?



xyz823
19-12-2009, 09:37 AM
Why not just use one or the other?

Netsukeninja
19-12-2009, 09:49 AM
I think its cause bits are the smallest amount of information you can have, and i guess initially internet was so crap it was only moving bits from one place to another.

Thus bps, kbps, etc. a byte is 8 bits, thats why you divide your "bit speed" by 8 to get the bytes per second.

EDIT: I assume you are referring to data speed, cause that's the only instance I can think of that both are used.

pctek
19-12-2009, 01:46 PM
Cause once bits mattered. Now GB matter.

Agent_24
19-12-2009, 01:51 PM
Why have millimeters and centimeters?

gary67
19-12-2009, 03:45 PM
Why have millimeters and centimeters?

True well actually the metric system as devised by Napoleon and cohorts only had a two tier measurement designed to replace the 3 tier imperial system which consisted of Inches, Feet and Yards. The replacement was devised as Millimetres and Metres only with No Centimetres :2cents:

pablo d
19-12-2009, 04:09 PM
I ALSO THINK LOWER-CASE LETTERS ARE A WASTE OF TIME.

pctek
19-12-2009, 05:30 PM
I ALSO THINK LOWER-CASE LETTERS ARE A WASTE OF TIME.

no, capitals are.

pablo d
19-12-2009, 06:07 PM
Seriously though, it's more useful to talk in bits for some things and bytes for others.

Anyone working with encryption levels for instance, wouldn't want to hear about it in bytes, as you'd instinctively convert it into bits so that it's a meaningful number.

Chilling_Silence
19-12-2009, 10:37 PM
Yeah it has to do with way back in the day, a bit is either on or off, a 1 or a 0.
Look in to words, nibbles, bytes, they all have meanings...

wainuitech
19-12-2009, 11:33 PM
Wanna blow your mind on bits and bytes -- try a Geopbyte :D OK have a read (http://www.whatsabyte.com/)

KarameaDave
20-12-2009, 01:25 AM
A Bit is analogous to a letter
A Byte is analogous to a word.
A Bit is either 0 or 1
A Byte on a PC is 8 bits
on other architectures it may be different.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bytes
Also the difference between a decimal Gigabyte, and a binary one
often causes confusion among neophytes.
I know it irritates me.
Why can't they just pick one, or the other, it
probably doesn't matter which one, and just stick with it?

Coaster
20-12-2009, 02:41 AM
A Bit is analogous to a letter
A Byte is analogous to a word.
A Bit is either 0 or 1
A Byte on a PC is 8 bits

It takes 1 byte to store 1 letter/character

KarameaDave
20-12-2009, 11:50 AM
Yes, sorry you're right.
had a bit of a long day and managed to confuse myself.:blush:

Thebananamonkey
20-12-2009, 12:16 PM
Yes, sorry you're right.
had a bit of a long day and managed to confuse myself.:blush:

No, I think you were right. You weren't saying that a bit IS a letter, you were saying it's comparable to one. A letter is the smallest particle in writing. A bit is the smallest particle in coding.

It may take a byte to store a letter but if you're trying to explain their uses within computers then your explanation gets the job done quite well.

Also, ChillingSilence... Back in the day? We're still using them and they still mean on/off.