Explained In Plain English

Have you ever wondered how many bytes there are
in a kilobyte? Have you ever tried to find out? I have.
But I don't think the average person wants to sift
through all those pages of technical mumbo-jumbo to find out about Bytes, Kilobytes and Megabytes. I've boiled it down to the nitty-gritty. Hopefully, this page will help you better understand how it works.

First of all, you must remember that computers do not speak english. They do not string together the letters
of our alphabet to make words.  They do not use
our 10 decimal numbers to make endless number combinations.

What computers use is a binary system of numbers to represent every little thing that you type into your file. That is how it's all stored in binary numbers.

What are these binary numbers? For comparison,
the decimal system that we use in our everyday life
has 10 numbers, BUT the binary system has only
two numbers....1 and 0. When information is stored in
memory, it can only record 1's and 0's, so every byte
you type is a combination of eight 1's and 0's.
How is this done? Here are some examples:

The binary number for the capital letter A is 01000001

The asterisk symbol * is stored as 00101010

The name "Clinton" would look like this:
010000110110110001101001011011100111010001101111 01101110

Each letter, number, space or symbol you type is represented by a combination of eight 1's and 0's. This may seem like a waste of space, but the computer doesn't really care about space. Actually, they say that
the binary system is much easier for a computer to understand because of it's electronic nature and the fact that it's only dealing with 1's and 0's.

NOTE: This binary system is standard all over the world for anyone who puts information on the internet, whether it is done on a computer or done on Webtv. There are 256 different combinations you can make
with 8 zeros and ones, so it's more than enough to cover the alphabet and other characters like the ? and the @.

Here is the order:

1 bit = a single digit, either 1 or 0

8 bits = 1 byte, a combination of 1's and 0's

1024 Bytes = 1 KB (kilobyte)

1024 Kilobytes = 1 MB (megabyte)

1024 Megabytes = 1 GB (gigabyte)

Another way to put it:

You are allowed a total of 1024 bytes before you use up one KB.

And you can use over 1 MILLION bytes (1024 X 1024) before you use up one MB.

And you can use over 1 BILLION bytes (1024 X 1024 X 1024) before you use up one GB.

Or think of it this way:

Bytes make up Kilobytes of 1024

which make up Megabytes of 1024 X 1024

which make up Gigabytes of 1024 X 1024 X 1024

Any way you look at it, it all comes out the same.

Now to explain how they get that magic number 1024.

Because the binary code system has only 2 numbers, powers of 2 plays an important role. Numbers always have to be 2 to the power of ???.

They take 2 to the 10th power to get the number 1024. For those of us who are not very good at math, I'll spell it out for you.

2 is the 1st power
2 X 2 = 4   (the 2nd power)
2 X 4 = 8   (the 3rd power)
2 X 8 = 16   (the 4th power)
2 X 16 = 32   (the 5th power)
2 X 32 = 64   (the 6th power)
2 X 64 = 128   (the 7th power)
2 X 128 = 256   (the 8th power)
2 X 256 = 512   (the 9th power)
2 X 512 = 1024   (the 10th power)

And that's how you get 1 KB.

If it's easier for you to "estimate" your usage by
using 1000, go ahead and do it. Remember that your "actual bytes" will differ from the "rough size" you'll get because text is not the only information that takes up room in your storage. Images and Midis are recorded in bytes as well as codes such as Bold, Italics, Underline, different Fonts and Font sizes. These all add bytes to your pages.

If you don't understand any of this, don't worry. In the long run, it shouldn't really matter too much because the computer keeps pretty good track of all your bytes for you. Go into your file manager and you'll see the sizes listed right there for every page you make and for every midi and image you have in your directories.

FYI, this page used up only 6 KB of space. Honest.
It says so in my file manager. That means I can make over 200 more pages just like this one before I use up
even one MB. But who's counting, right?

This page created in August 2001 by