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Business Technology Management
BTM 481
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DESC 200 NOTESChapter 2Understanding your computerComputers Are Data Processing DevicesStrictly defined a computer is a data processing device that performs four major functionsIt gathers data or allows users to input dataIt processes that data into informationIt outputs data or informationIt stores data and informationData vs InformationData is a representation of a fact figure or idea Data can be a number a word a picture or even a recording of sound For example the number 6125553297 and the names Derek and Washington are pieces of dataInformation is data that has been organized or presented in a meaningful fashion When your computer provides you with a contact listing that indicates Derek Washington can be reached by phone at 612 5553297 the data mentioned earlier suddenly becomes usefulthat is it becomes informationHow do computers interact with data and informationComputers are excellent at processing manipulating calculating or organizing data into informationBits and Bytes The Language of ComputersBitIn order to process data into information computers need to work in a language they understand This language called binary language consists of just two digits 0 and 1Everything a computer does is broken down into a series of 0s and 1s Each 0 and 1 is a binary digit or bit for shortByteEight binary digits or bits combine to create 1 byteIn computers each letter of the alphabet each number and each special character such as thesign consists of a unique combination of 8 bits or a string of eight 0s and 1sSo for example in binary language the letter K is represented as 01001011How Much Is a ByteNot only are bits and bytes used as the language that tells the computer what to do they are also what the computer uses to represent the data and information it inputs and outputs Word processing files digital pictures and even software are represented inside a computer as a series of bits and bytes These files and applications can be quite large containing thousands or millions of bytesKilobytes megabytes and gigabytes are therefore simply amounts of bytes
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