Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Bits and Bytes

Lesson of the day

People I talk to quite frequently use the words "bit" and "byte" interchangably. So many people in fact that I feel like it's time for a simple lesson.

A byte is made up of eight bits. A bit is one-eighth of a byte. A megabyte is eight times larger than a megabit. A gigabyte is eight times larger than a gigabit. See the pattern?

A T1 is 1.544 megaBITS per second. Your cable modem at home has a downstream of around 3 megaBITS per second. Your hard drive in your home computer is 60 gigaBYTES.

When you downloaded the latest .NET framework from Microsoft, you didn't get a download speed of 20K... K is not a speed; kilobytes per second is a speed. Using K as a unit of speed is like if someone asked me how tall I am, and I responded 20K - I'm sure I'm 20K something tall, but it's useless information.

This just in, an inch is different than a foot.