Binary


Martin McBride, 2016-11-21
Categories data representation binary numbers

A computer is made up of millions (or sometimes billions) of tiny electronic switches called transistors.

Each transistor can either be switched on or off. We call the on/off states 1 and 0. Because there are only two states, we refer to this as binary (the prefix bi- means two).

Computers store and process numbers and symbols in binary format. Binary data can hold text, computer code, web pages, spreadsheets etc.

Other types of data, such as images, video or sound, must be digitised before they can be stored and processed. This involves converting pixel colour information and sound signals into binary numbers that the computer can handle.

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