Measurement in Computers

Measurement-in-Computers

You might have studied the “Metric System” or “Base 10” system of measurement and are quite familiar with terms like milli, centi, kilo, etc.

In ordinary measurement, 1 Kilo = 1,000 and 1 Mega = 1,000,000

1 kilogram = 1,000 grams

So, if I ask, “Is 1 kilobyte = 1,000 bytes?”. The answer is “NO”.

1 kilobyte = 1,024 bytes.

In fact, in the computer field, 1 kilo is 1,024 and not 1,000.

Why is there a difference of 24, between two “kilos”?

Well, the ordinary measuring system uses a metric system (base 10) and moves

from 10 raised to the 0 = 1, 10 raised to the 1 = 10, 10 raised to the two = 100, and so on. Whereas, when we talk about measurement in the field of computers, we use a binary system (base 2). In base 2, we move from 2 raised to 0 = 1, 2 raised to 1 = 2, 2 raised to 2 = 4. 

Since, 2 raised to 10 = 1,024 is very close to 1,000 and 1,000 in the metric measurement system is 1 kilo, hence 2 raised to 10 (= 1,024) is referred to as 1 kilo.

In metric measurement system, 1 Mega (1,000,000) = 1,000 ✖ 1,000 = 1 kilo ✖ 1 kilo

Therefore, in computers, 1 Mega = 1 kilo ✖ 1 kilo = 1,024 ✖ 1,024

1 kilo byte = 1,024 bytes

1 mega byte = 1,024 ✖ 1,024 = 1,048,576 bytes

Now that you know, why there is a difference of 24 between 2 kilos, can you find out how many bytes is 1 Gigabyte?

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