# Fundamentals of Data Representation: Bit patterns in a computer

< A-level Computing 2009 | AQA | Problem Solving, Programming, Data Representation and Practical Exercise | Fundamentals of Data Representation

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The language that a computer understands is very simple, so simple that it only has 2 different numbers: 1 and 0. This is called **Binary**. Everything you see on a computer, images, sounds, games, text, videos, spreadsheets, websites etc. Whatever it is, it will be stored as a string of ones and zeroes.

**Bit**- a standard unit to measure computer memory, consisting of a value that is either 1 or 0

**Byte**- a standard unit to measure computer memory, usually consisting of 8 bits. e.g. 10101011

Exercise: Bit patterns in a Computer How do computers store data?
as binary values, using a pattern of 1s and 0s What sort of data can be stored in binary?
- Video
- Sound
- Picture
- Text
- Code
- Spreadsheet
- Game
- etc
What does the following binary string represent: 10011100
This could be anything: - sound data
- picture data
- text ASCII for œ
- unsigned integer = 156
- video data
- etc
How many bits in a byte?
8, but it is originally the amount of bits used to represent a character How many bits in 7 bytes?
7 * 8 = 56 |