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Computer Lingo (Terminology)

The purpose of this section is to provide the knowledge of the terms and abbreviations used in the computer industry to help prevent you being taken advantage of.

I am constantly amazed at the fact that the computer has become such an integral part of most peoples lives yet the average individual doesn't understand what the various terms mean - terms like bits, bytes, GHz, RAM, CPU, Gigahertz, Megahertz, MBps, Mbps, etc.

Through this lack of understanding computer and other related companies take advantage of people by bamboozleing them with terms that the majority have no clue what they mean.

For example, when looking for an internet service provider most people look at the speed first. For some reason people think that the higher the speed the better. That is not always the case and it depends entirely on what you use the internet for. If you are a gamer (one who plays games on the internet) then one needs the highest speeds possible. The same is also true for streaming videos. Otherwise high speeds are not needed. But if one is looking for the speed of a service how do you know how fast it really is?

For example take these two speeds: 150 Mbps or 20 MB/s (sometimes written as MBps). Which is faster? Most of you would think that the 150 Mbps speed is faster but it is not. 'Mbps' means Mega bits per second and 'MB/s' (or 'MBps') means Mega bytes per second. There are 8 bits to a byte. So you have to divide 150 by 8 to get the speed in Megabytes (1 million bytes) which is 18.75 MB/s. This is one of the many ways that computer companies deceive the public. That is why this section is here - to help you learn the various terms and be more discerning in your computer and computer/internet service purchases.

So let's get started!



Bit:

A bit is a blend of two words - binary digit. A bit can have one of two values, 1 or 0, or one of two states, on or off, yes or no, true or false, etc, and is a basic unit of information used in the computing and digital information field. In the computer industry (but NOT in the quantum computing field) all computer code is based on binary language which is represented by these values.

Byte:

A byte is a unit of digital information that most commonly consists of eight bits. Historically, the byte was the number of bits used to encode a single character of text in a computer.

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