Chapter 1. Data and Storage

We live in a truly digital age. An ever-increasing number of us rely on computers at home, and in school. Some of us choose to document our lives and store our most cherished memories on computers. And even if you don’t own a computer, the chances are there’s still a huge amount of information about you, being stored by computers. It’s hard to avoid the mundane detail of your daily life: where you travelled, what you bought for dinner, what you watched on TV last night (Grand Designs if you must know) being stored on a computer somewhere. But have you ever stopped and wondered how computers became so good at storing all this information? Probably not. But if you’re the least bit curious then read this chapter. Then maybe the next time you use a computer, you’ll stop and think for a moment; just how clever a computer is at storing information.

Part 1. Introduction

How computers use binary to store numbers.

Part 1. Introduction

Extra Reading: Hexadecimal notation

A bit of extra knowledge for those of you that like to know a bit more. It’s tricky stuff though, so feel free to skip this bit.

Part 2. Storing text

How computers use binary to store text.

Extra Reading: Units of storage

A short explanation of kilobytes and megabytes. Feel free to skip if you already know what they are.

Part 3. Text compression

How text is really stored on a computer. The space saving way.

Part 4. Storing monochrome images

How simple black and white images are stored on a computer.

Part 5. Storing colour images

How colour images are stored on a computer.

Part 6. Image compression

How colour images are really stored on a computer. The space saving way.

 Part 7. Storing photos

How photos are stored on a computer. Lets leave it at that for now. I think you get the idea; computers are good at storing loads of different data.

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