How Computers Work – Part 7 – Bytes & Up [Mega Series]

Definition of a Byte
A byte is a sequence of eight bases 2 numericals called “bits.” We’ve already discussed this, so we’re moving on. I just wanted to remind you of the terrifying and evil Part 6 that haunts you every night. So… One byte is 8 bits. One bit is the smallest possible measurement of any piece of data.

So, What’s One Kilobyte?
If you guessed that a kilobyte (KB) is 1000 bytes, you’re absolutely right. One kilobyte is equivalent to 1000 bytes, or 10³ bytes. This is much easier to read for humans.

  • 1 KB = 1000 B
  • 1 MB = 1000 KB
  • 1 GB = 1000 MB (1000000 KB)
  • 1 TB = 1000 GB
  • 1 PB = 1000 TB
  • 1 EB = 1000 PB
  • 1 ZB = 1000 EB
  • 1 YB = 1000 ZB

If you don’t understand the acronyms:

  • KB = Kilobyte
  • MB = Megabyte
  • GB = Gigabyte
  • TB = Terrabyte
  • PB = Petabyte
  • EB = Exabyte
  • ZB = Zettabyte
  • YB = Yottabyte

That’s right… There’s such thing as a “yottabyte.”

Someone might have told you at some point that a Kilobyte is 1024 bytes. Go ahead. Tell them that they’re flat out wrong.

The “1024” concept comes from another unit of measurement called the Kibibyte (KiB). The International System of Units defines Kilo as 1000. Slap anyone who says that KB = 1024 B in the face for me, OK?

For the sake of “going with the crowd,” I sometimes abbreviate a Kibibyte as “KB” and even sometimes call it a “Kilobyte.” It’s more accepted and makes people less confused, but at least you know what’s actually correct. Note that the Kibibyte isn’t the only unit. Almost every unit has been morphed to a “bib” word:

  • Mebibyte (MiB) = 1024 KiB… and so on
  • Gibibyte (GiB)
  • Tebibyte (TiB)
  • Pebibyte (PiB)
  • Exbibyte (EiB)
  • Zebibyte (ZiB)
  • Yobibyte (YiB)