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Computer Symbols

Previous tutorials are listed in the left column.

What does MB, KB AND GB Symbols mean?

Ever wonder what all those numbers mean when you are downloading a program from the Internet or installing a program from a disc you just bought? Well will start with the basics. First I have to explain that computers only understand two numbers 0 and 1. That is it they do not understand any other numbers. Internally in your computer there are hardware parts that convert these numbers to what you see on your screen. Let me explain: In computer language consisting of 0 and 1 and 8 digit codes of these two numbers is called a bit for example: 00110010 or 11110001. each of these codes is called a bit. When you put 8 of these bits together you get what they call a byte. Once you understand this part the rest will fall together easier. So when you see KB it means 1000 bytes. When you see MB it means 1 million bytes. when you see GB it means 1 billion bytes.

Also see article Binary Codes

download data

You see these abbreviations everywhere on computer: when downloading files or installing a program from a disc. They tell you the size of the program. They also tell you how fast your Internet is or how fast the CPU is that is in your computer.For example: Look at the picture above. It says 15.7 MB of 91.2 MB 123 KB/sec. (look familiar)? It means your Internet is downloading 123 thousand bytes per second 123kb/s. (remember one byte is 8 bits of code). Next it says you have already downloaded 15.7 million bytes of a 91.2 million byte program.

These numbers and symbols will also explain the size of different computer components. For example: Your computer has a hard drive in it. The hard drive is the component that stores all of the computer information and data. It stores programs data, documents, pictures, your operating system (windows NT, XP Vista, 7). I remember my first laptop had a 4GB hard drive which was considered big at that time. My new laptop has a 250GB hard drive and I have seen laptops now with 520GB hard drives and bigger. Lets take a 520GB hard drive for example: this hard drive will store up to 520,000.000.000 bytes of information. So if you load a program that is 10MB's then you have used 10 million bytes of storage space out of the 520 billion available.


For other articles also see previous tutorials.