What are ones and zeroes


What do the ones and zeroes mean in a computer?

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  • Expert Answers (2)
  • Tuan Tran
    Tuan Tran

    It's basically the circuitry of a computer.

    Think of a wired loop circuit connected to a light bulb. If the switch is on, light turns on, if it's off, light is off.

    1 and 0 is like that, off and on or True / False. Basically they can represent different things like keyboard letters (ASCII)

    Look up "cs50 binary bulb" on youtube for a good explanation, you can look at their lectures too.

    Bill Dahlberg
    Bill Dahlberg

    Binary (or base-2) is a numeric system that only uses two digits — 0 and 1. Computers operate in binary, meaning they store data and perform calculations using only zeros and ones.

    A single binary digit can only represent True (1) or False (0) in boolean logic. However, multiple binary digits can be used to represent large numbers and perform complex functions. In fact, any integer can be represented in binary.

    One bit contains a single binary value — either a 0 or a 1. A byte contains eight bits, which means it can have 256 (28) different values. These values may be used to represent different characters in a text document, the RGB values of a pixel within an image file, or many other types of data.

    Large files may contain several thousand bytes (or several megabytes) of binary data. A large application may take up thousands of megabytes of data. No matter how big a file or program is, at its most basic level, it is simply a collection of binary digits that can be read by a computer processor.

    (From techterms)
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