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You are watching: Why is all data stored in binary form

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CategoriesNooks and cranniesYesteryearSemantic enigmasThe body beautifulRed tape, white liesSpeculative scienceThis sceptred isleRoot of all evilEthical conundrumsThis sporting lifeStage and screenBirds and the bees SPECULATIVE SCIENCEAll information and programs are stored on a computer in binary develop represented by 1"s and 0"s. So, on average, are there more 1"s or 0"s in my computer system at any kind of offered time?Larry Farmer, Cranbrook, Canada I whipped up a small routine to shave the right to through the 64K of memory on my COMPUTER, and also it revealed that tbelow were 4 times as many 0s than tbelow were 1s. In case this was because the majority of memory wasn"t being offered, I dispertained to the all-zero bytes, but that still left twice as many 0s as 1s, which is interesting bereason filling up memory randomly would leave as many 1s as 0s. Incidentally, the questioner could be interested to know that converting his question into binary ASCII codes calls for 894 0s and also 458 1s...again, about twice as many type of of the previous than the latter.At this suggest, I would apologise for the nerdiness of this answer, except that anyone clicking on this query was obviously nerdy enough themselves to desire to recognize what the answer was, and has actually therefore waived any right to accusage me of nerdism. Guy Dowman, Tokyo Japan It is hard to offer a satimanufacturing facility answer to this, because your computer doesn"t literally contain zeros and ones. This is just a handy metaphor for bit bits of electrostatic charge (in your PC"s memory) or magnetic flux (on your difficult drive). For optimum performance, data in your PC would be organised in such a means that it included an equal amount of zeros and also ones (as dictated by Shannon"s theory). In the mid-90"s, as soon as storage was even more expensive than now, commercial packperiods (e.g. DriveVoid and also RAMDoubler) were easily accessible that ensured that this was the instance.Now that memory and hard disk space is not at such a premium, tright here is often waste ("reduncancy") left in your information. From endure, this redundancy commonly manifests itself as zeros. Also, given that the "blank" state of your RAM or difficult drive is traditionally designated zero and also your COMPUTER is most likely not totally complete, you could argue that tbelow were even more zeros than ones. Allan, Wimbeldon I"m not entirely sure (having never done any type of binary programming) however I would think tright here would certainly be even more 0"s. If we were to take the presumption that an empty hard drive is made up totally of 0"s and also that people seldom let their drives fill to capacity (which generally reasons computers to crash), then statistically the 0"s would win out. In any case, they are not really represented as 1"s and 0"s per se yet as on/off states. Tony, San Francisco USA If the question is restricted to the amount of RAM (and/or) disk space presently in usage, you can intend tbelow to be an equal number. However before, most computer systems contain a large amount of readable character data, and also the ASCII codes for these are richer in 1"s than if they were pucount random. So it is problable that tbelow are more 1"s (within the location presently in use) Ricdifficult Thompson, Allerod Denmark When representing information, the 0""s and also 1""s will be equally represented. However before, this will certainly not be the situation as soon as representing numbers bereason eexceptionally binary number necessarily starts via a 1. Similarly, the digits 0-9 are not equally stood for in the page-numbers of publications. That is, 1 will take place more than 10% of the time. Eamon Warnock, Guangzhou China As tright here seem to be differing opinions in the above answers, anyone wishing to recognize the answer (for their very own PC at least) deserve to run the routine I pointed out over (written in good old BASIC). Microsoft"s retro QBASIC have the right to be downloaded from http://www.quickfundamental.net/main/compilers.shtml; copy the code listed below right into a paper dubbed anyname.bas, then pack this file into QBASIC, and click "Run". Keep in mind running this on all of your memory could take all night, probably longer! So don"t search also many kind of 64K blocks, however having shelp that, the even more you search, the more exact it will certainly be._______________________CLSZEROS& = 0ONES& = 0ALLZEROS& = 0INPUT "Go into no. of 64KB memory blocks to search (1-65535): ", BLOCKSPRINT "If you obtain bored waiting, click CTRL+BREAK"FOR L = 0 TO BLOCKS - 1 DEF SEG = L FOR J = 0 TO 65535 decimal& = PEEK(J) Bin$ = "" h$ = HEX$(decimal&) FOR i% = 1 TO LEN(h$) digit% = INSTR("0123456789ABCDEF", MID$(h$, i%, 1)) - 1 IF digit% Guy Dowmale, Tokyo Japan After reading Eamon Warnock"s answer, I would certainly advise him to go and run my regimen, except that all the carriage returns seem to have actually disappeared, thereby making it all an unintelligible mess.Anymeans, how he have the right to make a distinction in between "data" and "numbers" stored on a computer system is quite stvariety - information is indevelopment - any numbers deliberately stored on a computer will also be information, and also therefore information. In any type of case, data stored on a computer is numbers. Also he is slightly mistaken when he says a binary number need to start with a 1. Computer bytes, in which indevelopment is stored, are comprised of 8 bits - i.e. 8 1s or 0s. Thus, the decimal number 1 in binary, as stored in a computer system, would certainly be 00000001, not 1. Similarly, 3 is 00000011, not 11. The situation in a computer system is not analogous to the web page numbers in a book. Guy Dowguy, Tokyo Japan Regarding Guy Dowman"s first answer relating to ASCII, I originally assumed about which part of the 256 combicountry strong codeset contained the 26 letters of the alphabet.My initially assumed is that they all exist in the first 128 combicountries, meaning all alphabet characters would have actually a leading zero, definition even more zeros.But I then realised that there are 52 character depictions (top and lowercase being signified seperately) and also they exist in the variety 0x40(64) to 0x7F(127). Ignoring the four least significant digits, this indicates that each alphabetic code must always begin 0100, 0101, 0110 or 0111. This offers us an equal count of ones and also zeroes.Then, of course, many text is written in lower instance, which is all in the subcollection start either 0110 or 0111, which argues that their need to be more ones than zeroes.But then I realised that all 16 combination of the much less substantial digits were used twice within the given selection, except for 0000, 1011, 1100, 1101, 1110 and also 1111, definition even more zeroes, arguing a transition ago to equilibrium.Then a even more thought lead me to look at the ten numerals which, when totaled, indicate a further shift ago to zero weighting (dependant, of course, upon frequency.Then, practically all sentences actually have more spaces than any type of various other character. The area character is 0x20, which is 00100000, a major shift earlier into hefty zero region.Then somebody available to buy me a pint, so I determined to not think around it anymore as it was offering me a headache. Allix Harrison-D"Arcy, Stockwell London Add your answer