Max Learning's Digital Dozen

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1. bit   2. Byte   3. Code   4. Data   5. Program   6. Chip   7. CPU   8. RAM   9. ROM   10. Computer   11. Peripheral   12. System

Words, Numbers, Symbols, Graphics, Video, Sound.
Acronym: Da = WNS-GVS (pronounced WINZ-givz).

  • Data is the raw material you feed into a computer.
  • The computer processes (changes) data into a more useful form called information.

The first computers were designed to do math. Hence, data consisted primarily of numbers. With the addition of words and punctuation symbols, text could be processed as well. Finally, the addition of graphics (pictures), video (movies), and sound (voice/music) gave rise to multimedia and its multiple presentation methods.


As pictured below, imagine that Mr. Data wins the race and the judge gives him a trophy. From now on, whenever you hear the term data, think WNS-GVS.

You know that off/on pulses, grouped into 8-bit bytes, send messages to the computer screen. And you know that the message sent depends on the coding system in use. Imagine a stream of 0s and 1s passing through various Code charts and coming out as WNS-GVS data as shown below.

Data vs. Information

In English, we often interchange the words data and information. But in Computerese, we must be more precise. We'll use the following guidelines:

  • Data--raw words, numbers, symbols, graphics, video, sound.
  • Information--data that has meaning to the observer.

Example: 100% written on a blank piece of paper has no special meaning to you--it's raw data. However, 100% written at the top of your latest test does mean something to you--it's information!



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