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Data Powers of Ten

Many of the following facts were taken from Roy Williams "Data Powers of Ten" page at Caltech.

  • Byte [ 8 bits]
    • 0.1 bytes: a binary decision;
    • 1 byte: a single character;
    • 10 bytes: a single word;
    • 100 bytes: a telegram ORr a punched card;
  • Kilobyte [ 1,000 bytes OR 103 bytes]
    • 1 Kilobyte: A very short story;
    • 2 Kilobytes: A typewritten page;
    • 10 Kilobytes: An encyclopaedic page OR a deck of punched cards;
    • 10 Kilobytes: static web page;
    • 50 Kilobytes: A compressed document image page;
    • 100 Kilobytes: A low-resolution photograph;
    • 200 Kilobytes: A box of punched cards;
    • 500 Kilobytes: A very heavy box of punched cards;
  • Megabyte [ 1,000,000 bytes OR 106 bytes]
    • 1 Megabyte: A small novel OR a 3.5 inch floppy disk;
    • 2 Megabytes: A high resolution photograph;
    • 5 Megabytes: The complete works of Shakespeare OR 30 seconds of TV-quality video;
    • 10 Megabytes: A minute of high-fidelity sound OR a digital chest X-ray;
    • 20 Megabytes: A box of floppy disks;
    • 50 Megabytes: A digital mammogram;
    • 100 Megabytes: 1 meter of shelved books OR a two-volume encyclopaedic book;
    • 200 Megabytes: A reel of 9-track tape OR an IBM 3480 cartridge tape;
    • 500 Megabytes: A CD-ROM OR the hard disk of a PC;
  • Gigabyte [ 1,000,000,000 bytes OR 109 bytes]
    • 1 Gigabyte: a pickup truck filled with paper OR a symphony in high-fidelity sound OR a movie at TV quality;
    • 2 Gigabytes: 20 meters of shelved books OR a stack of 9-track tapes;
    • 5 Gigabytes: 8mm Exabyte tape;
    • 20 Gigabytes: A good collection of the works of Beethoven OR 5 Exabyte tapes OR a VHS tape used for digital data;
    • 50 Gigabytes: A floor of books OR hundreds of 9-track tapes;
    • 100 Gigabytes: A floor of academic journals OR a large ID-1 digital tape;
    • 200 Gigabytes: 50 Exabyte tapes;
    • 500 Gigabytes: The biggest FTP site.
  • Terabyte [ 1,000,000,000,000 bytes OR 1012 bytes]
    • 1 Terabyte: An automated tape robot OR all the X-ray films in a large technological hospital OR 50000 trees made into paper and printed OR daily rate of EOS data (1998);
    • 2 Terabytes: An academic research library OR a cabinet full of Exabyte tapes;
    • 10 Terabytes: The printed collection of the US Library of Congress;
    • 50 Terabytes: The contents of a large Mass Storage System;
    • 400 Terabytes: National Climactic Data Center (NOAA) database;
  • Petabyte [ 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes OR 1015 bytes]
    • 1 Petabyte: 3 years of EOS data (2001);
    • 2 Petabytes: All US academic research libraries;
    • 8 Petabytes: All information available on the Web;
    • 20 Petabytes: Production of hard-disk drives in 1995;
    • 200 Petabytes: All printed material OR production of digital magnetic tape in 1995;
  • Exabyte [ 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes OR 1018 bytes]
    • 2 Exabytes: Total volume of information generated worldwide annually.
    • 5 Exabytes: All words ever spoken by human beings.
  • Zettabyte [ 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes OR 1021 bytes]
  • Yottabyte [ 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes OR 1024 bytes]


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