A byte is a string of eight bits, and can represent any of 256 values. A character of text is usually represented by a byte, as is a screen pixel on an IBM display. Commands for microprocessors are represented by a byte, maybe two, maybe three, but always in even sets of eight bits. This regularity, timed by the unstinting pace of a clock chip, makes computers possible. At this level the structures are static - any attempt at a 7-bit byte would be unlikely to win acceptance - but this solidity underpins the fluidity of data structures on higher levels.

This file created with Hypertype 2.2 by Simon St.Laurent