Ever wonder why iPads come in 16GB and 32GB models but now 20GB? You may have asked yourself Apple never produced a 10GB or 100GB model?
All data stored in your computer is stored in binary digits, or bits. The word binary denotes two, just like bi-lingual, bi-weekly, or bicycle.
A binary number can have a value of either 1 or 0. Just like a switch can be on or off, or a gate can be opened or closed, but since it can only have two possible values, it doesn’t really have much capacity to store much information.
So in order for binary digits to convey information such as in e-books, mp3s or videos, you’re going to need a lot of them!
How many? Well string 8 bits together and you get a byte. A byte can have 256 possible, which means a byte can convey information like a single character ona scree. and this is what ASCII is.
You may be wondering why 8 bits = byte? Why not 10 or a 100?
You see while 10 makes sense to humans, because we use decimal digits in our daily lives, it makes no sense to a computer because it uses Binary. So just like how powers of 10 make sense to you, like 10, 100, 1000, 1,000,000 and so on, In the binary world, where a computer operates, things make more sense in powers of two. That’s why the storage space on your iPads are sold in powers of 2, from 16GB, to 32GB..and so on. You see these powers of 2 pop up everywhere in computers, from the size USB sticks, to RAM on your computer, even the size of IP addresses all have to conform to the some power of 2.
And since 100 isn’t a power of 2 (or least not an Integer power of 2), Nobody will ever make a 100GB hard-drive that will go into any tablet.
Picture of switch: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/g4ll4is/7125837749/sizes/m/in/photostream/
Music from youtube music library
Icons from the ever awesome Eldorado collection: http://www.icojam.com