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Old 09-21-1999
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Bytes, Kilobytes, and Megabytes

How many actual bytes are there in a kilobyte and in a megabyte?

Jim Sexton responds:

RAM is measured in bytes, which consists of eight on-off values called bits. Traditionally one byte is used to store a single character, letter or number of information. Bytes are grouped together into kilobytes, or KB. Although in traditional measurements kilo means 1,000, in computer memory a kilobyte consists of 1,024 bytes since computer specifications are usually binary numbers. For example, 64K means 65,536 bytes when referring to memory or storage (64 x 1,024), but a 64K salary means $64,000. The IEEE uses "K" for 1,024, and "k" for 1,000. Kilobytes are further grouped into megabytes, consisting of 1,024 kilobytes abbreviated MB. It often refers to the precise value 1,048,576 since computer specifications are usually binary numbers.

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