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created: 06/25/96; 2nd edition: 05/13/01; little bitty changes: 09/01/01; audio 12/06/03; slightly revised: 05/17/15

CHAPTER 3 — Bits and Bit Patterns


Computers represent data and instructions with patterns of bits. You must become familiar with bit patterns! This chapter will help you. It discusses the fundamentals of bit patterns.

Chapter Topics:

In most computer documentation, 8 contiguous bits are called a byte. A bit holds a zero or a one, possibly representing the on/off condition of a switch.


How many patterns can be formed with a single bit? (Hint: click on the switch!)