What does digital mean? What a question, right? We live in a digital world, but plenty of people who use computers and smartphones don't understand the operating principles behind them. Unlike analog data, which displays information in a continuous way, digital systems use distinct blocks of information that don't have the same need for continuity. In its most simplistic form, the information can be represented with the numbers 0 and 1. This binary number system is still used in today's computers to handle arithmetic, represent sequences of numbers, and much more. These are the "digits" of digital media.
Some Historical Context
Literally, what does digital mean? Originally, it is derived from the word "digit", which means "number" or "finger" — the easiest tool for humans to perform basic counting. However, the digital concept goes back much further than modern computing. In fact, the abacus, morse code, braille, and all other alphabets are a form of digital thinking. They share a limited set of parameters, which can be sequenced to communicate more complex information.
Digital data has a few unique properties that distinguish it from other systems, including:
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