Being on Speed

I was perusing the Internet today (I love that word – perusing, almost sounds dirty without being so). I went to check my blog and stopped on the “freshly pressed” page. I, sometimes, peek at those (someday, maybe, mine will be on there).

Today, I saw one about Google offering new service to Kansas City.
>>>> Post here <<<<

I just thought the pic was cool.

Now, the highlight of this service was 1 Gbps service for internet.  Now, from there, my focus was “WOW!” just think about that!  So, I decided to do a fairly short(afterwards – I take back the word “short), but informative on just what that means.

There are several kinds of speeds on the Internet.  The two big ones are uploads and downloads.

Uploads are used when you take something you have on your computer and send it (upload) to the Internet.  Downloads are anytime something comes from the Internet to your computer.

Uploads are important, but not used as much as downloads.  One person uploads a song to YouTube and millions may download it.  Here, I will deal with downloads as that tells how fast your computer is getting stuff from the web.

If you want to check it for yourself right now, go to speed check, click on “at home”, then check the speed on the speedometer and repeat it about 5 times (only takes a few seconds).  Now, kinda figure your average.

Mine ran from about 8.3Mbs (8333 Kbps)  to 13.6 with the most shown figure of about 10.3 Mbps.  Now, let’s look at this.  A Kilobyte (Kb) is 1,000 Bytes.  A Byte is 2 bits.

A bit is one register on a computer.  My understanding is that stuff on computers are stored in 16, 32, 64, and128 Bit sections.  That’s just for reference.  Again, to the best of my knowledge a bit is one switch on a computer.  A computer is not very bright; it can only do what it’s programmed to do.  It simply turns switches (millions of them, at least) on and off at tremendous speeds.  It is a counting machine for Binary (which only has 2 numbers in it – 0 for off and 1 for on).

For a quick example, the Binary number 101 is our number 5, 6 is 110, and 7 is 111.  I won’t go deeply into that right now, but suffice it to say that each spot in binary is either a 0 or a 1.   Computers that used 16 bit systems (rare today) would store a number, letter, or character as 16 Binary “bits” such as 0100110101100110 (I don’t know what that is).  The ones are when the switch is on and the zeroes are when the switch is off.

So, looking at that, when you write a post and it says 30Kb for the size, that, pretty much means that it takes up 30, 000 Bytes or 60,000 Bits of room on the computer.  Now, today, that is an insignificant amount of space.  Back in my early computer days you used real floppy discs.  They were 5 and 1/4”, square and “floppy”.  They held (if both sides could be used) 1.2Mb or 12million bytes.

Now, that doesn’t mean 12 million typed characters.  The computer has a lot of overhead that uses a lot of that space for other stuff, and it took 16 bytes for a character, so let’s say about 800,000 characters or 180,000 words on one disk.  That’s a good sized book, maybe 2 decent sized ones that would fit.

If we take that a bit farther, it means that you could carry about 10 of those in a case that would hold one small hardback, so that’s 20 books in the same space.  Pretty decent space usage, especially for the 70’s.

Now, we have proceeded to the point that I bought a 16 GB flash drive (about the size of your index finger for $9,99 not long ago.  If we use the same comparison, then my flash drive will hold 22,857 books of 90,000 words!    That, my friends, is a library full, I do believe.

Let’s (finally!  I know) apply that to Google’s new claim to download speed.  When I was working with computers, the test speed for downloading, I truly believe, was about 3-9 Kbps ( average of 12,000 bits per second).  My current computer speed showed at 10,300,000Bytes (average of 20,600,000 bits per second.  You can see the difference.

Google is stating that it has reached 1 Gbps!!!  Now, that, according to what we have done is an average of 2,000,000,000 bits per second).  That would be a download speed of 1/16 of my flash drives per second!  or over 1,428 books in a second.

Now, that is the theoretical ideal.  Your computer can’t handle that much info per second.  There are too many factors that limit that number; however, it does mean that your computer could download as fast as it can without ever worrying about the Internet traffic really affecting that.

You could still be hooked to an old site that was slow or something like that, but the speeds would be much faster!  Hmm.  Well, I said a short lesson and that didn’t happen – lol.  I do love to talk and this stuff is fascinating!

So, you have had an amateur’s lesson in download speeds.  I hope you experts out there will forgive my plodding along and whatever “mistakes” I made.  The whole thing was that, as far as I have been able to see, this new download speed is 20 times faster than anything I can, currently, get from my Internet provider.  Mine is fast and I am not even buying their fastest.

Things are changing boys and girls; the world is becoming so computerized that, soon, even PB (petabyte or 1000 trillion bytes – yes they have those >X <) size will not be enough and another name will be added to the ranks (if it hasn’t already).



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  • Aspergers Girls  On August 1, 2012 at 3:03 am

    You lost me at 1 Gbps service for internet……But clearly I can see you are very smart and clever….me… mind can’t wrap around anything computery or electronic. I applaud you for having the brain capacity. 🙂 Well rounded you are. Sam


    • kindredspirit23  On August 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      And, in my humble opinion, most of your poetry runs rings around mine.
      We all have our things.


  • buckwheatsrisk  On July 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    you must be speaking French tonight…lol



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