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This is in the order of 150,000 to 800,000 characters or bytes per second. Average access time is therefore the sum of average seek time, average latency, and transfer rate. The transfer rate is by far the smallest component, and is often disregarded in calculations. Facts and figures about three popular disk devices are given in Table 4. A similar type of device is the fixed disk. Its operational principles File Storage Devices 53 are the same as those of exchangeable disks, except that (as the name implies) the disk is permanently fixed in place and cannot be removed to be replaced with a new one.

No doubt because humans have ten fingers), it is convenient to represent any number from 0 to 9 with the four bits, and forget 10 to 15. It is then possible to use a group of four bits as if it were the units position of a decimal number, the next group of four as if it were the tens position, and so on. This is illustrated in Fig. 12. Some IBM computers use a similar arrangement, but with all possible numbers used; that is, each group of four can represent a number up to fifteen. Since there are sixteen possible numbers, this is called hexadecimal notation· Zone Bits and Parity Bits There is now the problem of how to represent the letters of the alphabet and other characters, such as those found on the keys of a typewriter keyboard; *, &, %, and so on.

20. Recording of bits and characters on tape. would be filled with blank inter-block gaps. A better arrangement would be to group the records in memory until a large block of perhaps several hundred records was assembled. The entire block could then be written at once, with no gaps between the records. The major practical limit on the size of a block is the amount of main memory available for assembling it. The amount of data that can be written on a given length of tape depends on the packing density.

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