Digital and Non-Digital Communication
A digital watch or clock shows the time with numbers that change as the time changes. digitize verb [T] to put (information) into the form of a series of the numbers 0 and 1, usually so that it can be processed electronically to digitize sound The word digital obviously originates from the word digit, meaning number, and although difficult to explain the exact meaning of digital, in layman’s terms it is a means of converting information into a binary code, of 0 and 1. The ideals behind digitizing information, is basically to maintain and enhance the quality of any information we can see or hear.
To be more to the point, any information, whether it being audible of visual, communicated to our senses. As opposed to analogue, where the information is carried by a series of “waves” which can peak or trough. These waves are prone to interference and the further the waves travel and the more the information is reused; this is where the quality of the communication is lost. Analogue works by recording the information and “reproducing” it through measurements in another form, because it is being Re-produced, it can never be an exact representation of the original source.
The idea with the invention of digital was to process these waves into a format, or a code, which can be read by a processor, as either 0 (which I shall call off) or 1(Where the transfer of the information is on). So hypothetically speaking, the mode of communication is either on or off, with no in-between levels. This means technically speaking Digital should not be prone to Quality loss, like analogue. Using the digital format the information should be able to be “exactly replicated, time after time after time.
In fact any form of information stored on a Digital medium, such a compact disc, should last for eternity that is unless the storage facility is damaged. Since the birth of media and communication, everything was based around some form of analogue processing; early film and photography relied on light waves to capture an image, microphones measured vibrations from sound, and converted them to magnetic charges, which could be stored on an audio tape. When the tape is played back, what we hear is a representation of the original sound, first recorded.
Today every form of media, is capable of incorporating some form of digital aspect, within the way it is communicated to us and the “digital revolution” is growing at an astounding rate. It could be argued that it is the biggest change over of technology since the industrial revolution. The digital boom, started to take of in the masses in the early 80s with the increase in home computers, and digital cable television, these are arguably the biggest influences on the increase of ” going digital” and the technology that is available to the world today.
It is estimated that one in three people in the U. K has accesses to the internet, the world wide web, being on huge digital library easily accesses from home. If you are well trained in the use and manipulation of the internet it is said that it is possible you can find information on any subject, and any person, without even leaving your seat. This is obviously a huge advantage, large amounts of digital information held on websites all over the world, and the majority of the information is free.
It benefits education as a source of research, banking, and the fact you can download digital media( such as music and films) and store it on your hard drive, has given people a new perspective on entertainment. Because of the way the binary (computer) code can be transmitted down a phone line, and compressed, it has opened up new means on how people can store their information. Practically gone are the days, where offices were filled with filling cabinets full of client information, now it is all stored digitally, on a computer.
An add on benefit of this is because of how digital data can be duplicated, without quality loss, then back up copies can be made of the same information, just incase of any damage to the storage devise( usually the hard drive). If we compared this with books or documents, replacing them in the event of a fire for instance would be expensive and in some cases impossible, however if the same digital information is “backed up” on other machines and disks, replacing the lost information, can essentially be pretty effortless.
Electronic mail has become more widely used and accepted by businesses and people alike. It can be sent at the click of a button anywhere in the world and arrive at the other end pretty much instantly. The receiver of the mail, can “pick up” the information at any time during the day, and again reply instantly back. Unlike hand delivered mail, it is free (or just the cost of connecting to the internet) and again because of its digital format, can be instantly duplicated, so that the same message can be sent to several different people, in several different countries at the same time.
This has obviously increased efficiency and communication, with in companies a hundred times over. Its also given more opportunity for friends and family in different parts of the world, to stay in touch. It is now possible to send E-birthday and Christmas cards, which like any other document or image which has been sent, can be printed out, and kept as a “hard copy” if you wish. The way and efficiency in which the e-mail system works is definitely a benefit or an ability only digital communication has.
An example of this, in its simplest form, is that I have just mailed this essay, as it is, to my E-mail account, where I can collect it still in its exact original form and continue with it on a college computer, or for that matter any other internet ready computer in the world. Without this system, I would have to physically take the assignment with me to my destination or simply start again, if I had lost or forgotten it.