Honey, I shrunk the data: Lossy and lossless data compression in computing

We all know the dilemma. We take our suitcase and pack for our upcoming trip. The suitcase looks huge when we start packing. But in no time, it is crammed. There are still a few things that we’d like to carry, but there is no more space. We need to do two things now: pack the existing things compactly so that they take up less space, thus creating space for new additions. Or remove things which are unnecessary, so that we have space for what we find necessary.

We face a similar dilemma in computing. We encounter low disk space or are stuck with low bandwidth and have huge files to store or transfer. How do we solve the problem? The answer is data compression. We will learn about two compression methodologies: lossy and lossless data compression.

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Computer and Images: Part 2

In part 1 of this series, we saw how digital devices display images and the methods in which images are stored in files and memory, i.e. we talked about bitmap images and vector images. In this part, we will see the various image formats that are popular in use and what each one is capable of. Continue reading “Computer and Images: Part 2”

Computers and Images: Part 1

Throughout the Internet, we consume millionsĀ of images per day. Photos, cartoons, animations, icons, logos, infographics and diagrams to name a few. As the saying goes, pictures are worth a thousand words and that explains why the world is a big fan of images as a content. Photos capture moments & memories, logos build brands, cartoons entertain, infographics provide information in a rich way, icons and diagrams make it easier to understand the meaning and the impact of numbers in data. In this two-part series of articles, we look at how exactly a digital device stores and works with images in part 1 and we look at why there are so many different formats of images such as JPEG, PNG, SVG, GIF, TIFF and so on in part 2. Continue reading “Computers and Images: Part 1”