Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Bit

I am sad today.

Yesterday my pregnant wife started cramping. It got so bad that this morning we went to the ER. A few hours later we left the hospital knowing that my wife's pregnancy was coming to an end, and a baby would not be the result (she's only 14 weeks). It is very sad that we will not get to know the Bit.

The Bit is the nickname we gave the person that was growing in my wife's womb. We did not know its gender yet. We preferred to give it a neutral name over referring to it by "it" until we find out its gender. We were very excited about the Bit and looked forward to meeting it.

Where does the name come from? A bit is a binary digit. It forms the basic unit of information in computing. Eight bits make a byte, and bytes make up memory. A gigabyte is one billion bytes.

The pictures at the top of this post come from the movie Tron. A mainframe computer in that movie pulls real people into the digital world. One of these people comes across a bit, and it looks like object above.

Like most movies, Tron took some artistic license (okay, a lot of artistic license). In the movie, a bit can be neutral, negative, or affirmative. Contrary to the movie's depiction, a bit can only have two values in computing.

The Bit was on, but now it is off.

I will miss the Bit.

I am sad today.