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Illustrative Math
Grade 8
Let’s compare digital media and computer hardware using scientific notation.
Illustrative Math Unit 8.7, Lesson 16 (printable worksheets)
In 1966, the Apollo Guidance Computer was developed to make the calculations that would put humans on the Moon.
Your teacher will give you advertisements for different devices from 1966 to 2016. Choose one device and compare that device with the Apollo Guidance Computer. If you get stuck, consider using scientific notation to help you do your calculations.
For reference, storage is measured in bytes, processor speed is measured in hertz, and memory is measured in bytes. Kilo stands for 1,000, mega stands for 1,000,000, giga stands for 1,000,000,000, and tera stands for 1,000,000,000,000.
For each question, think about what information you would need to figure out an answer. Your teacher may provide some of the information you ask for. Give your answers using scientific notation.
Estimate how many messages it would take for Mai to fill up a floppy disk with her 140-character messages. Explain or show your reasoning.
Estimate how many floppy disks it would take to store a high-definition movie. Explain or show your reasoning.
Humans tend to work with numbers using powers of 10, but computers work with numbers using powers of 2. A “binary kilobyte” is 1,024 bytes instead of 1,000, because . Similarly, a “binary megabyte” is 1,024 binary kilobytes, and a “binary gigabyte” is 1,024 binary megabytes.
binary gigabyte = 2^{30} = 1,073,741,824
regular gigabyte = 10^{9}
1,073,741,824 - 1,000,000,000 = 73,741,824
binary terabyte = 2^{40} = 1,099,511,627,776
regular gigabyte = 10^{12}
1,099,511,627,776 - 1,000,000,000,000 = 99,511,627,776
The Open Up Resources math curriculum is free to download from the Open Up Resources website and is also available from Illustrative Mathematics.
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