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Digital and Analog Information
There are two ways to represent information. Information that is continuous, that is, any piece of information that can take on any of an infinite set of values, is said to be analog. For example, the time, the temperature, the speed of your car--all of these have a continuous range of values. While you say, for example, that it is 55 degrees outside, it could really be 55.12492 degrees, or any value between that and 55.
Digital information is restricted to a finite set of values. For example, a traffic light is (normally) red, yellow or green; not "yellow-green" or orange. Computers use a form of digital information called binary information. Here, the information is restricted to only two values: one or zero. Computers use binary information for several reasons:
Digital information is often represented only in binary form, but does not have to be. A good example is compact disk audio, where sound information is stored as digital samples. The advantage of digital sampling is that the information is the same every time it is read, so there is no "loss" in quality over time as found in conventional magnetic analog storage media.