As mentioned before, computers only deal with binary data (0s and 1s), hence all data manipulated by computers must be represented in binary format. Machine instructions manipulate many different forms of data:

  1. Integers: examples: 33, +128, -2827 …etc.

  2. Real numbers: examples: 1.33, +9.55609, -6.76E12, +4.33E-03 …etc.

Alphanumeric characters (letters, numbers, signs, control characters): examples: A, a, c, 1 ,3, ", +, Ctrl, Shift, …etc.

Images (still or moving): Usually represented by numbers representing the Red, Green and Blue (RGB) colors of each pixel in an image,

Sounds: Numbers representing sound amplitudes sampled at a certain rate (usually 20kHz).

So in general we have two major data types that need to be represented in computers; numbers and characters.