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Category: Data Compression 101

The story of the student, who created the most famous compression algorithm, because he tried to avoid an exam

This is the third in a series of articles where I go over the basics of common type of compressions. You can find the first article here When you take pictures, he’s there.When you listen to music, he’s there.When you surf the web, he’s there.This article is dedicated to him. *** Drawing lesson Question: How would a basic drawing software which allows you to draw in just eight colors, encode the information into bits? A common way to do this is to predefine a specific bit sequence, of a fixed length, per color. For eight colors we…

Where did the missing 44GB went? – Data compression 101

This is the second in a series of articles where I go over the basics of common type of compressions. You can find the first article here Wikipedia in its English version has 3.5 billion words. All human knowledge compressed to 3.5 billion words. How do I know this?  I read it on Wikipedia. *** Some of you may be surprised to discover that the recent text version of Wikipedia can be downloaded in its entirety. As I’m writing this lines, the English version of Wiki is 58GB, but if someone will try to download it he…

Replacing a sentence with a single character – Data compression 101

There is a legend about a famous 19th-century writer, Victor Hugo, who was on vacation. That writer wanted to know how the sale of his new book, “Les Misérables”, was progressing. So, what did he do? He wrote to the publisher. When the publisher opened the letter, he was surprised to find out that it contain a single character: “?” *** In data compression we are trying to represent relevant data in a minimal number of symbols. Take a file and shave of him every possible bit. Less is more, that is,  a website that takes less…