Color, conversion, and data.

Data are an interesting concept because I work with data all day. Unlike information, data is much more meaningful as it coalesces a plethora of pieces of information to give them relationships to each other.

The two things I took away from all this are information about the SQL databases and the true phenomenon of color pictures.

SQL databases sound pretty boring from the outside but a lot of data is stored this way, especially institutional data. I never understood what it was or what organizations use it, especially from the outside it seems silly to store data in separate data frames from each other, needing to write code to retrieve it each time. But in learning about memory constraints and the way memory is written I start to understand it. SQL is a great way to store data when there are constraints, and when data can become infinitely long type and pattern. If you have several hundred million rows of data storing multiple pieces of information, it would be unwise to store it all in one place as it retrieving it would become nightmarish for wait times and leave you with a wall of information you most likely don’t want or need. It’s always been an interest of mine to learn SQL as it seemed like a very fundamental data language, and in understanding this, it is all the more important to understand.

I wanted to explain pictures as they fascinate me. Pictures are broken down into smaller and smaller pieces to become the size of one pixel, that pixel then contains 3 values which ultimately act like levers to create all the colors we can see on a screen. This ranges from white (which are all the colors turned on all the way) to black (which is all the color turned off). These values take the form of numbers. These numbers will change depending on the format you are using to read in and out the information, some programs having more range than others. This applies to file types as well, some file types are richer than others creating a need to adapt these higher-end files into smaller more readable files. Whenever this translation happens you lose something, be it color or resolution (the density of pixels).

Since the information is stored within 3 different colors (red, green, and blue), it requires 3x the space to store one pixel. These pixels ultimately lots of room as identifiable images might require 256, 3000, 10000 pixels on the low end. The more pixels the more we are able to discern smaller details in the background. It was only until the last decade where digital photography became the standard for professional photographers as film was always able to capture better more vibrant images than digital cameras.

The data is stored as binary with metadata informing the structure, size, and type of the file being handled. There many different ways to store this color information, as hexadecimal, as RGB color output but what is important in the conversion of that information into the format you are intending to use. Jpg which is widely used for documents loses some of the information on color and resolution to make files smaller, whereas .Png files favor rich data outputs of shrinking the file size. It’s important to note, each time you download and convert the file, you are always losing something so it’s important to try and download from as close to the source as possible.


How do video games work in as sequence of colors and text as this is a moving and changing format?

Is the text in movies stored as text or as color?

At which point will we not need to compress information as information storage and transfer speeds will be good enough?