bit bucket definition

Computer jargon users say that data which has been lost or thrown away has gone in the bit bucket. (A bit, short for binary digit, is the smallest unit of data in a computer.

For example, once you read an e-mail note and then delete it, it goes into the bit bucket (which sometimes is represented by a trash can icon). Of course, you can always look at deleted data as being recycled to make way for more new data.

In data that is truncated, the data after the truncation point gets put in the bit bucket. Actually, it doesn't get put anywhere; it just isn't considered at all by the program that does the truncation.

This was first published in April 2005

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