Author Archives: Dee Hobson

Megabytes, Gigabytes, Terabytes . . . Really?

10-06-2014 final 187440476These terms are usually used in the world of computing to describe disk space, or data storage space, and system memory. For instance, just a few years ago we were describing hard drive space using the term Megabytes. Today, Gigabytes and Terabytes are the most common terms being used to describe the size of a hard drive.

But what are they? According to the IBM Dictionary of computing, when used to describe disk storage capacity, a megabyte is 1,000,000 bytes in decimal notation. But when the term megabyte is used for real and virtual storage, 2 to the 20th power or 1,048,576 bytes is the appropriate notation. According to the Microsoft Press Computer Dictionary, a megabyte means either 1,000,000 bytes or 1,048,576 bytes.

When referring to a megabyte for disk storage, the hard drive manufacturers use the standard that a megabyte is 1,000,000 bytes. This means that when you buy a 250 Gigabyte hard drive you will get a total of 250,000,000,000 bytes of available storage.

This is where it gets confusing because Windows uses the 1,048,576 byte rule so when you look at the Windows drive properties a 250 Gigabyte drive will only yield 232 Gigabytes of available storage space, a 750GB drive only shows 698GB and a One Terabyte hard drive will report a capacity of 931 Gigabytes. Anybody confused yet?

Both of these standards are correct depending on what type of storage you are referring.

Processor or Virtual Storage
1 Bit = Binary Digit
8 Bits = 1 Byte
1024 Bytes = 1 Kilobyte
1024 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte
1024 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte
1024 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte
1024 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte
1024 Petabytes = 1 Exabyte

Disk Storage
1 Bit = Binary Digit
8 Bits = 1 Byte
1000 Bytes = 1 Kilobyte
1000 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte
1000 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte
1000 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte
1000 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte
1000 Petabytes = 1 Exabyte

How about a little more detail?

A Bit is the smallest unit of data that a computer uses. It can be used to represent two states of information, such as Yes or No.

A Byte is equal to 8 Bits. A Byte can represent 256 states of information, for example, numbers or a combination of numbers and letters. 1 Byte could be equal to one character. 10 Bytes could be equal to a word. 100 Bytes would equal an average sentence.

A Kilobyte is approximately 1,000 Bytes, actually 1,024 Bytes depending on which definition is used. 1 Kilobyte would be equal to this paragraph you are reading, whereas 100 Kilobytes would equal an entire page.

A Megabyte is approximately 1,000 Kilobytes. In the early days of computing, a Megabyte was considered to be a large amount of data. These days with a 500 Gigabyte hard drive on a computer being common, a Megabyte doesn’t seem like much anymore. One of those old 3-1/2 inch floppy disks can hold 1.44 Megabytes or the equivalent of a small book. 100 Megabytes might hold a couple volumes of Encyclopedias. 600 Megabytes is about the amount of data that will fit on a CD-ROM disk.

A Gigabyte is approximately 1,000 Megabytes. A Gigabyte is still a very common term used these days when referring to disk space or drive storage. 1 Gigabyte of data is almost twice the amount of data that a CD-ROM can hold. But it’s about one thousand times the capacity of a 3-1/2 floppy disk. 1 Gigabyte could hold the contents of about 10 yards of books on a shelf. 100 Gigabytes could hold the entire library floor of academic journals.

A Terabyte is approximately one trillion bytes, or 1,000 Gigabytes. There was a time that I never thought I would see a 1 Terabyte hard drive, now one and two terabyte drives are the normal specs for many new computers. To put it in some perspective, a Terabyte could hold about 3.6 million 300 Kilobyte images or maybe about 300 hours of good quality video. A Terabyte could hold 1,000 copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Ten Terabytes could hold the printed collection of the Library of Congress. That’s a lot of data.

A Petabyte is approximately 1,000 Terabytes or one million Gigabytes. It’s hard to visualize what a Petabyte could hold. 1 Petabyte could hold approximately 20 million 4-door filing cabinets full of text. It could hold 500 billion pages of standard printed text. It would take about 500 million floppy disks to store the same amount of data.

An Exabyte is approximately 1,000 Petabytes. Another way to look at it is that an Exabyte is approximately one quintillion bytes or one billion Gigabytes. There is not much to compare to an Exabyte. It has been said that 5 Exabytes would be equal to all of the words ever spoken by mankind.


For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Angela Nino, Lead Faculty, 972-238-6382.



7 Brilliant Ways to Start a Presentation

We’ve all been there: sitting at your computer viewing a blank PowerPoint slide with no idea  04-07-2014 Business Writing Skills 78771905how to open or start your presentation. Let’s be honest; we’ve all struggled with the best ways to begin especially when getting your audience to listen is important to the success of your presentation.

Want to catch the attention of your audience in the first minute of your presentation? Click the link below to read an article by Darlene Price, president of Well Said, Inc., and author of “Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results.” The article is posted on the Business Insider Web site and has seven suggestions for ways in which to start a presentation and captivate your audience at the same time.

7 Brilliant Ways to Start a Presentation

So, what are you waiting for? Experiment. Try something new. Step outside your comfort zone. More than likely, you will experience some amazing results by trying any one of these techniques.


For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, 972-238-6215.


by Royce Murcherson

Generally, large companies or corporations have entire departments staffed with professional proposal writers to write formal proposals. You should expect to write an informal internal proposal.

WHAT IS IT EXACTLY? What’s a proposal? They come in various shapes and sizes. They can be either solicited or unsolicited. They can be as short as an email and as long as a ten page document. They are always persuasive in nature. In short, proposals are arguments.

Internal Proposal – The purpose of an internal proposal will be to persuade your boss or supervisor to:

  • Change a process
  • Solve a problem
  • Purchase products, services or pursue activities
  • Conduct research or make changes in policies

The message will always be persuasive, fact based, and verifiable.  The benefit can come in the form of improvements in productivity and profitability and will likely contribute to another accomplishment line on your resume.

  • The Unsolicited Internal Proposal – These are proposals that have not been requested by a manager. These types of proposals are opportunities to cast you as a proactive, forward thinking employee. This is your time to boost your image. For example, suppose you realize that the office network’s current operations system slows down the production of sales orders. Changing operating systems would increase productivity. You write a memo describing what is going on, what you want to do, why you want to do it, what it will cost and what will be the overall benefit. This is an unsolicited internal proposal is a means to sell your creative ideas.
  • A Solicited Internal Proposal – These are proposals are requested by a manager or supervisor. There may not be a need for you come up with ‘the answer’ or solve the problem. Your boss may have already provided the solution and simply requests you measure its viability. This is still an opportunity for you to gain some good exposure because you will have to use your critical thinking skills and make a recommendation.



First, do not expect to write formal proposals unless you have been hired specifically to serve on a proposal team. These proposals are comprehensive, well researched documents that can be ten or more pages.  Corporations have entire departments staffed with professional proposal writers to create these.

check markWHAT TO EXPECT

The type of proposal you more than likely find yourself writing will be an internal unsolicited proposal discussed earlier. It will be in the form of a medium length email or a memo. Remember, this informal proposal does not have to be written on the level of a formal proposal written by professional proposal writer. It should not exceed more than two pages if presented as a memo, and no more than a six paragraph email.

EXPECT IT TO BE PERSUASIVE It will need to convince your manager or supervisor that your ideas will work. In a nutshell, the benefits produced will far outweigh the costs of implementation. Your manager will need to believe that:

  • You fully understand the organization’s mission: productive, profitable, and innovative
  • You fully understand the organization’s operations
  • You fully understand the necessity of the proposal
  • You know the solution
  • You know how to implement the solution

For a more expanded discussion on writing and formatting internal proposals using the Toulmin Model of Argumentation in business writing, see my book:

Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that Gets Results. Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013

For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, 972-238-6215.


by Royce Murcherson

Royce 1 ManEffective written communication is absolutely essential in the workplace. I emphasize its importance in my book. I absolutely stress we must be strategic and persuasive when it comes to implementing beneficial change.   As much as I believe in the concept of creating a smart, intelligent image of yourself through your writing, it’s not the only means.  Pick up the telephone.

Yes, we live in a data age of electronic words which has pretty much replaced the traditional, “Hi, how are you…and… I have a quick question that will take care of the entire issue”.  The obvious concern with the present state of things is the lack of human-to-human ‘real voice’ communication. The exchange of ideas in our current environment rests on three main platforms: instant messaging, email, and texting.   We’ve grown used to it. We love it. Somehow we have lulled ourselves into the complacency of avoiding a real conversation because we think it takes more time.  But perhaps, it’s time to re think this digital substitution and think ‘old school’ instead. There are many advantages to picking up the telephone.

  • Royce PhoneNO MISTAKES IN TONE – The first is safeguarding your tone and avoiding mistakes of intention. Quite simply, you avoid SENDING THE WRONG MESSAGE. In section two of my book, I stress the importance of tone. It’s easy to inadvertently deposit your emotional state in an email, text, or instant message which in turn can cause unintended consequences. By picking up the telephone, you eliminate the guess-work. The tone and inflection of your voice, the conversational back and forth, the impromptu humor and discussion leaves no room for error.
  • RELATIONSHIP BUILDING – Building strong working relationships with your colleagues is very important and can likely contribute to your ultimate success. You may have heard the quote by John Donne, “No man is an island entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…”. This is exactly right in the business world . Teamwork is everything. And you can’t foster teamwork without building relationships. You can’t build ‘real’ relationships with only email and instant messaging. There must be some human contact to give those digital words life.
  • CUTTING DOWN THE EMAIL CHAIN – Texting is great for brief questions and confirmations, but not for conversations. When the text messages get too long and begin to go on for what seems like forever, you know when it’s time to stop and dial the number. The same is true with email. These types of messages should be brief, and should not go on forever. To avoid these never-ending chains, pick up the phone. One five-minute conversation could be equal to fourteen emails.
  • IMMEDIATE RESPONSE – Writing takes time. Time is precious during the workday. Why wait for a reply to an email, when you can get your answer much faster. Remember, everyone’s inbox is full. When you send an email, you get prioritized. Don’t get prioritized. Get your answer quickly.

For an expanded discussions on business writing and workplace etiquette, see my book:

Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that Gets Results. Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013

Clip Art, provided by Microsoft Office Professional Academic, 2010

For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, 972-238-6215.



WRITING TO WIN: The Importance of Trust in the Workplace

by Royce Murcherson

Remember when you were a kid? When it came to what was good and what was bad, it was pretty clear. When you were good, there was ice cream in your future. When you were bad, it was off to the time out corner. It was never a case of either/or. Nowadays you’re all grown up. You’ve figured out that the rules can be bent at times for one reason or the other. And sometimes you’ve probably indulged because it was pretty harmless. Afterward, you may have felt a little uneasy about it, but ‘hey’ you tell yourself, no laws were broken, no harm no foul, right? These are the questions that create a feeling of uneasiness when you’re not sure you’ve made the right decision. It’s important to know because it’s a matter of ‘trust’. Losing ‘trust’ in the workplace is a ‘losing proposition’. Don’t go there.

Being trustworthy is the rock solid foundation of who you are in the present and how you will be perceived in the future.


There are certain things that shouldn’t be done in the workplace. Things like plagiarizing, hiding information, exaggerating claims, copyright infringement, crossing cultural boundaries, and conflicts of interest. Avoiding this type of behavior is part of what it means to be an honest, upright employee.

Being trustworthy means you live by a set of principles that govern ethical human behavior. These principles can come down to beliefs such as treating others as you would want to be treated. These principles can also come down to intuition, some inner feeling or moral compass that helps you decide what is right and what is wrong. This is what it comes down too…this question…Am I trustworthy? Or simply, what is the right thing to do?

A sense of justice, individual rights, and understanding the consequences of your actions has much to do with your sense of right and wrong. And your sense of right and wrong will guide your choices in the workplace and will project the degree of your trustworthiness among your colleagues.


Weasels are by definition cunning and devious. You may find yourself in a location where situation and circumstance may affect how you understand the difference between right behavior and wrong behavior. This is the ‘grey zone, a place in which a person has the opportunity to circumvent definitions of right and wrong behavior. In other words, the meanings could change due to extenuating circumstances. You may find yourself thinking of ways to ‘go around’ or to ‘avoid’. Try not to find yourself in this position. It may feel like artful maneuvering when in fact you may be bending the rules to suit your own needs rather than those of your coworkers.

HERE ARE SOME GUIDELINES to Avoid ‘Weaseling-Out’ 

  • Don’t evade responsibility. Do not back out of commitments. Cultivate cooperative behavior that benefits the group.
  • Don’t be sneaky in your dealings, achieving success by underhanded methods.
  • Don’t be cunning in order to advance selfish interests or hurt others.
  • Don’t be evasive in your communication with others. Be straightforward.
  • Don’t be intentionally vague or ambiguous in your conduct.
  • Don’t be deceptive in your actions, misleading deliberately.
  • Don’t be cowardly. Display confidence. Try to set a good example when dealing with tough issues.

For an expanded discussions on business writing and workplace etiquette, see my book:

Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that Gets Results. Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013 

Clip Art, provided by Microsoft Office Professional Academic, 2010


For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, 972-238-6215.




Kudos to Richland College

Richland College was recently rated 10th in the Rate My Professors’ 2014-2015 Top Lists for Junior and Community Colleges across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.!

The online rating system allows students to rate colleges on the quality of their professors, reputation, location, career opportunities, library, campus grounds, common areas, internet speed on campus, food service, clubs, events, social activities, and whether or not students are pleased with their decisions to attend the college.  By equally weighing professor ratings and campus ratings, the overall rating acknowledges that the school scores high in both academics and campus life.  

See a picture using this link:  Kudos to Richland College!

For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, 972-238-6215.


A Quick Guide to Avoiding Common Writing Errors

10-27-2014 final 489003095From the Harvard Business Review comes an outstanding article on avoiding common errors in writing. The impression your colleagues have of you is often dependent on the written correspondence they receive from you. In this article you will review some of the most misused words in the English; there is also a list of resources at the end of the article just in case you encounter questions beyond the scope of the article.  Click the link below to begin.

A Quick Guide to Avoiding Common Writing Errors

Happy reading!


For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, 972-238-6215.


How to Create a Shutdown/Restart Icon in Windows

Windows 8Windows 8/8.1 make you perform several actions to turn your computer off, and they are not easy to find. To get to the power button, you must pull out the Charms menu (bottom, right side of screen), click the Power button and the select Shutdown or Restart. If you are on the Windows 8 desktop, you may also shut down by using the ALT + F4 shortcut keys.

Want to create an icon on your desktop to shutdown/restart your computer? It’s easy; simply follow the steps given below:

Navigate to the desktop (Windows key + D)
Right click on the desktop and select New | Shortcut
Enter: shutdown /s /t 0 (a zero) in the location box and click Next
Enter a name for the shortcut and click Finish
Right click the shortcut on your desktop and select Pin to Start
Go the Start and drag the shutdown icon to a prominent place

If you want the icon on your taskbar, right click on the icon and select Pin to Taskbar

For a Restart button repeat the previous steps using shutdown /r /t 0 in the location box

If you want to change the icon displayed for the shortcut, complete the following steps:

Right click on the shortcut and select Properties
Click Change Icon (If you receive a Change Icon warning, simply click OK)
Select an Icon; Click OK twice to close the Change Icon and Properties windows

You do not have to be a computer wizard to create these icons; they can save time and frustration especially if you have difficulty finding the Shutdown and Restart commands in Windows 8. Try it!


For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, 972-238-6215.

Five Tough Questions to Ask Yourself about Your Soft Skills

Are you a team player?

“Mastering technology to get a job and keep a job is a fact of life. Yet, technical skills alone are not an avenue to advancement. For career resilience, it’s important to connect with others in authentic and meaningful ways. That means pairing digital skills with soft skills—behaviors, practices and core values.”

The above is a quote from an article on the IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals) Web site.  The article appeared in the association’s January/February 2015 publication. You should be able to answer “Yes” to all but one of the questions.  See if you can determine which question’s answer is a definite “No.”

These five questions should be reviewed often!  If you are happy with the job you currently have, a reminder of the specifics of these questions will assist you in keeping that job for as long as possible.

Here is a link to the article:  Five Tough Questions


For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, 972-238-6215.

Windows 10 is Coming!

As is always true in the world of computer technology, change is coming very soon. Microsoft will announce and make available sometime later this year its newest version of Windows—Windows 10. Users of Windows 7 or Windows 8 or 8.1 will be able to get Windows 10 FREE. This is a first from Microsoft and is a step toward regaining user support. Many loyal Windows users were disappointed in Windows 8.

Exciting news about Windows 10 includes the return of the Start menu. Microsoft has also redesigned its browser, Internet Explorer, and given it a new name—Microsoft Edge.

Included below are two links: One will take you to a short article on, which includes a list of things you need to know about Windows 10. The second link will take you to a list of FAQ’s on Windows 10 posted on Microsoft’s Web site.

What You Need to Know about Windows 10 (from

Microsoft’s FAQs Regarding Windows 10

Enjoy learning about what is coming next for users of Microsoft Windows!